Complete Transparency

Kate says . . .

I was thinking that my title would be great for talking about lingerie.  I mean lingerie that is completely transparent is sure to be a hit for your hubby’s.  Since that is a great idea, I will keep that in mind for a future post.  But I was thinking along other lines . . . in Brad’s last post, Secrets, Privacy & One Flesh Marriage, he tackled some tough and controversial issues.  Some readers have shared their thoughts and it has been very interesting to see what people think about marriage and privacy.

I have a question that pops into my mind when thinking of secrets and privacy.  How often do you keep things (anything really) from your hubby and convince yourself they are different or less then they really are?

I have experienced over my many years in life (34 I am proud to say), that people have the amazing skill of doing one thing and then convincing themselves that it either did not happen all together or that it happened all together differently.  For instance, we are a part of something that we know was wrong or crossed over a line and so we back pedal and tell ourselves it was not as bad as it seemed. Once we convince ourselves, we are then ready to convince others if need be. If I am honest with myself, I can admit that I have definitely done the second on that list, perhaps the first although I hope not.

I think that this mindset can come into play where privacy and secrets are concerned with marriage.  Whether it is spending way too much money at the mall, poking fun at your hubby to all of your girlfriends just for a good laugh or chatting extensively with someone of the opposite sex through social media.  All of these things can leave us with a temporary high that we enjoy.  So we easily find ourselves back in a similar spot doing the same thing again.  Perhaps we find that these things can fill a void that we feel in our marriage.  Or perhaps they just stroke our ego and make us feel special.  Whatever the reason, playing with fire becomes attractive.

I have to be honest and go on record as saying, I think secrets hold no value and can only cause trouble, chiseling away at trust.  I also think that privacy leaves when the marriage vows enter.  The marriage relationship was created by God and is like no other relationship.  None other compares!  So when we are talking about privacy, please remember your other family members, including children and parents do not apply.  It is understandable to set up boundaries where they are concerned.  You are not “one flesh” with any of them.

I like many people, love surprising my hubby.  I also love being surprised by him, as long as it is not in front of a room full of people.  (SO not my thing.)    But surprises are only here and there.  They are most likely not a constant dynamic in your marriage.  So asking your hubby not look at any emails from a certain company or not to look at all your email for a day or two is understandable.  Surprises are great and I would even encourage them.  Where transparently and trust are the forefront of a marriage, surprises should never really be a problem.

Then there is the ever popular subject of permission.  Many have expressed that, they would rather their spouse ask before going into their email or other accounts.  I do realize that we all come from different backgrounds, were raised in different families and so we all enter marriage with different comfort levels as well as thoughts on privacy.  While I respect these variations, the question that won’t stop nagging me is, “why”?  Why would you need or want your hubby to ask permission before logging on to any account you may have.  If you feel that your hubby (or wife) should ask permission, then I challenge you that you need to really question why.  While snooping is not a good or trustworthy behavior, neither is setting up these boundaries in marriage.  Personal space and alone time are one thing.  Having a place where your spouse is not allowed, works directly against being one flesh.

If you are a wife who loves her hubby tremendously, but also loves to keep certain parts of her life privately hidden, I would challenge you to rethink that approach.  Openness and complete transparency is a wise way to be.  I believe it is also how God designed marriage to be.  Though there are no specific scriptures, I believe complete transparency and openness is supported fully through all of the scriptures speaking to husbands and wives.  Even so, Ephesians 5:21 rings in my head each time I think about having secrets, walls and boundaries up between husbands and wives.

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”.  (NIV)

How can we submit to one another, when we are keeping things from one another? Part of submitting in marriage is complete openness.  Even if you expect your hubby to ask to see your email, you are building a wall.  Walls will do their best to discourage your one flesh journey.  That’s what they do, they are walls!  Ephesians 5:21 is a verse that instructs us all as believers, but the marriage relationship is different.  God desires for you and your hubby to have a marriage where two become one and where secrets cannot get a foothold.

I would imagine, if you offered for all of your email and other social media to be completely open for your hubby to look at anytime, he would greatly appreciate the gesture.  I think you also would find that he probably would not be daily checking out what you are doing.  Anyone who is willing to offer that kind of transparency freely, is trusted.

This is a hot topic for sure.  I would love to hear from more wives and hubby’s out there, what do you think?  If you believe there should be privacy, share with us-why!  For those that agree with complete transparency, what have you and your spouse done to flesh that out in your marriage?  Sometimes we feel the pull to snoop. To check through email, Facebook and cell phone lists. Where should we draw the line and what is acceptable within marriage?

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12 Responses to Complete Transparency

  1. I think is great! My husband and I have struggled through this… but it’s mostly on my side. I love to shop and my husband has never restricted me really, just asking that we talk about it before I spend a ton of money and that I not go crazy unless we’ve agreed on an amount. But, at the beginning of or marriage I was used to spending what I wanted when I wanted and not answering to anyone. So I would spend it and just not tell my husband for fear he would be mad at me or tell me to return it or stop shopping! (heavin forbid!)  I saw this as acceptable and okay… though now I’m not sure why! 🙂 It was my wise and wonderful husband that pointed out the issues. I confessed to making some small purchases… which are not a big deal but I kept them from him because I didn’t want to “Get in trouble”. When I old him this he expressed to me how dangerous this little bit of secrecy is. If I was willing to keep something small like that from him, what else would I keep from him? It would get easier and easier to keep secrets… eventually BIG ones that could be detrimental to our marriage. This was a hard lesson to learn… but it is more important to have my husbands trust and complete openness in our marriage than to buy some things without his knowledge. It is a practice in trust, honesty and submission. If my husband has a request for spending limits I need to respect him and submit to his quite reasonable and wise request! Thanks for the post on secrecy, it’s a good one!

