Years ago, I watched a man destroy his family. It was painful because so many people in his life tried to warn him, but he was in denial about what he was doing. He began spending more and more time with a woman from work and claimed they were just friends. He would go for runs and bike rides with her alone and get defensive when people close to him called him out for crossing a line. And he continued to deny the true nature of his relationship with her—until he finally left his wife and sons.
All great marriages are built upon honesty. And I really hope you’re reading this because you want a great marriage. Perhaps your marriage is struggling and you want to improve it. I believe you can, but it’s going to require honesty in marriage—and not just with your wife but also with yourself. After 15 years of marriage, I’m realizing I need to look in the mirror first when there are issues in my marriage rather than point the finger at my wife. Here are 3 things to be honest about in marriage.
1. Selfishness is usually at the root of our conflict.Great marriages aren’t just built on honesty—they’re also built on sacrifice.
I hate to admit this, but if I’m being honest with myself, usually my pride, ego, or selfishness is at the root of most of my conflict with my wife. It’s easy to blame others, especially our wives, when we get into conflict. But if we’re honest, many times, we’re simply being selfish. Great marriages aren’t just built on honesty—they’re also built on sacrifice. I fear our culture has done us a great disservice by promulgating a “what’s in it for me” attitude. If we bring that into our marriages, we’re doomed. Let’s not only be honest about how we’re more selfish than we think but let’s embrace sacrifice.
2. We often take our wives for granted.
Remember how you acted while dating your wife? Chances are you worked hard to impress her. You took her out to eat, you asked her questions, and you got to know her on new levels. Hopefully, you dreamed together and thought about what the future could be if you were married. Then you got married and like for many couples, all of that suddenly stopped. We end up taking our wives for granted and just assuming everything is good. Don’t stop romancing your wife. Keep learning about her and dreaming with her.
3. We expect things to get easier.
I’ve realized recently that unrealistic expectations that aren’t met put tremendous pressure and strain on relationships. For some reason, I had expected marriage would get easier the longer we were together. The reality is marriage is hard. Life has gotten more complicated for us as our kids have gotten older and other outside pressures have mounted. We have this unrealistic expectation that feelings of love should come easily and last forever. But the reality is far from that. Marriage takes work and just because it takes work doesn’t mean it’s bad. Most things we work hard for are worth it in the long run. It should be no surprise that great, lasting marriages work through difficult seasons of life.
Sound off: Why do you think it’s important to have honesty in marriage?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “Can you give me some honest feedback on how I treat you and our relationship?”