Truth in Relationships

A few weeks ago I was listening in on an interview with Mike Robbins, a writer, motivational speaker and coach from San Fransisco, CA. In the interview, Mike was talking about authenticity and how it affects people’s lives and relationships. It was a great interview and there was one thing he said that really got me thinking. He made the comment that if you are in a relationship with someone and you are encountering difficulties, then one of you is lying. My first reaction was one of disbelief. Yes, sometimes people lie to one another but I could think of lots of other things that could adversely affect a relationship that didn’t involve lying such as growing apart. However, when I thought more about it, I realized that I was only thinking of times when we lie to another person. What about those times when we lie to ourselves?

I can think of several times during my life when I have been in a relationship that has fallen apart. I remember one romantic relationship in particular that ended with a lot of heartache. We didn’t lie to each other but I know that I did a lot of lying to myself. I lied about how I felt about him and him for me. I lied about the state of the relationship (everything was honky-dory, wasn’t it?). And I lied most of all about what would happen to me if it ended. I was sure that my world would end. Now I can look back and thank the man I was involved with for ending it. It was an unhealthy relationship for both of us and I was lucky he could see that. I know that I couldn’t. In my case, the lying took the form of denial – my inability to see how things really were. It was much easier to live in a rosy dreamworld that I had created. Anything to keep me from seeing the truth, and feeling the pain.

Can you think of a relationship you are in now that is encountering some problems? If you can, step back and see if you can take a closer look at your thoughts and actions. Are you lying in some way, shape or form, either to yourself or to the other person? In what way could your thoughts and actions be affecting the relationship? Being aware of how you could be lying in the relationship is the first step towards doing something about it. And the benefits of stronger and more honest relationships and greater happiness in life are definitely worth the effort.