I was keeping a secret from my husband, Steve, and it was starting to wear on me. Having to watch what I said, not meeting the eyes of another who was alluding to it in front of him. And it wasn’t even my secret. But I had agreed to keep it.
As constrained and burdened as I felt, I knew this was a good secret. One that, when revealed, would make Steve very happy. Rebekah Alexander, dear family friend and graduating art student, had done a magnificent charcoal sketch of Steve’s recently deceased father and was exhibiting it at her senior show before gifting it to Steve.
Seeing Steve’s face when he spotted the work of art was priceless. He was – literally – moved beyond words. And I was relieved to be out from under the veil of secrecy. Able to talk about his father without fear of slipping up and ruining his surprise.
It made me think about the weight of keeping secrets from our spouses. If I felt this burdened with a guilt-free secret, how could I endure living with a negative one?
Sometimes life, liberty, or freedom depends on keeping a secret. But for most of us, it’s guilt, shame or some other debilitating emotion that controls. If a toxic secret you are keeping from your spouse is eating away at you, consider sharing it in a way that won’t burden another. (In other words don’t dump it on somebody and swear them to secrecy. )
Is it something that, weighing the soul-stifling burden of keeping it versus the consequences of coming clean, you would be better off coming out with? If it doesn’t seem like it at first, is it something you could talk to a counselor about to find a way to deal with it and share it with your spouse? What about a pastor or priest?
Keeping secrets from our spouses can lead to a slow erosion of mutual trust and damage our marriages irreparably. Unless we’re protecting life, limb or liberty it’s not worth it.
If you’re looking for an up-and-coming artist to commission while you can still afford her, call Rebekah Alexander at 405.602.9827.