Romantic relationships are full of oddities. All of us long for, nay, demand a relationship that is built on trust, openness, and intimacy. Sadly, relationships don’t always work that way. By observation, you can just as easily deduce that couples often lie about their feelings for each other, their level of commitment to the relationship, and the affairs they have on the side – whether emotional or merely physical. Although when you think about it, there’s a very fine line separating the two.
In some cases, downplaying, ignoring, or looking the other way when confronted with these relationship paradoxes, work. Until the day that it doesn’t anymore. Sooner or later, you will catch your partner in one of their lies. Naturally, you will lose your head over the fact that someone you trusted with everything you have has deceived you and you are completely clueless as to the whys and not so much as the hows, but thehow many times . Interestingly, this is a classic two-way thing in the sense that your partner can just as likely catch you in one of your attempts to mislead – and you would be at a loss as to how to handle the situation well yourself.
My share of relationships (the number is not THAT high, believe you me!) has more or less taught me that when it comes to love and romance, most of the things we subscribe to are fairly inaccurate. No, NOT everything can be solved by “open and honest communication” and yes, misleading a partner is not that hard to do. It may seem heartbreaking to those who have such idealistic views on relationships, but the truth is, in our romantic relationships, there exists a constant juxtaposition of candor and deceit.
When we’re in love, we are inclined to view our romantic partners with stars in our eyes. We think we know them well, thus, we place a lot of trust in them. And moreoften, this is where the alarm bells start to go off. Because while our trust gives us a sense of security and comfort, it also also becomes the breeding ground for deceit. “No, my boyfriend will never do that to me. I know him very well and I can tell you for sure that cheating is beneath him.” Six times out of 10 (please feel free to countercheck the ratio, hahaha), there’s another woman beneath your boyfriend while you’re out with the girls. This blind faith opens up the floodgates to deception. After all, who makes a better victim than someone who is eager and willing to trust everything you have to say?
Did you also know that ultra close relationships create the need to,uhrrm, dish out a few untruths? We all love the many rewards that relationships offer, but they also tend to be debilitating. I’m sure most of you have, in one way or another, felt the limitations of a close-knit relationship. No, you can’t go out with friends tonight. No, you can’t wear that – my handkerchief has more fabric than that dress! No, you can’t eat too much of that – your cellulites are already popping out like varicose veins. These very common scenarios simply show that intimacy, if not managed well, can cause you to lose your freedom and autonomy.
And this where lying comes to the rescue. And because not telling the truth sometimes helps us deal with the constraints that our intimate relationships impose, we continue to enjoy the benefits – sexual, emotional, and what-not – of our romantic relationships while pursuing extra-relational goals and activities behind our partner’s back. And what about guilt, I hear you asking. And I say, what guilt? I have met a few people who openly admit to having extra-relational affairs and believe me, there isn’t an ounce of guilt in their demeanor. Not even a fraction of it.
Not to say that we all must lie to our partners because most of the time being untrue is not exactly a deliberate act on the offender’s part. For women: Perhaps your partner tripped and fell on a woman who just happened to be spreadeagled on the floor at that time. For men: It can also be that your lady partner has an undiagnosed fear of being alone at home such that one night when you had to work overtime and your bestfriend just happened to pass by your home, he and your wife…Okay, that’s rather heartless, but you do get my drift, right?
To play it safe, most of us refuse to acknowledge deception by a loved one. But as your friends become more open with their personal encounters with the deceiving kind and you examine your own behavior more closely, it becomes harder and harder to shrug-off the degree to which people can be so secretive about extra-relational activities. In this case, I cannot speak for people who are at the receiving end of betrayal, but I have been on the same boat twice in my life and this I must say, there are no words to describe the pain. Think of all the macabre things Dr. Hannibal Lecter is capable of doing to another human being – it’s almost on that same level. Unfortunately, the way I handled my affairs did not exactly give me the outcome I would have preferred to achieve. My fiery temper (not to mention, irrepressible tendencies to get illogical and irrational about certain things) has caused me to lose someone who could have been a dear friend, barring differences and all. Ultimately, it does pay to have a more open mind about certain complexities of romantic relationships – and not be so quick to judge and yet slow to forgive. Maybe it’s time I ask for forgiveness.
Image taken from here.