This is an excerpt from Conscious Men, written by John Gray and Arjuna Ardagh.
The great majority of women we have both worked with say they want to be with a man they can trust. For a man to do what he said he would do, but also to tell the truth about it, is one of the most critical factors for a woman to be able to relax and open her heart. Of course, intelligently choosing a man who has a basic level of integrity is important, but there are also things that you can do, as a woman, to bring this out in him.
Make It Safe for Him to Tell the Truth
John says: I have a coaching client who lives with his girlfriend. He also has an ex-wife with whom he had children. Sometimes he wants to spend time with his ex-wife and his children, but then he always lies to his partner and says, “I’m meeting with some of the guys from work.” He told me that he lies to his partner because if he says, “I’m going to meet my ex-wife and my daughter at a restaurant tonight because we like to go out sometimes and have a family reunion,” she becomes extremely jealous, upset, and angry. Therefore, he feels that he cannot tell her the truth.
Men do not feel good about themselves when they lie to you or withhold information. They do so when they feel afraid of the consequence of telling you the truth. A man is sometimes afraid of a woman’s reaction. When a woman becomes emotionally dramatic, a man makes a note to lie to her next time. The key is to tell him how you feel and expose your vulnerability. This brings you closer, and he will feel more inclined to be open and honest with you as well.
Call Forth His Deeper Integrity
There are times when you may even serve him by getting a little fierce. Arjuna says: I remember many years ago, at the beginning of our marriage, I was completing my book The Translucent Revolution. It was an unrealistically ambitious project involving 170 interviews and massive amounts of research. It took the best part of several years of my life to complete. One morning, Chameli and I were enjoying the morning together. Then I said to her, “I have to go now. I have to work on my book.” I could see a flicker of admiration in her eyes. Her knight was going to slay his dragon now. On the way down the corridor, from our bedroom to my office, I noticed that the door to the linen cupboard was ajar. When I tried to push it shut, the door was sticking on the hardwood floor. Without hesitating, I went to the garage and grabbed a couple of sawhorses and an electric saw. I took the door off its hinges to cut a quarter of an inch off the bottom. As the noise of the saw reached the bedroom, Chameli came out. The adoring look was gone from her eyes; now they were glaring. “What are you doing?”she asked me. I proudly announced I was trimming the door: “For us… baby.” Like a real hero. “Are you crazy?” She barked at me. “Stop wasting your precious time. Go to the office and give the gift you were born to give.”
Not every woman is prepared to communicate in this way. And certainly not every man is ready to hear it. But I must tell you, in thirteen years of marriage, this moment was one when I felt most loved, most seen, and most supported. She showed me in that moment that she saw me deeply, including my deepest potential and my habit to get distracted, and that she would not settle for anything less than the best in her man. Experiment with your man by calling forth his deepest gift, and see how it goes.
When you can see that he is distracted and off track, he is probably already feeling down. This is not the time to tell him that he is a failure or a wimp or disgusting to you. Instead, you can help a man to increase testosterone and to feel good about himself again by making requests of him with things he can do for you. If there is something he can do that you would appreciate, tell him clearly.
“There is a pile of boxes in the garage, which is getting in the way when I go to the car. Would you break them down for me?” A man who is feeling unmotivated, who has lost his mojo, will often be delighted to be given a simple task that he is able to complete and that will give you happiness.
When a woman can make requests of a man for actions he is able to complete, it not only increases the love between them, but it also motivates him to get back on track with the rest of his life.
Do Not Blame Yourself
If you suspect that your man is lying to you or withholding important information from you or even if you think that he is cheating on you, please honor your feelings. As a woman, the blood flow to the parts of your brain responsible for feelings, and therefore for intuition, is much greater than for us men. Maybe it is a cliché, but most people agree that women are more intuitive. It can drive you crazy if you suspect something and then get the message that you are overreacting and being neurotic.
Arjuna says: I was approached recently by a man who wanted me to coach him and his wife. He told me (confidentially) that he had been having an affair for several years but now had broken it off. He said that his wife suspected something but could not prove it. He wanted me to coach them with the objective of calming her down so she could become “less dramatic.” Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have heard a man make a request like this. He was lying and cheating on her, but he saw the problem as being all with her overemotional reactivity. I told him that I could help them but not in the way that he was suggesting. Instead, I coached him in learning practices to be truthful and facing the consequences. I supported her to tell the truth about what she was feeling, in her body and in her emotions. It was a wild ride for a while. It only took about a month, and the whole drama had passed. Once he started to be truthful with her, she relaxed and eventually forgave him. The more relaxed she became, the more truthful he became. Now they are back in a harmonious marriage.
As a woman, please honor your feelings of intuition. When something feels “off” in some way, you are not going to feel happy by being rationalized out of it. Trust what you feel, be honest about these feelings, and then find a way for your man to be truthful with you in a way that does not create drama.
From Conscious Men by John Gray and Arjuna Ardagh. You can order a paperback copy or Kindle edition on Amazon here.
Visit consciousmen.com to learn more.