Transparency After Lying: What is it and
Why is it Important?
By Susie and Otto Collins
Lying can obliterate trust in a love relationship or
marriage. Of course there are degrees to which lies damage
trust, but all lies are detrimental to relationships.
This is especially true when the lying was used to try to
hide an affair.
Once the lies have been discovered and the truth of the
infidelity uncovered-- and this happens in the majority of
cases-- the wreckage of disconnection and mistrust tend to
take center stage.
If the couple decide to stay together and give their
relationship another try, a first step is to start
And when lies have happened in the past,
making an agreement with one another to be transparent can
help the healing and rebuilding.
Jake knows that he has a lot to make up for. He sincerely
regrets the affair he had over the course of several months
that was recently discovered by his wife Sheila.
While Sheila has agreed to give Jake another chance, she's
made it clear that he's going to have to win her back and
prove that he is trustable.
They've agreed that Jake will be 100% transparent with
Sheila as a start.
What is transparency?
To be transparent is much like it sounds. Transparent
material such as glass, clear plastic, even water are
When you choose to be transparent in your relationship, you
are choosing to allow your mate to see all of you.
An agreement to be transparent means that you will
self-disclose and be completely honest.
After an affair, this makes a lot of sense. When you are
transparent, you will be absolutely up-front about who
you've been with, where you've been and what you've been
This might seem extreme or even devoid of any sense of
But when you are trying to rebuild trust after it's been
shattered by infidelity, this is necessary.
Being transparent doesn't mean that the one who had the
affair should be relentlessly questioned and interrogated.
There is certainly a reasonable and conscious leap of faith
that the other person must take in order for trust to
Jake worries that even if he is 100% transparent with
Sheila, she will continue to disbelieve him because of his
He wonders if this transparency thing is even worth it for
just that reason.
If you and your partner are in a similar situation, it is
vital that you talk about what transparency means to each of
Make agreements about what you each will do to
help rebuild trust.
The person who cheated might feel like it's all up to him or
her, but rebuilding trust actually needs to be a joint
Be transparent in all areas.
In the wake of an affair, the notion of transparency usually
means that the person who cheated will be completely honest
about his or her actions, comings and goings.
We'd like to see couples expand upon this understanding of
In order to rebuild trust, ask yourselves if you can be
transparent about your feelings, needs and desires as well.
Many many times, there are disconnecting relationship habits
going on long before one person decides to have an affair.
Holding back on who you really are with your mate or even
lying about what you truly want and need in this
relationship are hugely disconnecting.
Jake sits down with Sheila and asks her if she is willing to
be transparent with him.
He shares with her that he'd like to feel that they are
moving closer together as trust rebuilds. Of course, Jake
acknowledges that it is essential
for him to be transparent about his actions.
He would also like them each to become more self-reflective
about their feelings and needs in this relationship and then
be willing to share those discoveries with one another.
This is uncomfortable for Sheila, but she agrees to give it
Being transparent in this way might require you to be honest
with yourself first and foremost.
How often do you check in with yourself and inquire about
what needs you are having right now and if they are being
fulfilled or not?
You might resist doing this type of self-reflection
because it brings up old hurts or is painful. We encourage
you to do it anyway.
When you encounter sadness, grief or anger, let those
feelings move through you.
Listen for what you need.
Then make a decision about the steps you will take toward
meeting that need.
When you agree to be transparent with your partner, you are
courageously choosing to be honest and up-front with
yourself and then share what you are learning with your
As you listen to what your mate is discovering
about him or herself, listen to try to understand. Set aside
Know that transparency is a vital part of the trust
The depth to which you take it will undoubtedly correspond
to the depth and closeness that you
will create in your renewed relationship.