Truth Dart: A short statement that cuts through an MLCer’s confusion and chaos, planting the seed of a question in their mind.

Typically you won’t receive a mature response at the time of delivery. Truth darts grow as an MLCer processes the insight. Short statements cut through the haze beneath detection; long monologues may lose an MLCer’s attention or incite too much anger. They aren’t about realizing an immediate change and a thank you for your honesty. Truth darts have no tip, they’re a mirror. They’re upsetting because directing the MLCer to the mirror encourages thinking, forcing them to face the truth and consequences of their actions, whether they like the truth or not.

Paving the Way doesn’t mean you tell your MLCer pleasant things they want to hear and avoid being real. The delivery of a truth dart needs to be calm, firm and cordial rather than curt, rude or demanding. An irritable tone may drowned out the meaning of your words so that your message goes unreceived.

Truth darts aren’t criticisms, complaints, insults or rants and they shouldn’t be confrontational, but sometimes they hurt. An MLCer may feel the sting of painful truth and reacts with Monster. Sometimes an MLCer admits the validity, sometimes the dart is subtle enough that the MLCer doesn’t immediately feel the sting; instead the truth dart may quietly plant a seed and that seed of dissent within the MLCer may grow. It may enable them to doubt their actions, or feel shame and guilt, but they may or may not associate it with the truth dart sent by you since the seed grows gradually and brings their own thoughts and associations. A neutral and detached delivery will have a better chance of penetrating the barriers your MLCer may have built to keep you out.

  • Divorce destroys families.
  • Do you really think that someone who steals someone’s wife respects commitment?
  • Honorable spouses don’t leave by adultery.
  • Your relationship with her is starting with adultery and destruction. That doesn’t bode well.
  • Do you really like the person you see when you look in the mirror?
  • Actions speak volumes. You’re spending all your time with your new girlfriend; she’s more important to you than our children.
  • You’ve changed your mind about being together 5 times already. Knowing how you feel now doesn’t seem very trustworthy.
  • What kind of example are you setting for the kids? Do you really think they’ll come to you for help or advice when they are married, the man who abandoned them?
  • My husband was always a good father to our children. Who are you?
    Notice that isn’t a direct answer, rather it encourages an MLCer to think and answer for themself.

Truth Darts work well as a response to something an MLCer says.

  • I’ve never felt this way about anyone. She makes me feel alive. I haven’t felt that way about you in years. She’s my soul mate.
    I understand that you have feelings for her, but it sounds like an attempt to justify adultery.
  • I can’t be happy without her; I need her. I would die without her.
    That’s not love. It’s addiction.
  • It’s not because of him. We grew apart.
    Of course we grew apart, you’ve been having an affair! You dedicated the energy and emotions that were meant for us to your affair.
  • I wish you’d stop treating me like a child.
    I’m sorry; that hasn’t been my intention. But consider that maybe you feel I’m treating you like a child because you’re acting like a child.


I am working on this as a piece to add to my manuscript; it will combine with the When to Challenge section of Balancing Love, with Truth Darts replacing the heading When to Challenge. I’d love it if in the comments you could add some of your own examples of truth darts. I used some that I’ve read, some I used and some I just made up, but I don’t think I have enough variety. I would like a bigger selection to choose from—though I think I may need to use fewer than I have listed here in my final version.


Truth Darts20 Comments

  1. RCR: this is in response to your blog on "truth darts" – everything that you mention rings a bell for my relationship with my H, however, as far as I know, there is not an OW, it is his career, that is his obsession. So many times, as our kids, were growing up, he would mention, how he couldn't wait till they were out of the house. Silly me thought, "oh, he wants us to have time alone again". What he really was anticipating was the freedom he would "take" leaving me, not having a loving relationship with his sons (writes them checks, that is his display of love) and pursuing his true love, his career. When he left, I reminded him that we had a wonderful life for a long time, until issues arose with rebellious teenaged sons, he agreed BUT NOW his love was his university and the chance of winning a Nobel Prize. So it doesn't have to be an OW- it can also be the almighty EGO, that wins out over the devotion and connected love of an intact family. Very sad for me and my grown up sons.

  2. I asked my husband a while ago–would you advise any of your sons to break up their family for a woman like OW?

  3. When tell my H is not a very good example for our kids, he get furies and always has one answer: why do I involve the kids in our situation.
    On other one: Why did you run away with an OW you didn't even know before. Answer: Did you want me to have several girlfriends(???).

    • So he asks you why you involve the kids?
      A few options
      “Why do you think the kids being upset means I’m involving them? They live here too.”

