A wealthy man took a young woman into his matrimonial home and introduced her to his wife as a niece who had come from his village to learn some trade.
The wife's intuition made her smell a rat but she was patient and helped this young lady greatly. The young woman was extremely hard working.
She did the grocery, cooked and cleaned the house. She also warmed the man's bed.
When this lady got pregnant in three months she refused to say who was responsible for the pregnancy. The man refused to send her away. It did not take long for everyone to know the whole story.
This man and the young woman may have done good things but they lacked integrity adherence to high moral and ethical principles, soundness of moral character, the state of being whole and entire.
Why you need integrity
For any relationship to work, it needs to be governed by strong principles based on trust and honesty. With integrity you have a mind that is self-focused and strict on itself.
You are yourself and true to yourself. You are totally transparent and can, therefore, give the best of yourself to your lover.
On the other hand without integrity, you lie about yourself and, therefore, refuse to accept who and what you really are. What you think about yourself affects what you do.
You may, therefore, be tempted to do whatever feels right to you but which may destroy your relationship. Integrity is, therefore, crucial in fostering a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
Be true to yourself. Know what and who you are. Ask yourself about yourself. The best way to know yourself is to ask what true and honest friends and relatives say about you because your works and actions reflect who and what you are.
Accept your weaknesses and resolve to deal with them. Your decisions must be made on clear conscience and high moral principles.
Follow through little things. You build integrity by following through little things. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
If you say you will call your lover do all you can to call him or her. It becomes easy for your lover to count on you each moment. Be predictable and never make your lover suspicious of your behaviour.
An important part of integrity is dependability. It motivates your lover to stay committed in the relationship.
Do not lie especially about crucial issues in your relationship. These include money, where you go and with who. Never put yourself in a situation where you may cheat.
Take personal responsibility for your actions. When you are wrong admit it and apologise. Resolve to do better.
Have a moral guideline in your relationship. Openly discuss what you believe in your relationship and what you can take or not take.
If you have no idea of what your lover expects, you run the risk of working against each other instead of working together as a team.
Integrity, pillar of fulfilling relationship
Integrity is telling yourself the truth. With it you do and say the right things. Honesty is telling the truth to your lover.
All fulfilling relationships are built on both. You may claim to be a great lover but if you do not have integrity your relationship will fail when you face trials and challenges.
See yourself as a boat. Your integrity makes you whole and lack of integrity means there are holes in your boat and you may sink.
Let integrity be a strong pillar in your relationship.
By John Boakye/The Mirror/Ghana
The writer is the Director of Eudoo Counselling Centre, West Legon. He is also the author of 'Your Guide to Marriage' and 'Love Unlimited'.