What is the price you are paying for peace within your marriage? What part of yourself do you hide from your spouse to keep the peace in your marriage? What portion of your integrity are you selling out? Is it worth the price?
We’ve all done it. We all hold back because to not do so costs us peace within our marriage. We’ve all hidden. We’ve all been less than forthcoming. We’re holding back something. Why do we do it? For peace. The cost? Two things come to mind, the first is of course intimacy (being known), and the second is our integrity.
I’ve done it. Recently. Eventually the price got too high. What I wanted, more intimacy, wasn’t worth the price I was paying, less intimacy and my integrity. What I wanted was a big deal to me but I didn’t share it out of concern of how my wife would respond to what I wanted. I love my wife. She’s a good wife, mother and person. So, why was I afraid? It was a challenge for more intimacy and sometimes those challenges aren’t met well in the best of marriages. Making changes can be difficult.
It turned out better than I imagined. We had a discussion. I’m still not sure if the specific intimacy I wanted will come about but the price I was paying in less intimacy in my marriage is no longer being paid and I do feel better from a personal integrity standpoint about addressing my issue with my wife. She now knows where I stand and it produced a good discussion between the two of us on the issue.
So, in the end, my wife’s reaction wasn’t the blow to peace that I had imagined it might be. She could have chosen to make it difficult but she chose not too. Kudos to her.
Had my wife chosen the other path, to make my decision to introduce this challenge a more difficult one, it had the ability to change the currency of peace within our marriage. In other words, had she chosen to make my intimate revelation more difficult this time it may have influenced future attempts to make intimate revelations to her. So, it speaks well of my wife that she handled it the way she did and it speaks well of the future health of our marriage that we can bring these things to one another without destroying the peace within our marriage.
Now if you are married to a stubborn, immature, selfish jerk they may choose to make it more difficult on you so they don’t have to face these intimate challenges. As we’ve learned from Dr. David Schnarch, People Who Cannot Control Themselves Control the People Around Them (Part 2 of the article) and People Have Sex Within The Limits of Their Development. So, the peace in the relationship becomes a currency of control in the marriage.
When people can’t modulate their own anxieties and insecurities, one partner’s options and priorities are sacrificed on the alter of the other’s fears, whether those options are a new baby, a new job, or new sexual behavior.
~Dr. David Schnarch
What are you holding back from your spouse? Is peace something you’re using as a currency of control in your marriage? When does the price you’re paying in intimacy and integrity get too high?
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