Is there transparency in your relationship? Does your partner know you or are you holding back?
Secrets can be dangerous in marriage. An un-communicated secret can put up barriers in the relationship that will hold you and your partner from knowing each other even deeper.
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No secret in marriage
Bryan: Season two episode nine today we are talking about transparency and marriage. Should there be any secrets in
Welcome to another episode of amplified marriage. I'm Brian, Natalie, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whatever you're doing. If you're running, if you're sitting in a car, if you're sitting at your desk and you're listening to podcasts, get comfy, we are so glad that you joined us for our chat. That's
And in case you missed last week, we talked about the new year's new purpose, and we asked a question, what was your purpose? What was your vision? What were your goals? Write them down. Talk about them with your spouse that you have for this coming year. So be sure to check that out if you missed it. And in the
vein of talking with your spouse.
The topic that we're talking about today, we have labelled. There are no secrets in marriage. We want to talk to you today about being transparent in your marriage, right. And why that's so important and some ways that you can be transparent in your marriage. We live in a society today where transparency in a relationship is often looked at as a weakness or.
Scoffed. I remember in the old days when we were early married and it's actually been said to me as earlier, as, as, at least my time when I was with Shaw, that we'd be finishing work. And so people are going out for lunch or they're going out for dinner, whatever happened to me be, and they'd day. Ask, Hey, Brian, you want to come with us and be like, Oh yeah, I'd love to just let me, let me chat with my wife.
See if she's got any planned. And I would actually get scoffed at or sneered or they'd make comments that go your Manhood in your wife's purse. Right? The old, the old, the old ball and chain was something that was but it wasn't, I didn't want to just disappear on her and not communicate with her and not tell her what I'm doing.
I don't want to make it. I want to give her any reason to think that I'm stepping out or doing something that shouldn't be right. Right. And so. That is something that is often like, is not, it's not because you're scoffed because you're being respectful of your wife and you're being transparent or, Hey, this is what I'm doing.
Natalie: I think, I think a lot of times, if like with the whole ball and chain things that you went through, it was kind of like, doesn't your wife trust you? Well, yes, I do trust you, but we have certain not guidelines, certain. Things set in place purposefully. Yeah, absolutely. Like, I don't know the word that I'm looking for.
It'll probably come to me at a later time, but it's not a bad thing. It's not that I don't trust you that I want transparency from you. Right. In fact that I think. Trust is built on being trans, right?
Bryan: Absolutely. Trust is built on being transparent and open and vulnerable with your spouse. And that's not an easy task.
Like it's not, it doesn't come easy to me to be vulnerable. I hate showing weakness and Natalie's had to chip away. And
Natalie: again, like, let's clarify being vulnerable doesn't mean you're weak. No,
Bryan: absolutely. Right. And so, yeah. I don't like showing those things because that's just who I am. Or maybe there's some kind of wound, there's something that I'm just getting to know in my old age.
Right. But you know, like it's an interesting thing, like teenagers and adults, you see constant videos and YouTube videos, making a mockery of the fact that there's something maybe on that phone that your wife doesn't want to see, or you're doing something behind your spouse's back. And it's always made out to be a joke.
And there's like this whole. Otherworld, or we can call it like, there's like a third world. There's your wife that you have and the things that are going on there. And then there's a whole nother world that's happening out there. That's separate from your spouse. Yep. Where it makes it seem like that you're keeping everything with them away from them that there maybe there's an extramarital thing happening or an addiction or a, you have a really, you have a gambling problem or you just have something that's going on that you're trying to keep separate and you don't want to be transparent because.
Well one, there's a couple of reasons that happens. I think that the main one is one you're just afraid of what they're going to say. Right, right. You're just afraid that, Oh, they're going to look down on you or they're going to be upset with you. And that's fair if you built it up and you've done something really dumb, then they're going to be upset.
But hopefully, you've, and this isn't the case for all relationships. And this may not even be the case for your relationship as you're listening to this, that you know that if you say something they're just going to leave or they're going to be so angry because you haven't built the relationship on trust and transparency.
Natalie: Open and honest about what, what the real issue is,
Bryan: but the truth is if you want to have your marriage lasts, long-term. And you want to have a long-lasting, successful, healthy marriage, healthy relationship, a healthy friendship, healthy. You want to have healthy relationships. You have to be transparent.
There's no room for secrecy. So in marriage, there is no room for secrecy. So what is the very first thing that we want? These are just some of the ideas that we had towards being transparent in the marriage relationship.
