Well guys, I thought I had closed out the Rebuilding a Broken Relationship series, but a new beast has come to light and I believe it is important to discuss it. Just to recap, I previously talked with you all about the importance of communication, empathy, partnership, and vulnerability in intimate relationships. Read Part 1. Read Part 2.
The Key is Transparency
Let’s talk about transparency and social media transparency which I have loosely defined as the degree to which a person is willingly divulging their social media use and interactions. Due to the ever growing presence and access to social media there are increasing arguments about how we are using it. Some may use social media as a means to escape from a long day, a source of daydreaming about a different life, or to simply keep up with friends and family. While others may use it as a flow of receiving affirmation and approval… Countless times during couples therapy it is revealed that one partner, or both, have engaged in a social media entanglement with someone outside of the relationship. What if you have never been caught though? Say you have sent the occasional flirty message or complimented a woman a little too much, where is the harm in that?
When Transparency isn't There
Lack of transparency, openly sharing with your partner, is a recipe for the grass-is-greener-itis. Anytime we are hidden and shrouding a part of our life or behavior in secrecy, we are creating a habit that says “in this space my commitment does not exist; I can feed the part of me that does not desire self-control”. Relationships are reliant on a system that requires basic human conditions: trust, safety, connection, sacrifice, and meaning. All of these things are interconnected and feed into the foundational building blocks needed for happiness, longevity, and cohesion.
Sharing the Hard Stuff
Transparency in our interactions with others does not just stop at social media; how are you talking to other women? Are you entertaining flirtations? Do you find value in how another woman perceives you? As difficult as it may be, your partner needs to be privy to the temptations that you struggle with. I talked about the concept of teamwork in my previous blog on this topic. I stated that the hallmark of a good teammate is dying to their own ego. Accountability and ownership help get us out of the mindset that this is something “I” am struggling with and instead says “we have a problem, I struggle with _______”. At this point you are able to move your partnership out of a surface level connection and dive into issues that have plagued you.
This isn't a Power Play
I need to be clear about one thing, transparency is not keeping tabs on your partner and controlling what the other person does with their online and personal interactions. Transparency is what I call a “leveled-up” skill, not everyone is mature enough to be transparent or handle their partner’s transparency. It truly requires both people acknowledging that their relationship means more to them than their fear of honesty.
It is not too late to break old habits and step in a new light. At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX, we specialize in helping men navigate through relationship difficulty. Our therapists are well equipped to walk beside you on any new journey, whether it is getting counseling for the first time or working through relationship issues.
Learn more about the Relationship Therapy services we offer.
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