      “Why do I involve the kids. I don’t have to do anything to involve them, you left all of us. What, you think they haven’t noticed that?”

      “I am not discussing our problems with our children–they’re toddlers for goodness sake. But they live here, they see you don’t. Their existence involves them and if you believe otherwise, you’re fooling yourself. Divorce damages children.”

      LBS Question: Why did you run away with an OW you didn’t even know before.
      MLCer Answer: Did you want me to have several girlfriends(???)
      “I didn’t ask anything about mutliple girlfriends. I asked why you would leave for a stranger. Apparently you’ve figured out there’s no rational answer that could justify your abandoning your children for someone you don’t know and making that stranger more important then them.”

  4. RCR: Very good answers. Thanks you so much. I'll print them to keep them in my purse so I can read them anytime I want. Pff, it isn't easy talking to an MLC'er. I think we should make a script on how to communicate. So this is a very helpful topic I think.

  5. When my H tried to insinuate that I had put bad thoughts about him in the boys head my truth dart was:

    "Everything you have done to your children in the last several months has been of your own doing". It is not in my character to bad month you. Anyway I didn't have to. Your actions were what made the boys question everything they know about truth and love. I asked them to pray and remember the person that you were. "You cannot and will not make me own any part of what you chose to do to your children."

    • Hi Gallagher. I think that was a wonderfully powerful response – a truth dart at its best. In my own situation, I feel just as you do and have taken a very similar approach. Strength and Blessings to you, your children and…your MLCer.

  6. The most effective truth dart I ever landed to my h was… "if you had been totally free, would you have even considered DATING OW?

    I can still see the stunned look on his face. It was a direct hit.

  7. This is difficult for me. I am only a fiancée, of 5 years, 8 yrs together. I am trying to lay it out so he talks to me, keep the conversation going and cheerful. Consistency. It's been difficult, and we have talked about how he is feeling about moving on… I don't consider this a R talk, but I guess it is. He does taunt me, and say things like I was thinking of going to OW's church this morning. I don't know how to respond. I just act like I don't care, and say "really". Why does he think I should know that? At the same time, earlier in the day, he was balling crying bc he feels so guilty, and is like I don't know how fix all of this (not our relationship, but basically put me back together so he can leave)….

  8. Can I say, my fiancee doesn’t destroy 7 peoples lives over an infatuation/addiction? [His, OW, mine, our 4 kids.)

    • What do you mean? Are you referring to him as the real or core person when you say that? Phrase it differently because technically he is destroying all those lives. Instead of using the word "doesn't" use "wouldn't" and refer to him as "The man I know/knew."

      "The man I knew wouldn't destroy the lives of 7 people for any reason. Who are you?"
      "… wouldn't have destroyed…"
      "…wouldn't be destroying…"

  9. Pingback: What is Paving the Way? - Love AnyWay

  10. My h has been saying over and over that he had to leave, as he did not want to give oor kids a role model of a marriage where parents do not love each other. I asked him: do you want to give them the model that when life feels grey, it is OK to leave for another woman, leaving a crying wife behind? Are you going to tell your son, when he is older, it is OK to have both a wife and a girlfriend?__

  11. Recently my H asked me if I remembered how much his Christmas bonus had been last year. I answered with the truth. I don't know. You told me you got none. I guess you used that money to buy her her Christmas gift.
    Absolute silence and then I just changed the subject. This was huge as a large fallout from his affair has been the amount of debt we accumulated while he was, and still is, supporting her.

    • I would have left it at "I don't know; you told me you got none…" because that leaves him to think. It shows you took him at his word and he is left to deal with the fact he lied. Adding on the rest is more like a knife than a dart. 😉

    • I actually agree with Jennifer's response over leaving off the part about the affair. Don't let someone think you believed their lie. Leaving it off would be fine, but if that means he thinks you believed him, it opens a risk.

  12. I asked my h how he would feel if he knew his dad was having sex with someone other than his mother. He said he wouldn't like that. Duh.

  13. H said something about how ow has 4 little kids. I said all. She is looking at you is a father to her kids. And our kids are older and her kids don't know what cheating is ours do you should be concerned more about our kids.

  14. I also guesstimated and told my h in the last year we probably had a total of 100 hours together by phone and in person, so if you take that out of your life that would have stopped your unhappiness, chaos or whatever word to use?

  15. My husband finally came clean and told me he had an affair….after all, I read some of the emails and texts. He stated he wasn’t happy. ‘So you decide to blow up our marriage and our family because you weren’t happy and you failed to discuss it?’

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