True intimacy starts with a deep knowing that you’re accepted and loved.
But let’s go deeper.
True intimacy is you, being fully seen, fully known, fully accepted and fully desired.
By the end of this post, I’ll show you exactly how to do your part in getting your relationship to this place.
But you’ll have to trust me enough to hear me out. It’s going to start with some harsh truths that may hurt.
I promise it’s for your own good.
You are the only one keeping love from you.
And you’re the one blocking intimacy each and everyday. You’re the one keeping yourself hidden from sight and from being known.
And you do it the way everyone does.
You’re a liar. (Hear me out!)
And lying destroys intimacy.
I’ll tell you exactly why you’re a liar in a second. (It’s even worse when you don’t think you’re a liar…)
But first, your ability to be honest is the measure of a TRUE and healthy relationship. It is the requirement for the true, lasting connection and intimacy we all dream of. It’s a requirement for mutual trust. And it’s a requirement for co-creation and mind-blowing sex.
And something else? Not only are we liars, we’re also more prone to lie to our life partner than anyone else. There is more at stake if the ugly truth is known by our lover. And we have more to prove and defend to those we know the best, because we have a bigger role to fulfill.
This lying (which I’ll show you in a second) is the major source of stress in our life. It’s the single greatest cause for the lack of epic sex, fulfillment, connection and love in our relationships. It’s the poison of the modern marriage.
“But wait, I don’t lie to my wife/husband/lover/partner…”
The Truth about Telling The Truth
Telling the truth has three layers. Most people don’t even practice layer one. If you get to layer three with your lover, your ability to have amazing and intimate relationships will be practically guaranteed.
LEVEL ONE of TRUTH: Telling the facts.
This is simple. You tell the facts about what has happened in the past and what is happening now. While most think this is where telling the truth ends, this is just the start. All stress and disconnection in life is from hiding and avoiding the truth. Releasing this stress is critical to move forward in life, but it’s just the first step in honesty.
Any area that you aren’t telling the truth is an area where you don’t love yourself. It’s an area where you don’t see others as powerful. And it’s an area where you are perpetually stressed out and overwhelmed.
What does telling the facts look like?
- I slept with her.
- I broke the law.
- I hate spending time with your family.
- I flirted with him.
- I looked at porn.
- I didn’t answer your call on purpose.
LEVEL TWO of TRUTH: Staying in integrity with your current thoughts and feelings.
This level divorces you from your ego performance, and starts you on the road of real intimacy. Sharing. Sharing who you ARE. What your experience is. What is happening when you are BEING. Even if it’s ugly, unflattering and not aligned with your deepest values and desires.
This type of truth telling is the only type of behavior that can bring about a response of trust.
Does this mean revealing your secret and petty ways? Yes.
Did you think intimacy meant only experiencing love when you were perfect?
999 couples out of a 1,000 don’t advance to level two honesty. In doing so, they are out of integrity with themselves. This will sabotage their ability to experience true intimacy over time.
What does Level 2 look like?
It involves talking about feelings and thoughts. Common feelings are sadness, anger, fear, sexual excitement and joy.
- When I slept with her I felt trapped, unseen and unloved by you. I was scared and angry. I wanted to hurt you.
- I broke the law because I felt like a failure as a businessman and thought I could trick the system without getting caught. I was scared that we couldn’t make the house payment and angry that after all my hard work the business was still failing.
- I hate spending time with your family. I feel angry because they are always trying to prove what a failure I am and how I’m not good enough for you. Which scares me, because sometimes I think they are right. I’m sad that you might be stuck with a loser that can’t give you what you deserve.
- I flirted with him because he noticed and saw me when you haven’t looked at me like that for years. I felt turned on and happy. I felt free. I’m sad and scared that our relationship isn’t like it was when we first fell in love. I’m scared that I enjoyed his attention so much.
- I look at porn because I’m afraid you’ll reject my sexual advances again and remind me that I can’t please you sexually. I know that our relationship is failing and I’m terrified and don’t know what to do.
- I didn’t answer your call because I felt anger. I felt like you were trying to control me yet again. That you were consumed with making sure I did everything “right”.
LEVEL THREE of TRUTH: Revealing the deeper self-deceit.
We attempt to build models of who we are. How conscious we are. What a good parent or spouse we are. What a good Christian or business owner we are.
We’re not those models every moment of the day. Often we’re the opposite of those models.
