In a recent study, at the University Of Notre Dame, Anita Kelly, a Psychology Professor, reported that when peoples lies went up during the week, their health went down. Conversely, she reported that when people’s lies decreased, their overall health improved. This is amazing news, connecting our emotional life with our physical wellbeing. Anyone who has ever attended a 12 step meeting knows that addiction and lies go hand in hand. People lie for various reasons, if we look at the deeper meaning for the deception; I believe it comes down to one thing, the feeling of shame. Shame is what you believe about yourself, “I am bad, I must hide the bad part of myself to feel okay”. Watch Brene Brown Video on Shame for tips on handling shame.
In our most important relationships, this dishonesty destroys and even prevents true intimacy. What I mean by true intimacy is the feeling of being completely safe with your partner. It is a reciprocal feeling of being fully known and accepted by another person and fully knowing and accepting your partner. It includes physical, emotional, spiritual intimacy. You “get” and protect each other from harm. Deception can distort reality and give your partner a sense of feeling “crazy” if you deny your true self. Partners know there is something off, but can’t place it because they want to believe you are who you said you are. This is especially true if you have had an affair or are addicted to pornography or sex.
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The best way to build self-esteem and integrity is to tell your partner the truth by being honest and respectful. Your partner deserves to know who you are, and you deserve a partner that knows everything about you and still loves and cares about you. That’s called unconditional love, which is a powerful boost to self-esteem, and reduces your shame. Being honest does not include vomiting all the details of your indiscretions to relieve you from your feelings of shame. It’s a bit more complicated if you want to save your relationship. You will want to share in a way that is safe and respectful to your partner. 22 Ways Couples Can Overcome Infidelity [EXPERT]
If you are wanting to come clean about your infidelities, the best way to share is to get help from a therapist who specializes in sexual addiction, preferably one who does a disclosure process. So many people are told by Counselors to tell everything to your partner without realizing the damage your partner may experience. I have counseled many couples who were told to disclose everything by a well-meaning Counselor, and the partner had been pummeled with details that caused more pain than was necessary. Your partner needs support when a full disclosure of your infidelity happens. Therapists trained to do sexual disclosures use a process developed to minimize the damage to partners, and designed to build intimacy in the relationship. 6 Ways To Feel Secure As A Couple [EXPERT]