In the 1992 Movie “A Few Good Men,” Tom Cruise plays a military prosecutor and Jack Nicholson, a Guantonimo Bay military base commander, is accused of abusing a soldier. In the famous courtroom scene (click here) Cruise wants the truth and Nicholson tells him “you can’t handle the truth.” But who really, in that exchange, can’t handle the truth? In my post for today, that is the question. Every relationship has it’s secrets, lies and deceptions. Some are small and probably for the peace and wellbeing of the relationship or friendship. For example, Rudy and Karen are at a party. A young beautiful woman walks in. Rudy’s eyes fixate on the woman. Karen notices but says nothing until they get home. There and then she asks, “Did you find her attractive?” He asks in return, “Who?” She says, “the young unattached woman who came to the party.” He says, “no honey, I don’t know who you mean.” She says, “really?’ He says, “Honey you are the only woman I’d ever look at.” And there you have a small lie in the service of the marriage, at least, both of them believe that. But why not try to handle the truth? Why not have an open discussion about what was seen and felt? Intimacy might have the potential to flower.
Okay that’s the small stuff, don’t sweat it as somone once wrote (a whole series of books about not perspiring over little things).
The bigger stuff, the stuff that threatens to crack the foundation of the marital, relationship, or friendship house are deceptions that create triangles: affairs, substance addictions, money deceptions, workaholism, and hidden friendships to name but a few. But even more threatening than the bigger stuff is the stuff about your relationshp that matters and is never exchanged. The secret resentments, hurts, grievances, fantasies, dreams, aspirations. Feelings of the Heart. A client who has been divorced for more than a year is using online dating to meet somone new. She starts off with a lie, her age. He starts off with a lie, he’s not seeing anyone else. She expresses a desire in her therapy. “I wish he’d just tell me the truth.”
Sooner or later relationships are hurt by deceptions, even if the secrets or lies are never discovered. Think about it. If you are keeping something from someone you care about isn’t it felt on some level, By that I mean, you or your partner or friend can feel energy changes, something is off, something is missing, something is not right. This can go on for long periods of time creating distance, emotional disturbances, gaslighting (click here) and (here). Physcial and mental illness can be the outcome of what you, or what you think your partner, can’t handle. Misery, divorce, friendship dissolution are the outcomes.
So now I leave it up to you dear readers and bloggers to join in the discussion. Can you handle the truth? Are you willing to risk sharing the truths in your life? Can you make a pact with a partner or friend to be open about you life? Tell us your stories, and of course let’s hear your music.
**** On Friday January 31, at 7pm I will be appearing at the Book Revue bookstore to do a book signing for “Final Shot.” If you can attend I’d love to meet and greet you. The address is
313 New York Ave, Huntington, NY 11743 631-271-1442. ****
We start off our musical set with Steely Dan’s “Gaslighting and Abby,” followed by Jonatha Brooke’s “Secrets and Lies,” and “I’d Lie to You (And That’s the Truth) by Meat Loaf.
NOTE: PNRR has a new relationship with YourTango an online Relationship and psychology website. Go here to learn more.