It’s time for another round from the wise, much loved, creator of the best chicken soup in the world, mother of a polka dot, long time married Mother Polka Dot! You can read previous musings from Mother Polka by clicking here.
Over the years at girls’ gossip sessions and coffee mornings, I have listened with silent horror at the confidences imparted by some women about their partners. I’d more often than not, figuratively put my fingers in my ears and hum ‘la-la-la’ so as not to hear. And then there was the small problem of seeing ‘he, who was gossiped about’, and pretending not to feel ever so slightly uncomfortable!
Early on in our relationship I resolved that I would try my ‘darndest’ to be my husband’s best friend. That to me meant unfailing loyalty, not divulging things that had been told to me in confidence, or private matters – no matter how ‘un-burdening’ the prospect may have been to let slip a little tidbit. I wanted to create an atmosphere where he felt he could tell me anything and not have his confidence betrayed. I may not have agreed with him, and some things have made me really angry. At times I wished I could have screamed. And I had no hesitation in telling him so.
But everyone needs to feel that someone is there for them and will accept them no matter what. And sometimes, to be honest, what he said or did, and my lack of acceptance of it, was really my problem!
When growing up, we looked to our parents, a loving grandparent or aunt perhaps to provide that special safe zone – where we could tell them anything and we would be loved and accepted anyway. As teenagers we were left reeling when someone we called a special friend betrayed us and seemingly made light of our confidences.
What is so different when we are married or in a committed relationship? Are we not hoping that our partner is our ‘safe place’? Should we not honour our partner in the same way?
When times get tough, it will be the talking and listening to each other that will get you through. Set the pattern for a good talking relationship early on. Be each other’s best friend and confidant. But honour this responsibility your partner has given to you by listening and accepting, and above all not betraying his confidences to anyone – not even your mother or your mates!
Confidences given to you, are a gift that are an honour to receive. Your power comes from holding them close to you and treasuring the fact that someone thought you important and trustworthy enough to divulge a piece of themselves to you. It is more powerful to’ know’ than to ‘divulge’.
By telling other people, you have not only given away your own power, but that of the person who confided in you. Would you then want to tell you a secret?