In the 1992 movie A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise plays a military prosecutor and Jack Nicholson, a Guantonimo Bay military base commander, is accused of abusing a soldier. In a famous courtroom scene, Cruise wants the truth and Nicholson tells him "You can't handle the truth." But who really, in that exchange, can't handle the truth?
Every relationship has it's secrets, lies and deceptions. Some are small and probably for the peace and wellbeing of the relationship or friendship. For example, Rudy and Karen are at a party. A young beautiful woman walks in. Rudy's eyes fixate on the woman. Karen notices but says nothing until they get home. There and then she asks, "Did you find her attractive?" He asks in return, "Who?" She says, "The young, unattached woman who came to the party." He says, "No honey, I don't know who you mean." She says, "Really?" He says, "Honey, you are the only woman I'd ever look at." And there you have a small lie in the service of the marriage. At least, the both of them believe that. But why not try to handle the truth? Why not have an open discussion about what was seen and felt? Intimacy might have the potential to flower.
Okay, that's the small stuff—don't sweat it, as somone once wrote (a whole series of books about not perspiring over little things).
The bigger stuff, the stuff that threatens to crack the foundation of the marital, relationship, or friendship house are deceptions that create triangles: affairs, substance addictions, money deceptions, workaholism, and hidden friendships to name but a few. But even more threatening than the bigger stuff is the stuff about your relationshp that matters and is never exchanged. The secret resentments, hurts, grievances, fantasies, dreams, aspirations—feelings of the Heart. A client who has been divorced for more than a year is using online dating to meet somone new. She starts off with a lie, her age. He starts off with a lie, he's not seeing anyone else. She expresses a desire in her therapy: "I wish he'd just tell me the truth."
Sooner or later relationships are hurt by deceptions, even if the secrets or lies are never discovered. Think about it. If you are keeping something from someone you care about isn't it felt on some level. By that I mean, you or your partner or friend can feel energy changes, something is off, something is missing, something is not right. This can go on for long periods of time creating distance, emotional disturbances, and gaslighting. Physcial and mental illness can be the outcome of what you, or what you think your partner, can't handle. Misery, divorce, friendship dissolution are often the outcomes.
So now I leave it up to you dear readers and bloggers to join in the discussion. Can you handle the truth? Are you willing to risk sharing the truths in your life? Can you make a pact with a partner or friend to be open about you life? You can find out more at www.psychnrollradio.com.
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