Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
If we want love in our relationship, we need honesty.
A woman I will call Tara, suffered from dishonesty. Her husband borrowed from Tara’s home office. If he wanted paper or a tablet, he took hers. When he needed a cord for his laptop, he replaced it with his wife’s. If he was home during work hours, he commanded chunks of Tara’s time through long conversations.
Tara put up with most extremes. Her spouse would disappear with her car not knowing she needed it to meet a client. Borrowed items were not returned. One day he asked to employ Tara’s company for a project for his boss. Tara did the work and was never paid.
That was it. Finally, she told him off in a huge explosive fight. He claimed she never told him she wanted paid, and she said he did not take her work seriously. Oh my.
Honesty Tip #1
We are not honest when we try to be nice and not complain. Tara’s silence was actually sending the message that she did not mind her husband’s decisions. The first time she felt her husband might be taking advantage, she could have drawn a boundary.
For example: “I need my car available. It is not going to work out to lend it to you unless you double check with me first.”
Honesty Tip #2
We are not honest with ourselves when we rationalize that resentment is still love. All Tara’s denial accomplished was an eruption of built-up steam. The first time she felt anger, pausing to ask why would have been helpful.
Had she realized she resented loss of control over her possessions and time, she could have drawn boundaries to gain it back.
For example: “I need my printer to stay in my office. Maybe you can buy one on sale.” (Responsibility is the husband’s to find another solution for himself.)
Honesty Tip #3
We are not honest when we deny our true motives. More than Tara wanted to be nice, she feared not being nice. She didn’t like the idea of hurting her husband’s feelings. The first time she felt this apprehension, she could have offered him validation and acceptance.
“Your life is a hectic one (validation). I’m sorry, I want to be here for you (acceptance) , but my availability to talk is limited to lunchtime, evenings and weekends.”
Honesty Tip #4
We are not honest when we are not clear about our expectations. Tara fully expected payment for her work. Instead of assuming her husband understood this, offering him an estimate as she would any other client, would have helped.
For example: “My company will charge your boss $_ _ _ per hour. I’ll need this agreement signed.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!!
Today’s Helpful Word
Romans 12:9 (NIRV)
“Love must be honest and true.”
***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.