Sunday 17 May 2020

Secrets...Your Questions Answered (Part Two)

Naked before You?
On Saturday, May 2nd we had two platform meetings with two of our members and friends in this community. Here we spent time discussing the issue of “secrets” as it relates to relationships. They were quite exciting and revealing sessions. Last time we posted the first session. Here is a post of the second. Hoping you are able to take one or two things away from it, and also enjoy the session.

Session Two:

Marriage Minute: Please help me welcome, Ms. Victoria Schirmer to the Platform. She is a West African, based in Germany. She has been a member of the Marriage Minute Community since 2015.

Marriage Minute: You are welcome, Victoria.

Victoria Schirmer: Thank you. Thanks for having me here.

Victoria Schirmer: Well I believe in being open in relationships, I try as much as I can to tell you everything. Sometimes it strengthens the bond. Sometimes these secrets destroy the trust in the relationship. And, eventually causes separation between me and the person I revealed them to.

Marriage Minute: Thanks, my sister for your contribution. I appreciate you. To summarize your position, I'll say, "in essence, you believe in putting your cards on the table and allow the relationship decide its own life/fate, rather than trying to bandage it. You are confident enough in yourself, your history and outlook for the future that you wear it shamelessly. That is to say, you are comfortable under your own skin." Will that be a fair assessment of your position?

Victoria Schirmer: Yes, that is it and more. I do have respect for the person I am with, and I feel I owe them certain information about myself. And, I am of the belief that he deserves all the truth and honesty I can offer.

Marriage Minute: I'm loving this. It is about not just respecting yourself, but also the person you are with. I love that. That is a very core value to a healthy and life-giving relationship - RESPECT. Thanks for bringing that to the fore.

Victoria Schirmer: Yeah, I believe the person is worthy of respect. I have enormous respect for my mate, and I have a high standard of life and expect certain behaviors of myself. I hold myself accountable to my life, standards, and how I treat people around me.

Victoria Schirmer: I would naturally see it as classless hiding things and living in fear. I love to think I am brave and of a high moral standard. I can’t live in pretense either. That will be a sad way to be alive.

Victoria Schirmer: I don’t expect so much from others as I expect of myself. I will feel disappointed in myself, and a certain kind of discomfort, if I have to do a kind of "hide and seek" relationship.

Victoria Schirmer: I need to be assured of the depth of love my partner has for me. So, when I can tell you everything and you are still there, then, I will be assured that the love my partner has is of high quality, and worth keeping or fighting for.

Marriage Minute: While you are allowing the person to know you, are there boundaries to the things you share? Any list of things you might stay away from? (Question #3)

Victoria Schirmer: Well I try to share the things he must know like my sexuality; the people I must have been with or currently having affairs with while in the relationship. I will tell you about projects I am handling, and the most secretive part of my job, what I do, and how I earn money. When you ask me very personal questions, I will answer them in all honesty and in detail.

Victoria Schirmer: The things I might not say are things I term as irrelevant to my life…because the goal is sharing my life with my mate. But if he asks me about those things, I will be very honest about them.

Victoria Schirmer: I will tell him about all the current important things in my life.

Marriage Minute: Wow! You amaze me. Wow! I am amazed and pleased. You tend to be working in "The Principles of Life and Relationships." Wow! One such principle says, "when something is your own, even if/when it goes away it will come (find its way) back to you (home)." That is to say, "things, like the homing pigeon, have a way of finding their way/path back home."

Marriage Minute: [In fact, homing pigeons have been known to find their way home from as many as 1,100 miles away, and they can travel an average of 50 miles per hour with bursts of up to 90 mph! This ability has made them valuable as messengers since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians.]

Victoria Schirmer: Yes, what is yours will find its way to you. Once it doesn’t stay you are on two separate paths and the best thing is to realize it and Respect the Reality thereof.

Marriage Minute: On the other hand, what is not yours will leave you no matter how much you try to salvage it (or, lock it down).When we understand these principles anxiety dissipates; peace, rest, and faith come.

Marriage Minute: Obviously, these principles don't work in isolation. They work together. Something belonging to you can still be lost, if you are careless with it. That is, you do not know how to handle it.

Victoria Schirmer: That is a Fact!!! Absolutely Correct.

Marriage Minute: I am pleased with your detailed and upfront approach to answering my questions. Thanks! I appreciate you.

Marriage Minute: For a budding relationship, at what point does one begin to share things about him/herself? Are there signs to look out for, as to the possible direction of the relationship, and how much one is to share at a time? Are there possible telltale signs to look out for? (Question #4)

Victoria Schirmer: Well, when the relationship is becoming serious or when something important happened in their absence.

Victoria Schirmer: The telltale signs are just true genuine love or when you know the person has a good heart and won’t tell your secrets to a third party.

Marriage Minute: Well taken. Now, I need you to speak specifically to Question #1. I know I did not saddle you with it earlier. So, let me explain the scenario. A friend of mine posted it on her page. She narrated the case of a woman who was pregnant (with her husband's baby) when she got separated from her husband. Then she had an affair during the short separation. That is to say, she got back with her husband but had an affair while they were separated. The question posed was, "should she tell her husband about the affair?" (Question #1) What do you think? What will your advice be to the lady?

Victoria Schirmer: About the Affair she had when they were separated? The Affair happened outside of a committed relationship. The Affair was not part of their Relationship. It’s in the past. It’s not necessary to tell him because it’s not their reality. Unless of course, she is still seeing the guy, or if the pregnancy belongs to the other person. That makes it a current situation and as such part and parcel of their relationship.

Victoria Schirmer: She should talk about it if it affects their relationship, currently.

Marriage Minute: Wow! Awesome! Always great when you can look at things from different viewpoints. Sunny Obot’s answer, on our first platform, was slightly different. And, that is okay. Absolutely! That puts an interesting spin on the question. Again, I appreciate your candor. You seem to have answered like "most" women might have answered. I stand to be corrected on the use of the word "most," but it is only natural for each clan, at the first point of provocation, to defend their own. That is in no way to disqualify your answer. It sure has its own grounds. Just that we might need some more qualifications. Just in a bid to help one another, and some questioning minds. Right?

Marriage Minute: So, let us make some attempts at such qualifications. Obviously, the path of least resistance is not to tell her husband of the escapade while they were separated. Fair point. The assumption, as we were told, is that she was pregnant before the separation, and hence the escapade did not produce the issue. Like most people argue, "the man does not need to know." Maybe. Just maybe. The general argument from such camp is, "the man does not need to know what does not affect him." Really? Maybe. Some of the other questions might be, "how do we define what affects your spouse, and what does not?"

Marriage Minute: So, still back to our specific, real-life case study. From what I garnered, the woman is no more having an affair with the man in question. She is back building a solid relationship with her husband. The following questions posed by my friend was, "What if the husband asks her a direct question as to what happened while they were separated? What should she say? And, what might the possible response of her husband be? Obviously, the main question is first.

Victoria Schirmer: How we define what affects a spouse? I can define what affects my spouse as important things I am currently involved in while in the relationship, or something I did in the time frame of being with them, or something I am doing in the future in the cause of our relationship.

Victoria Schirmer: For example, if I intend to start a house project, acquire plots of lands, or I have a past that is sexuality that I intend to maybe/probably continue in the future.

Victoria Schirmer: What does not affect my spouse, things I did outside of the relationship or things I see as irrelevant.

Victoria Schirmer: For example, if someone was hitting on me and I know that I have no interest whatsoever in such a person. Unless this scenario becomes continuous and disturbing it does not affect my spouse.

Victoria Schirmer: If the husband ever asks what happened during their separation she can talk about things she did in that time; how she developed herself; things she experienced.

Victoria Schirmer: She doesn’t necessarily have to come up with the affair. It’s unnecessary. Unless she chooses to tell him, but in my opinion that is not necessary.

