Let me give you some horrible marriage advice: “Lie to your spouse.” Our progressive way of thinking about the world and the people in it has caused more people to embrace outright lying to the people closest to them. We make it sound nice by calling the lies ‘white’ or ‘little’ or even ‘buffering.’ The experts are out in the world claiming that a few lies, if they are not excessive, can make your marriage happier. An article I read about this even had a quote that said, “Full disclosure isn’t always best for couples. Some forms of lying can be productive.” That appears to be a lie itself and I don’t feel like it is being productive.
The truth is a foundational piece of marriage. Without fully disclosing yourself to your spouse, what is your marriage based on? It is like using a loan to infuse cash into your business. Sure, it might make things better in the short-term, but in the long run you still need to increase cash flow and pay off the debt. In the same way, if I am not completely honest with my spouse, then I have accrued debt. Sure she might be happy because “what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her”, but I know it is there and it could plague my mind, much like an outstanding debt could. Then there is the day she finds out about it and realizes that you chose not to tell her about it. Time to pay up! Well, doesn’t that sound like a great time. My point is that the short-term happiness that has been kept by avoiding some piece of information has actually done more harm in the long-term, with compound interest, then it would have if it was taken care of right away.
Now maybe you don’t like that, so let’s think of it another way. Let’s say that you were lied to by the person closest to you. It could be something insignificant, like the fact that they really hated the gift you got them, or it could be something larger, like they are cheating on you. If you don’t know, are you better off? It might seem like it, but are you? What about if you find out later? Are you still happy about not knowing before?
We like it when we are treated with honesty. The truth keeps the air clear between people. The truth keeps relationships free of any undercurrents that could threaten to take us under. The truth keeps our commitment to love one another for better worse front and center.
I say it makes no difference what the supposed experts say. The value of intentionally being open, honest, and vulnerable with your spouse, no matter how hard that might be at times, will only serve to shore up your relational foundation. Then when something comes that wants to tear you down, you have a strong place to stand on because your foundation is truth.
Article referenced: The Little Lies Spouses Tell (Wall Street Journal)