Naked But Not Ashamed: Learning To Be Vulnerable In Marriage
By: Ronke Alao
In the early days of dating my husband, I remember how vulnerable we both were. We met in college and I used to think of him as a nerd, (don’t tell him okay!?). I had known him for like three years but we never got close to being friends. All we did was say, “Hi” to each other every now and then. Then out of the blues, we started dating. It seemed like all of a sudden, this guy I used to think of as boring was actually interesting to be with . He was such a fun person to talk with. I realized that I found it so easy to confide in him. He would tell me stuff about himself that I know he’s never shared with anyone before and that overwhelmed me a little. I mean, I was very open, but probably not as open as he was.
I mean, we were dating and not yet married right? But I found that as we both continued in the relationship , I started confiding in him more. It wasn’t a conscious thing, I just wasn’t the type of person that laid everything bare as far as my innermost thoughts are concerned . This trust and openness continued till we got married and then it went on to another level. It’s funny how I hear people say marriage isn’t important , and how it’s just a piece of paper. Marriage changes the dynamics of a relationship. Without marriage, you can’t really lay claim on a person’s heart. When the commitment of marriage isn’t there yet, how can you truly be “naked but not ashamed”?
Being naked and not ashamed is God’s design for married couples. I believe there is the physical aspect to being naked in marriage where sex is concerned but that isn’t all, there is also the emotional and spiritual aspect too. As women, do we feel emotionally safe with our husbands? One of the definitions of ashamed is unwilling or restrained because of fear of shame, ridicule or disapproval. Despite the fact that my husband and I trust each other very much, I still find that there are times when we have argue back and forth about something simply because I don’t want to come out plain and tell him why I have the views I have. Perhaps because of the fear of ridicule or disapproval.
I remember how we had a difficult discussion on phone a few weeks back. I wasn’t going to budge, neither was he. So we went on and on for like an hour and a half. I felt so hurt and demanded that he apologized – you might think that is childish but hey, we all have our moments right? He did apologize and immediately he did, I felt so stupid, so I apologized too and said, “I really didn’t mean all I said, I just said that in place of what my real views were”. You see, I shied away from saying what I really should have said because I didn’t want to come across as stupid or worse yet, not have his approval . So I subconsciously decided to argue and look smart, than be vulnerable and look stupid. Isn’t that what we do a lot of times? We’d rather stick to our guns even when we are making no sense just so we don’t appear stupid.
I am glad to have a husband who is so trusting. I am also thankful that God is teaching me to be more open and vulnerable with my husband too. It’s not just about you being able to trust your husband fully but can he trust you with his innermost feelings without you ridiculing him?
Trust is in different levels. There is a level of trust that you can let someone keep your check book for you without fear that they will steal your money. There is also a level of trust where you can be yourself, be vulnerable and even be stupid without fear of ridicule from your spouse. That is a level of trust that God wants you and I to have in our marriages.
I’d love to hear from YOU. How do you build trust in your relationship/marriage? Has it become easy with time or still as hard as ever? Leave your comment below.
Ronke Alao is a writer who gives time-tested and simple principles to help women enjoy their relationships and marriages. Her methods teaches women how to get past the confusion of dating and getting to the place where they really have fulfilling relationships and marriage.
She is known for her ‘up-close and personal’ style of getting her message across and drawing lessons from her personal experience. She is married to her best friend, Wale, who is her biggest cheerleader. Her online newsletter,EveryWoman’s Heart, is read in over 72 countries.