There is an amazing phenomenon that happens when two people from two different backgrounds and two different upbringings come together to become one. However, in so many marriages today, the bride and the groom will come together as far as sharing a home together or sharing monthly expenses but many will still insist on keeping some things separate from their spouse. Some couples don’t give their partner access to their email or social media pages. I know some couples who don’t have access to their spouse’s vehicle. There are also many couples who are adamant about keeping their finances separate. Their attitude is, “I do what I want with my money and you can do what you want with your money.” And as I have inquired with many of these couples as to their rationale behind why they operate this way, the most common answer I get is, “Well I need to still have my own stuff independent of my spouse. My business and my privacy are my own to enjoy. It’s important to have some money over to the side just in case things don’t work out in the marriage.” And while I understand wanting to exercise wisdom from previously poor relationships and the rationale behind putting certain personal affairs in place to protect your own self-interests “just in case,” marriage was NEVER supposed to be a space where a husband or a wife felt the need to have to protect themselves from the other…IN ANY AREA! And I believe there are entirely too many well-intentioned folks who walk into the institution of marriage with a warped view of what marriage really is. Now while I cannot tell people how to run their lives and conduct their relationships I will tell you that in my experience this mindset of putting in safe guards is one the quickest ways to create division and discord in your relationship.
Unlike other human relationships, marriage is supposed to be the one place where you are free to relax and let your guards down. It is a supreme sharing of time, talent, and resources. It’s not what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours. It very much is I’m bringing my 100% and you bring your 100%…IN EVERY AREA… and how can we collectively make sure we both benefit? My hope is that our goal is to achieve true oneness and intimacy in our relationships. Well that doesn’t get accomplished by withholding from one another, but true intimacy is unhindered access to the other person. Your spouse should feel like there is no one or no thing that is more important than they are; not money, cars, business, parents, or friends…and at any given moment, within reason, they can have access to you if they need you. This type of connection says I have access to your thoughts, your body, your assets, and your emotions. Now I realize if you have come from a poor and abusive relationship you will not gravitate to the messaging in this blog because this type of love and this type of relationship opens you up to some level of exposure. The truth is living and loving this way does hurt deeply when things don’t go as planned, however I will also tell you that if you don’t open yourself up to this type of lifestyle you will NEVER experience the deepest levels of love and intimacy that marriage has to offer you. So many folks focus on the thought process, “Well what if my worst fears are realized and things fall apart?” Here’s another thought process, “What if they don’t?” Folks you can’t commit most of yourself and hold back some of yourself and think you’re going to have a great relationship. It doesn’t work that way. I can guarantee this, whatever it is you choose to withhold from your spouse will eventually become an object and a symbol of resentment to them, because that will be the thing they view that you value more than them. True oneness is an amazing opportunity to love and to allow yourself to be loved. It is an opportunity to open yourself up to a love and intimacy that quite honestly very few people get to experience because of fear. Friends there is no way you can fully open your heart if you’re on guard. I want to challenge you to examine areas of your marriage where you can begin to let go your safety net, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and give yourself the opportunity to experience true love and intimacy the way it was meant to be. Is it risky, yes. Is it scary, it sure it! Is it easy, no it isn’t. However the rewards of putting yourself out there to achieve true oneness far outweigh the risks.