Have you ever chosen not to share something with your spouse or best friend, believing that what they don’t know won’t hurt them? I can’t count how many people have admitted they have a habit they hide from their spouse. So many relationships have difficulty sharing openly about finances and being 100% upfront about where your money is spent. Other times I’ve known people that regret an action or behavior and have stated that they plan on not sharing that with their spouse. I’m sure we all know someone that avoids being fully nude in front of their spouse or the friend that gets up early so their hair and make-up is done before their spouse wakes up. And my goodness, you’ll blow up before you dare to fart in front of him.
As I’ve mentioned before, the successful relationships that I’ve observed all had the commonality of the couple being friends. So in my search for a spouse one of my requirements was that he would be my best friend. And as my best friend, I wanted to be completely at ease with him, no matter what I was going through.
More than 8 years into our marriage and I would say that Neil and I have achieved this, but it didn’t happen without some pushes beyond the comfort zone. I remember the first time I knew I was going to be fully nude in front of him. I’d be flat out lying if I said that was easy! I recall standing in the bathroom, feeling a bit of panic, feeling uncertain and knowing that once I opened that bathroom door there would be no going back. But then I gave my head a shake and reminded myself – you want a best friend? You want complete comfort with this man? Then get your naked butt out there and what will be will be! I did not allow that moment of self-consciousness change what I knew I wanted for my life! Opening that door certainly took effort, but I also knew that spending the remainder of our relationship ensuring he didn’t see me nude would be even more effort. I knew that if I bit this bullet at the beginning that it would allow me incredible freedom from that moment on. There’s been times since, when perhaps I was embarrassed because of the way I treated someone, or I’ve set goals for myself and failed miserably and it crosses my mind that I don’t have to tell him. He’d never know. But the minute I’m feeling that twinge of not wanting to share with him is exactly when I know that I have to share with him. And it pays off, every single time! It is such a relief to share a burden and it always works out for the better. If it’s a confession I’ve struggled with I often find that telling him helps to resolve an issue and I wish I had shared with him earlier.
Together, we’ve built a level of confidence in our relationship where we have very few boundaries. The thing is, in order to build that confidence I had to choose to be vulnerable before I knew I could trust his response would be what I needed it to be. That’s the trick with confidence, you have to behave it sometimes before you feel it, and it’s only after practicing behaving it that you eventually begin to feel it. You have to look far ahead, years down the road, and realize that the payoff for practicing that confidence now will result in much greater ease and success in the future. Now it’s easy for me to be vulnerable to Neil, I know that I know that he’s got my back. I don’t have to spend time and energy and emotions worrying, wondering, being nervous or afraid when it comes to him. I get to just be me! And that’s pretty darn comfortable.