The longer I am alive, the more I realize that honesty and openness are not traits that come very naturally to most people, especially when it comes to relationships. After a conversation I had yesterday with yet another friend about their mates relatively obvious deceptive behaviour, I decided it was high time to explore this concept in much more detail.
What often sparks worry in someone that their mate is being less than honest normally isn’t something huge. With the passage of time, as people get more comfortable in relationships, they aren’t as driven to call each other every five seconds, or to spend every free second together. Once their healthy love life is established, people want to go back and reconnect with the rest of their lives so that way they can slowly integrate you into it (while, of course, maintaining a sense of independence). Of course, after the honeymoon period, it is also quite possible for one to lose interest, and to flee into the safety of their old lives, where they can stay away from you and the guilt they feel that they just aren’t that into you anymore, and also so that they can remain free enough to continue the seach, even if on the low, for Mr. or Mrs. Right while still maintaining a back-up.
But how in the world, if you are the one waiting, can you tell which of these your mate is doing? And if you are the one who is trying to do the integration thang, how do you encourage your mate and reassure them that they are still the one whom you truly love and want to be with, and that you have no interest in anyone else or in leaving them? Never fear, Ruby is here! For the next three days, I will explore some basic concepts that people should keep in mind while in a relationship to help them determine (or deliver the message) that things are all gravy (or what things will definitely deliver the message that things are going sour). (Trust me, these aren’t just the same ol’ same ol’ tips–you might see something new!) Today’s topics are honesty and openness (plus our featured term of the day: Amateur Detectivism). These will be recurring themes so I figured, what they hey, lets get them outta the way (sorry, I didn’t mean to rhyme lol).
Ok, nobody here is an idiot. I’m sure you’ve all heard this five hundred million times: honesty is important, relationships not based on honesty cannot last. Ok, we’ve all heard it, and yet for some reason, far more often than I think is reasonable, I hear men and women say “What the hell does he/she want from me? I only cheated one time and that was like 2 years ago, and I’ve only been awesome to him/her since then? Why can’t he/she just trust me?”. Especially when they weren’t exactly forthcoming with their indiscretion and the dirty truth came out from a third party or from some sleuthing on their mate’s part.
My answer is always “Well, your mate caught you cheating right? So…you were lying to them? And… they should know inherently you’re telling the truth now why?” If your mate had to catch you to find out the awful truth before, they will never be able to believe you again, not 100%. This is because they figure that they could be in the same position they were in before, entirely oblivious and playing the fool, and since you didn’t volunteer the information the first time around, it’s very easy to make the very obvious assumption that unless they are in Ama-D mode that they’ll never really know what you’re up to, especially in regards to your previous indiscretion(s).
Amateur Detectivism: A condition in which a man or a woman, having observed numerous lies, or other deceptive behaviours from their mate (including, but not limited to, cheating, out of character habits such as staying late at work every night of the week or always needing boys or girls nights out, making or receiving phone calls, text messages, or emails that are suddenly secret, or suddenly not answering phone calls while in said person’s presence or not answering phone calls from said person while apart, and not returning phone calls from said person in a timely manner or at all) feels compelled to spend a lengthy amount of time each day attempting to be a Private Investigator and gather evidence that their mate is in fact lying and/or cheating on them.
When one comes down with Amateur Detectivism, or Ama-D, their lives become very small, often solely focused on proving themselves right, and they may learn new or out of character skills (such as, but not limited to, computer hacking, accounting, trail tracking, forensic analysis and detection, psychological assessment and evaluation, and lie detecting) and focus all their attention on the use, contemplation, and honing of these new skills. Ama-D is very hard to cure, and often leads to the end of the activating relationship, and of subsequent relationships, as once Ama-D is activated by just causes, it spontaneously reoccurs, even without provocation, until the source of the onset is properly dealt with and insecurity issues can be put in the past.
