This post was originally published on 29th June 2019 and updated on 24th August 2019.
Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post called Love or Loyalty?
For me, without love, there is no purpose.
However, since writing the original post, I have found myself asking if love and loyalty are the most important things in a relationship. Maybe, just maybe, the key to a happy, long lasting relationship is in fact, honesty.
A few months ago, I found myself in a situation with someone where my love and my loyalty was tested. The real test however, was honesty.
I found myself in a new relationship, and things seemed to be going really well. However, something had been playing on my mind, and I knew my mind wouldn’t settle, if I continued to avoid asking the question.
Eventually, I found some courage to ask him the question. I could see instantly that I had taken him by surprise. He was unable to answer straight away (somehow giving me his answer before he even spoke). I could almost see the battle in his mind between being honest and lying to me.
To my relief, he decided to be honest.
We spoke for some time afterwards about the issue as well as the conflict he had been through between being honest and lying. He knew that by being honest, I wouldn’t get the answer I wanted to hear. He didn’t want to upset me, or cause me any hurt, yet we had reached a stage in our relationship where he felt he was able to take the risk of me knowing the truth.
He immediately regretted telling me the truth of course. I hadn’t cried in front of him before, but I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling slowly down my cheeks. As much as it did cause me a considerable amount of hurt, I was pleased he had found the courage to tell me the truth. His honesty made my heart and soul much happier and we were able to move forwards with our relationship.
Had he decided to keep the truth from me, I may never have known any different. However, what is important to me, is knowing all of the facts, and being able to make a decision, based on this.
How others view honesty
Recently, I went to a friends wedding. I spent most of the day talking to a couple I have known for a number of years, about the concept of love and loyalty.
It was my friends husband (D) who said it wasn’t love or loyalty that kept him and K together (although they are clearly still very much in love with each other, even after 20+ years of marriage!). He said that honesty was the key, and K agreed.
They have such a refreshing approach to their marriage and their relationship as a whole.
They openly admire other people in front of one another (even pointing out to each other when they see someone in the street the other might like!). Yet neither of them have strayed, or even been tempted to. They have a refreshingly honest approach to their marriage, with K saying that if D ever strayed, she could never put the entire blame on him, taking the view that if he was ever tempted, then she would have no choice than to accept some share of the blame.
However, I am also aware that not everyone would agree with this approach, despite it working for K and D.
Social Media Betrayal
Social media does not help us to remain honest in our relationships. With so many opportunities to misbehave behind peoples backs, it is easy to see why so many people are becoming more and more disillusioned with love.
I have lost count of the number of men who appear to be happily married, who have sent me late night messages! Two in particular were clearly going through difficult times at home. As much as I was flattered by the attention, nobody likes to be used when things get tough at home! It seems as if it is far easier these days to be unfaithful than it is to be honest with our so called loved ones.
But it’s not just men who are misbehaving on social media. Women are too. And as much as it pains me to admit it, I know first hand how easy it is to fall into the social media ‘harmless flirting’ trap. Not something I am proud of, but it is becoming far too easy.
For me, lying is one of the worst offences you can commit in a relationship (slightly hypocritical after my last revelation, as well as my next!). Being honest with each other, even when you have done wrong, shows strength and courage. Yes, it might cause hurt and pain, and comes with great risk, but I would take that any day over damaging and hurtful lies.
My advice for what it’s worth, is to let people know where they stand, enabling them to make their own choice as to whether it’s just a bump in the road, or whether it’s time to call things a day…
More recently, my love, loyalty and honesty have been tested once again.
This time however, the shoe was on the other foot. It was my turn to come clean about something I hadn’t been entirely honest about. Except, someone else spilt the beans before I found the courage to.
Although largely the issue was something that had happened in my past, I realised I had handled the situation it my present, beyond badly, and in the process I had caused someone I love dearly, a lot of unnecessary hurt and pain.
Had I been honest from the start, I may or may not have experienced the most wonderful times I have had so far this year. But, giving someone else the facts, ensuring they have all the knowledge they need, in order for them to make a decision on whether to pursue a friendship or a relationship, is crucial,
I don’t know what the future holds for our relationship, but what I do know, is that in the last week, I have learnt so much more about myself and how I treat other people. I have vowed to make changes, not just for the sake of my current relationship, but also for my own self respect, and for my future too.
I almost lost someone this week who means the absolute world to me, and I do not ever want to be in that position again. Especially when honesty could’ve stopped the problem from arising in the first place.