In almost seventeen years of marriage, Chad has seen me in some rough situations. He was by my side during a 30 hour labor, and I promise you he experienced things that day and during the long recovery afterward that he would prefer to forget. Heck, there was plenty I would love to forget. He has seen me crying hysterically for little to no reason. He has watched me react badly in all kinds of situations. He has seen me fall down. A lot. For a period of about two years I spilled my drink every time we went out to eat. And, these are only the things I’ve done that I’m willing to write down. I have acted in all kinds of ways unbecoming of a Christian or a lady or a reasonable person, for that matter. He has been witness to it all.
It’s almost frightening to know that there’s another person on the planet who knows so much about me. But, I don’t walk around worrying about whether Chad is going to spill all my secrets. I don’t live in fear that he will entertain with stories that will make me want to crawl into a hole somewhere. Ok, maybe sometimes I do live in fear of that, but for the most part I don’t have to. Because he is my secret keeper, and I am his.
Before you get all up in arms and tell me that I’m encouraging abused women not to report it,that’s not what I’m talking about. We shouldn’t keep dangerous or criminal or abuse secrets to ourselves. If you’re in a situation like that, go to a trusted friend or counselor and tell the truth about your spouse. Get help, and get out if necessary.
But, if you are in a normal marriage like mine, where we both do some pretty embarrassing things from time to time, do your marriage a favor and commit to being a secret keeper for your spouse.
Years ago I heard a husband describe in detail, and for the entertainment of a room, about a night when his wife had gotten sick at their home. He made fun of her very private, miserable moment, and I have never forgotten the humiliation that showed in her face as she tried to laugh along with him. He was betraying her trust, and I’m not sure if he even realized it.
The truth is, we have a special power as a husband or a wife to either protect our spouse (by not revealing embarrassing behind-closed-doors details) or to expose our spouse (by entertaining people with stories that shouldn’t be told). Would you rather be a shelter or a hailstorm in your marriage?
The secret keepers are the safe places. Don’t make your spouse live in fear of which humiliating story you’re going to tell next. Commit to being a secret keeper. If you really need to entertain the room, tell embarrassing tales about yourself instead. I promise, we’ll all laugh and laugh.