Honesty

Lesbian Relationships Questions

Q: Is it good to tell the truth all the time?
A: No, choose your time well, remember at all times to be tactful and mindful of how your truth will effect the other person. Ask yourself, are you ready for your truth. What would it be like for you to be told this truth you are about to tell?

Q: Is any truth a good truth?
A: Truth-telling can be destructive, it can be meant to hurt, it can be aggressive. With practice it is possible to find a way to speak one’s truth gently and to hold the other person in the hurt it may cause. Before any truth is told it is wise to ask: Why do I want to tell this? What is lost if I don’t? Am I really ready for the consequences? What are they likely to be?

Q: Is it okay to have secrets?
A: Yes, of course. Couples, especially lesbians, have to develop and protect the concept of private space, internal and external. The private space is a crucial part of a successful relationship. We have learned that building a safe place within yourself and your environment is essential. There are secrets that can be toxic because their aim is to undermine a relationship: I’m talking to my lawyer about a divorce but I’ve never discussed it with her. I secretly feed our over-weight kid ice cream so that I’ll be the favorite Mom. She doesn’t satisfy me so I sneak away to the sex club once a month. Secrets are not good when they are a form of acting-out and lying.

Q: Do we have to tell each other everything?
A: You certainly don’t want to burden your life-companion with every detail of your work life, your doctoral thesis, your family trouble, your past, your past lovers, or with every detail of the day spent without her. Keep some things to yourself, entrust them to your diary, and cultivate friendships.

Q: If I have an affair, should I tell her?
A: That depends on the level of honesty the two of you have already established. It might be high time to work for it if you don’t yet have it. There’s always the potential for re-birth of the relationship when you go through the deepest challenge together. Should you tell her? That depends on what you understand about yourself and are willing to share with her about the reasons for the affair. Somebody has said, “There is no long-term relationship without an affair.” This is certainly an exaggeration but has a germ of truth in it. Holding big secrets takes a toll and can undermine the couple. When it comes out in the end (and it usually does) the lying and pretending if often considered more hurtful than the affair itself.