Natalie: Well, I think we sound like broken records. You have to, you have to talk with your spouse and I think communicating, Oh, you're not going to get away from it.
So if you're like, Oh, communicating, like what everyone always talks about. Yeah. Because I think it's one of the basic foundations of transparency is being able to come to an understanding that both of you will not keep. Secrets
Bryan: like you. So we decided together that we're not going
Natalie: to keep shooting.
Yeah. Like when we were talking about when we were dating and we were engaged and things like that, like for us divorce, wasn't an option. It wasn't, it wasn't an, a way out because I didn't like how you didn't fold the clothes or whatever. Right? Like you come from a broken family. I came from a dysfunctional family, but they were still together.
And for us it was like this isn't a like a true, we're not trying marriage on.
Bryan: Yeah, we're not wearing it like a coat. Well, I could hope this fits
Natalie: in the 10 years from now. Like this is my first, what I think you had said it in one of the other podcasts where this is like my trial wife and like my first marriage is a throwaway.
How that seems to be the mentality nowadays for you and me, that wasn't an option. Yeah. And like you, you know, over art 19 and a half years of marriage, I mean, there's, there's, you know, you were not physically abusive and, and, you know like there was thing there, there weren't sort of like criteria, I guess, for me to walk away.
Right. So we came to a mutual understanding that we were going to be open and honest about our past and What that
Bryan: looked like. Right. And the one thing that we always encourage couples to, to as well, when we do pre-marriage counselling with everyone is being honest with each other, but sometimes the level of honesty the barometer is different for it in one or the other.
Sometimes one has a really. Checkered past they don't, they don't really want to share the full extent and maybe their sexual history or their financial history or there, or their even their emotional wounds that they've walked through. And then they have to come to this place, especially when it comes to sexual history.
They have to come to this place where if one has led a really tough life and they decide that's not what they want to do. And they've really promiscuous. And all of a sudden they just want to change things around and they're like, I don't want to do that anymore. But then they find this person they want to be in a relationship with, and they're not sure how much they got to share.
That's actually something that you two have to decide together,
Natalie: or you have to come to,
Bryan: you have to come to that mutual understanding. You start with a mutual understanding, how is this going to work together? How are we going to do this? We're going to talk our way through this. How much do you want to know?
And how much are you willing to? But if you trust and love that person, you gotta be as transparent as you're able. That's
Natalie: Right. And I think like we had talked about this in our early years As far as sexual history, because I wanted to know what I was getting into. I wanted to know that you weren't carrying around some STD that I was going to contract and, and find out down the road during, you know, like a doctor's appointment that I've got, whatever.
So for us, that was super important to know. How many partners, this kind of thing. Right. And you might be like, Oh right. But I think for that side of things, you owe it to. Your spouse, you owe it to your partner to be open and honest about
Bryan: that. And that's absolute. And it's that one, that's one facet of it, but, but there's also the financial side of the emotional like sometimes you don't want to get into a year or into a relationship, be married for five years.
Realize that you just found out on your five. Yeah, but they had a $50,000 debt that they've been hiding from you for the last five years. And you're just like, Whoa, what's going on.
Natalie: Yeah. Right. And imagine how that conversation
Bryan: would go. Those conversations don't go very well. And, and the reason we bring up this, you want to have a mutual understanding as that we believe that your spouse or the one that you're going to be with the one that you're married to was created to be that one person in your life that you should have nothing to hide from.
No shame, no shame. Right. And if, if those things are present, it's not that your marriage can never heal. Absolutely. We believe that God can heal all things. We have, God, healed us at the beginning of this relationship. And God has healed me many times since there. My heart is completely different than it was before, but there.
I've had to learn how to be transparent with her, on how I'm feeling, the way I respond. And she, because she knows me so well. And because of that transparency, she can actually call out stuff that and just be like, Oh, that that's not right. Thinking like, you're not thinking clearly here. That's not who that's not.
That's not, you let's move. Let's move past
Natalie: this. Yeah, I think I was just gonna, I just, this thought triggered mental health. Oh, yeah. Like it was super important to me. And you might not have even thought to ask these questions of your proposal. We're talking about being transparent. I wanted to know, like what sort of medical situations run in your family.
Bryan: Am I going to, we're
Natalie: going to end up with something severe. Like if I'm going to commit life-long than I want to, I want to know what I'm committing to and I want to make the choice to either be in it or not. Right, right. And then not find out. After we're married that there's, there was all of these, you know, where your family was crazy.
