That which is kept hidden is known as the secret.
Secrecy is the practice of hiding information from certain individuals or groups who do not have the “need to know”, perhaps while sharing it with other individuals.
A recent secret my husband kept brought me great joy when I found out about it. So many times when I comment that I want this or that Charlie will file that comment away and at some point later I find myself with what I said I wanted. A couple of weeks ago a box was delivered to our front porch. I was perplexed staring at this tall, slender box and I was said to Charlie, “What in the world is this?” He smiled and said, “It’s something that you said you said you wanted.” I proceeded to get scissors and tear into the box. Out came a pair of two and one half foot tall lemon trees. I was so excited that I started shrieking, “Oh, it’s lemon trees!!”, and I was jumping up and down and clapping my hands.
Charlie was thrilled with my response as he loves to pull off a secret. He has the most amazing giving heart and he lives every day to ensure the happiness of me and our children. Am I spoiled? Why yes, yes I am spoiled. More than anything I am blessed and I can not wait to smell those amazing lemons once my lemon trees start baring their fruit.
Secrets create division
All secrets do not provide this joy and exuberance that I felt when I opened that box with lemon trees. There are secrets that are kept that have far-reaching negative implications. I have known of secrets that create intense heartache, fear and doubt. There are secrets that bring about severe anxiety. I have experienced secrets that cause the inability to re-establish trust. Some secrets are known to destroy marriages and families. I have even known of secrets that cause illness. It is those secrets that I want to focus the rest of my blog post on.
For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all. Luke 8:17 NLT
Secrets in some fashion are lies, are they not? For sure, they are acts of omission. The definition of secret is…something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others. What causes individuals to keep secrets from those they love? Is it because they do not want to hurt their loved ones as with the son or daughter who has gotten addicted to drugs? It might because they know their secret is wrong and they do not want to face the shame that revelation would bring? This might be the business man who is deeply involved in shady business deals or the working wife and mother who is having an affair with a married man she works with. It could be that the secret they are keeping is fun and boosts their ego, makes them feel like, “Hey, I’ve still got it”. It might also be because they believe that if their secret were revealed it would change their life forever and not only their life but also the lives of those they dearly love.
Two sides of Secrecy
I have personally been on both sides of this issue. In 2008, I reconnected with an old high school boyfriend through facebook. I carried on a friendship with him via social media and telephone calls secretly for a few weeks. Charlie discovered this early on and after lying about it a few times I eventually admitted the truth and fully ended the friendship.
Doing this did put a strain on our marriage for a period of time. I felt immense shame for what I had done and I could not express enough how sorry I was to my husband. Charlie was extremely hurt and fearful for weeks and likely months. I could see it on his face every time I looked at him. Eventually, trust was reestablished, but it did take some time.
So, what made me do this in secret? It was because it was fun to reconnect and catch up on his life and catch him up on mine. It was because I knew it was wrong and I did not want to hurt my husband. I was ashamed and did not want other family members and friends to know that I had done this.
You may wonder why I didn’t just ask Charlie if he cared if I had a friendship with this guy. I did not ask him because we had long ago agreed that friendships with others of the opposite sex were a no go for us. We knew that if we allowed them it would make us vulnerable and make our marriage vulnerable. It would be better for us to avoid those types of situations to ensure the purity of our marriage. I also knew that I would not agree for him to have a friendship with a female in which I was not part of that friendship, so how could I ask the same of him.
I knew that my choice must be to end the friendship and work to show Charlie that he could trust me again. Would this friendship with my old high school boyfriend have become anything more? We will never know, but the risk was too great to chance.
As for being on the other side, I want to save that for another day. Eventually, I will write about the storm our marriage endured from late 2015 up to 2018. Honestly, we are through the storm now, but it took a lot of time and hard work on both of our parts to survive it. There were days that neither of us thought we would pull through it together or that our marriage would remain intact. I am so happy to say that it was worth the fight, worth the pain, worth the hardest of days.
Charlie and I are committed to never having secrets again. I hope as I share our story through our blog that I am able to help other women with similar struggles. My desire is to instill value and worth into other women where all hope has been lost. The choices I made will not be the choices that everyone will make, and that is okay. I simply want to turn something that the enemy meant for bad into something good, something really good.