A Therapist Looks at Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Part 3 – Rey & Finn

Posted on December 29, 2015

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SPOILER ALERT!  If you haven’t seen the film and don’t want to have information before you do, you might want to skip this one.

One would hope that a certain amount of wisdom comes with age.  Han Solo was never much of a sage, but he has picked up a little wisdom to impart.  When he tells Finn, “You have a second problem, the truth always comes out,[1]” it is one of the most insightful things that we have ever heard Han say.

You can certainly understand why Finn does not want to tell anyone that he is a Stormtrooper.  That information would immediately undermine the limited trust he has been able to establish with Rey during their escape from the planet Jakku.

Here’s the issue.  As Han has correctly observed, the truth does have a way of coming out.  Secrets and lies are devastating to relationships.

I work with sex addicts, most of whom are married (in my case load, the addict is usually the man in the relationship).  Generally, there have been extreme betrayals of the relationship.  What are often harder to recover from than the sexual acting out are the secrets and lies.  Men usually don’t get this so let me spell it out.  When your wife discovers that you have lied to her, it calls into question everything she thinks she knows about you and your relationship.  It does not even need to be a lie about anything of consequence.  It also causes her to no longer be able to trust her own judgment about what is true.  After all, she trusted you before and look how that turned out.  It is not only a painful experience, but also traumatizing and disorienting.

It is difficult to have a relationship that requires the highest level of trust, if she can no longer trust neither what you tell her nor her own ability to detect a lie from you.  At that point, it is a fairly easy jump from you were not where you said you were going to be to do you have another wife and family on the side.

In literature and film, writers often use dramatic irony.  This is where the reader or the viewer has information that the characters do not have.  Plots are driven along and turn on secrets and lies which one character hides from another.  In real life, these are relationship killers.  Even if you remove any moral objection to lying, it still is a really bad idea.  The truth always comes out.[2]

 

[1] I am quoting from memory so it may not be verbatim, but it is pretty close.

[2] One last thing, if you have some big disclosures you need to make to your partner, you probably want some support from a therapist to do so.  You really don’t want to make a staggered disclosure where you give a little information at a time.  This continues to traumatize you partner and undermine trust.

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