Right? Like, I would like to know those things beforehand.
Bryan: I knew your family was dysfunctional and I still want it to be married to you. And here's the other side of that is that you're not married to their family, even though they're, they're going to be present. I married her and her. Is who I wanted to be with the family is sometimes an addition or a good bonus or a bad bonus, depending on the family.
And so, but realize you're still marrying. Each other, and they say you marry the family. That's not true. You're marrying each other just because her mom was one way. Doesn't mean Natalie's that way.
Natalie: No, and that's true. Yeah. That's some but something to keep in mind though. Yeah, absolutely. Right. Like if there's a, if there's a line of alcoholism That's
Absolutely. And just, and just because that ran in the family doesn't mean that can't be beaten. We
Natalie: believe that doesn't mean it can't be broken absolutely right. Over you moving forward. But these are just things to think about when, when it comes to being transparent with your spouse or your partner before you get married.
Right. These are things to talk about, like what sort of, yeah.
Bryan: There could be a whole podcast just on the things that come up later and handle those ones,
Natalie: the medical situation that happens after right. There's there's right. Like that's, I mean, you're married. And so being open and honest about that too, though.
Bryan: So number one is, start with an understanding and mutual understanding and that no secrets, and that really helps you hold each other accountable. The next one is, give your spouse the number one numero UNO priority. Yeah. Obviously, we're believers. We're Christians. I'm a pastor. We believe it's God first, but the next one is good.
Me, my wife. Yep. Right. And so kids know that our kids know that we used to do coax time in our family. When I would come home from work, I would say hi to the kids. Give them all hugs. And then send them on their way. And I got 15 with one set, a timer for 15 minutes. So I and mom could just talk to each other.
We did that for a few years and the kids got older. And then you can have normal conversations with kids and then when pulling on your leg as you're coming in the door, but, you know, give your spouse
Natalie: that's right. Your spouse should be. Like a best
Bryan: friend and over, they should have priority over your friends
Natalie: over your job.
Right? Like if, if there's something big happening in my life, I want, I want to tell you that's right. I want to tell you first, the big news, I don't want you to be last on my list of people.
Bryan: And the funny thing is whenever I have big news, I could see 10 people that I know I'm going to tell later, or even like my really good friends.
I will be like, Oh, I just can't wait to tell them, but I'm not going to until I see Natalie first, I'm going to tell him that first, she's going to get the news, not on Facebook.
Natalie: What happened? I have a B, so Chuck, I can't, we have found things out over Facebook and with family, with family stuff that just. You should roll with me bananas.
Couldn't do you can, you can just do a phone call or something like that. So your spouse comes first, first physical person.
Bryan: And so give your spouse first priority. They deserve to have all the firsthand information they deserve to celebrate with you first and weep with you. I'm good. We're going to say it hard truth for all of you that are listening right now.
Your kids do not come before your spouse.
Natalie: That's probably gonna sting. A lot of people
Bryan: drop, like they don't come before your spouse because your kids eventually, hopefully, are going to leave. I don't want to kick my kids out. We're we really love our kids and we're having a blast with them and the age they're at.
But my oldest son is like, dad, I want to live on my own. Like, it's going to be hard for dad to let go. I hope he's not listening to this, but it's gonna be hard to let him go, but there's gonna come a time. I want to know my wife so that when they're out of the house, I actually can look at him. I still know you hate, you want to go for a walk and not, not look at each other and just be strange, because we invested everything into her kids and not into each other.
Natalie: the next one. Okay. So this way you have visible and. Open accounts, financially, social media-wise, all of that. I think it's super important if we're talking about being transparent and having that level of trust, there's nothing more suspicious. Yeah. Then me walking in a room, let's say, and you quickly, like.
Exiting out of whatever, whatever, or quickly like, you know, turning your phone or whatever. The other way, my instant response is what was that? Who's that now you have all my passwords and I have all of your passwords. And it's super
Bryan: important. You have the one password that gets you to access to all the passwords, but there's, there's a reason is that you, you don't want to put yourself in a position for them to have any reason to doubt.
And there's an obvious newness to this, right? Like if I go away on trips, right. I wonder if her to have access to all of what's happening on my texts, what's happening on my cell phone. What's happening on my, my emails so that she knows that she can trust me. This isn't about me. Not like. That
Natalie: me controlling her control.
Bryan: I freely give her this. She can look at my phone at any time whenever I want. And yeah, w the really tough part I struggle with not this, but the attitude about this with a lot of couples. Is that there are this subversiveness and slyness to the things that we see in all of our social media, our social media, social media, that's presented to us about this particular thing.
