It’s hard to be honest, especially if we’re in a situation, like divorce, where we think that honesty may disadvantage us. If this is where you’re at right now, please know that other than divulging where you live if you’re experiencing potential physical harm to yourself or your children, honesty is the only way to go.
Why? Because dishonesty will always come back to bite you. Whether it’s dishonesty in not admitting that the marriage wasn’t good; that you knew you should not have married your spouse but did it anyway; or, dishonesty in not admitting to your part in the change in the marriage; admitting to substance abuse or emotional challenges; or admitting that monogamy isn’t for you. Regardless of what the reasons are for leaving the marriage, both spouses have to look at their own level of culpability in order to resolve the emotions involved in the ending of the marriage.
This doesn’t involve blame. The practice of honesty is to help you become in sync with your higher self, your human self, and your decision-making self. The decision-making self if the self that is engaged in the legal divorce. The legal divorce should be void of emotion: Divorce is about the financial uncoupling of both spouses. But people are so extremely emotional because they have to work out the emotions of the relationship outside of the legal filing in order to make good, sound legal and financial decisions.
And then there is honesty in divulging assets and debts, along with accurate income. If the emotions of the marriage and now divorce are not honestly addressed and resolved, dishonesty will carry through in the financial and legal decisions when the filing begins. Some people are pathological in their dishonesty, but most people are just fearful. Fear is the driving factor in resisting disclosure of accurate information that will allow for an equitable division of assets and debts, along with accurate income disclosure upon which to base child support and spousal support/alimony.
It’s important to be honest. The most important area in which dishonesty can kill is substance abuse and co-parenting time/visitation. If a parent is the victim of substance abuse or unrestrained anger management issues, the child is endangered. I am always surprised that after the filing begins, and joint physical custody is requested on the Petition and Response, substance abuse issues are divulged. Why? Fear. Fear from the non-addictive spouse that the addictive spouse will hurt them if they bring up the abuse issues; or, the non-addictive spouse “just wants it to be over” as quickly as possible and remains quiet on issues that could potentially harm the children.
You can run from the truth for a while, but you can’t hide forever. The truth will eventually surface, and perhaps in a way that is much more harmful than whatever the initial fallout may be if everything is laid out honestly at the beginning of the emotional divorce, and certainly as the filing begins.
A divorce is an opportunity to come clean about everything. If people could just understand that neither spouse is going to be compromised financially to the point of devastation – this is people’s silent fear – or prevented from having to access to their children, they could use divorce as a way to make different choices for their own happiness and for the well-being of their children.
Why is it so hard to be honest? Fear. Fear of facing ourselves, our decision-making, or our ability to adjust to a new reality. Move fear out of the way and commit to total honesty, and your divorce and life will be better than you could ever imagine.
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