Let’s face facts. No one exists on this earth without lying once and a while. No matter what your minister tells you, lying is the one sin that most people wear every day like their favorite pair of jeans. We don’t intend to do it. Nobody wakes up and says, “Today I’m going to be a liar.” No, it doesn’t start out so purposefully. It usually starts out small with a little lie here, a diversionary tactic there. The next thing you know it’s morphed into a way of life.
How many parents and grandparents have stood with rigid index finger over their children and tried to deliver admonishments of tortuous soul burnings and prison yard destinations into little impressionable minds? We all know what the good book tells us about lying and the many levels of fire and brimstone that accompanies such practitioners of tongue splitting. But the truth of the matter is everyone is a liar. From politicians to teachers to ministers. We all lie. No one, not even our leaders, are clean of this.
So why is it that lies are so corrosive to a relationship? After all, everyone does it. Why do our romantic relationships get progressively worse with every single lie told?
When you first meet someone, it’s not really love. It starts out as attraction. Think about it. Your hair has to be perfect. You laugh at all of his jokes. You listen to her babble on and on for hours on the phone. Why? Is she really a great conversationalist? Is he really telling you anything you haven’t heard regurgitated over and over in your life? You put up with all of those things for the hope of moving to next level (the next level being companionship).
Soon superficial love appears. You know what that means, right? Superficial love is a weird entity that feeds on the dream. From its very first appearance until a few years into the relationship, superficial love thrives on a certain mystical place of cleanliness, trust and romantic effort. You get up early to brush your teeth so that she can’t smell your horrible morning breath. You keep your bodily noises private and excuse yourself to the restroom to “freshen up”. The lie is acceptable in this realm and no one really mentions how utterly screwed up it is.
But as time wears on that dream is consumed bit by bit. Day by day pieces of that dream are stripped away until the only thing left is the reality of who the people are. When all of the dream has been consumed and the two people are able to stand in front of each other emotionally and spiritually naked, it is the remainder of who those individuals are that true love exists upon. That is the moment when love actually starts.
And from that moment, when you think this individual has shared all that he or she has to share and you have done the same, it is that moment that most people believe they truly know a person. They tell themselves that there are no more secrets. There are no underlying issues. We know each other. We truly know each other.
And that couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you’re in your twenties or thirties you’ve done quite a bit of lying. In fact, you’re probably a solid professional at it. And it’s that bad habit of lying that usually does us in. With that many years of lying, the practice becomes automatic. We lie without even knowing we’re lying and what’s worse, we sometimes don’t even know why we do it.
The thing that makes lying so corrosive to a relationship is the fact that the liar has maintained a refusal to reveal who they truly are. After years of “Baby I love you” and “I trust you completely” the presence of a lie casts an immediate doubt on what has been revealed and if the real person will ever truly be known. There is supposed to be a moment when there are no lies, there’s just you and your partner.
I have to admit, it’s more than a little arrogant to think that someone should reveal every single detail about how they were built and who they are as individuals. But that is the expectation that a large portion of society maintains. Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.
Lies go against what you have presented and puts unwanted issues on the table at unwanted times of romantic progression. At some point, you do have to reveal who you truly are to someone (if you don’t want to be alone forever) and take a chance that the knowledge of who you deeply are will be protected, respected and appreciated.