We're big advocates for speaking honestly in close relationships. In counseling thousands of couples, we've seen an incredible amount of destruction wrought by hiding significant truths. Why do so many of us find it so hard to speak honestly in our intimate relationships? In our Couples Course, we put a big piece of paper on the wall, and invited participants to list all the reasons they had used to avoid telling some significant truth in a close relationship. Here's the Top 15:
1. I don't want to hurt your feelings.
2. It wasn't important (*referring to a 'one-night stand' infidelity.)
3. You won't be able to handle it.
4. This is not the right time.
5. I'll tell you when I figure it out.
6. I feel dumb (foolish) (embarrassed) telling you.
7. I should be able to handle this myself.
8. You must be tired of hearing the same thing.
9. You don't share so I won't.
10. I'm afraid you will get mad (sad) (afraid).
11. You're in a good mood and I don't want to bring you down.
12. I'm figuring out how to word it so I don't push your buttons
(*referring to confessing a sexual affair.)
13. You won't like me when you hear it.
14. Everything will unravel if I tell you about this.
15. You'll reject me or leave me if I tell you.
Here's hoping this list inspires us all to be more impeccable about speaking honestly!
Have you been on the receiving end or the speaking end of any other excuses for not speaking the truth? If so, please let us know so we can add to the list.