The One Radical Rule That Saved My Relationship


love, relationships, radical honesty
It's not easy, but most things worth having are worth fighting for.

Well, keeping Robert's email a secret couldn't possibly have been a worse decision. I should have said something to Kiran right away and asked him if he was okay with the platonic rendezvous. If he had been hurt, if he had gotten jealous, I could've handled it. If he had said "No, don't meet Robert for coffee," I absolutely would have respected his wishes.

But I waited until the day before Robert was coming to town before I said something. When I did, Kiran was upset, wanting to know when I had made these plans. I was honest and admitted it had been several days ago. We got into an argument. In the end, Kiran was far more upset that I had explicitly violated our Radical Honesty rule than he was about Robert contacting me or my agreeing to see Robert for coffee. Kiran felt betrayed that I had kept a secret from him for days.

I felt horrible, apologetic, and dishonest. And I ended up canceling on Robert, because repairing my relationship with my one true love was more important to me than making a social visit with an ex. Everyone lost out due to my own reluctance to confront the situation fearlessly and with integrity.

On the contrary, every time I have shared my vulnerabilities with Kiran, he has responded with such tenderness and compassion that I am blown away. He meets every embarrassing memory or urge with love, respect and understanding—and I do the same for him.

Because of this—our ongoing policy of Radical Honesty—I know beyond a doubt that our marriage will endure. It's not an easy practice, and maybe it never will be, but it works for us.


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