Thursday, June 12, 2008

Deception and Relationships

"Where there is deception, there is no relationship."

I am reading a book called Boundaries in Dating (which so far looks extremely good), and the above quote stood out to me. The authors had received this advice at a counselor training time in which the teacher was training people how to work with those having character disorders (people who do not take ownership and responsibility for their lives). I liked what this teacher said:

"As soon as there is deception, stop everything." If you are trying to help someone and he is lying to you in some way, there is no relationship. The whole thing is a farce and you should not go any further in trying to help someone until you settle the issue of deception. There are no other issues at this point except that one. Trust is everything in a helping relationship, and when it is broken, it becomes the only issue to work on. Either fix that or end the relationship. Where there is deception, there is no relationship . . . Truthfulness is everything. While essential in the therapeutic relationship, honesty is the bedrock of dating and marriage as well . . . The real problem is that when you are with someone who is deceptive, you never know what reality is. You are not standing on firm ground, and the reality can shift at any moment. As one woman said, "It makes you question everything." (Cloud & Townsend, p. 35-36).

This is quite profound. Sometimes we feel things aren't right in our relationships but we aren't sure what the problem is. We look for all sorts of possible answers but often miss the obvious one. Deception, whether we are deceived or the deceiver nullifies the relationship. And yet we are all guilty of it at one time or another. This book has challenged me to stop deceiving others in my relationships and to stop allowing those I care about to deceive me and get away with it. For their good and mine.

May Light increase!

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