For several years, I was a financial advisor. One of my favorite parts of the job was getting to know people. Sitting around kitchen tables, my clients would tell me all about their past successes and failures, future hopes and dreams, and current circumstances and struggles. When I could meet with both husband and wife, they’d both make tons of progress toward meeting their goals. But in most situations, I would meet with only one, and usually, the other spouse didn’t even know about it. More often than I can remember, clients would say, “My spouse doesn’t know about this account and I want to keep it that way.” When I asked why, I always received the same answer: “I don’t trust him/her.” But hiding things in a relationship, especially a marriage, is never wise.Trust is the central ingredient to having a healthy marriage.
Without trust, marriages don’t work. Trust is the central ingredient to having a healthy marriage. Rather than hide things from each other, married couples need to work out their differences. This can be painful, but the alternative will lead to a shallow marriage at best, while at worst, it can have dire consequences. If you are hiding things from your wife, it’s time to share and confront the problem. Here are 5 things husbands hide from their wives that they shouldn’t.
Is her spending out of control? The passive way to handle it is to have a secret savings account, but then her dysfunction or your disagreements never get resolved. Maybe the situation is reversed and you are hiding debt or financial difficulty from her.
Action: You need to get everything out in the open. Financial irresponsibility is a major source of embarrassment and shame, but nothing ever changes until it is brought into the light of day. Relax—we’ve all been there. Sit down together, face it, lovingly talk it out, plan, and set boundaries.
If you feel the need to hide interactions with other women, that’s a sure sign there is something wrong. The question to answer is this: Why hide it? Does she get easily jealous? Do you have feelings for the other woman? Concealing our relationships with women is a quick road to an affair and shows little respect for our wives. Transparency and boundaries you both agree on are paramount to building trust and having a lasting marriage.
Action: Talk through your boundaries so you can be on the same page. Then hold those boundaries. Be careful about the one-on-one interactions you have and never hide anything. The more information you can offer, the better. Full transparency is your friend.
3. When We’re Hurt
“I’m fine.” Have those words ever come out of your mouth, even though you’re not fine? It’s a lie. Whether you don’t want to start a fight or you think that being hurt makes you weak (it doesn’t), holding back what is going on inside will only create division. Nothing will ever change if she doesn’t know and you will silently become bitter.
Action: Share your feelings with your wife. If you are hurt by something she did or said, then say it. Use the words “I feel…” After you have communicated it, forgive and let go of your hurt.
Many men are afraid to share their stress for the same reason they don’t share their hurt. They want to project that they have it all together. The other reason is they think she can’t handle it. But women are perceptive and she most likely already knows. By not telling her, you are forcing her to use her imagination to figure out what’s wrong. That’s hurting her and your marriage.
Action: Don’t go it alone. One of the benefits of marriage is having someone there to help us. We all need help and encouragement. She can handle it. Invite her into your stress. Sharing your insecurities and fears will only make you closer.
5. Sexual Dissatisfaction
Do you feel like you’re not having enough sex? When you do have it, has it become boring and predictable? Many men communicate their desire to have more sex but feel hopeless when nothing changes. So they stop talking about it because it ends in an argument and they don’t see the point. Disengaging from this conversation will only lead to loneliness and bitterness.
Action: Talk about it. After you’ve talked about it, keep talking about it, even when it causes arguments. When you get stuck in disagreement, get help. Go to counseling. If counseling doesn’t work, then go to a different counselor. If the next counselor doesn’t work, find another one. The worst thing you can do is stop trying.
Earn some points: Share this iMOM article with your wife and discuss it: 4 Marriage Secrets You Need Now.
Sound off: What are some other things you think men hide?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is something about you that’s hard to share with others?”