Have you ever caught your child red-handed, getting into the cookies when they were told not to because dinner would be ready in 20 minutes? As you stand there in anger and disbelief, you are befuddled by what you are seeing. But even as you see it happening, your kid tries to deny the crime. Really? We have all been there. But what about when it is your spouse denying a particular behavior that you just witnessed? You may think, “They are an adult and there is no excuse for their lying!”
When your mate, or you for that matter, deny a hurtful behavior rather than own up to it, new bricks are added to the existing wall between you. As a matter of fact, there may even be times when you deny their behavior that you know they are guilty of because you may feel that pretending that everything is OK is easier than facing the reality that their behavior wounded you.
Denial of the truth is one of the quickest ways to reinforce walls and create distance in a couple’s relationship. At the same time, admitting our mistakes and honestly owning them are ways that will expedite the melting of ice cold walls between you and the other person.
You see, while we often fear that admitting to a hurtful behavior will make us appear weak and diminished, it actually leads to the exact opposite – creating respect and closeness. Someone once said, “If you’re going to lay an egg, at least stand back and admire it.” We all lay our share of eggs. So, let’s own them and admire them with someone who loves us.