The title says it all. In our last post we shared that honesty was an attribute of a healthy marriage. We received lots of comments about how difficult this is to do.
Billy Joel sings it well…
If you search for tenderness
It isn’t hard to find
You can have the love you need to live
But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind
It always seems to be so hard to give
Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you
That last line.. .“mostly what I need from you”…is the secret to deepening your marriage bond.
I’ll never forget the first time Tom and I were really, gut-level honest with each other. It was during our third year of marriage and I was 8 months pregnant with our first baby. We had a heart-to-heart talk where we told each other things about our struggles that we had never shared before. It was the beginning of learning to trust each other enough to be vulnerable in the hurtful place.
What we had to share was difficult because we were disclosing areas of sin and weaknesses that we had told no one—ever! And you know what? We discovered our hearts could handle the truth because we had a Savior who had handle our sin for us. This allowed us to extend grace when grace was needed most.
I’m not saying that the road was easy.
It was probably one of the most difficult seasons of our young marriage. But now, looking back, we can see the dots of God’s faithfulness to us. Each “Honesty session” as we called it back then, caused us to take a deep breath as we plummeted the depths of what motivated our actions. It was raw. It was painful. It was like a surgery of our hearts, making us into one flesh.
And this was not the only honesty session we had, it was just the first. Firsts are always hardest because you don’t know where it will lead you. Will it be better or worse as a result? That depends largely on the commitment you each have to the covenant of marriage. Tom and I had said from day one that divorce was not an option no matter how difficult our marriage might become, and this commitment carried us well through the rough waters of honesty.
That first session was 36 years ago, and we have weathered many more as recently as last week. But now there is a foundation of trust between us that we can talk about whatever struggle or temptation we might be facing and know that we won’t be alone, as Billy Joel sadly concludes.
What areas have you found difficult to be honest about with your spouse? We encourage you to do the hard work and allow your spouse into the discussion. They may have the keys to unlock the answers you’ve been searching for.