BookBrowse has a new look! Learn more about the update here.
Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

The Kindest Lie


A timely and soul-stirring novel about the lies families tell each other and the...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

Ruth ponders, "What did a wife owe her husband? How much retroactive truth-telling could be expected?" How would you answer her question?

Created: 01/27/22

Replies: 16

Posted Jan. 27, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barrye

Join Date: 07/20/14

Posts: 53

Ruth ponders, "What did a wife owe her husband? How much retroactive truth-telling could be expected?" How would you answer her question?

When thinking about telling Xavier that she had a child 11 years ago, Ruth ponders, "What did a wife owe her husband? How much retroactive truth-telling could be expected?" How would you answer her question?


Posted Jan. 28, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 203

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

A spouse is meant to be your best friend. I don't think that you necessarily need to share everything about your past. However, if it is coloring your decisions about things that are meaningful within the relationship, then it is important to share. If this was something she had to hide, then there was something fundamentally flawed in the marriage.


Posted Jan. 28, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 413

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

To the extent the "retro-active truth-telling" deals with things important in the current relationships - attitudes toward children, for instance, or problems affecting health,say - secrecy can be damaging, particularly if the truth comes out. She really would have been better off "confessing" much earlier in the relationship.


Posted Jan. 28, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

I think a wife owes a husband the truth. There’s an opportunity to set the record straight for the living and not leave a history of dishonesty no matter the reasons for having initially lied about things.


Posted Jan. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ashleighp

Join Date: 09/15/20

Posts: 33

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

I don’t think anyone “owes” anyone anything, period. It makes my skin crawl to even think people feel their spouse “owes” them anything.

That being said, my husband is my best friend. Has been for almost half our lives. He knows basically every thing. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Nothing is off the table. That being said, I also have a right to privacy.

I think if Ruth wasn’t ready to share that with Xavier that’s her choice. But it makes me sad that she married someone she wasn’t sure she’d want to give her whole truth to.


Posted Jan. 30, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 264

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

I agree with what sweeney said and, in addition, since the viewpoint we are looking at is the wife's, if she's hiding something she might also assume her spouse is hiding things. Plus, if she chose to tell someone in the past - before her marriage - what happens if they meet up? Will the truth come out before she can tell her husband?


Posted Jan. 31, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 466

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

I think it was the way Ruth's pregnancy was treated by Mama and Eli that caused Ruth to feel like she needed to keep this part of her hidden from Eli. There was a real sense of shame in her getting pregnant. She was isolated at home during her last few months and even gave birth at home without a doctor being present. Not one word was said about the baby after the fact. Ruth was bustled off the college, and the baby just disappeared like he was never even there in the first place.

Judgement from Xavier on top of her deep feelings of shame may have been too much for Ruth to handle. I would think that having a baby at 17 would be a very traumatic event. Ruth was never allowed to acknowledge that part of her life. She never received any support for "her decision" to place the baby for adoption. Instead, the fear that she would be found out controlled her, even in her relationship with the man she trusted enough to marry. I think Ruth was probably terrified that if she let herself acknowledge what truly happened to her as a 17 year old, she would be overwhelmed by emotions that she didn't think she was strong enough to handle.


Posted Jan. 31, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 1109

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

I think acstrine has a good point here, that because Ruth's teenage pregnancy was treated as such a shameful secret by her family - those she loved and trusted the most - it caused her to treat it as a shameful secret. When would be the right time to bring up something like that? Most likely, every time she thought, "Gee, maybe I should say something..." the moment passed before she got there. If everything's going well - and it seems like it was, until the whole having children thing came up - why rock the boat with a revelation about something that happened a long time ago, something that can't be changed?

I also felt bad for Ruth that Xavier didn't cut her more slack. Perhaps he's justified in feeling hurt that she didn't tell him this deep, dark secret, but I think he totally overreacted.


