If you want honesty in a relationship, offer unconditional acceptance. If your ability to accept is limited, then the ability for the other to tell you the truth will also be limited.
What is more important to you: 1) your rules and boundaries, or 2) honesty and closeness in the relationship? You can’t have it both ways.
By setting rules and expectations, or by attempting to control another person in any way, you are breaking the cycle of honesty and ending all possibility of truth—polluting your closest relationships with illusion and uncertainty.
If you cannot unconditionally accept your partner, spouse, or child, then your love is incomplete. You have no control over them. By attempting to control, you are only making them afraid of you. You cannot take anyone’s free will. But they love you, so they are patient with you and they also lie to you. They do so only to protect you from your own feelings.
If you have created such a web of illusions, the illusions will be exposed. It will feel as though your world is crumbling. You will begin to reject the person who you claim to love—to judge, blame, shame, and punish. You may panic and leave the relationship. None of this would be necessary if you had simply accepted the other from the start. If you have loved the person for who he or she truly is.
You aren’t required to live with a person or to do anything for that person beyond your willingness to give. But you do have to accept. That is the minimum requirement for a relationship of any kind (even your relationship with yourself). Love is acceptance, there is no other way. All love starts with self-love, so you can start by unconditionally accepting yourself. You are perfect, just as you are. Now extend this to your loved ones.
You want complete openness, closeness, trust, eternal love? This is the state of blissful coexistence, but it requires full acceptance without any limits. Be open-minded. Try something new. If it bothers you, talk about how you feel. This is how two souls grow closer. This is love. If you let this process happen naturally, there is no conflict or struggle. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.
Art by Tanya Dawn