Oh, you got to try and hide your phone from your spouse because you don't want to see that you have a side girl. Right. Like that's real, and there's thousands and thousands and thousands, of people that watch these little ads. Like there's, there's, there are ads that you see even on Facebook sometimes where they're they pop up on TV for a website that will get you what you want, or you can sneakily do this, or you can do this or around your spot.
Come on, come on. We're almost being conditioned that it's okay. Like, and you need to be so hypervigilant about you and your spouse about the things that you allow on your cell phone and things that you allow in your computer or on your TV because it, it'll get in and you won't realize it. And all of a sudden you got a broken thing happening in your parents that you weren't
Natalie: never forget.
What you focus on is what you feed. Right. And so if you're focused on watching I mean, We're married and there are things we refuse to watch. Right. Because we, it's not good for us. Like that's not what I want to be entering in and feeding my soul with. And also back to our like phones and things like that.
My children use my phone. Right. And so our kids don't have their own cell phones and everything like that. IPad wise and whatever other tablets we've got going on. It's monitored. We have. The net nannies and we have all the things in place, but we have access to their accounts, like there, all their discord and stuff like that.
It comes to our phones so we can see and monitor the conversations that are coming in and the conversations that are going out. Yeah.
Bryan: And, and you may think that's a bit extreme, but not in this day. No. And we want to protect her kids until the last moment possible. I want to protect myself as well, so she can see everything that's going on.
Like I was telling my sons, we're driving in the car just a few days ago and said, I want it to be that you were two boys. Then know how to talk to women and people, but women, when the time comes for you to find a mate that you can talk to them with honour with. Integrity with respect and not do it over a cell phone.
And you can actually look them in the eyes and say, hello, my name is right. And shake their hand. If that's what they like, there's there. There's, there's something to be had that that's a whole side thing. That's. Yeah,
Natalie: but it's true though because I. I want for you to be able to look up and all the things, and I know, you know, the be like, Oh, well, there are things that we can you know, there are hidden accounts.
There's a hidden account that you can have on Pinterest and there's incognito accounts and whatever. Like the, I forget how they word it on Pinterest, but like the things that you're not ready to reveal about yourself, you can have this hidden so dumb. Being open and honest that I'm like, Nope, this is not for me.
Anything that's popping up because my kids have access to Ms. Like it's enough, it's enough for me to have access to my own phone that I'm like, I don't want to see this, but my children, I certainly don't want them scrolling through any please use my phone, whatever. And then coming across as really inappropriate
Bryan: things and then have to explain how do you explain
Natalie: that to your appropriateness?
Cause nevermind your spouse. I think clearly identify and have clarity in your marriage for the things social media-wise and even finances. We are an open book. I have access to we have joint accounts. We've had joint accounts since we were teenagers and engaged and together for that long
Bryan: that we can say,
Natalie: since we were teenagers, I was still a teenager.
You were in your early twenties.
Bryan: Yes. Right. But
Natalie: we had joint accounts right from the get-go. And we still do. Yeah. And we have multiple accounts and all of them are all joint because if something's coming out of the account I want to know about it. And there's been times where I'm like, Hey, this.
What came out for this and you're like, I have no idea. And then you called in, right? Like straightened it out. There were things there's transparency there that it's not that, Oh, you know, are you not allowed to spend money? No, that's not it at all. And we have no budget. We have a budget and we stick to it each other accountable to the goals that we've set in our ways until we get hungry,
Bryan: we won't skip the dishes.
Natalie: Right. So well, and, and then again, that's a conversation that we have. Yeah, right. But it's transparency.
Bryan: So have obvious and open accounts. The next one is, even as we're talking about it, you can hear one of the things, talk about everything
Natalie: often. Yeah. It's not a one and done deal. And I think, you know, that whole thing the saying where it's like, well, I told you I loved you.
On the day we got married. If it changes, I'll let you know that saying you have to talk about things regularly. You just have to, it comes with being transparent,, especially when it comes to goals that you've set as a couple. Yeah. You need to revisit
Bryan: Right. And, and talk about everything often, even as we were talking about the last one, which is just being haven't.
Open and obvious accounts. This one really matters because if you end up talking to someone else, More than you're talking to your wife about the intimate or the, just some details about your life, that your wife details about your marriage, about your marriage, that your wife doesn't know. There's some, there's like there's danger will Robinson danger, danger, red flag right around the corner.
