On my first day at my discipleship group last fall, we were talking about some of the expectations of being part of the group. Due to its nature of being an accountability group, naturally what is discussed there (prayer requests, struggles, etc.) is expected to stay within the group. However, as we were talking we got onto the subject of what to tell and not tell husbands. And somehow the idea of that rubbed me the wrong way. There isn’t much I don’t tell Paul… he’s my best friend, my confidant. He can take a secret to the grave. I like that I can and do tell him everything. He encourages me, gives me advice when I ask for it, and is usually my voice of “reason”. He brings me back to the path that is uninhibited by emotions, points me back to the Bible, and in general helps strengthen my decision making. I am so grateful for him; we’re such a good team.
But, it got me thinking. Are there things a wife should keep from her husband? I’m not talking about birthday presents or surprise parties, but secrets. Like… if a friend is struggling with something. Should I keep that to myself? What if it’s a coworker that Paul is unlikely to come across? What about a mutual friend? What if I am involved somehow (like… she confessed to me that she is having suicidal thoughts), can I go to Paul for advice? Because he’s my husband, shouldn’t he share the burden of something that I’m going through? Or should I keep it to myself because it’s not his business? Should I only tell him if he’s an impartial 3rd party? What if it’s related to your children? Should a parent keep secrets about the child from the other parent? (“I got in trouble at school, Mommy. Don’t tell Daddy!”)
A friend was recounting a story of married friends of her and her husband’s. These friends went through a really rough time, and ended up divorcing. The wife had been confiding in my friend, and my friend kept it to herself. Then, when everything hit the fan and came out to the open, my friend’s husband was the last to know that anything was going on – which was overall a negative thing.
I kinda operate under the assumption that all wives are going to share things with their husbands. For the friend whose husband doesn’t keep secrets well, I tend not to disclose things to her that would hurt if they came out. I don’t ever want to tell a friend something and ask her not to tell her husband. Is that wise of me? Should I ever ask someone to do that?
I haven’t really run across any specific situations regarding this at discipleship group. However, last night I got a personal prayer request. It weighed on my heart heavily, and made me quiet all evening. Paul noticed and asked me about it, so I told him. I hope that was the right decision. I hate to think that I betrayed her trust at all… and I hate to think that I shouldn’t have told Paul.