Infidelity. A Value?
If I asked you what values mean, what would be the first thing that popped into your head? Have you ever set aside some time to identify your key values? Do you understand their significance in your life as a woman?
As Elvis Presley stated, “Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ‘em all over everything you do.” Values are personal to each of us. They’re deeply intrinsic, they help shape and define who we are and they’re what we’re naturally drawn to. Values can be anything from trust and honesty to security, love, being healthy, acceptance, simplicity, passion, freedom and fun.
With the ongoing saga of Tiger Wood’s infidelity, and the lack of trust his wife Elin now displays for him, it made me think about the importance of values not only in an intimate relationship, but with ourselves and in life. Values are everywhere. While they have helped shape our society into what it is today, they also act as an internal compass, guiding our behaviour and our actions. They’re our backbone and we can’t live without them.
In our western society we have created a number of implicit and explicit values. In the context of a marriage our values are often made explicit in the form of vows and are re-enforced (communicated) in front of those we care about (for example, love, honour, faithfulness etc). Other values in a marriage, as in life, are usually implicit (including compassion, acceptance, nurturing, honesty etc). We takes these values as a given – usually an unspoken given.
Perhaps fidelity wasn’t a value to Tiger. If so, given this value goes against the grain of the implied and presumably express terms of a marriage contract, then surely this needed to be made explicit from the outset. Perhaps Tiger and Elin should have been clear on each others values before they entered into a marriage so they could identify what the deal breakers were. (Please note this isn't a judgement about the parameters of a marriage - it's the point about what you agree to (or perhaps not agree to) that I am addressing). Their story has shown me that when we are clear on our values and then communicate them when necessary, it creates functional and necessary boundaries for ourselves and others. “Good fences make good neighbours”.
When you gain clarity on your values, the knowledge of what they are and why they’re important to you, it makes it easier to orientate your life around them. When your values are compromised, you may feel awkard and uncomfortable, but when you shape your life around your values you feel more in control of your life and true to who you are. In my last two blog posts I talked about the importance of finding your vision. Having your values in alignment with your vision is a must otherwise your vision is meaningless.
Values are incredibly important so it’s worthwhile taking stock of the values you are aware about and those that perhaps you are unconscious about. As an observation, take a look at the people you spend time with. I guarantee that the people you have a deep connection with, have similar values to your own.