I recently read this in a Celebrate Recovery daily reading:
When we cover our eyes,
we make ourselves more vulnerable.
It then instructs us to take our blindfolds off so we can consistently and effectively fight for our health, our relationships, and our futures.
During the first part of our marriage I covered my eyes, and it did make me more vulnerable because I couldn’t see what was creeping up on us—the distance, the porn, the other women.
But then I made it worse by doing something else: When I finally took off the blindfold, I stood up to fight, but not in the productive way the reading talked about. It led to the destructive fighting that tears relationships apart.
It wasn’t always this way though; I defaulted to it over the years. At first I faced our problems head-on and tried talking about them, but because neither of us had good communication skills, those conversations usually did more harm than good.
Over time I came to believe talking about it was useless, and it became easier to cover my eyes, paste on a fake smile, and pretend we had a really good marriage. (But inside I knew the truth.)
I wasn’t alone. My husband wore his own blindfold.
Because we weren’t facing the truth, our problems weren’t resolved and our needs weren’t met. The resulting resentments quickly divided us, and the gap between us only widened as, layer upon layer, our unresolved issues built up. (Can you relate?)
Wearing blindfolds definitely made us vulnerable, because it gave us such an unhealthy relationship that we almost didn’t make it.
But now I do something different. I do the kind of fighting the reading talked about: Every time I’m tempted to cover my eyes, I face the truth instead. I look at it and feel it and arrange my thoughts in a way that can result in a good conversation.
I remember who I am and what I’m about… and then I talk to my husband about it.
The resulting conversation wouldn’t go well if my husband was still covering his own eyes, but he’s not doing that anymore. Because he’s gone through his own healing process, he’s willing to face the truth with me, and we’re able to have conversations that heal instead of harm.
Don’t get me wrong; we still have explosions, but even then it’s rare—and we regroup and go again and we get back to a good place much more quickly.
And consistently facing our problems like this really helps. We’re closer. We’re stronger. We’re much more peaceful—and much less vulnerable than we were before.
THINGS YOU CAN DO:
If you sense you’re covering your own eyes to avoid the truth, and you’re ready for a change, then dig deep to find out:
- What is the truth you’re avoiding?
- What is keeping you from facing it head-on?
- Is it too painful to face?
- Is it too frightening?
- How do you think your partner will respond? Are you concerned it will cause him to turn outside the relationship again? (If so, you’re not alone. I used to feel this way, and many other women have voiced the same concern.)
And I get it! It’s a frightening topic to discuss. It really is, so when you’re ready to begin the conversation, I suggest you use Tool 1 and Tool 2 found in My Story, then check out the rest of my articles on ways to continue the conversation with him.