It seems that everywhere you turn, there is another blog, self-help book, sermon, facebook post, tweet, survey...about the "secrets of marriage". One lady today responded "Uh, don't get a divorce." Yeah, well said. But I find that finding the secrets requires finding the good things, the perks, the upsides, right? That's why I've decided to fill you in on my little nugget of a secret...
Let me also start by saying that I have been writing-for months and months-about the struggles of marriage, the trials with temptations, the hurdles and heartaches of trying a new way of living. And, like Adele, I'm kind of tired of the bluesy stuff. (Maybe you are too.) Please, please hear me when I say that I've learned an entire heap of good things from those months: help, healing, strength, faith, real love. I just think that it may be a good day for a new twist.
So, now that we've got some of our ducks in a row, our crap put together, our rears in gear...I've got THE secret--the end all, tell all, all you need to know, secret.
There is no other person I can look strait in the face and say things like, "that is the ugliest shirt I've ever seen," or "let me have the rest of that brownie", and even, "I am so gassy today."
You see? The perfect secret to really keep the fire alive!
Giuliana and Bill (my favorite, guilty-pleasure, couples, reality show) did a little ditty on the secrets of marriage, and by the end of that hour I learned that their secret is to have fun. And apparently, it works. I try to be the fun-haver, the never serious, always light-hearted gal, but that's just not me. So, I've discovered that my little secret is that you've got to tell this other person you're sharing your life with Everything. Tell them when you're excited, when you're happy, when you're angry, when you're depressed, when you're doubtful, when you're hopeful. Tell them when you've had enough of them that day, tell them when all you want to do is stay locked up with them. Tell them that their best friend drives you nuts or their boss is a real jerk. Tell them when all you've got left is a food craving and sleep, tell them when you need a day o' fun.
If there is one thing I've learned in the past few months (there isn't just one, by the way) it's that a secret, hidden place in your heart is as good as a spear that will eventually leap its way out of your chest and into theirs, piercing and damaging their heart. Those dark places inside of you that you fear to reveal will always be revealed. Those are the things that marriage brings out most. Andy Stanley does an amazing love series about each of us being coffee mugs filled with beads. Those beads are the little tendencies or attitudes that spill out when we're under pressure. And, who better to put you under pressure than the person God Himself placed in your life to make you better, more holy?
I don't have to be afraid to speak my mind when I go home tonight. I didn't have to be afraid months ago to say "the man at work is hitting on me". I never had to be afraid to say "the bedroom brings up bad memories today". I never had to fear saying the biggest and baddest things that were on my mind because I trusted him to keep those secrets safe.
So, that's it. I think this might be my secret to staying married. I give props to my mom who always finishes my sentences. (She made me aware of this in Vegas, I had no idea it was happening.) She hears my thoughts, speaks them out loud, and always makes them safe. My worries, fears, big ideas, and dreams have always been kept safe. And whether or not she called hubby before we got married to teach him how to keep my thoughts safe, he does it just as well.
Maybe you're not even married, but I do suggest writing this down in the book of "premarital requirements”. Find someone that you can say anything to—the embarrassing, the truthful, the real, the weird—and you'll have yourself a person worth staying married to.