Level three, the deepest form of telling the truth, is revealing to the world when we’re not even in integrity with ourselves. Admitting that sometimes who we are isn’t even who we’ve been telling people we are.
At this stage of truth telling, we are actively revealing when we are out of integrity with some of the very identities we proclaim. Life becomes more about the moment by moment revelation of your thoughts and feelings, even when they are at complete odds with who you claim to be. This is opposite to what most people do. Most people say they are the perfect spouse – and lie when their thoughts and feelings are out of integrity to what one believes about being a perfect spouse. Most people proclaim their religion, and lie when their feelings and thoughts and actions don’t fit the role. Most people proudly stand in their role as a parent, and wouldn’t dare admit the times that they want to walk away from it all.
Level 3 becomes comfortable showing your partner the fluctuations you have within your own self defined role in society.
If you’ve never embarrassed yourself by what you have to say about yourself – you’re likely not engaging in level 3 honesty.
WHY we lie.
We lie because we don’t love ourselves.
Instead of accepting the experience that we are having, we judge our experience as something we shouldn’t have. We have deep shame, guilt or frustration around our experience. And because we feel so ashamed of the experience, we hide it from others. We do this because we fear that others may say the same painful stories we are already telling ourselves.
We lie because we don’t believe others can handle the truth.
This is viewing ourselves as stronger, better and more capable than our lover. Which is the height of arrogance. When we assume they can’t handle reality, we ultimately think we need to protect them out of love. While at first this seems like “love” – it actually keeps them from stepping into their full power and demonstrating their own love. (Which is what we want, right?)
The result of this action? They are always invited to play a victim, as your resentment for them grows, and your attraction for each other fades. When you coddle them through withholding truth, you are essentially acting as the protective father or mother figure (no wonder your sex life is zapped!) They can feel that you don’t respect them or their power. And over time, your resentment for the smallness that you believe them to be only grows.
We lie because we want to keep up appearances.
Often intimate relationships have elements of power struggles to them. We want to keep up the appearances that we are who we said we were, or we are who our lover thinks we are. We believe we’re not lovable or can’t survive if people knew the real us – so we do whatever we can to appear perfect.
Now that you know why we keep lying, lets see how lying keeps us powerless.
Lying and Your Own Power
Lying allows us to continue to secretly reject ourselves.
We destroy our own power and self-love when we lie, because then we can avoid the truth of where we are. Telling the truth has a beautiful way of making us face the stories, feelings and thoughts we are experiencing under the surface. Not telling the truth allows us to hide from these experiences and pretend they don’t exist. It is easier to reject ourselves with shame, guilt and loathing when we don’t tell the truth.
When we refuse to bring everything that we are to the light, we reject us. And we subconsciously expect others to do the same. (Even while claiming we want to feel loved).
Lying blocks us from receiving love in all it’s forms.
Love has to start with reality. And only you can share your reality – no one else is capable. The only way for someone to accept and love you fully is if you allow yourself to be fully seen. If you’re not showing up fully as you and your experience…you’ll never know if your partner loves you or just the (fake) idea of you.
How many husbands know the pain of seeing the beauty in their wife – yet their wife doesn’t receive or believe they are beautiful?
You can only receive love that you believe you are worthy of receiving. You cannot receive love that you don’t give yourself – and when you lie – you are refusing to fully love yourself in every area that you don’t reveal.
We often don’t know the truth of our reality (and can’t love it) until we practice radical honesty around it. So not only does lying block the love we can receive from others – it blocks the love we can receive from ourselves.
Lying and Real Epic Deep Intimacy
Lying naturally builds momentum. One lie leads to another. And we start developing roles or personas and show up in our relationship. We start wearing these roles and personas rather than being ourselves.
These personas and roles take massive energy to maintain. They take massive energy to protect and defend. And eventually, the relationship devolves into power struggles. Couples set out to prove the other person isn’t who they say they are. They develop an ongoing expectation to seek ways to prove that trust shouldn’t be given. This is the opposite of intimacy.
And sex? Sexual intimacy reflects emotional intimacy. So it’s only a matter of time until the sexual intimacy is destroyed. Sex becomes a mechanical and fake connection between two fake personas and roles.
Beyond sex, deep intimacy is the ability to co-create. Co-creation builds win/win situations where both partners are thrilled. This co-creation cannot happen if both partners aren’t willing to communicate the reality of where they are and what they want.
Finally, if lying plagues a relationship one or both partners will start to wonder if the grass is greener.
