In marriage, is ignorance really bliss? Are you happier not knowing the truth? Ignoring issues in marriage undermines its health, especially if they are things that go against the integrity of the relationship. (Click on the title to read more.)
But let your “Yes” be “Yes” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment. (James 5:12, NKJV)
Being truthful and speaking truth in love are important to marriage health. Marriage is intended to be a safe place for a husband and wife to share everything, where they can be “naked and unashamed” in all ways. It takes effort to create and maintain safety in a marriage, and it is not always easy because we are all broken or wounded in some way, and we don’t always respond to our spouse in a way that makes him or her feel safe. Accusation, criticism, judgment, and harsh words make us feel unsafe. Compassion, acceptance, understanding, and gentleness promote relational safety.
Another common saying that is similar to ignorance is bliss is “what they don’t know won’t hurt them.” Paul addresses this in his letter to the Ephesians.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. (Ephesians 4:25)
Our spouse is our closest “neighbor” and in marriage, a husband and wife are intended to be one, so when one spouse is secretly or blatantly doing something that the other would not approve of, the “falsehood” cracks the foundation of the marriage. If the issue is not brought into the open and dealt with, the cracks grow bigger or more cracks appear and eventually the marriage crumbles, or at the very least the relationship becomes stagnant or confrontational.
This is not limited to big issues like an affair, pornography, gambling, or drug abuse. If one spouse has said or done something to offend the other and it is not resolved, it may lead to resentment, bitterness, anger, and eventually to disgust for the other person. That’s when people can’t see a way out and start thinking about divorce. They’ve ignored the issues for too long. With God, all things are possible, so there is still hope, but it’s hard to see by that time.
What issues in your marriage have you been ignoring that are interfering with your relationship?
Maybe it’s time to address them. Truth and transparency are building blocks for a healthy marriage.
Note: Scripture verses are from the New International Version, unless otherwise indicated.