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Read Letter

Confidential Information

Dear Jil, I think it’s good for husband and wife to share, to talk about things – issues and life’s challenges. Marriage makes a burden lighter. Two can share a problem, two can think together, pray together. And when discouragement comes you draw strength from your partner. That’s why marriage is a binary equation. Carrying the load yourself may prove too much for you. Share the burden with your partner. The more you share burdens and issues the closer you become. Both of you are involved in each other’s life.

Your partner owes you a duty of care. It’s another reason you share. Relationship is a responsibility. If you hide your problems you set up your spouse for a nasty surprise. What’s the point of marriage if you can’t share burdens? What’s the point of marriage if you can’t draw comfort from each other? But if you want your partner to share burdens with you, give him the confidence to share with you. It starts with a confidentiality disposition. Confidentiality makes a man feel safe. There has to be that safe deposit box for information in a family. You are that safe deposit box. It will be painful for example if he shares his problems with you and you go and broadcast to your friends. And it’s worse if you take your husband’s confidential information to your family. You’ll break your marriage doing that. Men are very sensitive about information and confidences. And it gets worse if he says something negative about someone and you go and tell that someone in your family. It’s a question of allegiance. It’s a question of loyalty. It’s not just about confidentiality of the information.

The more your husband can confide in you the more intimate your relationship becomes. You’re bound together by trust and confidences. They generate strict loyalty in men. When he shares with you seeking your advice, it’s because he trusts your wisdom and perspective. In truth, it’s not so much about the advice. It’s a participatory scheme, a desire for oneness. He’s looking for something, listening for something, which will resonate in his heart. It’s why you must have an opinion when he asks you for one. He needs it as a resolution scheme. It’s emotional. It’s your perspective he needs, because he knows he’s blindsided by his own perspective to life. There’s wisdom in a multitude of counsel. He gets to see things from sides he never considered. And you get to be his confidante and special adviser. That’s a major bond being built. It concretizes a relationship when husband and wife are confidantes. Interlopers will have a hard time penetrating such a relationship. There’s too much glue in such a relationship. You can’t tear it apart easily. But if he can’t trust you he won’t tell you things. We’re generally wary about sharing confidences with people we can’t trust. But when he trusts you with his heart he becomes most exposed to you, becomes vulnerable to you.

A high degree of trust and confidence turns a relationship into a covenanted bond. Sharing confidences is emotional investment in a relationship. Never betray trust. When you betray trust in marriage you lose a lot, the majority of which are invisible. It’s not wise sharing intimate details about your spouse with others. Neither is it wise to turn your spouse into an object of public ridicule. (It’s foolishness). A marriage is not a public square. It’s an intimate space. When you genuinely care about someone you don’t turn him into an object of scorn. And you don’t want your husband thinking it’s him versus you and your friends. That will lead to hostility. There are some things that must remain between a husband and wife. When you betray trust you eliminate yourself as confidante. Truth is, a man always wants to share, needs to share. It’s a verbal cuddle. Think twice about betraying the confidence of your spouse. And your parents should not be seeking to know the intimacies of your marriage. Three is a crowd, four is a political rally. There comes a point at which parents must accept their children are married off. Your mum cannot be your No.1 friend whatever the movies say. Your husband ought to be. And you ought to be his No.1 friend too, not his brother, not his sister, not his mother, or that other girl, or the ex. That’s not saying he cannot be close to his family or you be close to your family. But he ought to be the most important person in your life and you in his. That’s a commitment you both ought to make.

Marriage requires a lot of commitment. Marriage is not just about your lifespan, it’s about life! And you can’t be closer to your former boyfriend than your husband. What’s your ex doing in your marriage? You can’t force your husband to accept relationship with your ex, saying he’s still your friend. Switch things around to see the unfairness. Would you like him to be hanging out with his ex? We can’t be selfish in marriage. We must be considerate of the feelings of our partner. You can’t eat your cake and have it. Only magicians can do that. And it’s a trick. You have a chance to reset your marriage, to make things right between both of you. Do everything to ensure togetherness in your marriage. The starting point is information confidentiality. You can’t be a gossip against your own marriage.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Confidence, Trust, Confidentiality, Marriage

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