“‘I’m the only person who cares about you enough to tell you the truth,’ (my friend said.) Why did I keep going back for more abuse? Because I figured her honesty was keeping me honest – when in fact it was just keeping me injured.”
- Elizabeth Gilbert
The Unvarnished Truth
One woman whom I respect greatly tried to convince me that being forthright was her way, and speaking the truth as it came to mind was fine no matter how much it hurt. My husband (when he was angry) used to do this, too. I called it ‘the truth at all costs.’ It felt like a weapon, yielded to bludgeon me into submission.
The reality is that there are lots of ways to speak the truth, and they don’t all hurt. And in healthy relationships you actively seek to find ways to be honest with your partner that are constructive, not destructive. You may be a blunt and honest person, but you don’t have to hurt your partner in service of this habit…for it is a habit, not a core personality trait.
Speaking honestly and well means being aware of your partner’s trigger points and avoiding setting them off. That means using kind words, even if they are strong, rather than spiteful words. That means using soft starts and talking about your own feelings, rather than critiquing your partner’s actions.
And it means listening to your partner’s differing point of view and considering it fully. Listening and considering is a critical part of being honest with another.
No matter where you are in the world.... you can take my Live ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - starts October 3rd. Register here.
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, including free:
- Online treatment overview;
- Downloadable chapters of my books;
- A community forum with other couples facing similar issues;
- A large number of blog posts on various topics;
Is your relationship in trouble? Consider my highly acclaimed couples' course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - This 8-session phone seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships.