The Rules Of Wealth Start Home Based Business

Bookmark/Share This Page:


  Bookmark and Share

Secrets, Openness And Lies: The Rules Of Your Relationship

The problem with relationships is that whether or not you are in what you believe to be a relationship, it only works when both people agree not only on what the rules are but also agree to abide by the rules. In the older forms of Christian marriage, there were explicit and contractual rules for both partners built into the ceremony: the man would love, honor and cherish; the woman love, honor and obey. The implication of this agreement was that the man promised protection and the woman allegiance, or even subservience, depending on how charitable you want to be about it.

Old-fashioned Marriage

Early marriage always consisted of some sort of formal contract; in fact, engagement began with a written document setting forth the terms of the agreement negotiated by parents, extended families and sundry matchmakers. Without such an agreement, marriage was practically meaningless, as both families were called upon to provide cash and goods up front as well as into the future, marriage being an evolved form of trade that consolidated tribes in addition to lands. Compared to modern Western marriage, early marriage was a more serious undertaking, much less concerned with the happiness of a couple than with the partnering of families for greater wealth and increasing strength over the generations.

Today, the promises of the wedding ceremony are the icing on the cake, and even the basic premise of marriage, which is monogamy, goes by the board as upwards of 75% of male and 50% of female spouses admit to having had sexual liaisons with partners other than their legal ones. The fact is that marriage isn't what it once was: once a combining of families and communities, now Western marriage usually takes place between two individuals and is based on feelings of love or passion. When the passion dies, if spouses have managed to form enduring friendship and loyalty to each other, the marriage may survive: otherwise, there is divorce and one day in the future, remarriage.

But it's not so much marriage that I want to write about now, although marriage has a place in it. I've been thinking about how relationships are based on rules spoken or unspoken, agreed upon or fought over, and how the rules both indicate and influence the health or sickness of a relationship. I'm thinking in particular about what men and woman agree to be honest about, and where honesty breaks down in the service of personal convenience.

Rules, Honesty and "Honesty"

No one is totally honest, and probably no one should be. It's the "honest" child who comments on Aunt Ruthie's moustache or asks why Grandpa smells, and if the child is over two, it is quite likely that the child isn't being honestly curious but has learned that it's possible to embarrass adults without being punished as long as the adults believe the child is innocent of wrong intentions, or too dumb to know better than to hurt someone else. Most of the time, a discerning adult can see on the child's face that he or she is attempting to appear guileless, because although young children can fake stupidity, they can rarely hide their glee at not being immediately caught out. So you will see that after exposing some adult's hideous fault or simply making a devastating comment about someone's personal being, a child's face will hold a look that is knowing even while she appears to be as unknowing as Shirley Temple's rag doll.

It doesn't do the child any favors for adults to pretend not to see when the child has knowingly committed a social indignity and then followed it up by fraud: when a little kids believes that he or she can break social codes and fool adults, an important boundary is erased and the world becomes much more dangerous for the child, who suddenly perceives no limits to his or her potential to do wrong and to get away with it. When a child loses faith in the intelligence of his or her parents, it's impossible to feel safe ever again. And there are problems on the other side as well, for people who believe they are exempt from the consequences of wrongdoing tend to do bigger and bigger wrongs as they get older and more capable of wrongdoing.

Small Lies and Whoppers

This brings us back to the idea of honesty in adult relationships, because from the time we can communicate at all, we learn when to lie and when to tell the truth. If our moral upbringing is done correctly, we learn that it may be all right to tell a lie when to do otherwise would cause someone lasting pain, but that telling a lie to save oneself trouble is an anti-social act and should be avoided by nice people. Still, there are small lies in every household: when Mom calls her son to help with dinner and he pretends not to hear; when four different people walk past a cup on the coffee table and pretend not to see it; when I know there's only a quarter tank left in the car but "forget" to fill it because I know you'll be going to town tomorrow anyway and will do it then. Many of the lies we commit are sins of omission, pretending so that we save ourselves extra hassle, and feeling only a little guilty about the hassle they will cause others.

Male-Female Communication

One of the big problems in male-female relationships is that men lie about things women hold sacred, and seem to do so not from any particular sense of malice but because it's easier than telling the truth. It may have something to do with the difference between the way people bring up their male and female children. Researchers find that people talk more to their girl babies and play more with their boys, which may have the effect that, while girls focus more on what is said, boys focus on what is done. Perhaps words just don't hold the same meanings for men as they do for women, which explains why so many men will say "I'll call you" when they actually mean, "Let's never see each other again, ever". Men can learn to say what's expected of them, but since it's only words, they may not feel the moral compunction to follow up with action. Thus we have the stereotyped conversation between the married couple when the first flames of love have perished for lack of ventilation:

She: "You never say you love me anymore."

He: "I married you, didn't I?"

One way to look at this conversation is to say that the man considers his one-time action to be an ongoing demonstration, while the woman wants a constant renewing of love's contract. Another way to look at it is that the man is lying; that he knows as well as his wife that he owes to her some verbal consideration but that he's not willing to admit it because then he would have to do something about it. As long as he falls back on his supposed obtuseness, his wife can remonstrate with him, but she can't effectively get him to do what she wants. And men, for whatever reason, consider it unmanly to do what a woman wants.

Girls Get Along

This may be the other stumbling block in male-female relationships: little girls learn stories about cooperating, getting along, compromising. If there is a wicked stepmother in the literary picture, the princess falls into a deep sleep or gets locked up in a tower until someone else takes care of the problem. Then, all she has to do is wake up and take her rightful place as princess. It's all very passive, oriented to waiting, whether by a tower window or in a coma. Oftentimes, the princess, while waiting to obtain her fairy tale majority, helps others. She brings baskets of food to Grandma or cleans up after the dwarfs, or feeds the songbirds that flutter in through the window. She does these things because she knows that in order to be loved, one must be lovable, and being lovable means serving others. She learns about relationship by pleasing others, and assumes that others will, through love, want to please her as well.

Boys Conquer the Enemy

Little boys, on the other hand, learn stories about fighting, about defeating enemies. They don't learn about outsmarting the bad guys, but about killing them with guns or lasers or magic darts. Most little boys don't give a flying leap about a princess trapped in a tower: they'd much rather kill a man-eating snake. Boys learn about relationship by asserting themselves over others, not by pleasing them.

Men and Women: Aliens Who Live Together

Now, let's speed the picture up about twenty years. We have on the one hand someone who has never learned to fight, who doesn't value or even understand the idea of winning, and whose idea of relationship involves making others happy. We have someone else who has never had to cooperate, whose idea of relationship is to vanquish the other and to get what he wants. Here's a great idea: let's make them live together.

When men and women come together in relationship, the most important terms remain unspoken partly because both partners know that to elucidate their desire is to likely lose the relationship, and to hear the claims of the other is to incur a burden too heavy to be borne on mortal shoulders. How many women would explicitly agree to have sex with a man whenever he wants, knowing that he will want it every day for the next forty years? How many men really want to hear in clear and definite terms that the woman standing next to him at the altar is the last sexual partner he will ever have on this earth? The marriage agreement gives the worst of both worlds to each partner: the woman swaps her sexual availability for man's monogamy, and the man trades his natural inclination to delighted if occasional promiscuity for a promise of regular sexual access.

When we lie about sex, who's to say we won't lie about everything? Will the man who claims to believe in equality in housework really hold up his end when it comes to cleaning the bathroom? Not if he can get away with not doing it. This is where the early training of young boys comes into its own: when it comes to everyday things like controlling the remote or ignoring the loaded garbage can in the kitchen, even perfectly nice men are capable of utter ruthlessness. They want what they want, and will do or say nearly anything to get it, because, in the early days of boyhood and in the later prison mentality of school and work, they learned that it's all fair-as long as you win. To women, that sort of behavior is either insane or morally reprehensible. Then the woman is faced with a conundrum: is her husband crazy (and can't help himself) or is he totally selfish (and a real bastard?) She may try to find out by asking him, and he will either lie ("I didn't see it") or try to fight his way out ("If you saw it, why didn't you do it yourself?")

Conscience and Dishonesty

If a conscience operates like a muscle, early exercise can train a conscience to do right by its owner, and as importantly, by the people affected by that person. This is one argument for inculcating a certain amount of guilt in children's early training: if a child learns that it's possible to hurt others by being ruthless, he may have learned something about forming a relationship based at least in part on the value of consideration between partners. We could, in fact argue that teaching children (particularly boy children) about guilt saves them pain in the long run, because they will likely make better husbands and will suffer less from resentful wives and drawn-out divorce proceedings.

We all lie sometimes, but there are acceptable degrees of dishonesty. A truly honest man might lie from habit or in a hopeless desire to avoid suffering, but if you call him on it, he'll come clean. When a man compounds what I call a domestic lie (a minor lie about housework undone or the hogging of household resources like the last beer in the fridge) by being disagreeable when he's faced with his wrongdoing, then he has lied twice. He has lied about having committed a household sin and compounded the sin by pretending that he has the right to defend himself. It's important to distinguish between male defensive posturing and the built-in desire of all men to vanquish women not especially because they are women but because they are the Other in the relationship and therefore must be vanquished. A man who will not admit he is wrong when he so clearly is, is not a man worth dealing with. On the other hand, a man caught in an instinctive aversion to pleasing his Other can be worked with in relationship as long as he has a conscience and enough courage to listen to it.

This has been a general discussion: not all men are liars and many women are, although they tend to lie about other things and for different reasons than the ones that cause men to lie. Many women expect men to lie and are shocked to run across a man who tells the truth whether it benefits him or not. And some relationships run smoothly on a track of lies, which is in itself a sort of rule, and when both partners agree about what one should and should not lie about to keep the relationship smooth, it works just fine. It's when people play by different rules that things get messy and relationships become painful and dysfunctional. This is one reason why marriages tend to last better and more harmoniously when the spouses come from similar religious or cultural backgrounds: the rules have been negotiated by preceding generations; all the couple has to do is maintain the status quo. It's when men and women disagree about the function of their roles that the rules come into conflict, so that if I were comfortable with the idea that my husband would always lie about certain things, his dishonesty would become a small feature on the landscape of our relationship. In fact, I would come to rely on the lies as I do now on the truth.

So, how can you build a relationship that's going to last and be healthy in regards to honesty and lies? It helps to start off by agreeing with your partner what you each will and will not lie about, and by agreeing on the essentials you need in terms of honesty. So, if when you ask your partner, "Does this make me look fat?" your partner will know right from the start whether you want an honest answer or a gentle fib.

Know Your Rules, and Your Partner's Rules, Too

A discussion of honesty and lies should not just apply to clothing issues: it can be applied to things like pretending not to hear when you're asked to take out the trash, or to things like cheating. In some cases (not many), both partners agree to date other people either openly or with some degree of discretion. In many cases, when you're partnered with someone else, the rule is "no cheating, no way". Getting the rules of the relationship out on the table early is the easiest way to proceed, since you will know from the start which rules you and your partner share and which ones you may disagree on. There may even be times when a rule for one partner is not the same rule for the other, as in my being able to tell you that those pants make you look fat, but you are never to tell me that my pants make me look fat. If we both agree that those are the rules and that it's okay for them to differ, then it's all fair.

and, obviously, when two people promise not to sleep with anyone else, if one person breaks the rule, it's usually a relationship-killer. If you open your relationship rule negotiations early in the relationship, you can find out a lot sooner if your partner is going to balk at "little" things like fidelity, which may cause you to make different decisions about how you want to handle the relationship.

In relationships, there are always negotiations, either stated loud and clear, or under the table. It's important for you to know what matters to you and to make that clear to your partner, just as your partner should make his or her values clearly known to you. In this way, you can help avoid misunderstandings that arise when one person violates another person's rules without even knowing it. It also means that, once you have agreed on your relationship rules, each person is accountable to the other if a rule is broken.

Early in this piece, I talked about the "honest" child who uses "honesty" in order to be rude or hurtful. People have used the same rule, in saying, "Well, you told me always to be honest to you". But if you use honesty with the actual intent of causing pain, you're violating the often unspoken but vitally important rule that says that in your relationships, you should be kind, not cruel. If someone is "honest" to you in a way that hurts, and justifies their behavior by referring to honesty, that person is playing a mean game. I would seriously reconsider pursuing a relationship with someone who acted that way more than once.

One important rule for a healthy relationship

I will be honest without using "honesty" to hurt you.

By Lori Covington - Two wandering southerners --a neurotic Texan bearing a keen resemblance to Vivien Leigh and a close-mouthed Mississippi sailor with a thing for long-legged beauties, stole me from a red-headed alien who, hav...  

Next page: Rules Of Wealth

Option 5 - Order All Four Options Below for just $25 and get an additional 22 Opportunity E-books as a Bonus

Traffic Ebooks

HTML Table
Traffic E-books
Option 5 - Get All Four Options Above + 22 Bonus Titles For Just $25
Option 1
  1. +1 Traffic Wave
  2. 1,000 Visitors In One Month
  3. 5 Part Traffic Generation eCourse
  4. 100 Ways To Drive More Traffic

  5. Just $9
Option 2
  1. 750 Traffic Tactics
  2. Earn $100 in 24 Hours
  3. Free Traffic For Broke Marketers
  4. How To Make A Six Figure Income

  5. Just $9
Option 3
  1. Traffic For Newbies
  2. Traffic Generation Techniques
  3. What Steve Jobs Taught Us
  4. Traffic Go

  5. Just $9
Option 4
  1. How To Make $700 in 7 Days
  2. How To Make A Living On Ebay
  3. Traffic Evolution
  4. Easy Software Profits

  5. Just $9

Four Your Sucess

video lesson ipads ipad pete

Here is a cheaper alternative to the three videos above. The cost is only $5 and the video training course will teach you all free methods. What you will get is website building, autoresponders, article marketing, building amazon websites, how to create reports, 2.0 sites, generating traffic, Blogging and much more. More than 20 videos in all. Every topic you will need to build a real website business filled with many products

consumer wealth system auto mass traffic Worldwide Brands

Recommended Products

The Rules Of Wealth News

Receive 6 Free Biz Tools Enter Details Below