No secrets… Telling the truth in our relationships
*Truth in our relationships is a newsletter that only offers information and recognizes that individual issues may differ from those broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problem. – Copyright 2018 Simmonds Publications: 550 La Jolla Blvd., 306, La Jolla, CA 92037
Telling the Truth is always vital to our relationships. When we commit ourselves to a relationship with another person, we rightly expect to experience a sense of fulfillment that we didn’t have before. Humans, as social beings, seem to have a universal desire to find a partner. Sexual attraction often serves as the motivator for making initial contact with the other person. This is usually replaced over time with a more profound sense of commitment and intimacy.
It is a terrible disappointment to some people when the sexual phase of the relationship fails to lead to something deeper. The task is to understand the forces that block the development of a deeper sense of intimacy and do something about it. Fortunately, with some work, couples can learn to move into deeper sharing and more fulfillment in their relationships.
The Emotional Roller Coaster of Being in Love
The excitement of entering a new relationship touches us at the core of our being. In some sense, it influences our thinking, emotions, and physical bodies. It feels like a dream come true. Finally, the hard years of experiencing the world alone have ended, and the thing we have longed for has been achieved.
We now have a partner who can share, understand, and appreciate our most private experiences. The world suddenly seems like a happier and more secure place. The beginning stages of a relationship can bring a sense of connectedness. Still, when that phone call doesn’t come, when a plan goes awry, when the wrong words are spoken, the emotional high can turn swiftly into a feeling of devastation. Being in love can have its downside.
When Truth becomes vital in a Relationship
Over time the physical stage of the relationship is typically replaced by a period of getting to know more about other aspects of our partner’s personality. Some of these characteristics are endearing to us, and others irritate us. We learn how our partner attends to the demands of everyday life. We know that they might not do things the way we do them. Our partner may take a more aggressive approach than we do. Or we may find that our partner takes on issues by mulling them back-and-forth, before coming to a decision, which may create anxiety in us.
Our partner’s loyalty to the relationship may differ from our own. These differences may seem catastrophic during this phase of the relationship. And at this stage, rather than looking within to adjust to our partner’s quirks, we may try to force our partners to change their behavior. Power and domination may enter the relationship’s dynamics, negatively impacting intimacy. At this stage, genuine communication becomes essential to the continued success of the relationship.
Guidelines for Telling the Truth in Our Relationships
Communication is at the center of relationships, and the quality of a relationship depends on the quality of the contact between the two partners. The most treasured times in a relationship are when we tap into our partner’s authenticity with heartfelt communications and talk truthfully.
Truth is complicated, and many of us engage in a bit of self-deception. There are things about ourselves that we may not have been able to examine or accept; we have difficulty admitting our flaws, even to ourselves, much more so to our partners. Here are some guidelines for telling the Truth:
Understand what you intend to do when communicating: This requires an honest look at your motivations. If you want to create healing, clarity, or a more profound sense of intimacy within the relationship, your intention will probably lead to those results. If, on the other hand, you want to make yourself look good or intend to hurt your partner, then distrust will result from the communication.
The Takeaway is…
Communication on an honest and truthful level makes you vulnerable. You may fear getting hurt or hurting your partner’s feelings. Or you may feel that you will be misunderstood or that your partner will judge you negatively. Our fears are based on past experiences that reside within us and are often unrealistic. The higher goal is to communicate truthfully with your partner to have a more satisfying relationship, which means having the courage to confront your fears. Learn more about building a well-minded relationship at Eunoia.