Telling and hearing the truth

I was talking to my friend Lisa – the one with the husband who keeps getting caught with emails and texts from some woman he has been in some way involved with for maybe a few years.  All we know is what she has found – graphic photos and highly sexual texts and emails between her husband and another woman who he knows from work.  Her husband has never come clean with any information about the relationship.  Every time Lisa finds an email or text chain he says things like this:

“That was the last time I texted her.  I called and ended if right after sending that one”

“I never have touched her – it’s only emails”

“I swear it’s over and will never talk to her again”

You get the drift.  You probably won’t be surprised to know that he has never kept his word to end it.

When Lisa found the latest slew of intense emails, I suggested that the first thing she should do is have him get a full STD check.  It’s easy to do in big cities, it can be done anonymously, but she will be putting her needs first by protecting her own health and also making him have a consequence to his actions.  It’s not therapy, it’s not divorce, it’s not a decision about anything other than making herself a priority.  Her response is that she really believes he hasn’t ever been with this woman!!

Listen…I get wanting to trust the man she is married to.  But if he has never – not once – come clean about ANYTHING – or provided a detail that she didn’t know about BY CHOICE then I really think that she needs to do a reality check.  She can’t believe a single word from him as it relates to this other woman.

It’s hard to tell the truth.  It’s also hard to hear it.  All of it raises fears.  But if a relationship is going to work, then both parties need to start coming clean about their actions and feelings – and both parties need to know it’s safe to do so.  Being honest and telling the truth are skills that need to be learned – especially after a relationship has been upended by betrayal and infidelity.  It’s not easy – but it’s doable.  And until your partner can  be honest – you best do all you can to protect yourself.

Liar: No longer an adjective that describes me

There were a lot of positive side affects that came with the disclosures that my husband and I both did last fall.  As hard as it was to tell the truth, and to hurt my husband deeply in the process, it is such a relief to know that he has all the information about my actions.  Finally he knows “all of me” and still loves me, still accepts me and has actively chosen to stay with me.  The same goes for the reverse.  I hated hearing about his activities and the memory is still difficult to think about.  But I am happy that I know the truth and that he can feel truly loved as the man he is – not the one he pretended to be for so many years.

 
The best result of coming clean is that I absolutely don’t want to dirty the water again.  If I were to cheat on my husband, I know I would tell him.  In the end, I believe he would forgive me and stay with me…regardless of that belief, I don’t want to create that kind of turbulence in our relationship. I don’t want to take us back to square one.  I don’t necessarily have all of my cravings under control, but for the first time in a long time I know that I wouldn’t hide it if I made a mistake….in that regard I am holding myself to a higher standard.  Lying isn’t an option for me right now.  That means that cheating isn’t an option.  How nice to have the freedom to do the right thing.