Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Honesty and Marriage

Generally speaking, I have been a proponent of being honest with your spouse about just about everything. I say "generally speaking" because most of you know that I have not shared my prowling activities with my husband, and I'm not going to.

Why not? I haven't held back because I'm afraid he'd leave me.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't.  I haven't told him because I know it would hurt him, and that's something I never want to do.

I know some of my pro-fidelity readers/stalkers are thinking, "Well, Kat, if you weren't prowling, then you wouldn't have to hurt him or lie to him." Yes, yes, that's true, but then I would be miserable and frustrated. 

But I'm not trying to defend prowling here. I'm talking about the layers of honesty in a marriage.

I decided a while ago to tell Hubby about my friendship with DauntlessD.  I was really tired of keeping it a secret when there really was no reason that Hubby couldn't know. After I told him, I felt a great sense of relief.  I didn't have to lie about it anymore, and it just felt wrong keeping such an important relationship in my life a secret from my husband.

Well, the relief I felt in the beginning has been replaced with regret. My husband has become very jealous of my relationship with Daunt, even though it's not a sexual relationship. We're working through it and I'm sure we'll find a way to make it work, but it made me think about honesty in a marriage.

Lots of couples tell each other little lies so they don't hurt each other and, sometimes, just to keep the peace.  "Yes, dear, you look great in that dress." "Of course I don't mind if you go play poker with the guys until 2:00 am." "Mmmm....yes....I came twice. That was so good...."

Then there are the lies we tell that are part of a "training" behavior.  If my husband cleans the bathroom, no matter how poorly he does it, I am not going to tell him he did a crappy job because then he'll never want to do it again.  Instead, I'll say, "Honey, the bathroom looks great! Thank you!"  Then I follow that up as quickly as possible with sex.  That's how you get a man to do just about anything you want. He'll be cleaning that bathroom several times a week and, with all that practice, he'll get pretty good at it, and eventually you will be able to honestly say that he did a great job. That's Husband Training 101.

Oops, I hope I didn't give away any wifely secrets. Every now and then I read one of the popular married man game blogs where advice is given to men on how to get their wives to want to have sex with them. It makes me chuckle because most men are amateurs compared to most women when it comes to marital behavior modification.  But I digress.....

I was talking about honesty.....

I thought that little lies were ok (like the examples I just gave), but something as big as a friendship with someone should be shared. 

I don't believe that any more. Some men just can't imagine that a man could be friends with a woman without trying to get sex. I have learned recently that my husband is one of those men. I know that he gets it honestly, though, because he can't have a relationship with a woman that doesn't turn sexual, so he can't imagine that it's possible at all. And it's making him crazy jealous.

Unfortunately, telling a spouse something that you had been keeping secret for months is a bell you can't un-ring. So, I'm stuck with the fallout for now.

I shared with a friend recently what happened and that I had learned that you just can't be honest with a spouse about things like that, his reply was, "Yeah, stupid." Huh.  Apparently men have known this forever and it was only new for me.


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Ryan Beaumont said...

I hate to say it but sometimes it comes down to looks, humor, and power/money - the things that we as men associate are attractive to women. My wife has colleagues that I have no fear of because I know what they look like, if they are interesting, and if they have money/power. Her former boss on the other hand was Yes, yes, and yes and if you have read my blog you know what happened.

So if your husband perceives Daunt as better looking, younger, more interesting, and more wealthy or powerful he will assume he is a threat.

So next time you are at Micky D's go out and find yourself a 300# and 85 year old fry cook with no sense of humor and you'll have a guy friend for life!

Kat said...

LOL-- Yeah, I get why Hubby is feeling threatened. I just wish he didn't.

H said...

Love this post, I think it the most honest and accurate discription of marriage I have read in a long time.

Husband training, WOW, so true you girls have all the advantage and its true sex is used as a "training" tool which I am not a fan of but damn its so true.

Kat said...

H - While it's true that women have an advantage because we can use sex as a "training tool," men have plenty of their own tools. The most obvious are money and affection. Most women will do just about anything to feel safe and loved. Me, included.

I get annoyed when people who are not married or who have been married for a relatively short period of time get high and mighty about this stuff, and say that it's wrong not to be 100% honest with your spouse. A long term marriage is not easy. It's filled with both outspoken and silent negotiation and compromise - and that's if it's a *good* relationship.

When I was newly married, I had a friend (an older woman who was married for decades before her husband passed away) who gave me all sorts of advice on husband training. At first I rebelled because I thought it was manipulative (remember, I said I was newly married), but after I tried it, I was amazed at how much happier we both were. Her number one piece of advice was, "Let your husband be the man." That meant that there had to be things that I allowed him to do for me, even if I could do them myself, and I had to let him take the lead in public and defer to him. You probbaly know me well enough from the blog to know that I do deference very well, but when I got the hang of it, it worked like a charm. It still does.

Nicholas said...

This is a very good post. My wife has a very good male friend. In my early years of marriage, I felt a bit threatned because I did not understand it. But now, I totally understand it. It is a friendship that is strictly platonic and I am glad that know about it. Unlike your husband, I would be upset if she hid this friendship from me.

You are right, "training" husbands is not difficult to do at all. In a way, it is the golden rule to "Love others as you love yourself." By treating a man in the way he wants to be treated, often times he will begin treating you the way you want to be treated. I do wish my wife would engage in some of this behavior. Instead, I get nagging for not doing what something up to her expectations, which makes me resentful and not want to clean or do whatever the task might be anymore.

I would like to talk to you about perhaps what I need to be doing with my wife to alter her behavior. We have had sex a total of 5 times in 2011, and of those times, she was into it only once. The others felt obligatory. I have tried cleaning, doing things for her, romance, etc. etc., and have gotten zero payoff, which has led me to this blog and my thinking about going on the prowl. So between my wife and I, I feel like she does not appreciate me with all that I do, and apparently I am not meeting her needs. otherwise, we would be happy and having sex.

At any rate, great post. i do have my secrets from my wife (this blog obviously!) and I would not reveal to her anything that would cause pain. I might alter my behavior, but I would not reveal it unless it was obvious that she would find out anyway. I am a firm believer that some secrets should remain that way.

Kat said...

Nicholas, your experience is not unlike that of many others who hang out here. I'd love to talk with you more. Would you shoot me an email?

Naughty Kitty said...

I agree with your post Kat. I tried the "completely honest" thing with my husband now we are in the "ignorance is bliss" phase.

It's alot more pleasant that way.

Southern Sir said...

Kat, a very thoughtful and insightful post.

While it is said that honesty is the best policy I have to agree with you that there are some things that are better left unsaid.

I have secrets from my wife and they are best left that way, there are even things about my past that I have never told her as I know she couldn't handle it. and since it is in the past my policy is to let a sleeping dog lay.

I can also relate to your being miserable and frustrated as there comes a point where you feel like you've buried who you are. A few years back there was a song by the Goo Goo Dolls and the line in the song went "Yeah you bleed just to know your alive"

That's how I felt for the longest time until I made the decision to live regardless.

Kat said...

Southern Sir - I know the song you are talking about. I agree with you completely that making a decision to live is a turning point.

Thank you for your comment. We seem to be peas in a pod.:-)

H said...

Agreed, I have been married for 15 years and I completely agree with you.

Kat said...

H - Be careful. I may fall for you. ;-)