Every once in a while, a corporation gets a tag line to promote their business that becomes part of American culture. I think of Nike's "Just Do It" and Chick-fil-A's "Eat Mor Chikin," a sign held up by a couple of cows.
Recently I was in a sporting goods store and I saw the tag line for Under Armor, a sportswear line, and I loved it. The tag line simply said, "Protect This House."
As a man, of course, that tag line speaks to the most primitive part of me as a protector. Miracles, especially the miracle of your marriage, need to be protected.
Let me use the analogy of being a new parent. That little infant, toddler, child and adolescent needs to be protected. We don't put our infant on the floor in a public place where he could be injured; rather, we hold him and protect him until he can incrementally protect himself. There also is a need to protect your marriage, no matter how old the marriage.
Let me now explain to you the destruction that can come by allowing one small unchecked enemy creep up in your marriage. If you are a person who wants to protect your marriage, you need to guard against this very destructive enemy.
When someone believes that they can start lying to their spouse, it instantly creates problems in the marriage. Lying is totally counterproductive to the design of God in His creation we call marriage. Remember, God's admiration of His final creation, this miracle of marriage, is that they be naked and feel no shame.
One thing I know about lying after working with couples for more than 30 years is that there is absolutely no upside. First, lying denies the presence and person of God. To lie is to say God, you didn't see that. God, you don't care that I lie, and God, I am not accountable to you. Therefore, lying disturbs your perception of who God really is.
Second, lying creates a wall between you and your spouse that is definitely felt. There is something going on between the two of you even if it is as simple as you're angry at yourself for lying and you eventually take your anger out on yourself or on your spouse.
Third, this is for the guys because women will already, at least intuitively, understand these two ideas. Your wife absolutely has no way to process a lie. When you choose to lie to your wife, she feels disrespected and hurt because you didn't trust her enough to give her the truth.
It's like saying to her, "I don't trust you and I don't care." You are rejecting your wife's person when you lie to her and create intentional pain in your marriage. So, guys, if you want to do something your wife won't understand and that is guaranteed to hurt your marriage, then lie.
I'm sure some guys are thinking that the information would hurt their wife and that you are trying to protect her. That is simply not true. Ask your wife if she wants you to lie to her and see what she says.
In almost every case, the husband made a major or minor mistake and doesn't want to look bad, flawed or just plain stupid and so he covers it up by lying to his wife. In my book, that is cowardly. What I have learned about manhood is basic. I will make mistakes, and when I do, I'll admit them fully to my wife, my accountability people and the person I hurt, and I'll take the consequence fully.
A boy tries to cover up, lie, manipulate and blame when he does something less than wonderful. I didn't say "if" he does something less than wonderful but when. I'm a guy. I absolutely know I make mistakes. The beauty of it is if I choose honesty, I grow toward my spouse and absorb wisdom so I don't keep doing that same mistake.
If not, I create distance and usually make bigger mistakes so that I can gain the gift of humility. This is the same humility I could have gained from the smaller mistake had I been honest.
Let me be totally clear here to both of you. There is no such thing as a secret. I have counseled couples for more than two decades and some have lied so often to their spouse that they needed to utilize a polygraph service in our office just to stop lying and rebuild trust.
You can avoid this path toward the destruction of God's living creation, your marriage, simply by practicing honesty.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including Miracle of Marriage. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, on hisFacebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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