Earlier this year I started sharing my monthly update with my wife after learning about the idea from another Forum mate.
While confidentiality is critical to a highly functioning Forum, it’s not fair in terms of the sacred trust of a relationship to keep my wife in the dark, and guessing, about what my group knows about her.
As famous marriage therapist John Gottman says,
“If things aren’t going well, you go directly to your partner to work things out rather than complaining about them to someone else.
When you complain to someone else about your partner, you open a window to this outside person.
And when you keep this new emotional relationship secret from your partner, you start building a wall between you. That’s how affairs happen.”
It wasn’t easy to share at first, and still isn’t easy. Each time I send her my update, I put a note at the top to be delicate with her response because I feel very vulnerable sharing my deep inner feelings.
By sharing my update with her, I’ve noticed two main outcomes:
- I focus way more on MY feelings, actions, and results versus what she did or said. As most self-help junkies know, we can only change ourselves.
- It’s brought us closer because she gains insight into some of my deeper feelings that I couldn’t express verbally but could on paper. It helps her understand more about why I’ve been acting a certain way and we often will talk about them at some point during the month.
I will continue to share my monthly reflection with my spouse and challenge you to bring the idea to your Forum.