Honesty~ A Necessary Virtue

Detail of Lunaria annua (Honesty) flower

Image via Wikipedia

In processing my emotional response to my lover’s betrayal last fall, I keep dwelling on the virtue of honesty.

In response to his lies and deception, my appreciation of honesty, as a real and tangible value, has skyrocketed.

I knew that he had a problem with honesty twenty years ago, but when we got back together in 2008, I thought that he was presenting himself to me honestly. I made sure that I was completely honest with him about who I was.

I don’t know how conscious he was about his dishonesty to me. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he didn’t set out to deceive me and our daughter about who he was. I’m going to allow that he wanted to make his life better and thought that he could become the kind of person he presented himself to us as the family man in need of a family.

I know that from the moment I realized that he had been dishonesty with me about a certain aspect of his lifestyle, which was in December, 2008, the entire relationship was doomed. From there it was a slow downward projectory as he lied to me about more and more, which eventually, included his relationship with another woman.

I accepted that first lie with difficulty. He promised me that he would never lie to me again. I believed him.

However, I don’t think he’s capable of honesty.

Honesty is similar to a muscle. It can’t be toned and in shape without being exercised. One must practice honesty on a daily basis to keep it working properly. I have always been an honest person, and aware that telling a lie is a bad thing. So I can’t get inside the mind of a liar and understand what kind of thinking is necessary to lie to people you love about very important things and be able to look yourself in the mirror the next day.

One of the reasons that I trusted him so much was because of his mother. She is a wonderfully virtuous person and as such is extremely honest. Spending time with her again after and absence of eighteen years has been a wonderful experience. Because I came into contact with both him and his mother at the same time, and because he was representing himself to me as an honest person with nothing to hide, and because his mother was so obviously morally flawless, I took her honesty and my honestly and transposed it onto him, assuming that we all shared this virtue.

I do believe at that time that he wanted to be honest.

I do not believe that he is capable of being honest and I don’t know how he can go through his life this way. In the last letter I wrote him, I talked about hoping that he could learn to become an honest person. This is what I wish for him.

It will mean going through a program for his chemical dependency and entering a 12 step program which he stays in for life. It will mean counseling for his early childhood trauma issues for the rest of his life. It will mean breaking off relationships with his life long ‘buddies’ who have led him along in the way of dishonesty. He will need to make new friends with people who are sober and honest and dedicated to growing stronger and healthier.

I wish this for him, so that he may know peace in this life.



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