I went into my current relationship with my eyes wide open. I knew that neither one of us was a saint, and that we had both messed up a couple of our relationships in our past. And because of this, I wanted us to be honest, but not too honest. Too honest could get us into dangerous territory, and I never wanted that. I wanted, and want, this relationship to work, so I’ve decided to keep some things to myself, and ask that my partner do the same.
I don’t need to know the good memories he has of his ex, nor does he need to know the good ones I have of mine. I don’t need to know if my turkey chili is the worst he’s ever had, and how when he went for seconds, it was only because he was kind enough to throw out the first serving when I wasn’t looking. He doesn’t need to know that the hair on the top of his head, in that spot he just can’t quite see, is getting thinner everyday, nor does he need to tell me that my boobs aren’t as perky as they were a couple years ago (big boob problems). I mean, I can see the boob thing for myself, so he really doesn’t need to tell me that.
While I believe in honesty about the big things, like, if I were to cheat or he were to, say, kidnap a goat, name it Fred, and store it in our closet, I think the smaller, less consequential things should be left in the dark. Some things, the little things that have no importance in the grand scheme, shouldn’t show their face in the light of day, if only to keep some sort of romance and mystery in the relationship.
This has been a difficult process for my husband, because his gut response is to tell me everything, while I put my finger up to his mouth and ask him nicely, “Please don’t. Why ruin this with a lot of chatter?” Despite his insistence on vocalizing everything, even he can’t see the point, sometimes, in injecting every scenario with some truths that really have no place in the moment. Because of that he has learned to stop, and I have learned to babble when the mood strikes to a man who knows my facts are wrong, but is kind enough to keep that part to himself.
It may seem absurd, all this semi, sort of lying, but I think it makes for a happy and healthy marriage. It was when we stopped being so over-the-top honest, that we were able to settle into our relationship, as if judgment had been subtracted.
That doesn’t mean that judgment isn’t there, because as human beings, we all judge, but to know that certain insecurities will not be mentioned is a liberating way to go about life. Trust me, you really don’t have to tell your significant other everything in order to be some prize of a girlfriend or wife. In leaving out some of the details, you’re doing your partner a favor.
A lot of my friends don’t understand it. They can’t imagine why I wouldn’t want to hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth all the time, so I point out to them the one piece of realization that they don’t seem to understand: Pain.
Being completely honest about the trivial stuff hurts like hell. It’s an unnecessary waste of time and energy, and usually evolves into a fight. And before you know it, you’re not talking over the fact that he’s been drinking directly out of the orange juice container all the while knowing that this is the type of thing that literally murders your soul; to find out that you’ve been consuming backwash before work for the past few days is an effing nightmare and, I imagine, the type of thing that might tear people apart. Yes, it’s a ridiculous thing to argue over and maybe, for some, a completely irrational thought to have in the first place, but it’s a real thing for some couples and I happen to be in one of those couples. I don’t need to know the particulars. I don’t need to know everything. I just don’t.
I’m sure at some point something will happen that when I finally do find out, there will be an issue that he had not told me the truth in the first place. I am completely aware of this possibility, and I accept that. But as someone who needs to live in the here and now, I need to focus on the present and not what might happen because maybe something else happened. It’s fruitless to be so far out in the future when everything we need is right in front of us. We’ve both spent too many of our past relationships wasting time on the fruitless, so this time around I’m only giving my attention to those items that offer up something sweet. There’s nothing sweet in the hurtful truth.