Whether you’re in your first year of marriage or your twentieth year, learning how to be honest and have great communication will eliminate problems, help you trust each other and have a happy and healthy relationship. We’re not marriage experts but we want to share our advice to young (or even seasoned) couples and the 5 tips we’ve learned about honesty in marriage. Challenges, struggles and fighting from time to time is inevitable but we want to keep you from saying, I wish I would have known this earlier.
(Disclaimer: Trent and I don’t have a perfect marriage by any stretch of the imagination. Just like every other couple, there are times when we have arguments and disagree. We make the choice each and every day to love each other.)
Our society paints a beautiful picture of marriage. It’s one with perfect couples that never argue and always get along. Couples that you see through rose colored glasses and that all live happily ever after. But I’m here to tell you that perfect marriages don’t exist.
Marriage takes work, each and every day! Yes, you heard me right. Marriage is hard work!
How It All Started
From the very start of our relationship I was brutally honest with Trent. My heart had been broken from a painful divorce (you can read a bit of my story here) and there was no way that I wanted that to happen again.
Had you been a fly on the wall and listened to our conversations you may have been appalled at just how honest I was with him. In the beginning it was a defense mechanism. I figured that if he couldn’t handle my honesty then there was no point in wasting our time dating.
If it’s any indication of how well my defense mechanism worked, we were married the next year. (All I can say is, our relationship was definitely a God thing!)
The honesty has carried into our nearly nine years of marriage and I can’t tell you how healthy it has been for both of us.
Here are five things we’ve learned about honesty in marriage!
Honesty is not always easy.
There are times when you’ll wish you didn’t have to be honest. It would be so much easier to shove certain conversations under the rug and never have to talk about them again.
But we all know that shoving things under the rug only works for a little while. If they’re not dealt with now they’ll eventually blow up one day.
That conversation may seem difficult now but I promise it will be a lot harder months or even years down the road!
Honesty doesn’t mean blatantly hurting your spouse.
When they taught us the saying “sticks and stones will break your bones but words may never hurt you” as children, they lied.
Whether you’re as tough as they come or like things straight the point, words hurt.
If your spouse gets hurt easily have a little tact and try your best to find a way to be honest without hurting them.
This may mean that you have to talk at a later time. It’s okay to say that you need to think about something before giving a reply.
Honesty takes both spouses.
As children we had a blast riding the see saw. But it was only fun if two people were riding it. (Remember how you’d get stuck on the ground if you were on it by yourself?)
Honesty in marriage is just like a see saw – it takes both spouses.
If both spouses aren’t being honest with each other, it’s not going to work. The spouse that’s trying to be honest is going to get frustrated and end up “on the ground.”
If you find yourself frustrated, talk with your spouse and share how you’d like to be honest with each other.
Create an honesty code.
Let’s face it ladies, we ask our husbands some super stupid questions. (Or, maybe I’m the only person who does this.) These bait and switch questions put the man we love in a difficult spot.
Trent is such a wise man and has come up with a great answer when I ask the bait and switch questions. He’ll say, “There’s not a right answer to that question.”
He’s totally right because either way he answers I’m going to be upset.
Find a “code” that works for your marriage – you’ll be glad you did!
Honesty creates a healthy relationship.
Like many of you, we have walked through some very hard times together. Knowing that I can come to Trent with whatever I’m thinking or feeling and have an open and honest conversation with him is so freeing.
When you get in the habit of being honest with each other your marriage will grow and thrive. You’ll see a healthy relationship spring up! Notice I didn’t say a perfect marriage, but a healthy marriage!
Now it’s your turn. What are your tips for being honest in marriage?