Honesty is a virtue most people would put at the top of their list of important parts of a relationship.
They say that without honesty, there can’t be trust, and without trust, there can’t be love. I agree with that statement, and yet, it’s a little more complicated than that.
I have been married for two years, but I’ve known my husband for almost 10 years. When we got engaged, we had already been living together for a while. So, besides having another ring on my finger, I didn’t think that much would change after we got married.
On the surface, nothing really did change.
It was nice to be able to call each other “husband” and “wife” – even though it made me feel old – but apart from that, we just continued on with our lives.
Something felt different, though. On an emotional level, I felt much more connected to my husband. We’ve made a commitment to one another to spend the rest of our lives together and to always try to make each other happy. As nice as our promises sound, they can be scary at the same time.
What makes me happy might not always make him happy, and vice versa. I know that marriage is about compromising and trying to find the right balance, but I’ve also found that sometimes, it’s easier to tell little “white lies” than to always tell the truth ’ – at least for a happy marriage’s sake.
These lies are little things, like telling him that I don’t mind if he watches football after work… even when I really want to have a glass of wine with him and talk about our days instead. It might be disappointing for me In that moment, I might feel disappointed that I don’t get my way, but I know that he enjoys his sports and uses that time in front of the TV to unwind and relax. So I lie and find something else to do, or I call a friend if I really need to get my problems off my chest.
Sometimes, however, I notice bigger lies coming out of my mouth.
I know that I have a great life and so much to be thankful for, but I can’t truthfully say I am 100 percent happy yet. I simply haven’t achieved everything I need in order to be absolutely happy. There are sacrifices I have made in my marriage, projects I’ve put on hold and dreams I haven’t pursued, all to make our life as a married couple work – but I won’t let my husband know that.
These lies are often quite unexpected, but I don’t even think twice about telling them. For instance, my husband often asks me if I’m happy. It’s a simple question that I reply to with a quick head nod, even though in my mind I have developed a long list of parts of my life that make me unhappy. Telling him about all of my woes would turn this simple question into a long, exhausting conversation.
Some people might say that I’m avoiding conflict, but there’s another reason that I lie to my husband about my happiness.
I don’t want him to think that my unhappiness is his fault.
I know that my husband is trying his best to make me happy, and I know that he loves me, which is all that counts. Telling him the truth would only make him feel bad and wouldn’t help the situation in any way, so why bother?
Telling my husband about all my worries, fears, and regrets is unnecessary.
So instead, I nod and smile and wait for him to give me a kiss when he responds with “I’m happy, too.” And all of a sudden my worries disappear. So maybe, in that moment, I didn’t lie to my husband after all.
Originally published anonymously on SheSaid.