Thursday, July 15, 2010

Radical Honesty part 2 ~Cynthia

Radical honesty to me is kind of a complicated thing.
It means being open and honest 100% about anything that may impact your relationship. It does not mean that one has to volunteer information that is unasked for but also it does not allow for withholding information that may be germane to your relationship.
Let us go through some situations that have come up in my life and others I have known:
You have a mild interest in someone outside of your relationship. There is zero chance that you would act on these feelings and you know in your heart you would not accept advances from this person. Now we have an attraction outside the relationship and that could be very detrimental. Yet the interest is passing and of no consequence. Personally I would withhold said information. There is no need to unnecessarily worry a spouse with such a trivial matter. Unless of course: your spouse asks you outright if you have interest in said person. This is a brilliant opportunity to provide honesty. Just because you think that your BFF’s brother is hot as tamale this is no cause for alarm for your spouse. So what? It is what it is. Everyone has interests outside the relationship. That is natural human curiosity
You have a moderate interest in another person outside your relationship. You have no intention to move on this attraction but you might cave if they made a pass at you. This case it is time to come clean. You have an interest in someone that could potentially consummate. Your spouse needs to know this and as gently as possible. This is not an emergency that needs to be blown out of proportion. This calls for a calm and civil discussion of why there is an interest and how to deal with it maturely.
Any other situations involving interest in another person in a potentially romantic way should obviously be discussed.
Is it ok to lie about diner? No it is not. This small moment is an opportunity to display honesty in the relationship. Besides if you lie and say the lasagna is good when it is not you will be served the same dish sometime in the future.
Is it ok to lie if she asks if her dress makes her ass look fat? This depends on the woman. (he he got to have exceptions to every rule!)
Is it ok to lie about your mate’s friends and family? No, but, be wise and temper your statements with some tact and social grace. You do not want to start a fight and this is delicate territory. Maybe you do not need to bring up that the uncle who shows up every holiday is an ass. But say there is a friend that lives next door you simply cannot stand…Time to fess up, you need space and time away from this person.

Living in a relationship that practices radical honesty requires an agreement between parties to always approach a truth you do not like with dignity and respect. Be honest to a fault as a general rule. But do not go around making a point to talk about every thought or feeling. If there is no chance that something can impact your relationship, then just do not bring it up. If it might have an impact or it will you must communicate truthfully. But keep in mind a poorly spoken truth can get you into almost as much hot water as a devious lie.

I think the key to this is not asking each other questions we do not really want answered.