Honesty in relationships

Tue, Sep 1, 2009

Articles

Is honesty necessary in relationships? Definitely! Honesty builds trust, which is the most aspect of any relationship. Knowing that you can trust a person means that you can be yourself around him or her. You need not pretend to be someone else, because he or she accepts you for who you really are. You can share your most intimate secrets and not be afraid of being judged or of your secrets being revealed.

In order to create a lasting relationship, a strong foundation built on trust, love, and respect is needed. Without trust, there can never be genuine love and respect. However, building trust also takes time. It won’t happen overnight. Therefore, you must work at it by always being honest about what you feel and think.

Just how important is honesty?

Honesty in a relationship context means sharing everything you feel and think with your loved one. It is no-holds barred communication wherein you are completely free to express yourself.

Once you are in a relationship, you can (and should) never assume that you “just know” what your partner thinks and feels. No two people are alike, and it simply isn’t possibly to know someone completely. For example, I cannot assume that my wife will feel happy about me surprising her with a new car. Even though I want to surprise her, I should discuss this with her beforehand, because it is a big purchase which affects us both financially. The same goes with smaller things like making plans to spend a weekend with my friends instead of staying at home with her.

Honesty is also needed when expressing your emotions. My wife knows if I am getting mad. According to her, my eyes change. I don’t know what actually happens, but she has never missed interpreting the change in my eyes if I am getting mad. Sometimes she’ll say she knows I’m angry about something and I will still deny it, just to avoid a “discussion”. But it’s the wrong thing to do, because the more I deny it, the angrier she gets because she knows that I am not being honest about what I feel.

If your partner really loves you, it matters to him or her what you actually feel. Honesty leads to vulnerability, but also to mutual understanding. When you begin revealing your true self to your partner, he or she will start to be able to predict in advance what will irk you or make you happy; you’ll be able to head off arguments, and avoid frustrating questioning and discussion.

Honesty also leads to intimacy. Intimacy comes from a deeper knowledge about each other. You cannot be intimate with a person you just met an hour or a day ago. If you are completely honest with your partner about your past and still receive acceptance and forgiveness, intimacy will be built. And from intimacy comes trust, love, and respect.

Isn’t complete honesty often hurtful?

Complete honesty is a great foundation for any relationship. But complete honesty doesn’t mean that you will simply blurt out anything that comes to mind. You don’t just say “I hate it when you do that.” That is transforming honesty into rudeness. You also must learn how to communicate what you feel and think without rudeness or tactlessness. Sure, you were being completely honest with what you said when you blurted out that hurtful statement, but put yourself in the shoes of your partner–how would you feel? Certainly deeply hurt, disappointed, or disrespected by the way in which the truthful message was conveyed, right?

People frequently equate complete honesty with rudeness. Remember that honesty should be expressed with love. Honest feelings communicated without love are rudeness. For the example in the last paragraph you could have said, “I think it’d be better if we did it this way.”—still conveying the same message but packaged in a loving way, right?

When I was just newly married, I thought that complete honesty meant speaking my thoughts without filtering them. I thought that I must not screen what I think or feel to be completely honest with my wife. But I took the wrong approach; instead of building intimacy, I was hurting my wife with my words. Of course, I meant well by “being honest” with her, but I took the wrong approach to communicating honestly.

Remember the old adage: “Sticks and stones may break the bones. But words can break a heart.” Be completely honest with your significant other, but always speak your truth with love.

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8 Responses to “Honesty in relationships”

  1. Creator Says:

    Be completely honest with your significant other, but always speak your truth with love.

    Very well said. It’s a matter of how you deliver your words. Filtering words doesn’t mean you’re not being honest. It’s a way of protecting the feelings of your other half.

    Reply

  2. Poker Says:

    By all means, honesty is still the best policy.

    Reply

  3. Anna Says:

    Truth hurts all the time but I hate liars bigtime. I’d rather deal with an honest guy than athose full of bullshits.

    Reply

  4. Savory Says:

    I’d rather be dishonest than hurting my partner’s feelings. Lol.

    Reply

  5. Anna Says:

    Honesty in relationship is very important. It strengthens the bond between two couples. It serves a foundation for building trust.

    Reply

  6. The Single One Says:

    Great article. The only thing I would say is as important as honesty in a realtionship is open communication. They go hand in hand. Kudos for the last section! Say your truth with love. I know I have times of feeling extra sensitive when even a loving truth can bring me to tears. I hope for a partner that will be totally honest in an open, loving way. Thank you, Dope! 🙂

    Reply

  7. Issac Mae Says:

    Thanks for the intimacy in marriage information.

    Reply

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