Victoria Schirmer: If she tells the husband of that affair, he might be sad but won’t stop loving her because of that. And, it might have a lasting psychological effect on him, depending on his person.

Marriage Minute: Well said. Obviously, if he asks the direct question she has no other choice but to say things exactly as they were. "A coward dies a thousand times; a brave person dies once." What will be, will be. It is important to always stand on the side that commands the help of providence.

Victoria Schirmer: Yes, that Is true. If the question is asked directly, then, she has to be honest with him.

Marriage Minute: The woman owes her husband the truth. However, this depends on the personality of the man and the present nature of their relationship. From what was shared the man seems to be a normal human being and their relationship is on a smooth ride. The lacking thing, which Is an accident waiting to happen is when/if the man finds out on his own either directly from the woman or indirectly from another source. He might feel deeply hurt, and not be able to trust the woman on other issues.

Marriage Minute: The last resort is still for the woman. He needs to also listen to her internal compass. The questions for her include, “Why is she finding it difficult to tell her husband?” “What are the possible things she thinks might result from telling her husband?” “Is she feeling guilty about the husband not knowing?” “What if the fellow she had an affair with becomes friends with her husband inadvertently. How comfortable will she be/feel?” Does she still have feelings for the man?” These are generic questions that might help as she prods her internal compass.

Marriage Minute: When you cannot trust a person to tell you the truth you will not be able to entrust your life with such. Trust is a fundamental pillar in any relationship and home. Once it is missing, the relationship is simply an accident looking for where and when to happen. Lies typically proceed out of fear. And, it is not the way of life.

Marriage Minute: Our response to anything in life comes out of one of two places - love or fear. Love gives life. Fear kills. So, we need to ask ourselves where are we acting from - love or fear?

Marriage Minute: In some cases, people tend to lie to protect the interest. The challenge is when the person being protected finds out the truth what will it make of him? It might be better to wake the sleeping dog and address the issue head-on while you are wide awake. Rather than to be caught unawares, when you least expect. 

Marriage Minute: She needs to resolve the issue before her husband ever pops the question. Adding a lie upon another die is only postponing the evil day. It is s a pack of cards ready to fall.

Marriage Minute: Where a healthy relationship exists, there, generally, should not be a need to keep anything back between the two. Trust creates an atmosphere where there is not the need to divulge every tiny detail. However, that held back should be easily divulged when requested.

Marriage Minute: You don’t have to tell your spouse about every crush that flies pass your head or heart for as long as you are not building on it. You had better kill it before he knows. Otherwise, it is a betrayal of trust and an emotional affair.

Marriage Minute: When we are sincere with ourselves and not giving place to fear, some of these questions are a rather clear cut. Fear gets us confused in a thousand different ways. And, that which is supposed to be clear cut begins to fall back into seeming gray areas. The much you told your spouse during courtship should be about what cuts off the past. When situations arise on things you might have left out, that you feel might hurt your spouse and/or your home you straighten it out, taking your spouse in confidence.

Marriage Minute: We need to remember marriage is not a dependent, nor an independent relationship. It is an inter-dependent relationship. Two (whole) independent beings, who typically can live on their own, choosing to be dependent on one another. A healthy relationship is made up of three timeslots: Me-Time, Your-Time, and Our-Time. The same goes for knowledge. There are things your spouse does not need to know. They just make you unique. Any spouse that wants to know every single thing about you has a relationship (trust) issue.

Marriage Minute: Ralph Waldo Emerson aptly closes this for us. He says, “The highest compact we can make with our fellow is – 'Let there be truth between us two forevermore.’” Is that not a pact worth having with the one you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with?

Marriage Minute: Thanks, Victoria, for collaborating with me on this. what a beautiful way to have spent our first Saturday of the month of May, the month of Grace. Well, we have to close the curtain here.

Marriage Minute: Viewers, I hope you were blessed and learned one or two things. Until another time we come your way. It is bye for now. Peace.

© 2020 Akin Akinbodunse

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