As I've worked with couples in crisis, one pattern I've observed is that most unhealthy couples share a common trait: A lack of trust and honesty. Healthy couples, by contrast, always have strong levels of trust and honesty.
In marriage, your level of intimacy with each other will always be based on your level of honesty with each other.
I'm not always in favor of "tests" in marriage, but there may be times when it is helpful to evaluate and measure the strength of your relationship. Below are some simple ways to display your trust in one another and also display areas where trust may be lacking. Without a ways to evaluate, you may never know where you're strong and where you're struggling.
It's my hope that these exercises will stimulate some healthy discussions between husbands and wives. If you read through these and you're not comfortable doing them in your marriage, ask each other why. An unwillingness to try these out could reveal an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
This is going to make some people incredibly uncomfortable. I get that, but I also believe temporary discomfort is sometimes required to create permanent health. I challenge you to do whatever possible to create stronger trust and honesty in your marriage.
4 ways to measure the trust and honesty in your marriage:
1. The Phone Test
Trade cell phones for one week. You should be comfortable with your spouse seeing and responding to any text messages or calls that come to you on a given day. It sends the message to each other and to others that the two of you are connected in every part of life.
2. The Money Test
One of the most common areas of deceitfulness in marriage is in the area of finances. Many couples hide money and/or purchases from their spouse. This is a dangerous form of deceit. The "money test" is to trade debit and credit cards for one week and share all financial information even after you've traded back the cards.
3. The Secret Test
There's no place for secrecy in marriage (unless you're throwing a surprise birthday party). The Secret Test is to commit to never being offended by a question from you spouse, a commitment to always answering truthfully and a commitment to voluntarily confessing to any secrets you've been keeping.
4. The Search Test
We should be comfortable with our husband/wife knowing everything we search for on the internet. For mutual accountability put a software on your computers and phones like X3Watchwhere you'll make all your searches shared with your spouse.
I realize that these tests may sound drastic, but I also believe that couples who are willing to implement this kind of accountability are commit to a marriage with no secrets are the couples with the best chance of creating a thriving, lifelong marriage.
This article was originally published on Patheos. It has been republished here with permission.