My husband and I recently instated a morning time of intimacy with coffee and tea tradition. We get up a bit earlier than usual and sit across from each other. We read God’s Word, talk about it and pray. It has been influential in setting the tone in our relationship for the day.
The third morning in, I could not stop thinking about something I had been avoiding. I had been hiding something from my husband and I knew I needed to break the silence, especially after hearing my husband read a Psalm and a Proverb. It was as if God was sitting at the table with us, cheering us on, but in a serious way.
I felt Him nudge my heart with this message,
You need to tell your husband or it is going to get worse.”
I tried resisting. I was apprehensive to bring forth the truth. I hate confrontation and I hate feeling awkward. But for some reason, being there at the kitchen table with my husband and God, I felt safe. Safer than all the other times I wanted to say something and kept silent. Then, the words tumbled out…
Honey, I need to tell you something. For the past two months I’ve been hiding medical bills from you. I didn’t want you to be frustrated or overwhelmed with extra expenses, especially when we have been so strapped with our money. I thought I could take care of it myself and not have to bother you with it. But I couldn’t find a way. And now I’m worried that if we don’t pay them they will pile up beyond what we can handle. I’m sorry I kept this from you.
If felt so good to get that out.
For weeks I had been dreading this conversation. One bill turned into two, two bills turned into three, then a larger bill came in and then another. Each time I quickly threw them on top of one another beneath a few pieces of artwork my son did that I was protecting as a keepsake. A week prior, I snapped at my husband for attempting to go through that stack of papers I had tucked away in our bedroom.
No! Not right now I’ll do it later.” I scolded at him. Fear motivating my response.
The secrecy was stressful and it affected me and my ability to enjoy intimacy with my husband. During times that we were not busy and were present with one another, the thought of telling my husband consumed me and I fought to keep quiet, which hindered us from operating as one…and I knew it.
I convinced myself that it was better to hide. In reality, I was feeding an insecurity I had. I thought that because the bills were doctor visits my kids and I made and not my husband, that he was going to be mad at us. I thought because money was tight, that my husband would be aggravated to have to pay for medical bills instead of using that money elsewhere.
I created in my mind how I envisioned his response instead of giving him the opportunity to respond. And to further convince myself, this time that I was not operating out of insecurity, I told myself that my intentions to hide were decent and even worthy, keeping my husband from the burden of bills.
What is odd, is that my sense of reasoning, didn’t make much sense at all! Medical bills are a good place to spend our money, especially if it was needed. I should not have seen it in such a negative light. My perspective was skewed because of the financial stress we were experiencing.
The moment I finally told my husband we were able to make a plan to tackle the problem together. He wasn’t mad at all! A bit overwhelmed as I had been over how we would pay them, but not mad.
In the midst of this conversation we got to talk about how our responses influence our choices to share things with one another, as well as the negative effect of assuming how one will respond without giving them the chance to actually respond.
My husband affirmed for me not to keep things from him anymore and that I don’t need to be insecure or fearful about what we need to face together.
The enemy is the one who tells us to hide and keep secrets. The enemy whispers to us, urging us to try and take care of things on our own, in our own strength, on our own time, by our own will. The enemy tempts us to separate and divide from each other and from God.
This situation was a reminder to me to be one with my husband. To be a team when hard circumstances come our way and to never keep things hidden from one another.
I wanted to share this with you for several reasons…
– If you and your husband are financially stressed I urge you to talk openly about your budget, your needs and priority spending. If you are not communicating about it, the temptation to make independent financial decisions will come and may hinder your ability to overcome that financial stress.
– If you are hiding anything from your husband, please be aware of the hinderance it has on intimacy. If you have the thought more than once that you should tell your husband something and it continues to press on your heart, just tell him. Transparency builds trust and leads to intimacy.
– If you make decisions based on insecurity or fear, it is going to negatively affect your marriage. Be strong, courageous, wise and confident. The only way I have found I can be those things is when I spend intimate time with God.
– Lastly, if you and your husband are not committing to intentional intimate time together on a regular basis such as a coffee date or dinner, where you can have the time and undivided attention to communicate with one another I urge you to start doing so asap! And if for some reason your husband doesn’t want to or you guys have trouble finding time to do it, start praying that God would help you! This time is important for your marriage as it provides a safe place to talk, build trust and affirm one another!
– I hope this encourages you and helps you in your marriage today.