Lying to your significant other does not have to be as blatant as saying, “I love dogs” when you clearly hate them. We can paint false pictures by happily attending sporting events with our sweeties while secretly hating them. By putting on a happy face, we appear to share a hobby that we have no intention of “enjoying” after marriage.
Sometimes when we find ourselves smitten with an interesting person, we try to convince ourselves that we share his or her goals and passions.
“Fossils? Yes, I’ve always been fascinated with fossils!”
“Missionary work? I have never gone on a missions trip; however, I hope to go on several in the next few years.”
Sometimes our lies are not maliciously intended; however, they may still be desperate attempts to remain in the relationship we love. Have you ever caught yourself trying so hard to fit in with your sweetie that you were not completely honest about your personality, preferences, or life goals?
Below are a few reasons why you may be tempted to paint an inaccurate picture of yourself:
- Fear of rejection by the other person.
- Desire to remain in the relationship.
- Longing to be respected by your significant other.
- Genuinely wanting to believe you are who he or she needs you to be as a future spouse.
- Fear that this may be your last chance at having a marital relationship.
- Dreading the idea of starting over in a new relationship.
- Wanting to appear valuable to someone you admire.
- Believing you can be anyone he or she needs you to be.
- Convinced you can work through anything once you’re married.
All of the reasons above make sense. When we grow to love someone, it is frightening to think we could lose this wonderful person based on our differences. I can completely identify with that fear. It is powerful enough to make us believe we can be someone we were never meant to be.
Here are reasons why it is important to show your authentic self:
- Painting an inaccurate picture of yourself is unfair to your future mate. It may seem harmless, but it is a form of deception. How would you feel if you married someone and then realized he or she had hidden the truth from you?
- Problems don’t just go away because we ignore them. Getting married does not mean you have secured the relationship. Even if you stay married, your hearts can still be miles away from each other.
- Truth, even when it’s unpleasant, hurts less than living a lie. Not so much at first, but in the long run. It may seem like you cannot live without this person now; yet, after years of trying to keep up with a lie, you will lose the motivation to continue the charade. He or she will not seem so wonderful after several years of stifling yourself. You may even grow to resent him or her for expecting you to be who you presented yourself to be in your dating, courting, and engaged days.
- It is better for you and for your sweetheart to go into marriage fully informed. Do you really want to get married to someone and always wonder if he or she would have married you had he or she known the real you?
- You have special gifts and talents. If they do not match or complement your sweetie’s talents, that does not diminish your worth at all. It just means you may be better suited with someone else who shares similar goals, dreams, visions, and talents. This man or woman may seem like the only person you could ever love, but it is not true. ~smile~ I can fully understand that feeling, though. I have been there!
Stop for a moment and take a good look at your relationship. Are you so comfortable with this person that you can be 100% yourself or do you feel compelled to play a role? Do you believe your honey would like you less if you introduced him or her to the real you? Think through how you spend your time together – if you have ever pretended to enjoy something (or not enjoy something) or if you consistently acquiesce to his or her wishes. If you married your sweetheart today, would you be confident that he or she was jumping in with eyes wide open?
The thought of being rejected can motivate people to live a lie; but, after a while, the lie hurts so much worse than the momentary rejection. You owe it to your sweetie, yourself, and to God to be who He made you to be.
Who knows? Your sweetheart may love the real you even more than the fake you. ~smile~ But, even if that is not true, you will always be happier being who God created you to be – always.
Does your special someone know the real you?