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Honesty is the best policy, right? Of course it is. But, is it always? I mean, do you speak up when you think he needs to lose a few pounds? Or when he asks you if you really love his mother? Or when he comes downstairs wearing a red fleece vest that your little brother might have pulled off in 1997 and asks if you like it?
If you sometimes can't bear to face the brutal truth for the sake of the relationship, you're not alone. Experts tell us that most people tell between 3 and 7 social "white lies" a week, and many of them are told to the people we love most.
But, a new trend in relationships called "radical honesty" has women and men vowing to tell each everything, even when it's hard. Writer Mei Mei Fox wrote about her commitment to sharing everything with her husband recently. "When my husband and I first came together as a romantic couple three years ago, we agreed to practice Radical Honesty in our relationship, meaning he and I wouldn't keep any secrets from each other bigger than a surprise party," she writes. "The rule can prove more challenging to abide by than you might suspect at first. But both of us feel it's well worth the occasional angst we experience in order to enjoy a romance that lets us feel totally connected and utterly trusting of each other."
So how honest does she get? "It means sharing when someone at the office gets flirtatious with you—even if you don't reciprocate his or her advances," she adds. "Or telling your partner you find someone—even a movie star—sexy. In sum, it boils down to full disclosure and keeping zero secrets in an attempt to ward off any potential trouble further down the road."
While ambitious and admirable, radical honesty, writes Fox, isn't always easy to practice (as you can imagine). "It forces you to confront tough emotions head on," she adds. "In a society that teaches us to avoid conflict as much as humanly possible, to make amends, smooth things over, and tell white lies, Radical Honesty is the opposite policy. It's all about diving headfirst into sticky situations in the name of love." But, she continues, for her relationship it works. "Because of this—our ongoing policy of Radical Honesty—I know beyond a doubt that our marriage will endure. It's not an easy practice, and maybe it never will be, but it works for us."