Marriages die when you allow lies inside. Lies eat away at the foundation of trust. Lies leave no room for healthy intimacy. Lies create an unfair power imbalance in a relationship that requires equality. Lies created to protect ultimately destroy.
Those were the thoughts running through my head as I handed my debit card over to pay for the highlights I had just had done. The surprisingly expensive highlights I had just gotten. The surprisingly expensive highlights that I had not discussed with my husband though we had agreed that we would talk about expenses that went over a certain amount.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that highlights are not returnable. I needed another way out of this mess, and lying was my best bet. I had easily lied about small things, surely I could lie about big ones as well. I would tell him it had cost half, no, a quarter of what I had really paid. I would work some magic in our Mint.com budget to avoid being found out. This was going to be cake.
After establishing most any lie, I begin to build my case for why the lie is necessary. How is this lie for his good? How is this lie going to make me us feel better? First, I’m doing this for Mark’s health. He would have a cow and a heart attack if he found out how much this luxury beauty item cost. We don’t have room for a baby cow and the cats, so I’m doing everyone a favor. Second, the state of our union is always a million times better when no one is mad.
I walked into the house practicing how to say “It only cost $50! Can you believe it?” as nonchalantly as possible. Mark had gone to a Bible study so I had plenty of time to get this down just right (yes, I’m deliberately breaking the 10 Commandments, and Mark is out learning to be more like Jesus. The irony is hilarious.) when I walk into the kitchen…
Dinner is made and all the dishes are done.
Then I go to the living room…
Snuggies are folded, and are those vacuum tracks?
I run to the bedroom…
The laundry is all done AND folded, and our bathroom is spotless. Spot. Less.
This has got to be some kind of joke. The night I make a huge budget snafu and plan on lying about it, my husband becomes Suzie-freakin’-homemaker?
I still wanted to lie. I didn’t want to “get in trouble” or face up to blowing a huge hole in our budget. I wanted a sense of psuedo-control over the situation and dictating truth would allow me to have that.
But my Gut said no. And it wasn’t just because I walked into a house filled with unasked for favors. No, those unasked for favors were simply a reminder that I am so blessed with a husband who is really odd and loves me and wants nothing more than to protect me and our union as much as possible.
And I needed to return the favor. I needed to ‘fess up about the true cost of the surprisingly expensive highlights in order to let him see all of me, expensive mistakes and all. I needed to tell the truth because that small truth communicates the reality that I. trust. him. No matter how scary it can be to do so.
And when I told him? He laughed. And said I should have gone blonder…