Hello my beloved perverts!
It is Thursday morning, I am working on my second cuppa coffee and starting to formulate the layout for today’s topic. I have been thinking about this one for a while, and it recently came into focus as someone confided a betrayal of trust within their relationship, and talked about the struggle to deal with it and/or figuring out how to move forward. It made me think about my past relationships, my husband’s past relationships, and our general stance on honesty within our Leather Family.
Once upon a time, quite some years ago, my husband and I decided to include personal/intimate relationships in our D/s journey. This decision was made after we tried to be each other’s ‘submissive’, which resulted in hilarity and bad experiences all at the same time. We discovered that we are both Dominants, and therefore needed/wanted s-types to compliment each of our personal needs that we could not fill for each other. This decision lead to personal journeys that I don’t think either one of us expected, but we grew tremendously both in person and as a couple as we started and walked the path of Polyamory combined with D/s.
We had one hell of a learning curve before we figured out what would work and what would not. Through a couple of rough experiences early on, we started to develop a “do’s and don’ts” list, which eventually led to the creation of our Household Manual a couple of years later. One of our earliest and most important realizations was that complete honesty in every way possible was a cornerstone of our budding D/s and Poly journey. This led to a LOT of introspection, self-awareness and personal growth, although the path was full of tears, emotional upheaval and acceptance of flaws and insecurities to work on.
I have experienced first hand what kind of damage lying, deceit, betrayal of trust and manipulation can do to a relationship. I have watched other people’s dynamics break apart due to trust being broken. I have watched a marriage break down and dissolve due to manipulation, deception and outright lies to one another. I have personally experienced the anguish of having my trust being broken, of my world falling down around my ears, of doubting myself and my abilities – it sucks big time!
There are those that know me up close and personal that will tell you I am too blunt at times, less than tactful, and a bit jarring in my delivery of … hard truths and personal observations. I have learned, over the last 30 years in Texas, to soften my at times harsh German edges around my words and delivery to make it more … acceptable to the sugar-coating practiced here, although I still fail at times. I am much better at it than I was 20 yrs ago, though!!! However, there are times when stating a truth simply cannot be softened, when honesty is painful, when the stating of a betrayal breaks hearts.
We have one non-negotiable rule that we tell anyone that is interested in joining us (House Haven) in any way: If you lie, you are a goner. There is absolutely NO leniency in this regard. As long as everyone is honest and forthcoming, we can deal with any issue that comes up, work with it, work through it – whatever it takes. What we will not accept in any way, shape or form is dishonesty. We have seen too many tears as a result of dishonesty, and we will NOT tolerate it.
In our House, three relationships have been terminated effective immediately after realizing that we were lied to despite numerous warnings and opportunities to resolve the issues through other means. We are dead serious about this, and always will be. Our reaction to being lied to will always be far worse than whatever is being lied over. It takes courage and vulnerability to come forward and tell a truth that is painful, shameful, sad, etc., but it is also a step towards personal growth – and that we value almost above everything else.
Let’s break it down
A complete list of links that some of this material came from will be at the bottom of the post. Feel free to dig in deeper if you are so inclined!
The Couple Institute has an article that breaks lies down into the following categories:
Equivocations: Giving ambiguous, indirect, or contradictory information
Exaggerations: Overstatements and truth stretching
Understatements: Minimizing or downplaying aspects of the truth
Concealment: Deliberately omitting information that is important and relevant
Deliberate lies: Making up information, or giving the opposite of the truth (no versus yes)
Felony lies: These are the big high stakes ones
Psychology Today offers this:
Deception includes making ambiguous or vague statements, telling half-truths, manipulating information through emphasis, exaggeration, or minimization, and withholding feelings or information that is important to someone who has a right to know, because it affects the relationship and deprives that person of freedom of choice and informed action. Although we may consider ourselves honest, few of us reveal all our negative thoughts and feelings about the people we are close to.
I agree with this breakdown, and have seen all of them at some point or another. Now, some may argue that understatements, for example, are not exactly lies. Aren’t they? Is concealment not what we call ‘lying by omission’? Does the fact that one does not make up deliberate lies make one less dishonest if it is standard practice to be ambiguous or omit information?
If I were to say “I met Sally for coffee this afternoon, and we had a good chat!” as compared to “I met Sally for coffee this afternoon, and we negotiated a sexual play scene.”, would that not give you a completely different impression of my coffee date?
Does “Dude – he totally broke down and cried all over me” sound anything like “Ted shared some relationship trouble with me”? I’d dare say we would react differently to either one of those statements.
If the answer to the question “So, what were you up to this afternoon?” is “I went over to Beverly’s place to hang out” vs. “Beverly and I had a hot sexy scene this afternoon!”, would you not say the the first is an equivocation? Does “hanging out” elicit the same emotional reaction as “had a hot sexy scene”? Perhaps that would depend on your definition of “hanging out”, but I’d say that generally those two have very different reactions.
