Today, My husband wrote a song about one of his ex crushes. A girl whose name he’s mentioned about fifty times since we’ve met. A girl that he often dreams about and thinks about when he has those “what if” moments. After writing the song, he called me and asked how I felt about it. He wanted to make sure I didn’t feel disrespected or hurt. I didn’t. I celebrated his ability to be authentic and real and I was excited that he was so transparent in his artistry.
I’ve asked myself, “How free is too free?” when it comes to honesty in marriage and relationships. Depending on who you ask, you may be told not to tell your spouse or significant other everything. You may be told that some things are better left unsaid. I won’t debate one way or the other, but I will say that complete and total freedom in my marriage has been such a beautiful thing.
When a girl walks by with a big butt and he comments, I look and we laugh together. When I find a man attractive, I tell him immediately and we have a conversation about it. If I feel hurt or neglected, I tell him. If he has a moment where he feels himself attracted to another woman, he tells me. Why? Because this creates intimacy in our marriage and eliminates the opportunity for distance to be created between us.
By knowing what’s going on, we can address the issues head on before anything crazy happens and move forward stronger and better. We recognize and allow the humanity in each other and when able, we give grace. Sometimes, it takes me days to share how I’m feeling. Some days, he’s afraid to tell me things because of how I might react. However, we’ve found a way to love each other honestly and freely in a way that gives us a new sense of friendship and closeness.
It hasn’t always been this way and it isn’t always easy. I don’t always like what he has to say and vice versa. The beauty is that we are able to share our hearts with each other and know that afterwards, we’ll love each other just as much if not more than before.
Weeks ago, the comedian Monique and her husband were on the show ‘Preachers’ and there was quite an uproar about her and her husbands decision to have an open marriage. They’ve both agreed to allow each other to have sexual encounters with other people. After I watched the episode, I had a smirk on my face. I admired their ability to be open and honest with each other in the way that satisfies their relationship. I’ve come to the place where I believe that marriage should be done in the way that satisfies and benefits the two people within it.
Many reference the Bible, tradition, God and their own convictions when dictating how marriage should be but I’m not convinced that there is only ONE way to do marriage right. I believe there are principles, tools, and different ideals that can help many marriages survive. For the Brandon’s, honesty and transparency have been the key to helping us love our marriage and feel free to be ourselves.
It may not work for everyone. Complete and total honesty may not be what you desire for your marriage or relationship. But I remember a time in our marriage where we were living with so many lies between us that it almost destroyed us. We’re better now. So much better. More in love, more attracted, happier, and closer.. Our hearts consider one another. I see him as my partner and not my enemy even when he hurts me. I share my desires with him even when he disagrees or decides he can’t cooperate. At least he knows them. At least we know each other. It removes the stringent case that marriage is often packaged in and allows our relationship the ability to be fun and exciting. Honest. Loving. Free.
And I mean free free. Free to the point of discomfort and vulnerability. The inner workings of your inner thoughts, type free. Allowing someone to see the ugly parts of you, type free. The parts that you desire to hide. Because can someone truly love you if you only give them what they desire to hear and see of you?
But here’s the thing. Both parties must participate. Both parties must be willing to commit to honesty and transparency. And both parties must be willing to be reasonable and understanding even when hearing something they may not want to hear. It’s imperative that as much as I am honest, I am just as accepting. I must be willing to bear the hard news when my husband has a need to be honest with me. I must be his support and his unconditional love when he needs a heart to accept him. It may not be easy to begin this journey, but I promise it’s worth a try. I have never felt so free in a relationship as I do in my marriage.
If nothing else, I find comfort in knowing that just as I am, my husband is human. I love knowing that I’m not alone in my thoughts. I’m not alone in my ratchet humanity. I am not alone. My husband and I are in this together.