Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash.com

Honesty isn’t just for major events in your married life.

Honesty in small, everyday conversation is a key factor in marriage maintenance, for a “together forever” relationship.

Vacuuming gets rid of tiny pieces of dirt–though they aren’t significant by themselves, the accumulation would eventually change the appearance of what’s real if they were left there.

Can you imagine a white tile floor after two or three visits from your family and their two dogs?  If you never vacuumed away what didn’t belong there, you might come to believe the floor was speckled black and beige. You might forget what the real surface looked like. Regular clearing away of debris keeps your reality visible.

Regular honesty is like regular cleaning–it makes it easier to see what’s really there.

“Let the light of truth and honesty shine from your faces so that all may know that your word, in business or pleasure, is a word to trust and be sure of. Forget self and work for the whole.”

J. E. Esslemont

Honesty is saying something calm and factual in response to an irritating behavior or event before there’s an emotional value attached.

Truthfulness is clearing away debris so it doesn’t obscure the reality of your marriage/relationship. It means knowing and speaking clearly the truth of you and your true love’s boundaries. You need to understand the consequences of crossing them, early in the relationship.

Honesty requires purity of motive so that each partner knows the other isn’t secretly trying to harm them. Couples who practice honesty and consultation in small conflicts might be able to prevent big conflicts from happening! (Can We Dance? Learning the Steps for a Fulfilling Relationship, by Susanne M. Alexander with John S. Miller)

Honesty and trustworthiness are character traits that are developed throughout a lifetime.

On iPEC’s scale of energetic self-perception, this kind of even-tempered, non-judgmental honesty in communication ranges between levels five and six.

At level five, both parties decide that they’ll work equally towards an outcome. Nobody feels that they’ve “lost” value. They can consult to find a solution that results in an outcome better than their current situation.

At level six, they would each see that together they make one whole, balanced marriage and easily find a variety of solutions that preserve their unity. Each person could speak the truth about their perceptions and feelings clearly without an ulterior motive–with nothing added and nothing left out.

How often do you practice telling the truth?

For example, Abigail and Barney have an old dishwasher that must be loaded in specific ways with pre-rinsed dishes or the dishes won’t finish off clean and shiny. They consulted about it and reviewed their options. They could wash the dishes by hand for six months before they can afford a new dishwasher or dependably rinse and load the dishes so that everything gets clean. The couple could buy and use disposable plates, cups, and cutlery. They could also continue their current behavior until Abigail explodes in anger and begins saying hurtful things to Barney or he ignores both Abigail and the dishes.

To resolve this situation in any meaningful way, they both need to practice honesty about what they are and aren’t willing to do consistently.

Barney will have to say that he really isn’t going to load the dishes the way Abigail likes it. It’s too much trouble at the end of the day. If he has been honest before, she should know that he isn’t saying anything about his love for her. She’ll trust his motives because she’s experienced his honesty before. He’s explaining the way he values his time. He’d rather work overtime and buy another dishwasher sooner, so they can spend more time enjoying each other’s company.

If they develop enough honesty to deal with a dishwasher, they’ll have developed enough honesty to deal with feelings about the naturally occurring ebb and flow of boredom in their marriage and what they want to do about it.

If you’d like help maintaining or creating your marriage so that it’s a “together forever” relationship that withstands the normal stormy sea, the flat windless days that don’t provide motivation or direction, as well as the fair winds filling your sails towards wherever you two want to go, contact me: [email protected] or ClarityAndPossibility.com.

 Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash.com