If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching 1992’s A Few Good Men, then I suggest you stop reading this post and utilise whatever means you use to access film and watch it…but equally if like Sam Smith you would prefer to Stay With Me, then I warmly welcome that also.
The attached scene above is a masterclass in acting, especially taking into account that Jack Nicolson had to memorise that monologue and convincingly deliver it. The scene itself raises an interesting question, especially when Jack Nicolson delivers the culturally iconic phrase “You can’t handle the truth!”
Which is the natural springboard into the waters of this post; in a relationship is the truth always a necessity and if it is, can you handle it? While I make the assumption the majority of you reading this post will stand tall and say “Yes!” All I ask is that you consider what I have to say and genuinely attempt to understand the nature of the person who will have the truth delivered to them.
If I was having this conversation with you in a social setting, we all might feel compelled to give a socially acceptable answer and overwhelmingly vote for truth, however on the lonely island within my mind’s eye, I’m not sure if I can necessarily handle the truth all the time. So allow me to expand on this theme and tentatively move further into the realm of controversy and imagination…
Imagine that you are in a relationship with me and in the beginning everything is as wonderful as the beginning of any Nicolas Sparks novel, however over time due to the stresses and strains of life we start to disconnect.
We don’t go out as much as we used to and I just don’t seem to engage with you in the same way I once did. Let’s throw more fuel into the fire and say that this continues over a period of 3 years or more. I just don’t seem as interested, and try as you might to communicate your frustrations with me, all I really want to do is get lost in the nearest electronic device within arm’s reach.
Over time either intentionally or otherwise you start to find a human connection outside the walls of our relationship and inexplicably find yourself enamoured with the company of another person and embark on a dangerous liaison…I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that be a physical endeavour or an emotional one.
Would you feel the need to tell me the truth?
I know I may have pushed the limits of hypothetical imagination a little too far here, but if that did happen I personally wouldn’t want to know such truth, as my ignorance would be the best chance for our relationships survival and here’s why….
Let’s leave aside the emotional hurt for a moment, even if I genuinely understood the nature of the betrayal, I would never be able to contain the overactive nature of my imagination. Even if I could forgive, what good does that really do if I can’t forget? If you are going to reveal the hand of disloyalty there is no chance that I’m coming back into the game.
In most situations I’m not sure if people always tell the explicit nature of the truth? While deciding what you are going to say and how it is going to be delivered, I’m pretty sure some internal editing is done in an attempt to make the dark truth a little lighter to digest.
So let me quickly insert an integrity clause; if you feel the truth on any particular issue will allow the other person to make an informed decision that will aid them in moving forward then I genuinely applaud you for it, however you can’t go in blind. You have to be open to the fact that truth is like a wine stain on your favourite white polo shirt or blouse, it might fade over time but the residue will always be there.
I feel if you are going to deliver the truth it is best to understand the nature of the recipient’s character. The standardised concept of finding a time where you can sit down face to face and reveal the truthful nature of an infidelity doesn’t fit the mould of every relationship or individual.
I obviously have to generalise here, as it’s impossible to know every situation and circumstance where truth has been a benefit or disadvantage, but just like a lie, the truth equally has the power to be just as devastating and some people never fully recover from it.
Until next time.