There is no doubt that communication is important in any relationship. For couples to win at love they must be willing to talk to one another about important matters. However, when we discuss the art of transparency, and it is an art, it goes far above and beyond simply having discussions about those things that really matter. Discussing things openly and without any hidden agendas or motives goes right to the heart of what transparency is all about. It is a manner of relating that places on the table all hidden information.
Couples who are completely open and transparent with one another have authentic relationships. These are couples who demonstrate being real with one another and do not hide or seek to hide matters. Now, it is not necessarily an easy feat to accomplish this because transparency in relating to your counterpart requires an amazing level of maturity and emotional aptitude. This manner of being with your mate or spouse encourages total openness and honesty. However, there must be an emotionally safe environment for transparency on this level to occur.
Let’s look at your relationship with your spouse from the perspective of four rooms. In the first room of your relationship there is information that is known to you and to your spouse or mate. The second room is filled with information that is not known to you but your spouse or mate is aware of as it relates to you. The third room contains information that neither one of you are aware of. Finally, the fourth room is filled with information that you know, but your spouse does not.
The goal of a transparent relationship is to move as much information as possible from all of the other rooms to room number one – that room where information is known by both you and your spouse. While many may challenge the need to communicate like this, I offer some strong reasons as to why transparent communication with your spouse is one of the most powerful and effective ways to cleave and place hedges of protection around your marriage.
Using Johari’s window, as describe above with the four rooms, the strongest relationships are formed when information is known to self and others. This is even more important with the person you have committed to spend the rest of your life with.
Transparent Communication in Your Marriage:
1. Closes the door from any external mischief-makers playing two ends against the middle or from enemies of your marriage who attempt to sow seeds of dissention. If you talk about things openly with your spouse, you are better able to work together to put strategies in place to handle problematic external forces and influences that work against harmonic relations between the two of you.
2. Demonstrates incomparable trust. If you keep lines of communication open about any subject matter and no subject is taboo with your mate and create an atmosphere of emotional safety in discussing even the hardest of subjects, you demonstrate with your action a profound level of trust that you have for your mate and are willing to expose information and receiving it responsibly. It places the couple in the position to have to trust the other not only with their heart but with information that may be extremely sensitive. This kind of communication requires commitment.
3. Builds an authentic friendship between you and your spouse. Real friends are very rare. When people are married, the best and strongest friendship one can build is with their spouse. Having your spouse as your best friend makes an “ordinary” marriage extraordinary; and the difference one can make by befriending their spouse is adding that little “extra” dynamic to the relationship.
4. Offers protection against infidelity. Infidelity happens in a cloud of secrecy. When things are not kept secret between husband and wife, and couples are able to openly discuss their weaknesses or temptations with each other, it provides an opportunity to effectively deal with risk factors and to implement strategies to strengthen any pillars in the marriage that might be crumbling.
5. Serves as a tool for healing and conflict resolution. Transparent loving communication helps to ease the pain that sometimes spouses causes one another. When you can fess up or sincerely and openly discuss your feelings and emotions with your mate, it provides a platform to work through issues maturely and lovingly. Words do matter. Yet, when couples take the necessary time to thoroughly share information that is needed for each other to “be okay” it offers a profound opportunity to heal and reconcile differences.
There is a saying that, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Transparent communication in your marriage might be difficult, but it is definitely worth it in the long run!