That's how, even if it's on a physical affair, you just may have started an emotional affair. There's nothing that anyone else knows. About me and my wife and our marriage and our relationship with even my kids or anything that's going on that she doesn't know first. Right? Like I've never gone to anyone else and be like, man, I'm so angry.
I go to my wife, like, man, I'm angry. Let's walk our way through this and talk. She needs to know first. And so she, she can trust that when I meet with my buddy, Nathan, I'm not back talking to her and we're not talking trash. Well, you know what my wife did. That's not how we roll. We want to be honouring of our wives, even when we're not with our
And make it a practice to talk about every area of your lives together. It was communication. What's working. What's not working finances like, Hey, what's not working like right there. There needs to be transparency in finances, talk money. There has to be transparency and money. In-laws your sex life church.
You are sharing life together, working together as a team. It's not. There's no, I in team, you've heard that before, right? This is, it's a joint effort. It's both parties giving a hundred percent. Right.
Bryan: And so
Natalie: we've all when you've done all of that, then you can really let your guard, which is
Bryan: the next one is authenticity.
You can let your guard down. You get to be. I think like, let's be honest, sex gets better once, you know, each other because you're sharing not only intimacy on emotional, physical, mental, spiritual intelligence, intelligence wise, you're sharing all those things. You're completely open now, you know, each other really well, sex only gets better.
That's a benefit of, of, of all things, but then you have someone that, again, you can. Cheer with. Yeah. And you can whip with, and you can have that sitting at home. You can have all of those things that you see on good TV shows, proper TV shows that relationships really can be like, marriage can be the best part of your life.
Natalie: You normally, aside from God knowing me, you know, me better than anyone else on the planet. Absolutely. And I feel like as we. Make new strides. And as we like overcome hurdles with communication, because, you know, we haven't arrived either. So we're on a journey as well. It just makes it, there's an intimacy that comes with knowing your spouse closely, right?
Yes, we have disagreements. Yes, we have hurt. We need like I have to forgive you on a regular basis and you have to forgive me on a regular basis. I think it's part of the core, but I've opened myself up to you to allow you to see all of my flaws, all of my vulnerabilities, the areas that I need work in.
I've not hidden that from you. I've chosen to allow you to see those deep voids, I guess you could say in my heart, because it serves a far greater purpose, in my opinion, to be transparent. I want you to see all of me, not just the bits and pieces, like the highlight reel.
Bryan: Right. This is what we get on Instagram on Facebook, the best things of everything transparent.
No, they're trying to be transparent. It's still set up transparent. It's not really transparent. Right. And so when we really allow each other, all of our quirks and all of her flaws and all of our mistakes and all of our vulnerabilities, when we allow all of those things To come out and then our spouse knows us because we've been transparent and we love each other unconditionally for who we are, what we are or who we are is we are imperfect people who understand
Natalie: perfect love.
Right, right. The perfect love that comes from our relationship with God, because in my own. Strength. There's no way that I can love you like that. Right, right.
Bryan: And there's no way I can love you the way that even, even as a husband, how I'm called to love and honour my wife, I can't do that without God's strength.
Right. And so if this is a really tough topic, when you tell people things like this, like, Hey, you gotta be more transparent when everything in society is telling us to be less transferred. That's right.
Natalie: Hide, hide, hide. Guess they won't like it. You if they knew. Yeah. Right.
Bryan: And you don't want to show your shame, you just, you and the things that you're struggling with because of, of you don't want, you just don't want people to know because you don't want them to look down on you and look at you differently than you did before.
Right. And so this was a really good topic. Sorry.
Natalie: I think it's a good reminder for us in, in our own marriage of, Hey, like we need to double-check that we're being transparent. In all things in all things, right. And that we've not kind of slipped. Into patterns that are unhealthy. Yeah.
Bryan: Yeah. This is really good.
If you like our podcast and you've been listening to us and you've been tracking with us and you've been applying some of these principles to your relationship, we really appreciate it. It means a lot when you share it, you let people know about the amplified marriage podcast. You can follow us on Instagram and on Facebook.
You can also connect with us through Instagram and through Facebook email, if there's any topic. Or question or anything you would like us to discuss. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also connect with us through our website, amplified marriage.com. And you have heard us say this many times before we believe with all of our heart, we believe that your marriage is the one that you're in currently, that you may be struggling with or trying to refresh.
We believe that your marriage can be reset, recharge and restore.
Thanks so much for joining us today. Talk to you soon.