Is it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy?

I ask because I am, as noted, nice. I’m a “tell ya what’cha wanna hear” kind of gal. I’ll butter you up and stroke your ego better than anyone you’ll ever meet. Fake? Not hardly. I’m just genuinely nice, and I’d rather make someone smile than know I caused them any sort of unhappiness. And it’s an art. One I’ve perfected. The first thing I do when greeting a friend, neighbor, etc. is compliment something they’re wearing. Why? Because it makes them smile. And compliments are the one gift that won’t cost you a penny, but will be forever remembered.

But this poses quite a problem when you’re asked to be honest. You know, the ole “give me your honest opinion” line. Sure, they may think they want your honest opinion, but do they really want to hear that you may not agree/like something they’re doing or wearing?

Hey Jane, do you like my new scarf? “Nope. It looks like vomit” [is what I'd like to say]. But I defer to something a bit more tactful, and confidence boosting, such as “You know, it really brings out the color in your earrings!”

As a less than confident, and more than a bit self-conscious woman I feel obligated to guard the feelings of others. The Keeper of Self Confidence! Yes, that will be my super hero name from this point forward. HA!  And I may not wear a cape, and I may not be completely forthright, but I’ll always be in your corner. Always…

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…unless you’re my husband. He is the brunt of my full-fledged, no holds barred honest opinions. Perhaps it’s a symptom of holding back from so many others, but boy do I have opinions at home. But in my own defense, I hear “What do you think?” A LOT. And, well, if he didn’t really want to know he wouldn’t have asked, right? Honey, do you like this outfit. “Nope! You look twelve”. And he values my opinion…I think. But, as posed earlier, is there such a thing as too honest?

In marriage it’s easy to forget that our partners are, well, our partners. And their feelings should be held to a higher regard than those of our neighbors, our friends, etc. And this is where I fail. There’s no holding back in our home. What comes up, comes out (I blame my mother. HA!) But back to my husband. My love for him is boundless. And I’m working hard to remind myself to take time to encourage him, love him more, submit (occasionally), and, most importantly, shut-up. And for myself, I will remember that wifery isn’t a skill we’re born with. It’s something we learn though years of practice, observation, a few late night tears, and more than a healthy dose of trust and mutual understanding.

Luckily, my husband laughs at my spunk, and finds my cheeky nature more funny than annoying. But it’s my job, as his partner and mother of his kiddo, to do better every day.

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. -Proverbs 31:11-12


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  4 comments for “1.6

  1. Claudia Messer
    January 7, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    HI Jane! This post is fantastic. I’m more opinionated in general, and rarely hold back. But I can appreciate you for having a vested interest in other people’s feelings. The world needs more of that.

  2. Amanda P.
    January 7, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    I love it! I’m guilty of this as well, but never stopped to think of how my opinions affected my husband.

  3. Jessica
    January 6, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Yes, we wives easily forget our spouses are people too.

  4. Anne
    January 6, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    I’m a bit more open and honest (sometimes too much) with my husband, too. I think we just feel comfortable doing so because they love us. We feel safe expressing ourselves in our own home.

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