We all know telling the truth is a biblical imperative. Yet it seems like so many men struggling with sexual integrity issues have amnesia with respect to it. Telling a lie has become second nature to so many of us, we forget what the truth really is. In fact, we’ve become so adept at telling lies that we’ve convinced ourselves of half-truths. Sometimes we’re not even sure what the truth is because we’ve sliced and diced it so many ways. Sexual addicts, especially, live in a world where most things are polarized: either black or white, all or nothing, always and never. Except for the truth. The truth is always gray. Various shades of gray too; sometimes its a lighter shade. “Little white lies”, if you will. At other times it is a very dark gray; heinous, harmful lies that cover up the things we’re most ashamed of.
Maybe you’ve never thought of it this way, but we’re close cousins to Satan when we operate like this. He had a knack for skewing the truth. “Did God really say…”, “If you truly are the son of God…”. He would twist things just enough to make the lie believable or truth seem unbelievable. Here are a couple of examples how that goes in real life:
- MAKING THE LIE BELIEVABLE: “I didn’t have an affair, I only kissed her”.
Here the adulterer plays on a common cultural idea of infidelity: sex is required to constitute an affair. That is total B.S. The lie in this case is dealing with semantics; what makes it an affair? It may have been an emotional connection; it’s an emotional affair. It may have been hand-holding; it’s a physical affair. It may have been sex: it’s an emotional and very physical affair.
- MAKING THE TRUTH SEEM UNBELIEVABLE: “I can’t believe you would accuse me of doing ______!”
This one comes up when a man has acted out sexually in a way he can hardly believe, and his wife has busted him. In fact I’ve seen men busted for porn on the home computer and blame it on their teenage son. I’ve seen a man caught with a mistress and try to deny it right in front of his wife’s face. “I can’t believe you would accuse me of having an affair with my secretary! This was a business lunch. What’s wrong with you that you would think such a horrible thing?”
Both of these examples are outright lies. They do damage to both the liar and the one lied to.
If we’re ever to get free of these issues and/or rebuild a broken relationship we must learn to tell the truth. At all costs. There are 3 people in particular that we have to begin telling the difficult truth to:
1 – Ourselves. If you have trouble dealing in truth with yourself, I urge you to do 2 things. First, write it down. When you are questioned about something or you are being asked for specific details of your life, write down your response. Analyze it on paper, not in your head. Then, second, share that with an accountability partner and ask for feedback. When it’s out of your head, on paper, and in front of someone you trust you are a step closer to the truth.
2 – God. We all lie to God. And we know it. In my life it takes the form of minimization; I’ll downplay what I’ve done thinking maybe He won’t be as disappointed. Newsflash: He knows everything! When we are partially honest with God we only partially receive His forgiveness and love. We have to be fully, painfully honest with Him before we’ll allow ourselves to receive what He is offering. We can never fully accept acceptance until we’re fully known.
3 – Spouses. The mantra I’ve adopted is this:“I’d rather lose you, than lie to you.” It means I’ll tell the truth even when it hurts. Even if it means I cannot control the outcome or dictate the consequences. She deserves the truth. Period.
If you are still covering something up with lies, even little things, you’ll never find the freedom you’re looking for.
Trust is destroyed at our wives’ expense, trust is rebuilt at our expense.
There is no other way. If you want to rebuild trust in your relationship you have to accept and adopt this simple truth. If you expect your spouse to work towards trusting you it will likely remain elusive. You won’t find what you’re looking for. We destroy trust by acting out sexually, responding in anger, entitlement and defensiveness, and failing to provide protection and security in our marriages. That all happens at the expense of our wives’ heart. It gets stomped on, shattered and broken into pieces. Their emotional accounts get overdrawn and carry negative balances.Their dreams get hijacked and happily-ever-after turns into sadly-painfully-what-has-been.
Too often I hear men demand that their wives trust them, or at least try to trust them, when the work of trust building has cost those men very little. If you are one of those men please understand it is not her responsibility and she is bankrupt; emotionally, mentally and possibly even spiritually.
It is going to cost you your privacy, your freedom, your entitlements, probably respect, perhaps your self-image, and definitely your right to be right. Trust building is expensive. It’s why so many guys bail on it. They don’t want to do the hard work of paying deposits into an overdrawn account when it is difficult to even get back to zero!
If you are in the process of rebuilding trust I urge you to figure out what expenses you’ll need to incur. Here are a few that I’ve seen in my office:
- full access to your business financial dealings
- full access to your Outlook Calendar
- giving up watching sports
- giving up fantasy football
- cutting back on TV
- letting your wife rummage through your wallet
- giving your wife your cell phone records
- surrendering and quitting your dream job
- selling your dream car
- cancelling your hunting trip
These are just a few examples. You’ll have to figure out which ones apply in your life. You may have to be creative here. Remember, if you want trust restored in your relationship, it is going to cost you. Trust is rebuilt at your expense, not hers.