On our second date, Shehab and I promised each other that we would always be completely honest. Even if it were something we didn’t want to hear, we would still tell each other everything.
Believe me, it drives our parents insane! Since we end up telling each other a little too much, especially when it comes to family secrets. Don’t worry we’re not hiding skeletons in our closet, but who doesn’t appreciate a little privacy right?
We’re a little too honest to the point where we have to face the consequences as well some of these included messages from past relationships and the occasional photo found in Shehab’s inbox. *the mental image still burns. Kidding aside.
We have always been honest with each other, and that’s one of the things I love about our relationship.
Sometimes too much honesty has lead to some of our entire worst fights but we’ve somehow overcome them by talking to each other. We both have different ways of handling confrontation, though.
When it comes to me, I’m a screamer, I get very stubborn and let’s just says sometimes anger leads to insensitive comments. I like to follow up with giving myself some space and thinking about what happened. Shehab, on the other hand, gets a little angry then cools himself off. Once we’re both pretty calm, we like to sit down and explain what happened and figure out ways to fix the issue at hand.
But when it comes to honesty, there is a gray area.
You can’t be too honest about each other’s families.
Like I said, Shehab and I are both very family oriented individuals and we’re quite protective of our families. It’s a good quality. However, it’s also a weakness…
It’s funny the ladies in the Bengali community always said, “never say anything to your spouse about their family,” but let’s be honest you can’t help but observe and comment on individual habits and norms. WRONG!!!
A couple months into my marriage I realized that every family was different. You’re combining two individuals who were raised very differently together to create a new family. But you also have to understand that many families established their ways and sometimes commenting from the outside can make things worse.
It goes both ways, though…Shehab handles criticism a lot better than I do. I think I’ve caused some of the worst fights we’ve had because I’ve gotten defensive over the minimal observations. Sometimes it’s even lead me demanding that he leave. Yep, the completely wrong way to approach a situation right?
It wasn’t until recently that we realized that we’re coming from the outside observing our families from another lens. We don’t know the entire story. Parents have created their traditions and norms over years of practice. Let’s be honest, once rules are established it’s pretty difficult to change. Many people would rather change others than themselves which is another obstacle Shehab, and I face on a daily basis.
So how do you handle the honesty train when it comes to families? Not saying anything doesn’t help, even though I knew about it.
- Think of ways to calmly approach the situation without causing your partner to get defensive.
- Try to understand why things are the way they are and explain what bothers you about it to your partner.
- Talk to your partner about ways to improve the situation – Shehab’s no. 1 rule, “explain it to me and let me handle the situation.” (Don’t expect sudden changes though)
- And when it comes to your marriage… talk about what traditions and norms you want to execute in your future foundation. *Remember every generation takes what they learned from their elders and evolves it to build their own.
When it comes to Shehab and me, our biggest strength is honesty, however, our weakness; listening without getting defensive. Especially when it comes to me… Remember ignoring the topic isn’t going to help your relationship grow….It’s about finding ways to discuss and understand each other.
How do you handle excessive honesty with your partner?