Should we truly be 100% honest in marriage?
I’ve written before that I don’t think absolute honesty is the best policy in marriage, and today, for Top 10 Tuesday, I thought I’d elaborate and share 10 things you SHOULDN’T say to your spouse! I even asked you all on Facebook for your opinions, and got some great answers that I’ll sprinkle through this post.
But first, I want to go back to first principles.
What is it that God wants for marriage? He wants us to have intimate marriages where we truly “know” each other; where we’re able to love each other and be a team and serve God together. We want to feel like one flesh.
That means that when we’re sharing, we need to ask, “Is this something that will build up intimacy and one-ness, or will it tear it down?” Now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t share hard things, because sometimes hard things need to be shared to get to that next level of intimacy. But often it means that some things, I believe, should be dealt with on your own with God, or with a friend or accountability partner instead of your spouse.
So let’s take a look at what some of those things may be!
10 Things You Shouldn’t Share with Your Spouse
1. “I wouldn’t have married you” if I knew then what I know now
One woman recently wrote me about a close friend who shared just this. She says:
Another woman wrote:
Do you have a hard time asking for what you want?
2. “I don’t love you right now”
Let’s be clear: love is an action, not just a feeling. You can act love even if you don’t feel it. If you are going through a period of distance with your spouse, when you don’t feel close, telling them that you don’t love them will increase that distance, not decrease it.
Yes, your marriage may be in crisis, and it may mean that you need to share something so you can try to rebuild, but that’s the time to say, “I’m feeling so unhappy and so distant from you, like there’s a big chasm. I don’t want that. I think we need to do something. Can we talk about it?” And try my emotional reconnection course, too!
3. “I’m not attracted to you anymore”
Now that’s a surefire way to wreck someone’s confidence! And once you share it, it can never be taken back. It’s one thing to talk to your spouse about being concerned about their health and wanting to help them get a handle on it; it’s quite another to say, “you don’t turn me on.”
4. “I think X is hot”
I know a few couples who are super confident and who share everything, and who even keep each other up to date on who they think is hot at church, so their spouse can hold them accountable.
So perhaps some marriages can get away with this.
But in general, it’s not a good idea to tell your spouse you think someone else is attractive.
Here’s a story one Facebook commenter left:
Besides, talking about lust or finding someone else attractive just feeds those feelings. Keep your eyes on your spouse. If you notice someone else, instead of mentioning it, why don’t you take that moment to kiss your spouse and fill your mind with all the things you love about your spouse?
5. “Let me tell you details of my past sexual experiences”
If you have sexual baggage, it’s crucial that your spouse knows, because it’s going to affect your life now. So they need to know in general terms: are we talking 1 partner or 50? Was sex coerced or was it consensual? Did you enjoy it in general or was it awful in general? Those things are good to know.
However, you should never share so much that your spouse could picture it, play by play. We may think that baring our whole pasts is a good thing, but too many details can really torture a spouse today. And if they ask to know details, that’s the time to stop sharing. It doesn’t do anyone any good and can feed jealousy. If your spouse just can’t get past it, perhaps that’s the time to see a counsellor–or at least read this post on overcoming jealousy.
6. “I enjoyed sex with X a lot!”
If you had a really good time sexually with someone else before you were married, your spouse now does not have to know that. Even if the sex was better or more exciting, your spouse does not have to be burdened with that information. What will that solve?
If you’re feeling unhappy with your sex life now, then do something about it, rather than reminding yourself how great it used to be. Try the 31 Days to Great Sex!
7. “Your penis is too small”
I once had a woman write to me in agony because her husband’s anatomy was on the small side. Because she had had sexual partners before marriage who were better endowed, she knew what she was missing. She didn’t want to tell him (thankfully!), but she also didn’t know what to do. Here’s a post that can help you achieve more sensation during intercourse even if he’s not well endowed. And there is NEVER a reason to let your husband think that his body isn’t good enough for you! That’s something many men can’t recover fully from.
8. “That idea would never work”
One Facebook commenter said,
9. “I already knew that ages ago!”
The same commenter left this other gem:
10. “I’m tempted by X”
Here’s what one Facebook commenter said:
So there you go! 10 things not to share with a spouse.
One woman summed it up really well this way:
So what do you think? Are there some things you shouldn’t share with your spouse? Have I missed something? What would #11 be to you? Let’s talk in the comments!