Why are we lying to our partners? There is always a reason, and is often that we are trying to protect something. When we find ourselves about to say something that is not entirely true, we should stop and start digging – why? What are we trying to protect? Is it our ego? Fear of shame? A sense of security? To avoid conflict and prevent tension? To protect feelings? We also often lie to advance ourselves, enhance our image, protect ourselves or to gain power. We have all done it at some point in our lives and relationships, for one or more of the reasons stated.
Once you realize that, you should consider the following: we all lie to ourselves to some degree. Few are the people that are 100% self-aware and completely open about their entire being. So ask yourself: Are you telling yourself the truth about your own experience? How well do you know yourself? Am I able to communicate what I know about myself?
Lying causes damage. There are varying degrees of damage, and I will leave it up to you to evaluate those. However, here are few that are applicable to your personal relationships – no matter what kind they are.
1. Lies erode trust. They cannot co-exist in a relationship, and lying will always destroy trust. What happens when you don’t trust your partner? Your relationship will fail in the long run.
2. Lies show a lack of respect. Receiving the truth from someone conveys that they respect you enough to be truthful with you. Think about that for a minute.
3. The wait for more lies. Once someone has been lied to, they will constantly expect more lies, more deception. Over time, this will wear any relationship down to the point where the receiver simply does not have the energy or desire to stick around.
4. Lying shows selfishness. Someone that lies puts their own needs/wants/desires in front of others. They are not willing to be honest for the relationship’s sake, and it will make their partner feel unloved and unwanted.
5. Feeling a fool as the receiver of lies. They are going to have a hard time having positive feelings towards their partner once they find out there were lied to.
6. Lying to yourself. By being dishonest, a person is refusing to share their genuine wants/needs/desires from their partner. Dis-ingenuity is a turn-off.
7. Lies lead to more lies. Once they start, they will proliferate, and a lot of mental energy has to be devoted to keep stories straight, and ‘facts’ factual. It is exhausting for both parties in many, many aspects.
8. Lies block intimacies. Intimacy is based on trust and authenticity, and if someone is not practicing either, they cannot truly connect with their partner.
9. Keeping secrets/lying leads to guilt. Said guilt can/will lead to avoidance of certain topics, removing of oneself from certain situation, perhaps even coming up with reasons NOT to be close to one’s partner.
10. Practicing deception affects our self-esteem. Lying and/or keeping secrets over a long period of time will lead to guilt, which in turn can turn into shame for oneself and affect our fundamental sense of dignity and worthiness as a person.
11. Guilt and Shame create more problems. Not only is the liar ‘guarding’ the secret, they are hiding themselves from their partner. they find ways to justify their actions, which increase the guilt and shame, leading to increased self-worth issues. You can see how this turns into a spiral to hell.
“But … but … but …” Yeah, I hear you. “What about justified lies?” you say, “What about if I don’t have a choice?”, “What about if telling the truth will destroy XYZ?” or “What if telling the truth will result in my giving up my deepest desires?”. There are many such questions that can and will come up when talking about being honest. I hear you.
Look, fact is that the world is not black and white, there are a gazillion gray shades in the middle. It is up to each individual to make choices, to do as they feel they must, to be honest or not. Sometimes the choice between honesty and dishonesty can mean having a roof over one’s head or not, having a job or not, being hungry or not, and another hundreds of ‘justified’ reasons for dishonestly. I totally acknowledge that. Not everyone has the privilege to be honest, or even as honest as they wished they could be. We live in a world that is fraud with deception, lies and betrayal from a grand, world-wide scale down to intimate relationships, and we are faced with many instances in which being deceptive gives us what we want/need/desire.
I have no desire to get into the “grand, world wide scale” of deception; it is just depressing. My thoughts in this blog are referring to interpersonal relationships with close friends, lovers, partners; intimate relationships of various kinds. My hope is that some of the points I raised will give you, my beloved perv, something to think about and ponder over, perhaps even lead to some adjustments within yourself and/or your relationship. There is nothing more important in our relationships than trust – especially in a Power Exchange Dynamic of any kind of flavor. The fastest way to loose someone’s trust is to lie to them, and the road to redemption is long and hard. Not impossible – but freaking hard.
Links for the articles some of material came from:
Next week I will talk about Betrayal; what it is, the different types thereof, why we betray folks we love, and techniques to move on after having experienced it. Should be another thought-provoking email, so make sure to look for it. Please feel free to share this with others, forward it, or refer folx to the actual blog entry on my website for the opportunity to leave comments and discussing content.
With that, my beloved perverts, I will leave you to your day! I miss you all, and hope this mess will be resolved sooner rather than later, ‘cuz damn it – I want huggles and cuddles from all of you! 🙂