Editor’s Note: This post is by Sean Platt of Writer Dad.
My wife and I have been together for a dozen years. We have two children, the youngest starting kindergarten in the fall. We work side by side, seven days a week, building our future and celebrating our past. I am fortunate to have an unbelievably healthy marriage and I’d be a fool if I didn’t recognize what renders it so and do all I can to keep adding fuel to the fire.
A strong commitment to consistent communication is key to a thriving marriage. Your spouse is with you forever; richer, poorer, sickness, and health. Trusting them in every measure is the best thing you can do to strengthen what you already have.
Not too long ago, I was with a group of friends, telling a story. In the middle of the narrative one of my friends shot me the sort of look that leaves little room for interpretation. He wanted me to stop telling the story – immediately. I acquiesced, awkwardly shifted gears, and drove the direction of dialogue in the opposite direction. Later, when my friend and I were alone, he explained that he knew where I was going with the story, but there was a particular part he didn’t want me to say out loud.
The part of the story he was referring to was something so trivial it would never have been on my radar. “Why wouldn’t you want me to mention that?” I asked.
“Because I haven’t told my wife.”
This little tidbit in the story was far from some top secret serum. It was merely a nugget from his yesterday when he had been human enough to ask someone for a bit of assistance.
I was flabbergasted. “Why wouldn’t you tell her that?” I asked.
“Because it’s shameful,” he replied.
“No it’s not,” I argued. “It’s human.”
He answered only with his silence.
I’ve thought a lot about the exchange since that day not too long ago. I can’t imagine hiding shame from my wife. I barely believe something is real until it is carried in the air from my mouth to her ears. I especially can’t imagine keeping my pain or hurt inside. People have a fundamental need to communicate. Who better to confide in than the one who hears you snore, takes care of you when you are sick, and knows the ebb and flow of the inside of you?
My wife is my best friend, but it is because I take the time to make it that way. Even working together, there are long stretches from light to dark passing between us without any non business related banter, but we always meet again before we retire.
It is important to connect if you want to stay plugged in, and absolutely essential to finding your best marriage.