Can I share a story with you?
Thousands of years ago (it seems) I was telling one of my closest friends how my spouse and I decided to get married and that now we were engaged.
One of us didn't propose to the other.
There was no surprise.
There was no bended-knee.
Then she surprised me.
She shared the elaborate story she'd told me—and the one her partner and her had told their family and friends—wasn't true.
Elements of it were true.
But the bottom line was that she and her partner had not gotten engaged in the way they said they'd had...or even for the reasons they'd shared.
I was kind of upset.
I was upset because it felt like our friendship wasn't strong enough to handle the truth.
I was upset because she had to process her relationship on her own when I was willing and able to support her.
I was upset because she was perpetuating a stereotype of how relationships work.
Relationships don't always work that way.
Sometimes they do.
And that's fine.
But when we don't share the truth of our relationships...
When we conform to structures that aren't real for us...
We shame ourselves into performing a role, and we communicate to others they have to do the same thing to love, be loved, to be safe, and to belong.
Here are three reasons to share the truths of your relationship:
ONE: Love and Healing
Human beings are social creatures who find and create meaning through connecting with one another. The people who love and care about you can support you around what you're experiencing—around the truth of what you're experiencing.
Letting them see you and witness you for all you are and all you're going through can be healing for you and healing for them. It can give you all an opportunity to love deeper.
( And sometimes they can't. Sometimes they're too wrapped up in their own shit to see you and they make it about them. Use your judgement and at least consider if being seen as you are is more loving than withholding all together. )
TWO: Role Models
Our culture is desperate for stories, images, and role models around the inner workings of relationships. And we aren't going to heal collectively without creating safety for all of us to exist exactly as we are—especially in our relationships.
After all, it's not all vacation pictures and family portraits that occupy the days of our lives. There are misunderstandings, disagreements, hard decisions, loving simplicity, and expansive love to share.
Shame abhors the light. You don't deserve to live in the dark or in shame. And while life isn't all love and light and everything casts a shadow, you are worth living your truth. You deserve to be seen exactly as you are.
And so does everyone else.
So whether you're getting married, getting divorced, opening your relationship, going through tough times, or just having a day inside your relationship, share.
Don't puff up your relationship.
Don't shrink it down.
Sending you and your relationship love,
P.S. Shaun and I share more around how we decided to get married in the first place and around our vow renewal a few years ago in an upcoming podcast.
You can listen here.
P.S.S. This happened recently: