Need 3: Honesty and openness

Being real, transparent, honest, telling the full truth –even when it’s not all good.

Being honest and open with our partner gives a really solid foundation for her to be loved and valued. She has entrusted her heart to you and to her, being honest and transparent is part of treating her heart with care. She wants you to be honest and open with her about what is happening in your world. She wonders how you feel about work, life, friends and matters of the heart.

As men, we tend to feel a sense of shame and inadequacy about our weaknesses and failures so we usually feel tempted to hide these things rather than be open about them. Being open and vulnerable with our partners isn’t something that comes naturally to us, but our partners enjoy and respect us more when we let them into our world.

As men we tend to emphasise our strengths and successes, while minimizing or choosing to not mention when we haven’t done well. If we get a pay rise our partner knows about it instantly but if we’ve scratched the car and she’s unlikely to notice anyway then we aren’t exactly quick to tell her, are we?

When men are less than honest, women feel insecure. To her, uncovering even ‘white lies’ or minor discrepancies between what you said happened and what really happened is unnerving and alarming. ‘White lies’ are like white ants that gradually but systematically decay what’s been built in relationships.

Being less than honest with our partner, even in small things, creates damage that most of us are oblivious to. Firstly, women have that sixth sense that tells them when we aren’t quite telling the truth. Secondly, every time we ‘get away with’ lying to our partners, we are accidentally training ourselves to lie in the future. Then we can find ourselves in the habit of lying to her and most guys find that it’s hard to break that habit.

Hazards to success

Being honest and being blunt are not the same thing. Honesty may be a virtue but blunt-ness is a one way ticket to an argument and hurt feelings.

She’s looking for you to share your heart, not your darkness. Being open and honest will cause her to feel loved but sharing dark and nasty thoughts is not what she wants.

“Do I look fat in this outfit?” is the sort of question that we hate, avoid or pretend that we haven’t heard. An answer like, “You look great to me” is honest and although it doesn’t directly answer her question, it does reassure her about her insecurities.

A woman who discovers her partner’s hidden, regular use pornography is unlikely view her man as honest or open (she will also be less attracted to him).

Having a secret affair is not exactly going to meet the original partner’s need for honesty and openness.

It’s easy to do

Don’t be weird about it. Just be yourself. Being transparent and expressing yourself is only weird if you make it weird.

Take small steps at first. If we start by sharing one extra thought or emotion each day with her, we will gradually begin to feel more comfortable and natural with it.

Sending a text home from work occasionally that really expresses how we are feeling can sometimes feel like a safe beginning point for men who aren’t in the habit of expressing their emotions.

Sharing deep emotions with her in the car is often easier than sharing at home because your eyes are on the road, not on her. It can take some of the awkwardness out of saying things that are hard to say.