Posted Jan. 31, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Theresa

Join Date: 06/22/20

Posts: 31

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

Wow, hard question. I really think it depends on the person as to whether they share their past. I think initially when Ruth didn't tell her boyfriend and later husband, it was because she looked at that part of her life as being over. Of course getting to the point in their marriage where they started talking about having children brought out emotions and feelings that Ruth had not expected to have. The sad part to me was that Xavier reacted the way he did. Here was Ruth, afraid to tell him because she feared his reactions and couldn't find words to talk about it. Then when she finally does, he acts like the victim when in reality she was the victim. Ruth mentions early on in the book that her Mama would have made her give up the baby even if she had wanted to keep him. Yes, Xavier has a right to feel hurt but if he truly loved her, he should have also been able to forgive her and do his best to try to help her heal. As it turned out, Ruth was justified in her hesitancy to tell him about her son as he proved to be unforgiving and could only think about himself.


Posted Feb. 01, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jacquelinej

Join Date: 12/01/21

Posts: 1

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

I think a wife owes her husband the truth. Ruth should have told her husband about her pregnancy and actually giving birth to her son when she realized that Xavier and her were going to have a future together. What prevented her from doing so is her grandmother's reaction. When she bonded with her son and wanted to keep him, she was not allowed to. I am now wondering if Xavier loved Ruth enough, because though it may have hurt to find out that his wife had a child, finding out was his chance to stand by her and give her all the love and support he needed. Instead, Xavier blew the situation out of all proportion which made me think that this was the reason Ruth kept quiet.


Posted Feb. 02, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jos

Join Date: 03/14/21

Posts: 161

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

Ultimately that’s an individual choice but personally if I’m choosing to share my life with someone I would expect to tell them anything that’s big that would could influence my decisions like childhood trauma and giving up a child. It’s definitely complicated but I would expect the same from my significant other. If you can’t trust each other then what do you really have to base your relationship on…. I think I understood that this was Xavier’s reaction, he was questioning what was their relationships foundation based on if there was no trust.


Posted Feb. 03, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sylviaann

Join Date: 01/14/18

Posts: 83

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

If painful moments from your past are still affecting your daily life, it could be worth talking to your partner about. Whatever they may be, these events will affect your relationship today, especially if you haven’t worked through them in a therapy setting. Revealing them may allow your partner to support you in overcoming them.


Posted Feb. 04, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 259

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

Although I do believe some secrets are better kept under wraps, the fact that Ruth had a child before meeting Xavier is a pretty big issue that she should have revealed to him before they got married . It seems like they had a great relationship and she should have been able to trust him with that information, but I can also see how after so much time, finding the right time to tell him would have caused some anxiety and stress for both of them .


Posted Feb. 11, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
DebH

Join Date: 05/24/19

Posts: 4

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

Ruth was tucked away during her pregnancy and had to hide in many ways. I agree that without a support system to help her deal with her feelings she was going to find it difficult to unload her secret in the early stages of a relationship. So much of our personal history impacts our ability to communicate, love, and trust.
When Xavier wanted to start a family, Ruth began the painful process of confronting her past. I think she is to be credited with starting that journey.


Posted Feb. 14, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
xandrabk

Join Date: 04/16/19

Posts: 44

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

I don't think Ruth "owed" it to her husband but I do think that a marriage should be with one that you can trust with your deepest secret. If the spouse is a friend, which would be best for a marriage, she should have shared out of respect and simply to have someone that she could talk to about it. If she had no plans of seeking her son out, she could have possibly never brought it up.


Posted Feb. 24, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tarablythe

Join Date: 01/14/21

Posts: 8

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

I don't think you have to tell every single detail of your past, but I don't understand marrying someone you aren't comfortable telling something as big as a past pregnancy.


Posted Feb. 24, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 424

RE: Ruth ponders, "What did a wife ...

I believe that lying to your husband or wife is wrong, but I also do not believe that you have to state every fact of your life prior to meeting them. A person should volunteer what ever information they are comfortable telling and leave it at that, knowing that there maybe something that comes up later that you feel obligated to explain.


Reply

Please login to post a response.