Hiding the truth from others and especially from ourselves, whether intentionally or unintentionally…
Is a painful way to go through life…
But we all do it!
What if the real reason we’re not totally honest with ourselves and with others is because we’re afraid of what we’ll find when we go looking for the truth?
What if the excuses we tell ourselves for hiding the truth are holding us in a pattern of suffering and anxiety?
Diane felt like she and her husband had been growing apart for several years, especially after he’d taken a new job and worked a lot of overtime hours.
She’d tried “being understanding” and not complaining because this was an opportunity he really wanted.
She’d tried to get interested in painting again, something she’d gotten into several years ago…
But nagging questions about her relationship kept her attention away from experiencing the joy she used to feel when she was creating art.
She felt stuck and contacted us for a coaching session to help her unravel her feelings and determine what she should do next.
As we talked, she realized a few things about how she’d been unintentionally dishonest and what it had been costing her.
Here’s some of what she discovered about hiding the truth…
1. Hiding the truth creates walls
Not wanting to add to the stress of her husband’s new job, Diane had withheld her desire to rekindle their relationship and love.
But in doing so, she realized that she’d been pulling away from him for awhile.
She also saw that she’d been holding onto resentment and anger that she hadn’t acknowledged to herself before.
In “trying to be understanding,” she’d tried to squash her feelings and ignore them but in the process, they just got bigger.
Looking back, her resentment had shown up in ways she wasn’t proud of like being sarcastic when she didn’t need to be.
She also saw that she’d pushed intimacy away with him as well when there was an opportunity.
She’d been blaming his job for this distance between the two of them but she saw that she had a part in it as well.
2. Recognize the stories you’re telling yourself
When she thought about telling her husband how she felt, anxiety overcame her.
Her thoughts and stories in her mind went something like this…
–She didn’t want to add to his stress
–She didn’t want to be honest and start a fight with him
And the big one that she’d kept hidden even from herself…
–She was afraid that he might tell her he wasn’t in love with her any longer and wanted to leave their marriage
When she saw all these “stories” she’d created, she recognized that she didn’t know if any of these were true or not.
She saw how these fearful stories had kept her stuck, not willing to move toward what she wanted.
As we talked with her, she saw the possibility that these were just stories that she could let dissolve on their own if she didn’t keep repeating them in her mind.
3. Talking with the other person doesn’t have to be stressful or filled with dread
When we suggested that the “talk” she dreaded could be an invitation to something better, she relaxed.
She’d had it in her mind that she had to go into this “talk” with her husband with points she wanted to cover and a steely resolve to let him know how their distance had hurt her.
As we talked, Diane saw instead how she could approach this in a way that opens the door to both of them getting more of what they wanted.
It really could be a loving conversation.
When she checked back in with us a week later, she said that she’d opened to her husband in ways she hadn’t in a long time.
She told him she’d missed him and he told her that he’d missed her as well.
They decided even though they had limited time together, they could schedule time for just the two of them and do something fun every week.
She saw that hiding the truth from herself as well as from her husband had not been the answer.