David is the most honest person I have ever met.
While I fully believe that honesty is the best choice and I truly hate being lied to, sometimes the complete truth can be brutal. Sometimes, when I ask "Love, do you want to drive down to my parents' house to see me for a bit tonight?", his answer is "no". When I ask him what he thinks of my new haircut, he'll tell me he hates it. He will say that he thinks my (awesome) pink pointed toe shoes make me look like a little girl playing dress-up in her mom's too big shoes. He doesn't lie to me to make me feel better, he rarely smooths things over, and if he doesn't want to do something that I would love for him to do, he'll tell me.
The flip side to this, of course, is that when David tells me he loves me, I know - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that he loves me. When he tells me that he wants to dedicate the rest of his life to me, I have no reason whatsoever to doubt that this is true. I never have to question his motives or wonder what he meant to say. He is respectful, noble, and true. I know him. I can trust him with my everything. When he says he doesn't like something about my appearance, though, he is quick to point out something else he does like. When he says he doesn't want to do something or go somewhere he often does it anyway just for me. Honestly, sometimes I feel bad since I know he doesn't want to, but it really does mean more knowing he's doing it out of love for me despite the fact that he doesn't want to.
So, why am I blogging about this now?
Well, for one, I think that honesty is one of he most important features of a marriage. Without honesty the trust goes away. The true partnership of a marriage begins to fade. If you have to question or doubt where you or your partner stands instead of being able to freely share it, there will eventually be problems. I love that David is as honest as he is, and I know that our marriage will never be lacking in truth, sharing, and partnership.
However, this kind of honesty can be painful. Just today, we were working on our "homework" for our couples' small group, and we were asked to answer some questions about our closeness in our relationship. We were to answer "yes" or "no" about questions that, according to the book, told how connected we were. "No"s meant we were more connected while "yes"s meant we were less. David answered "yes" to a few questions and his following explanations became pretty hurtful. One particular question asked whether or not we had become less sexually attracted to one another in the past months or years. David answered yes and mentioned that the weight I've gained since we've been dating (I was the thinnest I've ever been when we've met and I've been up and down in weight since) has made him worry about me and that it makes him slightly less attracted to me. This was really really hard to hear. After discussing it more (and quite a few tears), he confided that it's not really that he is less attracted to me, but that he knows I want to eat better and such and gets worried and turned off by me when he sees me eating things I shouldn't anyway. He explained that he has a hard time being a good example to me since his limits with food and such are completely different than my own. I have decided to begin to make more of an effort on my own with my habits, and he has agreed to try to make changes in his own lifestyle so I am not in the position to waver or be tempted. I know he thinks I'm beautiful, but it was hard to think of him ever thinking any less than that. I am, however, grateful for the further motivation and opportunity to explain how I can have more support in the area.
Many people would say that a simple lie said to help someone is generally a good thing. If I was dating someone else and asked him what he thought about a haircut that he hated, he would probably tell me it was nice to spare my feelings. That same person may not have told me the truth about his feelings in the homework. While I was hurt by the conversation we had, we also came to some good resolutions and plans to try to improve the situation. With the momentary pain came a closeness and opportunity for growth in our relationship and a positive change in our lives.
Many women want to hear all the right words instead of the truth. They want to hear "No, honey, that dress does not make you look fat." and "Why, of course, I would absolutely love to do x and y for/with you." I, on the other hand, want to brutal, raw, honest truth. I love that David and I live with complete openness with one another, and while the truth can sometimes hurt, living in complete truth is a beautiful thing.