    • Hi Missy!

      Thanks for sharing some of your story! I could not agree with you more. I too struggled with shopping in the beginning of our marriage as well! But I too have learned over the years, that all purchases (except for suprises) need to be completely transparent as well. Finances are a big area of contention in many marriages. Many times there is a spender and a saver in the marriage. Working through that together can bring amazing balance to the marriage. Kinda awesome how God does that, if we are willing to see the blessing for what it is! Again thanks so much for sharing.

      Blessings, Kate

  2. I’m not sure if this totally relates to the topic, but my husband and I have a great tool for accountability and transparency with each other, particularly in regards to social media. My husband and I both have X3 Watch installed on our computers and phones. This is a free program that detects if porn or other questionable sites are visited on our computers and emails a person Of your choosing if a questionable site is visited. This has helped for any temptation in that area to be visible to one another if needed. I highly recommend it!

  3. I guess I have taken for granted how transparent we are with one another. I’ve never felt the need for ‘privacy’ in any matter except if I order a surprise gift for him or something! It’s not like we audit each other or anything, but my computer is always sitting on the countertop and his on the desk, and we’ll occasionally use one anothers for misc reasons. If I was suspicious of something, I would ask him and I don’t think I would even need to check his computer/phone/whatever b/c I’m sure he would be honest with me. But I would be able to tell because the few times he is trying to keep a secret (good or bad!) he is totally incapable, so I guess I don’t worry about it because I can read him like a large print book. We share accounts and passwords to everything and it has just never occurred to us to do otherwise because we trust each other and always have. I can’t imagine a marriage with anything less.

    • Hi Nanners P! Thanks for sharing some of how you and your hubby deal with privacy and transparency! I applaud you both! Unfortunatly there are many couples out there who really struggle in this area. I also have had wives share with me that they would have never suspected their husbands were keeping something from them, but in fact they were. That is not to say that your hubby is at all. But sin is attractive and many times we can find ourselves in the middle of it very quickly! But I agree with you completely, that everything should be open to our spouses! Thanks again for sharing and blessings to you and your hubby! Kate

  4. I don’t think my husband would ever open up any of his e-mail accounts to me and would be highly offended if  I asked.  He would tell me, you either trust me or you don’t and it’s being disrespectful to even have to ask for a password. He keeps numerous e-mail accounts and there is no way I’d ever know them all, let alone work accounts. We have only been married a short amount of time, but I know that he will tell white lies to avoid getting in trouble and causing conflict, but he doesn’t see this as lying.  He becomes very offended if I suggest he has been untruthful with me.    He doesn’t understand how hard it is to trust him under these circumstances.  He used to watch a lot of porn before I knew him and he tells me that there is no way he can delete it all, but when he comes upon it, then he says he will delete it.  Trust is a big issue here and I pray daily for divine wisdom.  He says he loves me very much and so, I rest my hope with God and that my husband will see how I respect and love him and be changed by observation.  I have and keep absolutely no secrets from the man I love.

    • Hi Belle! Thanks for writing and sharing some of your story! This is a hard issue. It does feel as though we should be able to trust our spouse and not need to ask them to see anything. In a world without sin, that would be true. What is also true is that the marriage relationship is special and like no other. It cannot be compared to any other relationship we expereince (other then Christ). Sin or not, I believe God wanted complete transparency in our marriages. We should hold nothing back from our spouse. Nothing!

      I understand that you wanting to have that complete transparency makes your husband feel disrespected. But I disagree with him. Mutual respect would allow for complete transparency. I would encourage you to talk with your hubby about being transparent. That if you can share yourselves completely, body and all, why can you not share this.

      I am sure your hubby loves you very much. And you should continue to pray for God’s wisdom and His guidance. There are times that we truly have to seek God’s calm and peace when trusting. The enemy will try to steal, kill and destroy our marriages. So while you need to be trusting, there should also be transparency. I feel it is consistant with the teachings in God’s word for marriage. We are to be completely transparent with Christ. And our relationship with our husbands is paralled with Christ and the church in the Bible.

      As for practical ways to flesh this out . . . make sure you are showing your hubby respect in all areas. Because God asks that of us as wives, but also because you are building a consistant character as a wise woman. That does not mean you cannot talk with him about desiring to be transparent. Share with him why you want that and how you feel that will benefit your marriage. Try to stay away from pointing fingers. He is already going to be on guard, for feeling attached. Share from your heart. How much you want your marriage to grow and be the marriage God wants it to be!

      Know that I am praying for you and your hubby! Blessings to you both! Kate

  5. i maintain an openness with my wife on my email and phone but am unconfortable with her taking decisions like deleting mails or sms without telling me and also switching of my fone without telling me and picking my calls without my consent. again the habit of daily checking of my sms and mails even when i dont check her own.

    • I have heard this from many husbands. I wonder if some of this is a guy/girl difference. In the couples I know, the wives generally have an expectation of keeping tabs on the husband, while the husbands are generally “hands off” in that regard toward their wives. Interestingly, the wives also tend to be more socially active, with many more relationships, interactions, and communications whereas the husbands tend to stick to smaller social circles and, due to the busyness of their work schedules, have less time for social engagements. This is to say, it would seem that the wives would actually be the higher risk group, which would necessitate more surveillance.

  6. I would love to have this type of transparent relationship but my husband has completely different ideas about privacy. I don’t mind him looking at my phone or email or things of that nature. I honestly encourage it. He, on the other hand, calls me nosy for even attempting to look at his things. So, I snoop and I find out the reasons why he didn’t want me to look.