Take a Look Inside >> Broken Trust: Overcoming an Intimate Betrayal

A book by a founder of this site.

Telling the Truth is Necessary

happy couple togetherOur intimate relationships are designed to help us get ahead in life. People, who are lucky enough fall in love, come out ahead in terms of their health, wealth, and emotional well-being.

Individuals in close relationships live longer, enjoy better health, obtain more resources, report being happier, and are more satisfied than individuals who fail to find a companion (see Berkman & Syme; Sarason & Sarason).

In order to obtain the benefits that intimate relationships provide, it is necessary for two people to know each other well. It is not possible to create beneficial outcomes in a relationship without some degree of intimacy (knowledge about each other). Romantic partners need to be “experts” on each other (see Cole & Teboul). To create rewards people need to understand their partners “inside and out.”

People gain such knowledge about their partners by spending a lot of time with them, watching how they react in different situations, and by being honest with each other.

People disclose a lot to their spouses. Intimate partners tell each other who they are, what they like and dislike, their hopes and fears, their past experiences, and their future goals. Sharing such knowledge is critical because without it people would not be able to get ahead in life.

Our desire to have a husband or wife understand "who we are" and "where we are coming from" is driven by our emotions. We have a fundamental need to be understood, to have someone know us, get us, and understand us (see Reis & Shaver). And, these feelings drive us to tell our intimate partners the truth.

Our desire to be understood becomes even more intense as we get closer to each other. The more you tie your fate to someone, the more important it is for that person to understand who you are. There is an important benefit to having someone close to you "know you." The rewards you are able to create in your relationship are tied to being intimate and sharing yourself with a partner (see Cole & Teboul).

This explains why we get so frustrated and upset when we think that someone close to us does not understand us. Try it out. If you really want to upset a romantic partner, one of the best ways is to pretend that you don’t get where he/she is coming from, that you don’t understand his/her point of view, that you don’t know what he/she is talking about, or that you don’t get his/her jokes. People go absolutely crazy when they think that someone close to them does not "get them."

Overall, enormous benefits come from having a close relational partner know who you are. Accordingly, telling the truth is essential. Simply put, we are designed to share our lives with people and be honest with them.