Honesty in relationships


#1

Sorry if this has been discussed recently :(.

Anyway, can there be too much honesty in a (boyfriend/girlfriend) relationship?

For example, should I openly confess to my girlfriend if I slip, fall, and look at stuff I shouldn't? Now I'm trying pretty hard to avoid that stuff, but I'm only human.

Secondly, should my girlfriend tell me every detail that makes her feel guilty? (ie, seeing a topless guy in a movie, etc.)

I looked this up on the Internet, but I wanted a religious, Catholic response. Not a secular one.

Thanks for the help,
Coolduude

By the way- ask for details if needed.


#2

absolutely.


#3

No, of course you shouldn't. Don't ask, don't tell. She doesn't need to hear about your personal habits, and nor should you ask about hers. She is not your priest, your not hers-save that stuff for the confessional.

Remember not to over-analyze things. If your at a beach, and she sees a man topless or you see a girl in a bikini-who cares? If you follow that girl around the beach and then ask for her number and keep perstering her-than you have a problem.

We live in a society which, in my opinion, is WAY too open. People do reality TV, post deeply personal things on Facebook, etc. In my opinion, intimacy is one thing-but there are still things you need to keep private. Example-bathroom habits. I don't want to hear about them from anyone, in particular someone I'm romantically interested in.


#4

I think you might be suffering from scrupulosity. This stuff does need to be confessed, but I think you should talk to a Priest to resolve the issues, not a girl you're currently dating. Everyone sins and has at least something they need to work on, but sharing every detail with a girlfriend might not be the best idea. She might start to get tired of hearing every detail (even Priests don't need to hear the small details: just the sins committed, and how many times each was committed), or she'll think you can't control yourself so she shouldn't be with you because you're constantly tempted to sin, and will cheat on her should you two ever marry. I know if my boyfriend told me all this stuff it would make me feel uncomfortable to say the least.

Sometimes we might see something on accident, but it is not sin because we're not seeking it or acting on our desires. It's just a passing thought. Also, a guy without a shirt appears on the beaches all the time. It's summer! I think part of the reason people have problems getting "turned on" by things is because we're so used to being completely covered up. Yes, breasts and genitalia need to be covered, but everything is is just skin and we need to learn to overcome these thoughts of lust. If we get used to seeing people in swimwear, then it will no longer be a big deal and we won't turn human beings into objects of lust in our minds. That is the real sin: reducing humans made in God's image to objects of lust.


#5

[quote="coolduude, post:1, topic:204174"]
Sorry if this has been discussed recently :(.

Anyway, can there be too much honesty in a (boyfriend/girlfriend) relationship?

For example, should I openly confess to my girlfriend if I slip, fall, and look at stuff I shouldn't? Now I'm trying pretty hard to avoid that stuff, but I'm only human.

Secondly, should my girlfriend tell me every detail that makes her feel guilty? (ie, seeing a topless guy in a movie, etc.)

I looked this up on the Internet, but I wanted a religious, Catholic response. Not a secular one.

Thanks for the help,
Coolduude

By the way- ask for details if needed.

[/quote]

confess matter for a confession to a priest in the sacrament of confession, not to any other third party.


#6

I don't think the OP is talking about something done by accident.

I'm not sure if I'm correct, but I think if the question was termed more bluntly it would be:

If I slip up and look at pornographic material intentionally, should I let my girlfriend know?

Does this change anyone's answer? If Catholics date for the purpose of discerning marriage, I think that we should be sufficiently open enough with our relationships that a gf/bf should know if his/her gf/bf is struggling with lust.


#7

Thanks for the help/responses. I agree with what has been said. Let me set the record straight, though, as there seems to be some confusion. I'm the one that 'holds stuff in'. In other words, I Confess the things that need to be confessed and keep the rest to myself- not her. She's the one that tells me every detail that makes bed feel guilty. And as one user pointed out, it does grow tiresome and annoying. But she won't stop (trust me, I've asked her to). :(

Anyway, thanks again for the help! :thumbsup:


#8

I mean 'her', not bed. That's what I get for auto-correct I suppose.


#9

Just another question- what should I do if she asks me what I've seen?

I'm trying to explain to her that some of the things we do should be between us individually, our confessor, and God. Is this an adequate explanation? What else should I say?


#10

[quote="coolduude, post:9, topic:204174"]
Just another question- what should I do if she asks me what I've seen?

I'm trying to explain to her that some of the things we do should be between us individually, our confessor, and God. Is this an adequate explanation? What else should I say?

[/quote]

If she asks a lot of details or is very persistent, she's likely worried about something. Maybe you should try to talk to her to figure out what that might be.


