Where have you been? you might be asking, as I haven’t been able to bring
myself to blog lately. It’s on account of this, the dirtiest, deepest,
darkest secret in most relationships on the planet.
Here’s how I discovered it. I was in Bangalore, India, not so long ago,
presenting two workshops, one on money and one on relationships. For the
money class, people kept arriving until one hour into my 4 hour presentation,
and we had to keep bringing chairs in until it was standing room only.
For the relationships class, very few people signed up, although many
who came to the money class the night before did come. Apparently they
figured out I had something valuable to offer.
Still, only half as many people came to the relationships class as came
to the money class. I KNOW from the people in the class that relationships
are a challenging subject for almost everyone in India, as they are around
the world. WHY is it so much easier to get people to come to a workshop
on money than to a workshop on relationships?
That’s the dirty little secret I’ve discovered, and it’s true around the
world. People are willing to say they’d like more money, and even admit
they have problems with money. People may be dying to get out of their
relationship, it may be a constant source of misery and conflict in their
life, but very few people are willing to admit it’s an area of their life
that’s less than perfect.
The same is true for sex, by the way. Everyone talks about it, but
not that many people are getting it. Every study shows that the frequency
in sex decreases the longer people are together, and most studies also
show that single people have less sex than married people. So who’s
My guess is that this reluctance to examine a relationship is like
the prejudice against counseling and therapy in general, even in this
day and age. Forty years ago, the news that a vice-presidential
candidate in the U.S. had been hospitalized for depression was enough
to prompt him to be forced to withdraw from the presidential race.
I spoke with a friend, a former CEO, who consults with CEOs and
boards of corporations and non-profits world-wide. Even today,
the “leaders” of these organizations are not allowed to participate
in any kind of personal growth workshops or counseling, as that
would be an indication of weakness on their part.
When it comes to our emotional and personal lives, we’re supposed
to be bandbox perfect from the get-go, whereas everyone knows it’s
actually smart to seek advice about finances. Otherwise there would
be a stigma on consulting a financial planner like there is on getting
any kind of personal growth advice.