Is ommission lying?
Is NOT telling your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/SO something so as to not hurt their feelings or cause them upset - lying? Is ommission of truth lying?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
I would say that ommission of truth (when you know the person wants to know something) is a form of a lie. But I don't consider all lies bad. For example, I may think that my wife's cooking tonight was horrible. However, I don't consider it a bad lie to tell her I enjoyed it. However, if she was trying to improve her cooking and I lied, then I think it was bad.
One common problem I hear is "I didn't want to tell my wife about my girlfriend because it would hurt her and make her feel bad." I tend to think this is a bad kind of lie (unless she has said that she doesn't want to know about this stuff).
I think that it depends really and truly on what it is and the type of person involved. As someone who is having to work on communication there are times when I WANT to know but for my emotional well being a lie is best. is this something that will impact all involved or is it like Quath said.
I think lying and willful omission are painful because they imply that the person you are keeping something from is unable to handle you or the situation.
If you don't allow the truth about yourself to be known, you can't hope for another person to understand or support you.
When you make a habit of lying or willful omission, you communicate that:
1. You don't feel that you and your life are acceptable and
2. You don't trust or respect your partner to handle things.
So your partner comes to have that imbedded in their perspective of your relationship and will probably:
1. Not fully accept you for who you are and
2. Not trust you, or maybe themselves, and not be able to handle things.
I would have to agree with southerndreams - it really depends on what the 'omission' is.
Do I need to inform my husband and boyfriend of which one has a larger penis or can last longer? I don't see a benefit of giving either of them that information, unless either one wanted specifically to know.
I 'omit' certain details about my boyfriend because there are some people in our lives that are not comfortable with the idea of him or they just don't know yet. He is moving into our basement suite, but that's not something that is going to be known to everyone because quite honestly, we're not mentally prepared for the family backlash just yet. 'Omitting' this fact is, at least temporarily, better for all concerned. Is it 'lying'? Yeah, probably. And I have no problem with the consequences of that because it's being withheld for the sake of protecting myself and those I care about.
Many people keep their poly relationships secret from the world because living openly is not a practical option. Discrimination, problems at work, even losing custody of children can all be consequences without 'lies of omission'.
Can you tell us what it is that you're concerned about omitting? That might help you find some insight into your problem.
I agree with the idea that it is situational and it also depends on how the truth is expressed.
Along the lines of "someone's cooking", If asked what I thought, you give constructive criticism if you didn't like it. Point out what you did like about it and what you did not.
As for more personal things, which I am sure is to what you were asking, if asked a direct question, tell the truth. This can also be a "constructive" truth as mentioned above. If someone is doing something that really bothers you, should you tell them? Yes. But don't attack them, do your best not to put them on the defensive and do not "blame" them for how you feel.
Is it hard to tell the truth? Hell yes it can be. Does that mean that you should not. Hell no. You can be worried about their reaction, but always remember, it is better that they find out from you then from someone or someplace else or for you to go on and on in pain and suffering (if that is the case).
If the truth does not come out, nothing can be resolved.
I was hoping not to tell specifics - but you're right - it would help. When Morningglory and I talked a few days ago - she told me that she doesn't understand why my DH tells me some things but not everything. I asked him what she meant by that. He said that he can only think of one thing, and it was something that they did that has been bothering him and making him feel extreme quilt. He did tell me last night - that they had sex twice in our house when the kids and I were not around (on a futon on our third floor.) One of the 3 small restrictions that I have on this - is that I do not want them having sex in our house. He swears that this was before I asked them not to do it here and that it hasn't happened since. He did not want to tell me because he knew that I would be very hurt and very upset and he didn't want to hurt me just to stop himself from feeling guilty. I wasn't angry when he told me, I didn't yell or cry - I did thell him that I was hurt but that I do forgive him. Him and I NEVER keep things from each other - EVER! We are best friends and can and do tell each other anything and everything. The fact that he didn't tell me this - especially when we talked about it and I asked them not to do it here - I feel that that was the time he should of told me.
Obviously - there is no changing what happened. I do truly believe that he feels guilty - I just wish he would have been able to come to me with this, instead of choosing not to say anything to avoid causing me pain.
I hope this made sense - it is late and I am exhausted (that's what happens when you stay up until 4 am talking)
If anything needs cleared up - I will edit this in the morning.
Goodnight - Kat
I think that in the simplistic picture-yes omission is lying.
Thus the expression, "lying by omission" and "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
I used to think that omission was ok for certain reasons.
I don't any more.
Now I think that TIMING is crucial, but honesty needs to be complete.
That said-I don't tell Maca details about my sexlife with GG because he doesn't want to know them. But if he asks-I ALWAYS tell him the complete truth. The only reason I don't offer it is because he has requested specifically that I do not.
There is a difference between someone asking you to "spare me the details" and you deciding to spare them the details yourself. I think the first is fine-the second is dangerous for relationships.
I had a similar problem with one woman I dated. When we first dated, we agreed on nonmonogamy. She was staying with a guy and told me they were not having sex. I found it surprising, but figured she just wanted to "be friends" with the guy.
She was also seeing this other guy she was having sex with. So one day she says she wants to try monogamy with me so we could focus on making our relationship more serious. Once we worked out our problems with each other, we would open our relationship up again. So she went and told her other boyfriend that she wanted to be monogamous with me.
I found out much later that she had been having sex with her roomate. I also found out she had slept with her other boyfriend after we had agreed to monogamy. This was a huge warning sign. First of all because she lied in the first case when there would have been no repercussions. The second one bothered me because monogamy was her idea and yet she cheated.
It turned out that there was a long series of lies in our relationship. So I am very hesitant about accepting lies to "avoid hurting me." I think this is more extreme than in the case above. Yet after being burned on it, I am very sensitive to deceit.
It depends on if the person would want to know.
If I shake hands with a guy at work and don't tell my husband it's because there's no reason for me to tell him... it's not omission it's information triage. If I screw someone in the walk-in he absolutely wants to know, so withholding would absolutely be lying. Same with the badly cooked meal. If he's made me dinner there's no need for me to tell him it sucks... unless he's planning to make the same thing when his mom visits. In that case he'd want to be told so he can change the menu.
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