#11

[quote="CoffeeHound, post:10, topic:204174"]
If she asks a lot of details or is very persistent, she's likely worried about something. Maybe you should try to talk to her to figure out what that might be.

[/quote]

She's worried about what I've seen. If I admit I've seen things, I get a million questions coming my way.

I think she's dealing with severe scrupulosity and possibly some other mental problems.

Either way, I feel (at times like these) that I'm at my wits end. :(


#12

[quote="musicality, post:6, topic:204174"]
I don't think the OP is talking about something done by accident.

I'm not sure if I'm correct, but I think if the question was termed more bluntly it would be:

If I slip up and look at pornographic material intentionally, should I let my girlfriend know?

Does this change anyone's answer? If Catholics date for the purpose of discerning marriage, I think that we should be sufficiently open enough with our relationships that a gf/bf should know if his/her gf/bf is struggling with lust.

[/quote]

Struggling with lust is one thing; telling the other person exactly what you've seen is something else.

I agree that maybe one could say "I have been struggling with lust, but I'm working on it". Anything beyond that (ie, specifically what you've seen) is too much information, and should remain between the individual, their confessor, and God.

That's my view anyway.


#13

[quote="coolduude, post:11, topic:204174"]
I think she's dealing with severe scrupulosity and possibly some other mental problems.

[/quote]

If you think that may be the case, your best path is probably to get some help for her.


#14

[quote="CoffeeHound, post:13, topic:204174"]
If you think that may be the case, your best path is probably to get some help for her.

[/quote]

I've gotten her to see a therapist, although she goes on an erratic schedule. It seemed to work at first, but her mental problems are still there (I think she has mental problems, but no diagnosis has ever been made).

Ok I'll shut up now. I'm sure you all don't want to hear of my problems :o


#15

[quote="coolduude, post:14, topic:204174"]
I've gotten her to see a therapist, although she goes on an erratic schedule. It seemed to work at first, but her mental problems are still there (I think she has mental problems, but no diagnosis has ever been made).

Ok I'll shut up now. I'm sure you all don't want to hear of my problems :o

[/quote]

No one is saying that. My point is that you want to fight causes, not symptoms. It sounds like you may be trying to do that.


#16

[quote="coolduude, post:1, topic:204174"]
Sorry if this has been discussed recently :(.

Anyway, can there be too much honesty in a (boyfriend/girlfriend) relationship?

For example, should I openly confess to my girlfriend if I slip, fall, and look at stuff I shouldn't? Now I'm trying pretty hard to avoid that stuff, but I'm only human.

Secondly, should my girlfriend tell me every detail that makes her feel guilty? (ie, seeing a topless guy in a movie, etc.)

I looked this up on the Internet, but I wanted a religious, Catholic response. Not a secular one.

Thanks for the help,
Coolduude

By the way- ask for details if needed.

[/quote]

The Catholic response is that when we sin confession is highly encouraged if the sin is venial and mandatory if it is mortal. Other than your confessor, though, you need only tell those people who are likely to be helpful in avoiding the sin in the future, and who are unlikely to be harmed by your disclosure. Harm might include either hurt feelings on their part or the temptation to rash judgment or gossip. In other words, we have confessors to tell our sins to, in order that we may spare others when that is the least harmful course of action.

I would look at the appropriate level of honesty within marital or courting relationships in light of those goals: that is, in the balancing of avoiding future sin, sparing your partner hurt, and maintaining trust between the two of you. Some women will not take your struggles personally, and would feel more hurt if you did not confide. Some will be helpful in helping you decide how to deal with your struggles. Some would trust you less if they found you didn't tell. Some would rather you do everything in your power to avoid these sins, but that you not report your falls to anyone other than your confessor. It isn't a fault to not want to hear your partner's every fault.

Some women treat it as a betrayal when you're even tempted, which really isn't fair, because they put their partners in a no-win situation. Yes, we all want to be perfect, but what if we are tempted not to be? To some extent, you have to judge for yourself how much of your own inner life to disclose.

You are allowed to discern yourself what is appropriate. In the end, I think that each partner usually decides for himself or herself, and, if asked, is honest about what his or her general policy is. I think it is best to promise to confess falls in confession at the very least, when these things aren't going to be disclosed to the partner. In practice, it is something that each couple works out, and with some amendments along the way, as experience teaches what works best. This is, however, something that partners have found a way to differ about without it being a deal-breaker. It just depends.

Good luck!


#17

As a catholic who loves his faith, I'd say not, BUT, you should really be working to make yourself whole with the Church...Confession and find time to do more community service, pray, and spend more time discerning where you are expecting your relationship to go with this girl. Is it a fling or ???

good luck...


#18

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