Transparency in marriage is one of the most important, yet perhaps one of least understood, factors in building a healthy marriage. The lack of importance placed on transparency in marriage likely arises from confusion over what exactly “transparency” means.
Some people interpret transparency to mean that neither spouse has any private thoughts, private space, or life apart from the other. Others interpret transparency as meaning that there is nothing about either spouse’s life that the other doesn’t have the knowledge and, in some cases, veto power over.
None of these are quite what marriage experts mean by the notion of transparency in marriage. Rather, healthy transparency in a marriage means that each spouse feels fully comfortable or to be honest and forthcoming with the other, that issues are brought up directly, and that there is no obfuscation, lying, or hiding.
Transparency in marriage doesn’t mean giving up your private thoughts and personal spaces instead it means having those spaces and allowing your spouse to have them, without fearing that something nefarious is going on.
Read on for 5 reasons transparency makes your marriage healthier.
1. Transparency in marriage builds trust
Being transparent with your spouse helps to build trust. When you and your spouse know that you can be honest about anything and that you will always engage transparently and honestly, it makes it easier to trust one another.
In a transparent marriage, both spouses know the other is acting in good faith; they are less likely to be suspicious of each other both because there is a track record of honesty and because they know direct questions can be asked and answered.
Transparency in marriage also tends to eliminate the feeling that one spouse needs to snoop on the other – and the lack of snooping builds the trust even further.
2. Transparency in marriage fosters intimacy
Transparent marriages are ones in which each partner commits to open, honest interaction. Such interactions mean that partners get to really know each other on deep levels.
Since no topic is off limits and each partner knows the other is acting with honesty, it is possible to learn a great deal about your partner’s values, beliefs, experiences, and thoughts. Because transparency also means being heard without judgment, partners may feel more able to be vulnerable in sharing and broaching even difficult topics.
3. Transparency in marriage fosters a low-conflict relationship.
While no relationship is ever without conflict, transparent marriages tend to be low-conflict. This is because there is a deep level of trust between partners that issues will be discussed in a timely, open, and honest fashion, and that each partner is committed to acting with integrity in resolving the problem.
People in transparent marriages also tend to keep short accounts; they discuss issues as they arise, rather than letting resentment build until all past grievances come rushing out at once.
4. Transparency in marriage makes each partner’s expectations clear
Most people who hide things in a relationship don’t do so because they want to hurt their partner. On the contrary, people hide or lie about things because they don’t want to hurt or disappoint their spouse.
Oftentimes, however, these people are operating on a false understanding of what their partner actually expects from the relationship.
Transparency gives each partner an opportunity to make their expectations of the relationship and their partner clear.
It also allows for negotiation around expectations and discussions of how to navigate mismatched expectations.
When expectations are clear, people are much more likely to be able to meet them or at least to be honest when they fall short, without hiding out of fear or repercussions.
5. Transparency in marriage fosters a sense of security in the relationship
Transparency gives both partners a sense of security in the relationship. They know that there is nothing going on behind the scenes that would undermine the health of the relationship, which fosters a sense of well-being and safety.
Transparency can also help to foster a sense of personal security in each partner.
Because each person knows they can be their full self without judgment, can come to their partner for support, and can expect full honesty about any issue, the issues of insecurity that plague many marriages – that you are not enough for your partner, that you will be judged or not heard, that you will have to look outward for support are reduced or even eliminated.
And people who feel secure in their marriage, and who feel that their marriage is secure, are much more likely to invest in continued growth.
There’s a lot to be said for making transparency in your marriage a priority. Not only does it help to promote trust, reassurance, and peace but it also enables you as a couple to explore new opportunities and experiences as a couple because you now have elevated trust and intimacy which keeps on growing. Transparency is a gift to a marriage and one that the wise will cherish.