The power of honesty

Relational advice from Bridgerton

Mason Brooks, Staff Reporter

Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton, a young lady navigating her debut in society, required to seek out a suitor. (Courtesy of Liam Daniel / Netflix)

Packed with sex, scandal, and secrets, Netflix’s new series has a surprising amount to say about the importance of honesty in relationships.

Reader be warned! This article contains spoilers for Bridgerton.

Right before New Years, Netflix released their new show Bridgerton, which has taken the platform by storm. The show takes place in early 19th century London and follows Miss Daphne Bridgerton as she enters the yearly marriage season with the rest of London’s eligible young ladies.

These poor youths must compete in this societal tournament under heavy scrutiny in hopes of finding a suitable husband. Lucky for Daphne, she doesn’t have to weather this storm alone. By her side through the show is Daphne’s mother, Lady Violet.

When Daphne falls in love and marries later in the show, she counts on her mother for advice and guidance as she enters into a new world. As Daphne prepares for her wedding night she comes to her mother with questions, having no understanding of sex.

Instead of providing her daughter with the necessary knowledge about sex, Lady Violet only leaves the soon to be bride with vague metaphors. This lack of wisdom leaves the new bride entirely out of the loop once she starts her honeymoon.

Lady Violet was given a chance to open up to her daughter in a way her own mother most likely never did, probably out of fear, she chose not to. This single decision later brings tension and strife to their relationship. This decision was utterly avoidable, had Lady Violet taken the risk and been open and honest with her daughter.

Daphne’s relationship with her family may be an important element of the show, but the true heart of it can be found in the relationship between Daphne and her eventual husband, Simon, the Duke of Hastings.

The two meet in the heart of the season yet they seem to be an impossible pair at first. 

The Duke has no interest in marriage and Daphne sees nothing of value in the Duke. Yet against all odds, the pair agree to a plan to outsmart their social circles to find Daphne a husband, whilst keeping the matchmaking mothers off  Simon’s back. This plan takes the form of a pretend courtship which allows the unlikely couple to become friends.

Still convinced that there is nothing between them, the two slowly begin to fall in love.

Queen Charlotte expects entertainment and interesting matches from the marriage season.
(Courtesy of Liam Daniel / Netflix)

Through a series of extreme events, and against their original plans, Daphne and Simon marry.

What the new bride didn’t know is that Simon’s father was extremely emotionally abusive and almost completely absent from his son’s life altogether. He saw his son as a failure to the family line and wanted nothing to do with him. Simon had sworn on his father’s deathbed to never sire an heir, thus ending the only thing his father held dear, his bloodline.

The Duke tells his wife that he “cannot” have children, very different from the fact that he merely “will not.” This lie endears Daphne to her husband as she believes that he desires children, yet is simply unable.

With their newfound misunderstanding, the couple enter into a short season of joy, the wife in blissful ignorance.

Eventually, Daphne becomes curious and searches for the answers she needed from her servant and trusted friend, Rose. Now armed with the truth, Daphne calls out her husband’s deception.

This deception tears the couple apart in more ways than one. Daphne now wants nothing to do with her husband, while Simon remains trapped in anger against his father. The couple nearly decides to live as spouses in name only, walking two entirely different lives.

This show demonstrates the consequences of hiding things from the ones we love. Had Simon come clean to his wife from the beginning, the couple could have avoided that time of heartbreak.

Honesty can be terrifying. How can one know how another will respond? It is easy to think that we should hide our brokenness from those we love. One might ask, how can sharing our scars and struggles help them? Bridgerton argues that opening up about those fears and failures may be the very thing needed to heal.

“You stay, and we get through this together.” Daphne said to Simon.