This is a practice of self-deception. The issue isn’t the partner. The issue is your inability to tell the truth when it matters.
The reason you might be attracted to others, feeling safe to be vulnerable and intimate around them, isn’t because you can trust them more than you can trust your partner. It’s because there isn’t as much too lose when you reveal your imperfections. When you reveal the ugly. When you voice your doubts and fears.
In short, guessing at greener grasses before you love yourself enough to be radically honest with your lover will only restart your lesson with someone else. It won’t solve your deeper intimacy problems.
Telling the truth
Telling the truth starts with bold communication around two new values. Unconditional love and radical honesty.
Unconditional love agrees that, even when it’s hard, you’ll commit to loving your partner’s essence. Regardless of what experience they may be having.
Radical honesty starts with specific communication around the three levels of telling the truth.
Once this concept of truth is understood and valued – both partners agree to practice and stay in a place of radical honesty. (To the best of their abilities)
After this agreement, both partners can start by creating a safe place to process and reveal the deepest FACTS (level one) that they are still currently lying about. Leave plenty of time for this exercise. Don’t be surprised if some things surface that society claims are “deal” breakers. Remember your commitment to unconditional love and the bigger vision of intimacy. Avoid rash decisions and realize that you can always give yourself the love that you feel someone else should give you.
Move into stage two of telling the truth by committing to sharing whatever might be going on moment by moment. Depending on what is shared in stage 1, this can often be crazy fluctuations between complete distrust to complete love. Whatever fears, stories, passions etc. surface through the following days and weeks – sharing them is critical.
Feel free to prepare your partner (or have them prepare you) when you are being “radically honest” by letting them know it’s a radically honest moment. Realize that radical honesty is often ugly. The truth is more important than if the story, thought or feeling is the “right” one.
Move into stage three by sharing the deeper areas where you feel like rejecting your commitments, roles, and ego. This is a sharing of the deep moments when you feel like giving up, running away, or are simply completely out of integrity with the image you portray to the world or your partner.
It could be as deep as wishing that you weren’t married…or didn’t have kids…or hating the business you’ve built.
These are phases are parts of you – not the entirety of you. And it’s important you’re radically honest with the truth that you face these inconsistencies with your roles.
Riding through the shit storm.
During this process of burning away the lies…you and your partner will face some of your deepest fears and insecurities. You’ll want to run and hide. You’ll want to scream and flip out.
During this storm, the first thing you can do is simply love all that arises.
Love everything that comes up in you. Don’t try and fight it. Don’t think it shouldn’t exist.
Think and feel…
“Interesting. Part of me feels like X…and part of me wants to Y…can I give love to that part of me that is scared and wants to lash out?”
The second thing that may help is you don’t have to save your partner from pain.
Love them. Accept them. Support them.
But their pain is their process of learning to love themselves and stand in their own power instead of being co-dependent on your thoughts and feelings. You don’t have to protect them from the stories they tell about you and their worth.
Third. This may take time. You may see some massive swings and extremes. Deep intimacy all the way to separation. Be patient. Stay committed to radical honesty and unconditional love. You’re unraveling years of lies and a lifetime of codependent insecurities.
Fourth. The journey never ends. You could reach mastery levels of intimacy, and the invitation to lie will still exist. Don’t think of this as one and done – think of this as a lifelong commitment to intimacy.
Fifth. If your lover rejects you for being radically honest…I would invite you to consider that you’ll be better off. You’re worthy of receiving love, regardless of your mistakes or past choices. It’s critical that you live and process with reality instead of continuing to live in fake “dream land” that takes so much work to project. In the end, better they reject you than you continuing to reject yourself by lying. Rejecting yourself isn’t sustainable. They aren’t your savior and you’ll never be better off by lying.
It comes. Believe me.
Imagine real love and connection – where you know you are fully known, seen, understood and loved. Where you don’t have to prove or defend a role, and you can show up just as you are day in and day out.
And the conversations are real. They aren’t fake. They aren’t jockeying for position. They aren’t canned.
They are an open and honest overflow of who you are. You can relax and be. So can they.
And the sex?
True emotional intimacy can’t help but overflow into mind blowing physical intimacy.
Buckle your seatbelt.
So you have a decision.
Do you truly want intimacy? Do you want to truly love and be loved? Do you want amazing sex with your partner?
Because in the end, intimacy has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with you.
If you’re not being honest – then you are blocking your ability to be loved.
I know it’s scary.
But you’re capable and I believe in you.
Book recommendation: Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton