“Truth may be stretched, but cannot be broken, and always gets above falsehood, as oil does above water.” Miguel Cervantes
Imagine being told suddenly by your partner of 25 years that he/she never loved you. The English language does not have words to describe the devastation and betrayal of hearing such news. Not surprisingly, lack of fidelity in these matters is perhaps the leading cause of crumbling relationships.
A good part of our outlook on life begins at childhood with interaction with our parents. We develop our attitudes about trust and honesty mostly from the example they set. One who has had the privilege of sharing early stages of life with morally sound individuals, has mostly likely been reared with a healthy perspective on issues of honesty.
Marriage is an opportunity to “exercise” and refine the virtue of honesty we acquired in our youth. It can be a real challenge for certain individuals. A commitment to growth is integral to the process. A Jewish adage teaches that if one is not moving ahead, he/she is moving backwards. There is no concept of merely standing still. We are either moving ahead in our quest for self-perfection or we are stepping back. Jean Giraudoux once said “Only the mediocre are living up to their true potential.”
Few people or couples would like to consider themselves ordinary or mediocre. Trust allows couples to laugh. It allows them to experience bliss. It allows them to give. It is axiomatic that without a certain level of honesty the channels of communication are disrupted or foggy, at best. To achieve a balanced and harmonious relationship with a livelong partner, and with God, for that matter, one must define guidelines and boundaries. Whether the issue is interaction with people of the other sex outside marriage or standards of religious observance, a spouse should expect his/her mate to respect and cherish the standards that they have established in this area.