What does honesty in marriage look like? Do we tell our spouse every thought that comes into our head? Are there things that we should keep from our spouse?
I know some women who have separate checking accounts and secret money that they keep from their husbands. Other women go shopping and never tell their husband’s what they bought. Some women have friendships with men and don’t talk to their husbands about them.
Are these “secrets” okay in a marriage?
Couples are at different places in their relationships. If you’re married to a man who is abusive and untrustworthy, you may need to have a secret account for your protection.
I have a friend whose husband was addicted to drugs, but she felt God wanted her to stay in the marriage. She had many boundaries including separate bank accounts because he would often take the grocery money and spend it on drugs.
If you’re a Christian married to a non-addict and you believe that God created marriage as a picture of the relationship between the church and Christ (Ephesians 5:22-32), then it’s probably not okay to keep secrets.
Honesty is based on trust and trust is essential to any healthy relationship, but even more in a marriage. The Bible says that when a man and woman marry they become “one” (Mark 10:6-9). If you are one with your husband, then you probably share everything.
Sharing everything doesn’t mean being tactless and unloving, though. In my own life I’ve decided to share some things and withhold others for the sake of loving my husband better.
Do I tell my husband about the $50 extra dollars I spent on homeschool materials?
Definitely. Financial transparency is key to building trust in our relationship. I am accountable to my husband about how I handle our money because I want to help us reach our financial goals.
Do I tell him about how irritated I am that he left his dirty clothes on the bathroom floor?
Maybe not. I should probably spend some time praying and discerning why it irritates me. Am I thinking selfishly about all I have to do around the house and how he should be responsible enough to take care of his own clothes, or do I consider the fact that he worked 12 hours that day and fell exhausted into bed? It’s a small thing for me to love him by picking up his clothes.
What do you think? Is it better to share everything or keep some things to yourself? Leave a comment and let us know.
Please Note: I am not a professional marriage counselor, just a wife sharing her opinions and observations.
If you realize that you have not built your marriage on trust in God and in each other, you may need to seek some outside counsel. Sit down with a couple whose marriage you admire and talk to them about how they handle conflict, keep the romance in their marriage and maintain transparency. If you need more serious help, try a trusted pastor or professional marriage counselor.
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