I’ve known Brandon since he was 16 years old. That is half his life at this point. After 17 years together, it’s pretty easy to think you know someone. But even after all those years, I learned three major relationship lessons after I kept a secret from him.
At the end of last year, I decided I was going to start going to therapy again. I found a therapist, scheduled an appointment, but I didn’t tell my husband about it.
Brandon and I have had lots of conversations about therapy. To say we have a difference in opinion would be an understatement.
I fully believe in therapy, I’ve experienced the benefits and I truly believe that talking through your problems/emotions is the best way to process them. Brandon on the other hand, does not, at all believe in therapy. He can’t wrap his around the fact that I would pay someone to listen to me talk.
Because of our difference in opinion, I had made the conscious decision not to tell him about my appointment, Well, not until the very last minute.
I didn’t tell him until 7:00pm the night before my 10:00am appointment…a month after I had scheduled it.
3 Relationship Lessons I Learned From Keeping a Secret
1. Keeping a secret from your spouse is never a good idea
It’s that whole communication is key thing that everyone preaches about. Listen, I know this is obvious, but I didn’t think keeping quiet, for a month, about a therapy appointment I had made would be that big of a deal.
In the past, Brandon and I have had a bad habit of not talking to each other when we get in a fight. It’s something we’ve progressively gotten better about, but it is something we are still working on. When I told Brandon about my therapy appointment, he was not happy. He got mad, then I got mad because he was mad and that was really it.
Because we didn’t talk about it right away, I just assumed, because of past conversations, he was mad that I was going to therapy. Once we finally took the time to talk about it (the following evening), it turned out he wasn’t mad because I was going to therapy. He was mad because I kept the appointment a secret until the last minute.
Like I said, I didn’t think keeping this kind of secret was a big deal, but I was completely wrong and I am not afraid to admit that. I honestly felt horrible about it. He explained that by keeping the secret, he felt as though I didn’t think he would support me. It broke my heart and I now know, no secret is too small to keep from him.
2. After 17 years, you can still be surprised
17 years is a long time. We spend A LOT of time together. Because of that, it can feel as though we know every little thing about each other. It’s not very often we are caught off guard by each others reactions. On top of that, Brandon is someone who is very stuck in his ways. So when we finally sat down to talk about me going to therapy, I was (pleasantly) surprised by what he had to say.
I thought Brandon was mad because I was going to therapy, turns out it was because I kept it a secret. I was definitely surprised by that! One of the reasons I didn’t tell him about my appointment was because I didn’t want him to make it about money. But I was surprised once again, when that wasn’t at all where his head was at. He was more concerned about why I was going.
Because I didn’t tell him, he had no idea why I was going to therapy. He thought it was a confidence thing (because of my skin). He couldn’t understand why I would need to go to someone else for a confidence boost when he is there, every single time I am upset about my skin, telling me how beautiful I am. It broke my heart, to think he felt as though him telling me I’m beautiful didn’t matter. Ugh.
That wasn’t at all the reason for me going to therapy. I was happy that he did not make the conversation about money like I thought he would and even more so that he was understanding about my reason once I took the time to actually explain it to him. So I guess as a little bonus lesson, I also learned that he can’t read my mind. Ha!
3. Support should be a given when you are married
Once we took the time to hear each other out, he listened to my reasoning for keeping it a secret and why I wanted to go, I listened to his reasoning for being upset, we understood each other. At the end of the day, Brandon and I still have very different viewpoints on therapy. He doesn’t believe in it and I think it’s life changing. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be respectful of each other.
Through this whole thing, I was reminded that supporting each other is another key to a strong relationship. We are on the same team. If he knows that it’s something I feel that strongly about or that I believe therapy is going to help me, Brandon will support me. He’s not going to love that I’m spending money on something he doesn’t agree with and he’s not always going to ask me about my sessions, but he does support me, That is all that really matters and I shouldn’t have been worried about any other outcome.
So was keeping my therapy a secret a good idea? No. But I did learn from it and I learned something new about the person I’ve spent almost half my life with. So I’ll admit my wrong doing and accept it as relationship lessons learned.