Unfair but true. If you are untrue, it’s much better for you to fess up, because if the relationship is important to you and you want it to go the distance, you admitting you did wrong may hurt things in the short term, but in the long run if you can work through the issue it’ll eliminate the Ama-D effect because you have proven that even if you stray or do wrong in some way, you will come clean with it. Sure, ultimately if you never made mistakes in life or in your relationship that would make your mate the most secure of all, but that’s not reality. And trust me, trying to keep your mate oblivious to your wrongs will only make it SO much worse when they find out it’s all a load of shit.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that the concept of Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say doesn’t connect for some reason in people’s minds as connected to how honest others perceive you as being. For example, if you tell your girlfriend you’re going to call her back right away, do it. If you tell her you’re going to come by today, unless something very important comes up (read: someone is very ill) make sure you make the effort to do so. And if some activity comes up and it’s something your girlfriend could take part in, invite her along. She may say no, but at least it’s out there. But when you don’t follow through on your word, it makes you seem unreliable and, depending on the situation, dishonest. What’s worse than that though is that if you consistently don’t follow through on the things you say to your mate, even if you deem those things to be unimportant, he or she may begin to feel that some other man or woman is the one whom is getting your time, which is why you cancel on them or seemingly forget about them.
Plus, quite frankly, your word is supposed to be your bond. If you have nothing else, you should have your word (it used to be very important back in olden times, it’s really only our modern society that has eliminated the need for person’s word to be ‘as good as gold’). Oh, and think about it: if you say something and don’t do it, it ends up becoming a lie, especially if you are just throwing words out there without any concern for following through or not. What you say is a reflection of you…and how you interact with what you say delivers a message about what kind of person you are. Do you want anyone thinking you’re just a bunch of hot air, something to be ignored, someone without substance? Didn’t think so
I swear, I don’t even think that people know what it is to be open nowadays. So, I figured just in case (although you were all brilliant enough to start reading Classic Ruby, so I’m sure you’re all brilliant enough to know this too) I would try and clarify exactly what I mean when I’m referring to the concept of openness. Open is not just honesty (although being honest is most definitely a necessary part of it). Being open is the ability to volunteer information that otherwise could never have been discovered. I know what you’re thinking: Ruby, isn’t that the same thing as telling him you’ve cheated rather than having him find out himself?’. Well, you could take it that way, but it’s not really. It’s more a matter of you being honest, but it is quite possible (as I’m sure many people know) to find out your mate cheated on you from someone else other than your mate . However, nobody could tell you that your mate has been feeling less than satisfied with your relationship and has been fantasizing about other women.
I know, I know, you’re staring at the screen as though a three headed monster just appeared on screen and started doing the jig. You’re thinking ‘WTF? Why in WORLD would I want to share that? I like having a boyfriend, thank you very much!’. But think about it: If you can’t share something like that with your mate (well, quite frankly, if you feel that you can’t share everything, good or bad, with your mate then you shouldn’t really be with them, but I’ll stay focused for now) then how can you ever possibly determine the root of the problem(s) in the relationship and fix it (them)? He’s going to realize something is off, and if you don’t come clean about it he has no choice but to dream up some reason for whatever off-ness he is observing.
Better to just be upfront about everything (but be tactful about it…the blame game isn’t going to do anything but harm). If they’re too insecure to deal with the truth, then the relationship was doomed anyway, so once again in the short term it will suck, but in the long term you are opening your life up to someone whom you can actually have a potentially lifelong relationship with. But, if they truly care about you and your feelings then they’ll appreciate that you were honest with them and want to work at ameliorating whatever issue there is so that you’re both completely happy. And you never know, maybe they have the same issue. Or perhaps they are having a totally different issue, but they are afraid of broaching the subject with you. You being brave enough to just be adult and be open will give them the same freedom. And the fact that you trusted and respected each other enough to come to one another and be honest, the fact that you would put yourselves on the line and share your intimate thoughts and feelings and desires will definitely make your bond tighter.
Tune in tomorrow where we’ll go over some more in depth topics, like baby mama/daddy diddling!
And, as always, let me know what you think…if you think I’m crazy or brilliant, or just plain idiotic, you know I wanna hear it! (of course, if you’re reserving your commentary for the end of the saga, thats all good too!)