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Intimacy, Honesty, and Love
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | September 2018
Instead of lying, do what is right. By establishing a habit of openness, we not only build trust but we are motivated to not screw up.
Without commitment to honesty, deception creeps into relationships, creating distance and disrupting connections. Secrets provide obvious momentary benefits, allowing for behaviors to go unexamined. The money wasted at the casino is not challenged, the dinner with a co-worker doesn’t spark suspicion, and the broken vase given to your spouse by her beloved great aunt isn’t missed, at least not immediately. We do what we want, conceal the evidence and pretend we are doing what’s best for the unknowing spouse, sparing her the emotions, and avoiding a fight. We’re accustomed to being stupid; we just don’t care to defend our stupidity—so we fib. Whether our action is justified or not, the secret concealing the act, weakens intimacy and challenges trust.
Openness in a relationship demands we discuss uncomfortable subjects that challenges our justifications and exposes our risky behavior. The emotional discussions are difficult, poking at sensitivities, so instead of honesty, we dodge and conceal. Even strong connections that begin with joy erode from blows of dishonesty. Just a few lies, once discovered, weakens communication in other matters. Partners must be more discerning. Even when we tell the truth, the history of secrets ignites suspicion.
Once committed to honesty, our actions are kept in check by knowing we will have to divulge the stupidity and suffer the consequence. Against the facing the weight of an emotional confession, often the higher path is chosen. Honesty becomes a habit. We our honest in our employment, our finances, and our relationships. Yes, honesty comes at a cost, but also brings a blessing.
"Once committed to honesty, our actions are kept in check by knowing we will have to divulge the stupidity and suffer the consequence. Against the facing the weight of an emotional confession, often the higher path is chosen."
I can’t promise honesty will always make you richer, more popular, or more intimate. Actions still carry consequences. You tell the cop you are drunk, you still may be arrested. You tell your wife that you had an illicit affair with her best friend, you still may be left. It’s best not to drink and drive and not to cheat. Honesty doesn’t buy a free ride. But it can, when coupled with reasonable action, build trust, and with trust comes intimacy.
Search your heart, honestly share the secrets, trudge through the emotional dialogue of examination with your partner. When truth is given and received freely, without harsh judgments and received with loving-kindness, a bond is forged, and joy is found. We no longer live alone in our hearts but in a joyous communion with another.