Honesty folks. Honesty is always the best policy. Certainly it is often easier said than done and unusually tough to tell someone you care about something that might hurt them emotionally, but if you’ve concluded that divorce is the only available option, how to go about it is usually where we get stuck at. It is also where a simple matter of physical separation turns from one of communication into bitter litigation.
I read somewhere that pride comes before the fall, and whether or not this is true, pride is one of the reasons someone refuses to tell the truth. They don’t want to alter the opinion someone may have of them, or they don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. But at the heart of the matter, they don’t want to deal with the guilt that hurting a person’s feelings usually causes.
Or they have a low self esteem and don’t want to put themselves first, which is essentially what you are doing when you decide to separate or divorce yourself from someone. You have determined that your feelings are more important to you than anyone else’s, at least on this particular point. So why not be honest about it?
First things first: Do you know why you want to divorce your spouse? If the answer to this question is an emphatic yes, then all you need to do is approach your spouse, sit them down and prepare them for your important statement. For instance, “John (or Jane), I have something I need to say, and I need for you to hear me. Not just listen, but hear me.”
This is a good beginning. You start by qualifing the statement you are about to make as something other than average conversation. You also give them time to mentally prepare for whatever it is you’re about to say that is so important you made them sit down. Even if it is only a few seconds of breathing room, it is better than nothing.
Tell the truth. Be honest. I cannot stress it enough. It makes no difference what you say to anyone if it is not the truth. When you walk away, you will know it was lies, and the same mistakes that plagued you in your previous relationship will be present in future ones until the refusal or inability to tell the truth is overcome. If we would instead take the time to explain to others how we felt, it would alleviate a lot of confusion and hurt feelings down the road.
Speaking the truth, interestingly enough, is the main reason why marriages fail. Experts will tell you ‘Communication is the key’, and in a sense this is true. Telling the truth is the purest form of communication. It is communication perfected. If you can speak the truth at all times, you will have established control over your environment, rather than letting your environment control you.
People tend to lie out of fear and fear is a personal, private emotion. Sure we all feel it at different times, and maybe some of us more than others. But fear is specific in its activities within each individual. As for lying, it is the fear of the consequences of telling the truth that usually causes a person to lie, because to tell the truth means we have to endure the gamut of emotions that we have hidden and submerged inside ourselves so we don’t have to deal with them. In effect, lying to ourselves about them.
You might be afraid of what might happen if those emotions got control of you. You might be afraid of how what you say might make others feel. You might be afraid of how what you say might cause others to act. But it is ok to be afraid. It is where we find strength to survive desperate situations and life or death struggles. Our ‘flight or fight’ instinct is founded in fear. Courage and bravery is grounded in fear, for one cannot be either courageous or brave without first dealing with one’s fears.
Now, moving back to divorce. If from the first you had been telling the truth to your spouse about your feelings, you would not be experiencing the problems you’re having. You always speak the truth when dealing with your spouse, you say? Oh really? How about when those fantasies over take you in the night, or when the dreams you have are drowned out by the imagined ridicule you’ll receive?
Well that’s not the kind of relationship you’re supposed to be in with your spouse. It is supposed to be a relationship of understanding and companionship. One in which the two halves are a whole of intent, process, and progress. Couples are supposed to work together, not work apart. They are supposed to be in lock step as they walk along the path of life, but this is not what most people are seeking.
Instead they are looking for an opportunity to ‘marry up’. In other words, many people marry for status or security reasons, and not at all for love. Some may claim to love their chosen mate, but that love is laden with conditions. Conditions that are completely arbitrary and not conducive to a healthy relationship. When you start out in the beginning with hidden conditions and preconceived notions, you are securing for yourself a guarantee for problems.
Which is why many of us are where we are now: on the shores of divorce, starting at what we perceive to be a sunrise, or is it a sunset? Sometimes it is hard to tell.
I myself have endured more than fourteen years of society’s conventional idea of marriage, and what I have learned has taught me quite a bit about relationships. Even though I’ve never been through a divorce before, I am not so ignorant of what transpires. Divorce is a selfish thing. It is that simple. But so are relationships, and since you are already being selfish about what your heart wants, why not use your head to get it, rather than lie about who you really are and what you are really after?
Speaking the truth cuts down on time needed to invest in dating someone, the heartache of incompatibilities to be discovered at a later date, and the rigamarole of ‘games’. Just be honest and up-front from the get go, and you’ll save yourself a lot of problems and, in the end, almost certainly emotional pain.
Don’t marry up for financial reasons or any reason other than for having someone to walk with you down the road of life. Someone who is going in the same direction you are. Someone with the same ideas and plans. That way when your journey comes to a difficult spot, your communication with each other will win out over whatever has caused the difficulty, and you cannot have this level of relational understanding with asking honest questions and receiving honest ansswers.
If you have never been the kind of person who is able to speak their mind, then try speaking with your heart. It is where the pain resides or the desire. If the emotional source is strong enough, you can use it to speak through your fear. Just remember what I told you earlier: Prepare the other for the import of your message. Try not to spring it on them After all this is about divorce.
You should also prepare yourself for what you are about to say. Is it what you really want? Or is there something else at the heart of the matter? Are you simply lonely and what to be the focus of someone’s attention for a while? This is usually where infidelity lurks. We humans are emotional creatures, whether we men want to admit it or not. We want to touch and be touched, feel and be felt. We want to interact with our mates on an emotional level, not just on a physical one.
We want to travel to the heights we have dreamed of and reside there, so why not be honest about it? Speaking the truth will resolve most of the problems we encounter in every aspect of our daily lives. Not being forthright is the very reason why we act and feel the way we do.
If you need to tell your husband that he sucks as a lover, then do it! Just be tackful and wise about it. Then tell him how you would like for him to love you, and give him time to put your information into practice.
Explain your feelings in the simplest terms possible, and specify that this is what you want, and that you want him to give it to you. If he’s willing to listen and understands, then it is a new beginning for your relationship and you should find the time to return the favor by asking him to reveal something he wants from you, and no matter what it is, try your best to give it to him. If it is something that you cannot tolerate, be up front about it. It may not be a good time, but it is never a good time to mislead someone with a lie when the truth would be much more effective.
If the idea is so repugnant to you that you can no longer remain in the relationship, then you should also reveal that side of yourself and the reasons for your feelings, if you are able to. Be always be kind and considerate, it is the same treatment you would want for your own feelings, but be firm.
Ok so maybe you don’t want to stop in the middle of sex and communicate feelings that could possibly end your relationship, but the point I am trying to make here is that honesty is always the best policy. Even if it isn’t convenient. If you are more honest with your friends and your family, you will find that your relationships will be more fulfilling and wholesome. You will be able to say things and get them off your chest once and for all, without harboring a grudge, or letting a minor incident bubble over into a mess that could have been avoided if only honesty had been adhered to.
The key to this, as I said before, is to prepare the listener for the import of your statement. Once that is done, you are free to speak freely. Not condescendingly, not hatefully, not angrily.
Calmly, tactfully, considerately. But also have someone to back you up if there is a physical fear of your spouse, just to be on the safe side. Even the tiniest of women can throw dishes.
Otherwise remember the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. That is the sort of relationship you are looking for, isn’t it?
The Doctor is out.
A self-styled ‘African In America’. A re-discovered Cultural Hebrew. Promoting honor, truth and integrity in self as an example to everyone. View profile