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POLL RESULTS: Truth and consequences: (10 comments)

POLL: Truth and consequences

Friday, April 22, 2011 - 12:00 AM

FREE Bree DVD + 50% Off A reader writes... Q: My husband and I recently met two couples while on our honeymoon. One couple had been married for 20 years. The other was thinking about getting married. The second couple asked for advice. Our advice was one question: Can you be completely honest with each other about everything? Sex? Money? Feelings, etc.? If the answer is “no,” we said, “don’t get married.” The longtime-married couple said we were crazy: “No one is that honest.” The husband’s advice was to always agree with the wife, and when she is mad buy her something. The wife’s advice was to keep all your secrets, you may need to use them later. Am I wrong to believe that all couples can have a happy marriage by always being honest?
POLL: Honesty is the most important thing in a marriage...
 
39% (673) Yes. Undoubtedly
 
6% (103) Nope. That would be sex.
 
48% (826) Nope. It's important, but not the Most Important.
 
5% (95) Actually, the ability to lie (and not get caught)... THAT'S the most important thing...
1697 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Gadfly
Lover

Posts: 10

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Feb 2008
Re: Truth and consequences (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 22, 2011 - 01:52 AM (#58910)

*Trust* is the most important thing in a marriage (well, in another context, I'd argue that sex is, if one is of the value system that sex is reserved for marriage).
Honesty is a part of trust but not always identical with it. Also, lack of honesty (i.e., having secrets) is not the same thing as lying, either.
In other words, honesty is not always necessary if spouses can trust each other enough that things are OK if they don't always share everything.

Early on, you try to "share everything," and it just gets old. As "House" said once, "Poop love dies after 6 months."


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Kaibutsu
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Apr 2011
Re: Truth and consequences (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 22, 2011 - 07:23 AM (#58914)

Honesty and communication go hand-in-hand at the top of any committed relationship. Nothing will destroy what seems to be a happy union on the outside like holding back one's words and true feelings. .
Pro tip: If you fully express yourself to your partner... the sex gets better too.


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CasualNotice
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Posts: 49

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Jun 2008
Re: Truth and consequences (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 22, 2011 - 08:09 AM (#58916)

"Honesty" is a slightly loaded term, especially when people these days often confuse it with "candor". You shouldn't lie, but no one should be forced to face the entire truth from the one person they feel should always be in their corner.

Most important, however, is knowing why you're angry, and not letting arguments mutate into screaming matches over foolish and forgotten resentments.


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CaptainSmokeblower
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Nov 2009
Re: Truth and consequences (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 22, 2011 - 08:39 AM (#58918)

It's impossible for one thing, such as truth, to guarantee success in marriage. Marriage is a complicated long term commitment. As noted by others here, honesty, trust, openness, sex, and I'll add commitment and the ability to change and accept change are characteristics found in successful marriages. Of course there are marriages that last, which lack some or all of these character traits, but those marriages aren't as happy.
While I've added "ability to change and accept change" I want to qualify that because I don't mean the ability to change your partner. So I'd also add "Be accepting of your partner."
Your sex drive at 70 will not be what is was at 20 so your sex life will change. (Admittedly some don't accept that, which is why I included "ability to accept change.") I'm not sure who said it, but, "The difference between men and women is men marry expecting the woman to remain the same, and women marry expecting the man to change."


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DoubleStar
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Posts: 36

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Mar 2010
Re: Truth and consequences (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 22, 2011 - 09:46 AM (#58919)

The foundation of love is trust and respect. The foundation of trust is honesty, while the foundation of respect is equitable treatment of others.

It might be a little more accurate to say that without mutual trust and respect, a couple will not stay together even if they love each other, although it's doubtful a couple will continue to love each other for long either once trust and respect are lost.

Trust is only built up through observation of honesty and candor, although as others have pointed out, honesty does not exclude keeping secrets - but it does mean one is honest with others about that fact.

At its core, respect is all about treating someone as an equal, rather than looking down on them for one reason or another. There are many forms of respect, such as respecting the principles someone espouses, or respecting one's age and experience, or respecting one's knowledge or dedication to something. In all cases, you are acknowledging that person's beliefs, or experience, or knowledge and dedication, even if you don't believe it or agree with it yourself.

So, *can* you be completely honest with each other about everything? Yes. *Must* you be completely honest about everything? No. *Should* you be completely honest about everything? It depends; some folks need more honesty than others in order to trust and respect their partner. In the end, honesty is merely a tool for building that trust and respect, and it is trust and respect that is ultimately what you need most for an enduring love.


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lwj2
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Re: Truth and consequences (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 22, 2011 - 10:36 AM (#58920)

Honesty goes hand in hand with trust, led by communication.

Learn to listen.

And depending on one's partner's job, learn to accept "I can't talk about that" as a statement of fact, not an evasion. "I don't want to talk about it/that" is another thing entirely.

Sex isn't in the lead. If it is, then you've got problems. I'm not saying that sex isn't important, and it's sure a lot of fun -- but it's not the primary in a relationship.

My dad told me that "love starts at the shoulders and moves up" -- I've yet to see him proven wrong.


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eoraptor
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Apr 2011
Re: Truth and consequences (Score: 0)
posted Friday, April 22, 2011 - 03:32 PM (#58924)

Have to agree with the general sentiment here. Too many people equate "honesty" with "unvarnished truth."

Very few people are equipped to deal with the unvarnished truth, and so dropping it on them because "all marriages are based on honesty" is often just as certain a way to cause strife as is lying.

Being tactful is usually a better solution, even if that means lying or avoiding a topic. For instance, which do you think is better for your long term relationship? "Your mother is a meddling psychotic hose beast who is in need of medication and therapy for her delusions." or "I'd rather agree to disagree with your mother's opinions."

And as someone else said above, sometimes you need to accept "I don't want to talk about it" as a valid response.


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lwj2
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Re: Truth and consequences (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 06:26 AM (#58931)
In Response to eoraptor (#58924):

eoraptor wrote: And as someone else said above, sometimes you need to accept "I don't want to talk about it" as a valid response.

Actually I said "I can't talk about it" with specific reference to a spouse's job. Law enforcement, military, medical and alphabet soup personnel fit that category, amongst others. So do priests, bankers and shysters.

"I don't want to talk about it" means that there are problems and that they should be pursued and solved, albeit the present time may not be when so to do.


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zmortis
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Re: Truth and consequences (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 08:13 AM (#58933)

The important values I place for having a successful marriage are trust and acceptance as the foundation for love. If you place lust and physical attraction first, then I have to say those things tend to change over time. I always suggest that learning to treat your partner with respect and caring is much more important than telling them every thing you know or learn.

Part of that respect and caring is accepting that loyalty is an important quality. Should you always tell the truth? That depends on your individual moral ethics. Personally I'm not telling my wife when she isn't looking her best that day - not even if she asks.

Doing things which are destructive to the fabric of a marriage (cheating, huge debt, emotional infidelity) and honestly telling your spouse about it doesn't suddenly make it better and ok. It is much better to not do those things out of love, caring, loyalty, and respect in the first place.

I hope this helps.


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NunyaBidness
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Apr 2008
Re: Truth and consequences (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 09:53 AM (#58959)

"Wow, that's a great sexual position. Where did you learn it?"

"My previous fiancee, who may have been a flake, but was mindblowing in bed and gave nuclear head jobs."

See? Pure honesty. How do you think that would work?

"Put it together from stuff I've read and learned and thought we'd try it."


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