HonestyAugust 23, 2014
Woman(with new haircut): “You like my hair honey?”
Man(who does NOT LIKE it, but so as NOT TO HURT his spouse): “Yeah, it’s okay.”
Many months later, with piled up resentment from a web of offenses, they got into a vicious argument and from out of nowhere the man yells, “And that haircut? I never liked it!” Woman, shocked with betrayal answers, “How could you lie to me all this time?!!!”
Dr. Willard Harley, a known marriage counsellor, confesses that after helping THOUSANDS of couples, his difficult advice in relationships is to BE COMPLETELY HONEST.
That became one of the relational values me & Maricar mutually agreed on—meaning if she or I didn’t like one the other did, we would say it lovingly and respectfully.
Even if it sometimes hurt the other 😬
Many times, Maricar’s honesty to say “I was hurt…” showed me a lot of blind spots I did not see in my words and the way I communicate.
Dr. Harley sums it up to 2 end results:
It’s either we LIE(in the illusion OF NOT WANTING TO HURT the other’s feelings and avoid conflict), leaving the offender often CLUELESS and we(the offended), end up QUIETLY RESENTFUL or…
We say the truth in a respectful way and give our partner a chance to rise up, take responsibility for the wrong and give best effort to correct it 😀
Next time your partner overreacts to you accidentally spilling the milk? It’s NOT the milk, it’s an offense you might not remember you did the other day 😀
On a recent trip abroad, Richard and I were chatting while waiting to board the plane. He talked about his future plans. I always make it a point to listen intently. Then he asked about my plans. As I was explaining, something catches his attention out of the corner of his eye and he blurts out, “Ang cool nung tattoo nya, o.” He was so amazed and I was so offended.
I listened to him with full attention, but when I’m speaking he gets distracted by a tattoo?! What if I did that to him?? HOWEVER, though I was irritated, it’s NATURAL for me to just say TO MYSELF, “hayaan mo na, para wala nang away.” (Just let it go, to avoid conflict) Usually, I would just keep quiet and simply smile at the tattoo comment.
True, it’s honorable to keep the peace, but this peace is superficial. INSIDE me there was no peace. I still felt disrespected EVEN IF I say “hayaan mo na.” Small offenses like this build up slowly in the heart, without one noticing. This is like poison that will make future small disagreements seem like WW 3.
And it’s not fair to the man who loves me. Is it really his INTENTION to do me wrong? Is he really a horrible person inside? Am I really as unimportant to my husband as my emotions would like me to believe? I dont think so.
Against my usual nature, I FORCE myself to respectfully and gently say, “uy bakit ganun, you were distracted while I was talking about something important…” His response melted my heart. He APOLOGIZED for being distracted. He acknowledged that had I done the same thing, he would feel bad, too. He thanked me for pointing it out, and gave me a hug.
NOW I could truly say, “hayaan mo na,” with peace INSIDE and out.