We live in a “you do you” culture, where individuality is prized and independence is cultivated. But when too much independence is carried over into marriage, it can create walls between spouses. One of the common messages that’s out there (unfortunately) is that husbands and wives should keep a little piece of themselves private after they’re married.
That might mean maintaining a separate bank account that’s kept as a fallback “just in case.” Or having certain confidences that we don’t share with our spouse but discuss with a close friend or relative. Those assets, confidences, and activities that we keep private from our spouse might seem like a way to protect ourselves in case the marriage doesn’t work out.
But the happy couples I surveyed and interviewed for my book The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages took a totally different approach (and many of these findings were further validated and expanded in my recent book, Thriving in Love & Money!) They didn’t hold back from their spouses. They threw everything into the ring—their hearts, their wallets, and especially their hopes—by risking everything and choosing to believe that it would pay off.
Many of these couples had moved from being very troubled in their marriage to being very happy… and this particular secret was one of the biggest reasons why.