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It seems easier to avoid some conversations. Perhaps we seek to dodge a familiar outcome, or maybe fear and shame keep us in hiding. But all too often the situation is only made worse by not opening up.

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Every thought that passes through our minds does not need to be shared. In fact, filtering our thoughts is generally a very wise practice.

There remains a place for privacy even in the most intimate of relationships.

At the same time, the problem comes when our silence robs others of their freedom to consciously choose and be actively involved in defining the terms of our relationship with them.

It is deceptive not to share the whole truth of who we are while in relationship with someone who has the right to know. This is considered a lie of omission.

It’s possible to get away with the “lie” for years. And maybe we’re even committed to take it to our graves.

However, more than not being fair to those we are in relationship with, we also loose our ability to be fully present when we avoid certain topics. Being wholehearted requires us to have open and honest dialogues with each other.

Sharing about past abuse, previous sexual relationships, or current relational frustrations, for example, are all difficult and potentially emotionally charged conversations.

It would be much easier not to go there.

But to live as men of integrity calls for us to bring our strength even into the difficult conversations it would be easy to avoid.

We don’t take the easy path out.

To be fair to others and to live fully present we must have the conversation.

Avoiding only leads to distance and potentially the breakdown of our relationship.

By all means, seek counsel if you’re unsure, but courageously have the needed conversations in your relationships.

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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