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December 20 • Honesty vs. Spewing

Day 164

Honesty is a real struggle for me. I hear my fellows talking about complete honesty, but then I get confused about the focus of our sudden rush to tell the truth. Do our wives, our families, our sponsors, and others need to know the exact truth, or maybe it's more about honesty with ourselves?

There is a 'confessional' aspect of recovery. However, I've often questioned whether the pain and confusion that my wife experiences when I am transparent for the sake of transparency is worth the benefits of honesty. As recovery continues for me, it seems much more about day-to-day honesty, even more than that of the disclosure nature. I need to find a healthy balance that embraces Step Eight, even with my wife. Or especially with her.

Silence is an odd part of integrity. Being eager to show how honest I've become has cost me, so I'm getting okay with answering questions more slowly. When my wife is most emotional and aggressive in her hurt and anger, my instincts are to remain quiet. She often takes that as either weakness (I think) or, more likely, an unintended confession to something that she has accused me of or concluded. But my heart says to be still; I want to believe it is humility, not cluelessness.

I've repeatedly made matters worse when I acquiesce to pressure and attempt to explain that which I still don't understand. When I give spontaneous explanations, they are usually not the right ones. I'm beginning to believe there are often no correct answers in these moments.

I need to be okay with just inspecting my own emotions and motives, reflecting on wisdom, and asking God for peace. I must resist talking for the sake of calming the silence.



Hear my words that I might teach you

Take my arms that I might reach you"

But my words, like silent raindrops fell

And echoed in the wells of silence

–Paul Simon, "The Sound of Silence"


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