We have had this rule, ever since we started. It was mostly a result of both of us dealing with exes who would mangle the truth, hide things or flat-out lie. The rule is very simple: say what is on your mind. Or as we like to more aptly call it:
Full F*cking Disclosure All the F*cking Time
When we first made this deal, my thoughts were mostly on how hard it would be. I’ve had a tendency to let sleeping dogs lie, and I have been guilty of lying by omission. Some of the books I read on poly called it “bring it up”, and focus on not letting feelings fester and become bigger than they need to be.
Ours kind of works like that, but we have found that just prefixing a sentence with “Hey, full disclosure:…” makes it easier to bring things up. It’s still scary at times, but it gets a tiny bit easier every time I do it.
Now the part I didn’t expect. In fact, it had not crossed my mind at all even though it’s completely obvious in hindsight: This policy has done more to relieve my anxiety than anything I have ever tried.
Lots of my anxiety resolves about unspoken things. My partner is a bit more quiet than usual. Did that joke I make piss them off? Did I hurt them somehow? This can very easily spiral into a deep black hole where she obviously doesn’t want to be with me any more and everything is going to explode horribly in my face…. You get the idea.
This simple policy has turned out to be the perfect antidote. It has made things so simple. If I made that joke and later on she’s quiet, it’s not related to the joke. How do I know? Well, I know because if the joke had offended her she would have just told me. Simple. Clear. Safe.
This one simple thing has made me feel so incredibly safe. It makes it safe to express my deepest thoughts. Sure, I might get a negative response but it’s just that: a negative response to a particular statement. She still loves me. She still wants me. No more guessing. No more complex mental modelling of another person’s state of mind.
So, I really recommend this. What do I recommend? Full Fucking Disclosure. When do I recommend it? All the Fucking Time.