There is a lot that goes into preserving your marriage, but the one thing that I've seen destroy marriages over and over again is dishonesty.
Dishonesty is a marriage killer.
The ability and willingness to be honest with your spouse does more prevention than it ever gets credit for.
So what can you as a single person do to help yourself be honest when you don't even have a partner yet?
You, right now, as a single person can develop the theme of honesty within yourself. This is not a character trait that you either have or you don't. Honesty is a quality that you can develop day in and day out.
Here's a key:
HOW YOU TREAT ONE PERSON IS HOW YOU'LL TREAT EVERYONE
My inspiration for the above statement comes from the Father of Systems Theory, Ludwig van Bertalanffy. He helped create the concept of equifinality, which basically says that you can get to the same end through different means. It has been mostly used in the negative sense. If your parents get divorced for one reason, you are likely to get divorced, though you may come about it differently. The idea is that the there's a finality of the outcome, even if you go about getting to that outcome in non-traditional ways.
I believe that this concept can be used in the positive.
Since we do have choice, we can create positive outcomes for ourselves through many different means.
If we want the finality of our lives to be one of contentedness, then we can go about creating that through all the different spheres of our life.
If you want the end result to be honesty, you have to create honesty in every scenario of your life.
Your life must begin to tell a consistent story of coming clean every time.
What do you say to your boss when you are late? Do you tell the truth or do you lie? Whichever your response, you are hard wiring that into your character and personality.
Let's say you lie to your boss to avoid the consequences. This tells your brain and body that, under the circumstance of avoiding consequences, lying is the option that you choose.
Then this data, used to make this decision, is also used to make decisions regarding your relationships. You will likely lie if you are trying to avoid consequences.
Another note about honesty-
Consequences teach us through experience. We miss out on learning possibilities when we lie and avoid consequences.
When you get a question wrong on a test, and you are given the correct answer after the test, you'll likely remember that answer more clearly than any of the other answers. The consequence of missing the mark actually helps you remember it better.
It is my belief that this fallen system has been redeemed by God. Sin is painful. When we make mistakes and face the consequences we experience pain.
Pain teaches us (better than any lecture ever could) that the behavior should not be repeated.
This concept works similarly in relationships. If you are honest about a mistake there will be consequences. You'll see the hurt that the other person experiences, you'll feel the pain of having to deal with the situation. But by having that hard, honest conversation, you'll actually learn that lesson better than if you had lied and avoided dealing with it at all. Relationships take work. They are not easy. This is one of the difficult parts of having a healthy relationship and it takes training. It is worth the effort.
Intimacy is knowing fully and loving fully.
Intimacy is not just about sex.
Without being 100% honest with your partner, you cannot have true intimacy. If they don't fully know you, then they can't fully love you. You are the one that chooses if they get to fully know you. You make this choice every day by being 100% honest and real, or by choosing to only give them 90% of who you are.
To be fully loved requires vulnerability on your part.
It isn't just about the other person. If you want to begin working on your ability to have intimacy you can start with honesty.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to work on this at home:
What topics are difficult for me to face about myself?
What do I wish I could change about my response to situations?
In what ways am I lying to myself in this season of my life? Where am I missing the mark on being 100% honest with myself?
Answer those questions and you will be on your way to intimacy with yourself and with God. This will strengthen you to help you become intimate with other people.
Until next time stay strong and stay vulnerable,
P.S. If you want to work on being honest and being vulnerable in your relationships, please fill out the Contact form found here. I would love to help you as you work on creating fulfilling relationships in your life.