“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17
There is a limit to the openness we have described. It can be used to create insecurity and gain power over your spouse. I (jcd) know of a handsome young company president who told his wife every day about the single women at the office who flirted with him. His candor was admirable, but by not also stressing his commitment to his wife, he was saying (consciously or not): “You’d better treat me right because there are plenty of women out there just waiting to get their hands on me.” His wife began to fret about how she would hang onto her husband.
He should have reflected on his real motives for alarming his wife. Did this kind of sharing nurture or injure his friendship with her? And she could have helped redirect the conversations by pointing out to her husband—in a calm, nonthreatening manner—how his words made her feel.
If you reveal your inner feelings honestly, with pure motives, and continually reaffirm your commitment to your marriage, your spouse will become your most treasured confidante, protector, adviser, and friend. After forty years of marriage, I can happily report that Shirley and I are best, intimate friends—in no small part because we’ve earned each other’s trust.
Just between us…
- Have you shown me the “real” you?
- How should we respond when our partner shares a weakness?
- How can I be a better friend?
- From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James
& Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.