Should we tell everything to our halves? It depends. Many of us keep secrets from our spouses. These secrets can take many shapes. I will only touch up on withholding information.
In our marriages, we withhold a lot of important information because the adage clearly states, “My freedom ends where yours begins.” Two words summarize the quote; group work.
If you didn’t get it, we have to factor in our spouses when taking important decisions because we’re a unit. However, it’s not that simple.
It’s not that simple to disclose EVERYTHING because we want to avoid an argument, a conflict, to be considerate, or we just hope that with time the other spouse will see things under our lens. Our marriages aren’t perfect but strive to be better. Nothing is perfect by the way just don’t underestimate the power of dua.
For striving to get a better relationship with our spouses, many of us live in glasshouses. Glasshouses because we have lived many challenging scenarios that we have resolved or currently resolving. Some of which shook the foundation of our relationships and made them vulnerable.
At the same time, we’re advising you on what to do or not to do based on our experiences. If we give you great advice, it’s most likely because we either lived the scenarios, witnessed it, and learned from our mistakes. I never preach to the choir because I’m conscious enough to know the implications in the afterlife. To support this statement, think of chefs. They never compile a recipe book without trying and making all recipes. They therefore know what worked and what didn’t work. Though, you may find yourself tweaking their recipes and adding your own ‘grain of salt’.
To continue, glasshouse relationships are very sensitive like many psychologists say. In fact, they have the potential to live until death do you part and there are a blessing when they do last. Blessing because they normally don’t have a bright future in the horizon based on statistics. And mankind creates statistics.
You may ask what makes a glasshouse relationship succeed. It’s easy. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the one that makes it succeed if you call upon HIM. If you always pray HIM to conceal the moral secrets you keep for a good reason from your spouse, HE will never desert you. See the key here is moral. If your secrets are immoral such as cheating, stealing, etc. Don’t even count on it. Unless you can cover the sun with your palm hands, it WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
That said, if you have a past that you concealed from your spouse because of shame, guilt, and fear of losing their trust and respect, you need to make tawbah and repent to Allah (subhḥanahu wa ta’ala). By doing so, you are no longer liable to explain yourself toANYhuman being. What you did in your jahiliyyah times is between you and your Creator. Your spouses have no business knowing, and they shouldn’t require you to disclose it to them. If you want to tell them on your own, fine. But your self-disclosure is only required with Allah (subhḥanahu wa ta’ala). HE knows anyways.
Now, I will give you a few examples of withholding secrets and why they’re reasonable.
– If you’re withholding eating a cookie from your spouse when you have Diabetes and that your spouse will stress more about your health, it’s okay to hide that little detail. Just be responsible because your family needs you for a long run.
– If your spouse is self-conscious about his or her weight, don’t bring up skinny RAC or GQ type dudes that constantly hit on you at the office in your discussions. It’s better to withhold that detail as it’s a soft spot. This is reasonable as long as you have no intentions of entertaining these distracting individuals later on. Avoid them period.
– If your spouse doesn’t want you to work but he’s barely providing for you, here is ahadith that you can use if you find yourself rationalizing your decision to work without his knowledge. The Prophet (sallallahu aleihi was salam) stated this to Hind bint `Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan, when she came to him and said, “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a stingy man. What he gives me is not enough for me and my child, unless I take from him without his knowledge.” He told her, “Take what is enough for you and your child, in moderation.” (The Ideal Muslimah p.90)
Just don’t be greedy, be a planner, and don’t let your behavior show that something changed. Be tactful, be the you he knows. We understand that not everybody has the luxury to dump their spouse just because they are not happy or agree on an issue. It takes a lot time, effort, opportunity costs to make a marriage work.
The truth is, in your marriages, you will never reach the same wavelength on all the issues that arise between you. C’est la vie! Rational accounting of our spouses’ feelings and emotions as I call it, is a way to keep everybody happy.
Just remember, keep your family bonds closer and your rug and rosary even closer.
– Finally, if you’re polygamous husband and that one of your wives spices up your world with her spices and I am not talking about the spice rack in the kitchen…and that the other wives suspect this by your behavior after you leave the “spicy wife” and can’t match the competition or aren’t as comfortable with their sexuality, withhold yourself from disclosing that detail intentionally or even if they ask! They’re humans! Aisha (radi allahu anhu) used to be jealous from Khadijah (radi allahu anhu) who had already passed away. Tact my friends is the name of the game. Besides, personal bedroom secrets should not be divulged.
I hope this post was enlightening and provided fresh data.
Jazak’Allahu khair for reading,
Originally published in Hayatimagazine.com
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