Total honesty is a must. Total honesty is a must. Total honesty is a must.
There is nothing more important in rebuilding trust. After Ann confessed her affair my trust in her shattered like a 19 point Missouri lead over KU at Allen Fieldhouse.
After three years of lies I didn't know what was true about my life anymore. A bazillion questions constantly peppered my brain at warp speed. Were there other guys? What else has she lied about? Can she change? Does she want to change? And on and on and on it went.
I watched her like Homer Simpson watching a McRib. I was constantly listening for partial truths or whole lies from her. She did make a commitment to total honesty. Lying had become such a habit that she did it with issues where she didn't need to. She made up a detail to explain something to our daughter where the truth was fine to say. I don't recall what it was, but it was quite inconsequential. I called her on it. Why do you feel the need to lie? I don't know.
Well, I don't know didn't cut it any more. I needed her to figure it out and tell me the truth or we weren't going anywhere. And that would have been very sad. Fortunately she did the hard work of getting underneath it all and changing.
Forgiving lies is one of the harder aspects of relationship. We all deserve to know the truth about our own lives. I just wanted to know the truth about all that had gone on or was going on and make my decision about what I wanted to do. Most of me wanted to stay and see what God could do and most of me wanted to go and get away from the pain.
We all deal with shame that makes the exposure of our depravity challenging. Our masks are blown up in a moment when there is disclosure of an affair. All the lies, cheating and sneaking come out in a powerful blast. It takes real courage to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Because it is going to make your self look bad. Even so, being truthful, being honest will bring hope to your relationship. I believe God meets us in the darkness of it all especially when we bring reality into the light.
God makes the darkness light. His redemption extends to all the dark things you've done. Tell the truth about your life and your heart to your spouse. It will be hard. It won't always go well. But the hardest truth is better to deal with than the easiest lie. If you slip and tell a lie come clean as fast as you can.
Keeping secrets intentionally is damaging to a relationship, so secrets need to be disclosed at the beginning of working through an issue. Other thoughts/memories may come as you move through the process. Share as those thoughts/memories come and extend grace as they are offered. See it as a good thing (even though difficult) when more truth is brought out.
I do hear from men and women who say something like, "I don't want to tell her about that. It would hurt too much. I've already caused enough pain." Doesn't that sound noble? I say male cattle crap to that one. The damage has already been done. Your spouse deserves to know the truth. Not telling here is all about the secret keeper. Be honest in the big things and in everything as you go forward.
Many of you have heard things like, keep a little money hidden just for yourself, a woman has to have her secrets, Ray Parker Jr. said it's normal to fool around on the side. Well, male cattle crap to these too. These intentional secrets keep your spouse at a distance from you because he or she can't know the real you if you have secrets. You have to deal with the fact that the real you is what he or she has wanted all along. Getting the real you will restore trust.