The Power of Transparency
Is your partner(s) keeping secrets from you? Or are you keeping secrets from your partner(s)?
Are you scared of being honest with your partner(s) because you might hurt them?
From our previous article, I mentioned that practicing transparency and honesty ultimately benefits all parties involved. Transparency in a relationship is crucial for its success. It opens a door for honesty and communication to be anchors in your relationship.
Incorporating it into your life does not come easy or natural to many. The reason why it can be difficult is because transparency has a lot to do with confronting ourselves! This sounds an awful lot like vulnerability, no?
With transparency comes patience; it is normal for us to make many attempts to find what works. It is also normal for couples to struggle on one topic for a long time, especially when the topic forces us into states of vulnerability…such as what works for them in bed, so do not be discouraged.
It’s important to remember that being transparent within a relationship is about sharing your thoughts and feelings honestly, without fear of judgement or repercussion. This is something that not only takes time to master, it also requires relational intentionality...doing things on purpose with purpose.
Now let’s get into the benefits of transparency!
The first one, is that it builds trust. Expressing your honest opinions and being direct, when done consistently, builds strong relationships. It allows each person to be seen as approachable while building respect for one another.
Transparency also leads to less secrecy, when you and your partner(s) are on the same page (most of the time). When you are more honest and open with your partner(s) this fosters a deeper level of intimacy and security. Since no topic is off the table, you can be your true self around your partner(s), you can let your guard down, and be fully present in front of them.
What does practicing transparency look like?
Start with a mutual agreement where you decide to ban secrets from your relationship (emotional, relational, financial, and sexual) because you agree that transparency is vital in your relationship.
Make it a constant habit to talk about different areas of your lives together – communication, finances, money, kids, sex, etc. Imagine yourselves as a team, this makes it easier when you are faced with relationship problems, and it prevents blaming each other. In a previous blog post and previous podcast episode, we introduced the idea of treating your relationship like a business. This is going to be a time when being anchored in your relational mission statement will be nothing but helpful!
When those difficult conversations come up, because they will, practicing transparency gives your relationship an advantage because each person can gage where the other person is at, which can help read the mood of the room. This requires sharing observations about yourself without blame or projection, avoiding “you statements” or any arguable interpretations.
Anytime you speculate your partner’s intentions or make judgments, you are entering into arguable territory. You need to remember that it’s not you against your partner(s), it’s you and your partner(s) against the problem.
The Key Takeaways
• Transparency takes time
• Transparency only reaps benefits if everyone makes the effort to be honest
• Emotional transparency is about sharing parts of yourself in your relationship, which is incredibly vulnerable (aka it’s scary and helpful according to research)
• Get into the habit of talking about everything...often!
• When problems arise, remember that it’s your relationship versus the problem, NOT you versus your partner(s)