The longer I am married, going on 16 years now, the more I am convinced that tying the knot is not meant for the weak at heart or the weak minded. A good marriage takes the kind of work that requires each individual to be all in…for life. Ask anyone who’s been successfully married for a while and they will tell you that communication is the driving force behind their continued union.
While communication is a key aspect of keeping the love strong, it’s important to strengthen one of its most challenging concepts – openness. The quality of your openness with your spouse can make or break your relationship. In fact, the rise or fall of your marriage lies squarely in your ability to grasp real transparency.
In its purest form, communication requires the kind of vulnerability that people fear. When it comes to your spouse, fully letting your hair down, if you will, can seriously make cowards of us all. But it is one of the greatest ways you and your Bae can ensure a lifetime of trust and ultimately love. Even if your relationship seems doomed, there are three ways you can be open with your spouse that has the potential to truly change the course of your marriage.
When two people decide to get married, they each bring a plethora of life experiences to their union. The effect these experiences will have in the marriage won’t be easy to determine beforehand. However, preemptive action can be taken to prevent a fallout if a negative situation is triggered.
To set your marriage up to win, you must each be willing to vulnerably share the pain you feel and how your partner can help you move forward when you’ve been hurt. Taking the relationship higher will mean taking the conversations deeper. Surface conversations are no longer your friend. You know you are making emotional headway when you may be ashamed or embarrassed by what you share. This type of transparency is an important catalyst in deepening the trust between you as a couple. As a result, you will be rewarded with a healthier and stronger bond.
It may seem a bit weird, but physical openness in a relationship can be a big deal if it’s not handled well. We all have insecurities about our bodies. We’re too fat. We’re too skinny. Big forehead. Flat butt. Too short. Too tall. Big nose. Crooked teeth. The list is never ending. Unfortunately, our insecurities about our self image can bring unnecessary tension to the relationship if we fail to be open about them. I don’t mean in a self deprecating way either. Instead, be open about the physical shortcomings that bother you the most and tell your spouse why.
- Maybe you were teased as a kid about your nose.
- Maybe you’ve always carried a little more fat than you’d like
- Maybe the jokes about your teeth are the reason you now refuse to smile
Whatever it may be, revealing your physical insecurities helps your spouse know one more way to encourage you. As that happens, you will learn to set aside any doubts you have about how they see you and you learn to love yourself even more.
Sharing your mind and your way of thinking is an incredible bridge builder in a relationship. By giving your partner the opportunity to know how you think, you can open the door to communication and understanding even wider. Understanding you intellectually serves many purposes:
- It makes you easier to approach
- It removes the guessing game from the relationship
- It gives you both a chance to affirm and reaffirm your compatibility
- It makes conversations way more fun
The ability to talk to each other intelligently leads to a deeper understanding of the heart. When you know the things that are most important to your spouse’s heart, you can develop and implement ways to serve it, encourage it, and protect it.
No one said that marriage would be easy. But to make it great, openness is a must. No matter where your relationship is today, you can give it a fighting chance by laying your heart, mind, and body on the table and trust your spouse to take care of it all.
BMWK, are you ready to really be open with your spouse?