We often divide lies into bad lies and little white lies. I guess it helps to soothe our conscious and dishonesty. But no matter the justification for our dishonesty, the truth is: Lies destroy. Period.
And it can start with the smallest little thing. I came home from the doing some shopping, took all the bags into the kitchen, and as we both started unpacking all the bags, my eye caught the Dunkin’ Donuts paper bag I scrunched up in the bag he was about to unpack next.
Should I grab it subtly, and push it (deep) in the outside bin and hide the evidence? No way he’ll be happy I grabbed something sweet (again!) on our no-luxuries week. Or am I going to face the truth, and take responsibility for my irresponsibility?
Who cares about donut-lies?
You’re right; eating a donut without my husband knowing isn’t a big deal. And it’s not like I spent thousands and hid it from him. But my lies are not about how much I’m hiding. It’s about me not trusting my husband enough with when I fail. Big or small.
Trust when it hurts
In the beginning of our relationship, we had to deal with serious trust issues. I came into this marriage with past sexual abuse baggage. We went for weeks of counselling to work through the 7 months we were separated the year before we got married, during which we both saw other people.
It was here we decided to either sweep the past and its baggage under the carpet (and sell the carpet!) or face the truth head on and deal with the hurt. Together.
We decided no lies.
Lies as a protective measure
It did not come as easy in the beginning, as our natural reaction as humans are to protect ourselves. Even as kids, if we feel we’re about to get into trouble, we run, we hide, we lie, we bargain, we protect.
I by no means have ever had to protect myself from my husband, as he is the most loving and selfless person I have ever met. But you’ve read how terrible I used to be with finances, and even when we had nothing, this man would still want me to have any- and everything my heart desired. We had to compromise.
My husband is super responsible with our finances, and came up with a budget and spending plan that gave me enough freedom, but also reigned me in on areas where I needed a little help.
So every time I went over budget, spent money recklessly, or wanted something I knew I didn’t need, I found a way to hide it from him and lie a little. Small white lies. 🙂 But with every little lie regarding our finances, it became easier and easier hiding things from him. Lying about small things, makes it easier to lie about the bigger things.
The big lie
Then I started lying about my salary. Stupid, I know. But I wanted more freedom and space from this bad feeling I get when I am purposely putting distance between my husband and I. Lies were becoming easier, filled with less guilt, and was spreading to other areas of my life.
It was no wonder that we finally had the biggest fall-out where lies upon lies upon lies fell out like lava, pouring out and destroying slowing but great deliberation as it came into contact with everything it touched.
We have since purposefully made a very hard decision to not lie. About anything. We’re not mean when a situation calls for brutal honesty, and still try to bring the truth across in the most loving and gentle way. But even when I am approached by a beggar, asking for money, I won’t say “I don’t have money.” It’s not the truth. If I don’t have cash on me, I’ll say so. Even if I do have cash on me, and don’t feel lead to give, I can honestly answer; “I’m not able to help you today.” Or “I don’t have money for you today.”
Remember that lying by omission is still lying. The key about honesty is not to see how close you can come to lying without actually lying, but to see how much and how lovingly you can tell the truth, without even coming close to lying.
I hope truth becomes easy in your marriage. I hope it becomes second nature in your household. Teach your kids not to lie to your spouse. (Don’t tell Daddy we had McDonalds this afternoon!”) And find ways to make honesty the most important quality about your family.
All my love,