“To tell the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth.” This is an oath we take in court. When it comes to marriage, the “whole truth” may get a little more complicated. This blog series is based off of the book, His Needs Her Needs. Her #3 need is honesty and openness.
In partnership, there is a line between baring your soul and retaining some level of personal privacy (classified under “TMI”). Emotional security is about getting a pulse on what is really going on with the other person without having to get out a shovel and dig for it. Meeting the need of Honesty & Openness is about offering information about yourself that is going to impact you, your partner or your relationship.
Danger: Getting ambushed. Surprise! “I don’t love you, I never loved you.” Or “I’m starting to have feelings for someone at work.” Or “I know I said I wanted kids, but I changed my mind.” The bigger danger is getting ambushed AND then you get notified that your relationship has been terminated without your consent.
Honesty and openness allows couples to resolve problems and make decisions together.
Goal: Share who you really are and what is important to you. This also includes your thoughts, feelings, habits, likes, dislikes, past history, daily activities, and future plans. Find out what your partner thinks is important to be informed about. Each person needs to know what cards are on the table in order to negotiate the little decisions and the life-changing ones.
The book identifies four areas of honesty needs:
1. Emotional– what makes you happy, what frustrates you, and if you feel a mid-life crisis coming on.
2. Historical – events that demonstrate personal weakness or failure.
3. Current– calendar of events that may affect spouse.
4. Future– plans regarding future activities and objectives.
One of the deals that I made with my husband when we were dating was to be honest about where we are in our relationship. Even if he doesn’t want to hear about it, I promised to tell him the truth about how I am feeling. It is my obligation to share my feelings and it is his choice to listen. I bare my soul in hopes of creating emotional security and to share warning signs that feelings are starting to shift. In the spirit of being transparent, I promise to tell the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth. My husband reserves the right to classify information under “TMI” and in those cases, I keep it to myself.
Reflect & Share: Out of the four areas of honesty, which one do you need to be more open about?
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