Radical honesty. You know, never lying. About anything. Not even a little bit.
What's your reaction to that concept?
I first read about the idea of radical honesty in a marriage book. The therapist advocates radical honesty with his clients, and he says it has neve been a mistake. That's not to say it's always easy for his clients, but it never ended in divorce and always led to the couples feeling closer and that much more bonded.
To be honest, I scoffed. I had a hard time with the notion of being 100% honest, always, about everything, with Brian. Who does that? Nobody, right? You're rushing to get out the door, and your spouse asks if he/she looks ok. Yes, the answer is always yes...even if really the answer is maybe or even no. Pure honesty doesn't really matter, especially when it comes to trivial things.
And that's just the little stuff. What about the big things? What if you've been married for 25 years and have a great life, but there was that business trip you took 17 years ago that maybe wasn't all business. Is it really important that you tell your wife that you cheated on her, once, a billion years ago? Should you tell her, causing her to suffer for your regretted indescretion from long before? No. If it were me, I wouldn't want to know.
But then I thought some more. About my past, about marriage, about what my faith teaches, and about the kind of legacy I might want to leave. And I might have changed my mind about radical honesty.
I'm probably going to keep reflecting on this for a while, but I'd love to hear your thoughts today.
Update: Read part two here.