I had the good fortune of spending time with a wise teacher of mine this weekend. Through the course of the seminar, a wide range of topics was covered but something that she said, stood out to me as it relates to marital relationships: “What you hide, you get to keep.”
My teacher was not talking about marriage per se but rather about those places in us that we do not want to expose to others…our fear, hurt, embarrassment, shame. The places where we feel most vulnerable. We tend to hide these places from others…we pretend that they do not exist, try to cover them up, or sometimes we over-compensate by doing something extreme on the other end of the spectrum to make people believe that we don’t have those tender parts at all (think insecure individual behaving outlandishly in order to gain attention from others).
We spend quite a lot of time and energy hiding parts of us that we believe are unsavory and we do in fact get to “keep” them. If you have ever worked with me you have heard me say, “What you tend to grows.” Therefore, if you are spending time ensuring that parts of you are well hidden, you have built a well-defended fortress to keep out any intruders. What lives in this fortress…guilt, shame, humiliation, pain…will stay there and you get to keep it there for as long as you choose.
It struck me how this is also what happens in marriages. Marriage secrets can take up some valuable marital real estate if we let it. Secrets about money, affairs, addictions, old hurts, jealousies, feelings of inadequacies. These parts you can guard for years…and you have the free choice to keep this pain all to yourself. But, the problem is, as long as it is nursed inside of us, it does not have an opportunity to heal and transform. And, what most people find is that the pain does not disappear or go away…it becomes a dull nagging ache inside of us that we are often acutely aware of.
I’m not saying that you should go and reveal all of your marriage secrets to your spouse or partner.
I am inviting you to look at what you are guarding inside…what are you afraid to expose…what are you terrified for your partner to know and see about you? What is so scary about the thought of sharing this with your partner? What might they think or feel about you? THIS is where it gets interesting. This is an opportunity to lean into your relationship more fully.
Finish this sentence: If my partner/spouse knew about _____ they would think that I was ______.
And you don’t want your partner to think that of you, so you keep the secrets hidden to protect them. Of course you do, this makes sense. However, if you are interested in walking a new path with these hidden places in you, this landscape is rich for transformation and the vehicle for transformation is vulnerability.
Call me if you are wondering how to turn these secrets into marital success. Book a free 10-minute consultation online by clicking the button below. Or give me a call at 720.457.3342. I look forward to speaking with you!