Honesty in Your Marriage? No Way!
Dear Awesome Woman,
Growing up in American culture, I was taught to speak my mind honestly:
“Say what you mean.”
“Let people know what’s on your mind.”
“Don’t let anyone get away with anything.” “Speak up!”
“Honesty is the best policy.”
“Closeness means sharing what you really think.”
— this was the kind of philosophy that I was raised with.
Lo and behold, after 25+ years of marriage, I realized that this philosophy does not hold suit. It was all a lie. So many fights and ups and downs came about through me thinking that this philosophy of honesty was critical in a marriage.
It was not.
What is important in a marriage is kindness, delicacy and respect. And these do not add up to being honest all the time. Nowadays, I am in agreement with Laura Doyle, the marriage expert I was fortunate to train with. She advises women to often “put on the duct tape” and approach issues using feminine wisdom. This is respect.
And it is this philosophy that brings peace to the home.
Does it mean keeping everything in, swallowing your thoughts, words and feelings? No and yes. Words are best swallowed when critical, degrading and judgmental. Words can be carefully tailored when spoken to your husband of the male species.
Thoughts and feelings, on the other hand, no—do not swallow those. As a somatic healer and clarity coach who works with clients (including my own self!), thoughts and feelings can always be expressed—at least to oneself and on paper. Emotions are ‘energy in motion’ and that energy does need to be listened to and allowed to flow. Your emotions have wisdom for you, are deeply connected to your body and pave the way for you to hear your inner guidance system—your intuition. This mindbody soul connection can guide you in all your relationships. But your man doesn’t always have to hear the nitty gritty of the process.
So, next time that you feel annoyed at your hubby for the socks on the floor, the mess in the bathroom, or his lateness, don’t lash out in honesty. Instead, dive into your emotions, write out your angry thoughts on paper (and then rip it up), and approach the subject with feminine wisdom and intuition. You may realize that the issue isn’t a big deal and tap into gratitude for all the amazing things your husband does do. Or you can use communication techniques that honor your feelings with a respectful kind of honesty and don’t require attacking your man. Here are two communication tools to try :
1) Numerous studies have shown that a husband’s greatest wish is to make his wife happy (unless he is a Narcissist/Borderline). I know that if your marriage is in a difficult place, it can look and feel differently than this, but magical shifts can happen when a woman expresses her desires, without expectations and in a kind and respectful way. Try this: make a request using “I’d love” or “I’d like” without expectation energy and without the “you” word. Want the toilet lid down? How about “I’d love the toilet lid kept down.” Want a picture hung up on the wall? How about trying, “I’d love this picture hung up. I love being surrounded by beautiful memories.” Then give him the space to decide the when and the how. He may choose to hire someone else to do it, but either way he’ll know clearly what will make his wife happy and will feel respected in the ‘clean’ approach.
2) What happens if you feel criticized by your husband? Laura Doyle suggests (and it’s a brilliant one!) saying “Ouch.” And just leave it at that. Don’t go into the whole story and get into a back and forth. This word “ouch” is powerful enough to let your husband know that he said something hurtful to the one he loves.
Your home will be much more peaceful when you are careful with your honesty and your words.
Feel free to forward this to friends. Share the light 🙂
As a Somatic Healer, Clarity Coach and Writer, I help to empower women to trust themselves through the wisdom of their bodies and intuition. Marriage tune-up, toxic relationship healing, career decisions, goal setting, emotional and physical pain relief, and trauma processing can all be accomplished through an integrated somatic process in person or over the phone.Through learning to trust the wisdom of their bodies, emotions, and intuition, women can discover a clear, healthy path to empowerment, vitality and joy. Download your free eguide: ‘3 Secrets to Solve Burnout and Get Energized the Mindbody Wellness Way’ at MiriamRacquel.com. I also welcome you to schedule your Free Clarity call today.