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What is True Honesty in Your Relationship?

Phil loves reading advice columns and sharing whether or not he thinks they have offered insights. In a recent column, a woman described a situation where her husband had asked her a question casually in the course of another discussion. She avoided the issue. She wrote that although she didn’t know why, she didn’t want to discuss this with her husband and was asking if this was okay, or was it somehow being dishonest. The question was about honesty and whether full disclosure is necessary in a relationship.

We are both of the opinion that white lies are still lies. They’re usually made to save someone’s feelings, but they have the effect of destroying trust. If I can’t trust whether you like me in this hat, how can I trust what movie you want to watch, or where you would like to eat, or if you find them attractive, or why you didn’t pick up the phone? It is as if you are slightly out of focus; a little fuzz of uncertainty surrounds every detail. Don’t do it. If the truth will make me uncomfortable, then so be it. It may be my sensitivity or your pickiness or whatever, but it’s the truth for you at this moment. When you offer it, I should be honored to accept it.

Worse than white lies designed to protect my feelings are outright lies designed to conceal some part of yourself: you only had two beers; you did go to the store, but they were out of milk. Don’t do this. You know why.

However, we both agree that not everything has to be shared. Honesty does not mean that you have to spew forth the total contents of your mind.

Click here for our honest opinion, or listen to Phil reading it.

Successful Relationship Reading Corner


In this week's blog, we wrote about honesty in your relationship, and we've found some great articles on this topic.

Love and honesty: what we hide and why we lie "I want to talk about honesty and dishonesty and how it comes into play in relationships.... This is about emotional honesty – the habits and ways of being that seem small, but actually create who you are and how you form bonds with others. Because the simple act of being honest can change your life in awesome earth-shattering ways. What I’m talking about is kind of like emotional lying – it’s subtler and therefore insidious in how it hurts your life – and it’s tied a struggle with acceptance. What I hope to offer is insight into why either you are “shielding” others from the truth or why others are doing this to you. I’d also like to sell you on the amazing and powerful benefits of being honest and letting go of control. Because that practice has amazing benefits in your life. Without further ado – three parts: what why and how!"

Do You Have an Honest Relationship? "For all the great things we say about being honest – that it’s the best policy or that the truth shall set us free – research tells us that we aren’t all that great at it. According to studies by Dr. Bella DePaulo, people lie in one in five of their interactions. These lies aren’t only to strangers or peripheral figures in our lives. Couples deceive each other all the time. DePaulo’s research showed that dating couples lie to each other about a third of the time, while married couples do so in about one in 10 interactions.  While people seem to tell fewer of the “little” or “everyday” lies to loved ones, 64 percent of serious lies (“deep betrayals of trust”) involve people’s closest relationship partners."

What Do We Mean By Honesty in a Relationship? "I have worked with many individuals who come into therapy because they are unhappy in their relationship. They share with me what makes them unhappy about their loved one, meaning what that person does or doesn’t bring to the relationship. When I ask the question, “Does your partner know how you feel?” the answer is almost always, “No.” There are many reasons they haven’t shared how they feel. Some don’t want to hurt their partner, while others worry about the reaction they will receive. Some express, “What’s the point? It won’t make a difference anyway.” However, sharing your true feelings is an important aspect of honesty in a relationship and deserves your attention."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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