Welcome back and a wonderful, loving, warm Happy New Year from me to you! May this be the most blessed and joyful year of your life!
Now…on to the lies!!!
Lie 3: Your family is wonderful!
Verdict: Mostly Benign
“This can be a good lie because you want it to be true,” says Puhn. Though it’s easy to disparage the in-laws, for the health of your marriage, try to focus on what is wonderful about his family: They adore and babysit your kids, for example. But if there’s a situation that’s truly bothering you, “be honest with your husband so he can intervene if necessary,” says Bowman.
Again, wow, there’s just a plethora of things to address in there. How about the first being that there is such a thing as a “good lie”. There’s an interesting disconnect here. Ask yourself this question: Would I want my partner to lie to me about liking my family (or specific people within my family)? I’m guessing in most cases you’re going to say “no”, I don’t want to be lied to. If you don’t like the person, be diplomatic, but tell me. On the other hand, how comfortable are YOU in telling your partner when you don’t like someone in his/her family? So most of us 1) don’t want to be lied to, but 2) are not comfortable (yet) with telling someone the truth about how we feel. There’s the disconnect. I would encourage you to talk about this with your partner. Remind them that the two of you come first and you actually WANT them to be honest with you. Having this communicated out loud and agreed to with each other can bridge this gap easily and effectively, leading the way to more honesty in other situations that might seem more challenging.
There are two other issues in this point that bear addressing, but I’m going to just speak to them in an abbreviated way. They are 1) “focus on what is wonderful about them, like babysitting”–LOL!, and 2) “be honest so your partner can intervene”. The first is essentially saying it’s okay to lie if you can “USE” them in return (as I chuckle to myself while writing this). There is no either/or here. You can “use” them for babysitting and still be honest with each other (and THEM, by the way, when you get more comfortable in the art of authenticity). Why? Because there’s no such thing as “using” someone. They are getting something out of the situation as well, otherwise they would NOT do their part of it! This applies to anything. Including when you feel YOU have been used. Let yourself off the hook and understand you did what you did for a good reason (to you) and then go looking for the payoff that you received in this instance. The second part about having your partner intervene if YOU have an issue with someone–yet another instance of a huge, respected organization encouraging you to be a VICTIM! Don’t stand up for yourself, don’t own your feelings, make someone else (who may not even feel the same way you do) argue your position and try to solve the situation for you. Just stop right there. Get comfortable in who you are and then deal directly with that person yourself. Get clear on what you want to say, take a moment to put yourself in a place of loving them (even if you want something to change in your relationship with them) and then bring your issue up directly and comfortably.
Lie 4: You’re the best-looking guy here.
“Add these two words—to me—and it becomes true no matter what,” says Puhn. White lie or plain and honest truth, saying these words, or something like them, is an opportunity to give your marriage a shot in the arm. Plus, “a great thing happens when you compliment the person you love,” says Puhn. “He becomes more of what you say he is.”
Ahhhh, so let’s support a LIE by LYING!!! “Add the words ‘to me’ and it becomes true no matter what.” That folks, is what you call a LIE! If you don’t truly believe your partner is the best looking person in the room, it’s a lie! I’m shaking my head trying to figure out how this person doesn’t see that. Quit lying!!! First, why even say this in the first place if you don’t mean it? Oh, I see from later in the paragraph: it supposedly gives a shot in the arm. BZZZZZ!!! Wrong! If the person doesn’t believe that about themselves, your compliment won’t get through to them anyway–even if it’s the truth to you! If they DO believe that about themselves, it just provides supporting evidence for something they already believed. So someone NEVER becomes more of what you say they are! They’re either already there or they’re not–regardless of your comments. So just be honest. And let’s face it, whether or not your partner IS the “best looking” one in the room to you, they ARE the one you are choosing to be with! That’s ALWAYS true. So if you feel like you have to say something and want to be honest, if your partner asks or feels insecure about other attractive people in the room (in their eyes, anyway), you can say something totally honestly that might also actually give them evidence to support their beliefs: “well that guy/gal may be attractive, but you’re the one I want, so they LOSE! And I WIN!”
Lie 6: Great job on cleaning up the yard/garage/basement.
This is the best kind of white lie, says Puhn, because it “points out the positive and ignores the negative.” He spent hours in the yard, mowing, weeding, raking and edging? Fantastic! Your yard still looks less than lovely? Who cares? Something was accomplished, and highlighting what wasn’t will only guarantee that he won’t be out there next weekend to finish the job.
Here is an opportunity for you to work on YOU! DON’T point out the positive and ignore the negative. Learn that there IS NO negative! Someone spending hours in the yard is a BLESSING! Show them your gratitude effusively! Enjoy the moment! And next weekend, whatever is left or whatever it is that you want to polish up to make it perfect, go out with him/her and work together to SHOW exactly how you like it! Again, if you LIE and say they did a GREAT job when it was not up to your “final” standards, you have now TRAINED that person to do exactly the same thing the next time! Because they have YOUR word that they did it right! End the cycle and be honest and you will continue to deepen your relationship.
Gang, keep this in mind as the theme behind all of this talk of authenticity: practice this with your partner. They’re either going to like it, leading you to an ever-deepening sense of love and trust with them (and more FUN, by the way) or they’re NOT going to like it, in which case you’re never going to build a GREAT love relationship with them anyway, so it will expedite your move on to whoever is next. It’s a WIN-WIN! I can just tell you it’s the most amazing, delightful feeling when you find someone else who wants to deepen and open their relationship in this way with you!