[FEATURES]HONESTY IN RELATIONSHIPS: HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?
Honesty is crucial in every relationship and is, in fact, a sine qua non if a relationship must enjoy long life and peace. However, in a relationship, what’s the limit to honesty? How far can one go in telling the truth? On Youth Lifestyle this week, Brojid.com Editor, Joseph Dinwoke, examines this subject through the lens of two ex-lover birds.
When Nkiru* found her love, Obinna, she was settled that she had seen her man. Her picture of a man – lover, teacher and companion. They were two love birds, though, not without occasional squabbles which were resolved with love. They had made promise to each other to be faithful.
However, their five years love life had a crack on its wall when Nkiru travelled away from Obi, as he is fondly called, and mistakenly had sex with another man. “I didn’t plan to betray him. I just lent a helping hand to a guy. When he mounted pressure for sex, I couldn’t resist it. I lost the battle raging within me.” She confided in this reporter.
She was neither caught nor became pregnant; but she was disappointed in herself for betraying her man’s trust; the trust that have been intact for the past five years. “I felt so disappointed in myself because I promised him that I won’t cheat on him no matter what.”
She was in the dilemma of telling him or not because of the possible implication. Questions ran riots in her mind. What if I lose him by saying the truth? Will she find out if I kept it to myself; after all there are no traces? After weeks of ruminating over this, she reached a resolution: spill the beans and damn the consequences: “I knew that the chances that I will lose him is 80:20 but I told him the whole truth because I didn’t have the courage to pretend as if nothing happened.” She said with a voice laden with emotion. When they reunited she told him the story; the whole truth!
I knew that the chances that I will lose him is 80:20 but I told him the whole truth because I didn’t have the courage to pretend as if nothing happened.
Obinna was shocked and disappointed. He paused for a while and gave his verdict: “I have forgiven you but it will be difficult to trust you again.”
They remained friends; except that trust took a flight in their relationship and she became a perpetual suspect until their relationship died a natural death.
Did she do the wrong thing by confessing; telling an unsolicited truth?
For Rosemarry Abugu, she would do the same if she were in her shoes. She believes that Nkeiru did the perfect thing to clear her conscience. “When you lie and you are still in the relationship, you won’t feel relaxed with that person. Your conscience will be telling you that you are not sincere and you are cheating on your lover. It’s better to give out the truth and face the consequences.”
However, she believes that what guys need to be given is lies most times. In her opinion, guys won’t believe the truth you tell them and when you come out to confess your wrong doing, they will claim you have been doing worse things. In her words, “In relationships, it’s good to tell the truth but one thing with relationship with guys now is that there is no need for truth. Just come out and give lies to them; that’s what he will believe because guys normally believe in lies. When you say the truth, they will be suspecting you. Even things you cannot do, they will think you do them. The best thing is to give them is lies; or hide the ones you can hide. The problem with telling guys the truth is that they will think that you do worse things than the one you confessed.”
A guy, Ken Ola shares his view: “What she did is right morally but in this Nigerian sense, it’s somehow wrong. She would have just acted as if nothing happened.
If he were in Obinna’s shoes, he will forgive Nkiru since he can’t stand a ladies tears. “I can be emotional sometimes. I can’t stand a woman’s tear.” he confessed.
He however, said that such confession or apology is acceptable only if she won’t go back to it again. If he were in Nkiru’s shoes, he will confess “only if I truly love her and have resolved not to do it again. If not, I won’t bother.”
But when asked if he will forgive such a sin a week before his wedding he paused, shook his head and started stammering, “Eem…eem…I don’t think…; I don’t think… I don’t think so. I won’t forgive her.” However, he quickly added, “But we can still be friends. I can leave it, let’s just be talking, because some women are nice.”
Angela Obima believes that its love for the guy that prompted the confession; since she could have played her games and go uncaught. “She loves the guy so much and that’s why she opened up. If she didn’t like him and was just playing games, she kept it to herself. But she obviously loves the guy.” She said.
Now forgiving her is a possibility; what if she continues with the lifestyle in their marriage? Obioma is of the view that she won’t. Her reason: “Being faithful and truthful to the guy now that they are not married and she was not caught, she won’t be unfaithful when they get married.”
The Host of Love Lane a Radio Nigeria, Voice Fm relationship programme, Onyekachi Alu, commended Nkeiru for her bold step. “It’s all about moral standards built in us from childhood and guides our actions. It’s those standards that started pricking her when she did it. It takes the strong to say I am sorry. It takes the strong to apologise; she is the stronger of the two. There is nothing that shows the guy has no cockroach in his cupboard. She didn’t do anything wrong by opening up.”
Irrespective of the war that is ragging outside, she has peace inside her. By opening up, she has closed the door to any possible blackmail in the future.
Alu further stated that her opening up closed any door of blackmail that can crash her relationship if it had metamorphosed into marriage. “How good is a secret? How long can a secret last before it’s unveiled. It’s good that she opened up. I am an advocate of opening up because the moment you bottle it up, who knows who is going to unveil it? Who knows when it will be unveiled? She has peace in her now. Irrespective of the war that is ragging outside, she has peace inside her. By opening up, she has closed the door to any possible blackmail in the future.”
In Blessing Essin’s view, “Being honest is the best thing that can happen to you in a relationship. But you should also know your worth. I am not being honest because I don’t have a life without you. I am being honest because that’s the kind of person I want to be. That’s who I am.
If she were Nkeiru, she will confess her wrong doing because she can’t bear the guilt and the possibility of being found later in life. “I wouldn’t want to stay with the guilt of knowing that this happened and I am keeping it away from him. What if he finds out that this happened after we got married? The success and fame attached to the marriage will crumble. I would rather lose him now than suffer for it tomorrow. Like they say, a broken courtship is better than a broken marriage.”
She admitted that she hasn’t faced such situation but when asked what she will do if her man cheats on her a week before her wedding, she came out sincere: “I can’t tell you categorically yes or no. It depends on my situation and other factors around the situation. But as a Christian, I will think and I should be forgiving. I will be willing to forgive.”
If you want to be dishonest in your relationships, Nardom Shanouk has this to tell you: “Time will inevitably uncover lies; history has no place for them.”
Someone else says, “Telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile.” However, another philosopher warns, “Be careful who you share your weaknesses with. Some people can’t wait for the opportunity to use it against you.”
*Most names here are not real names of our sources. However, the story and quotes are real and true.
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