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the importance of honesty in marriage, relationship communications, words matter

Words Matter the Importance of Honesty in Marriage

by Deborah Cruz

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Recently, I’ve been approached to be interviewed for some pretty lucrative positions. I haven’t been interviewed to get a job in years since most of my work comes from WOM recommendations or personal connections through past work partners. To be honest, I wasn’t looking because I’m finishing up my master’s in digital marketing and planned to evolve my career when the program is completed. But when opportunity knocks, you have to at least listen, right?

As I said, these positions are lucrative and to ignore the opportunity that sought me out would be crazy, so, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone( out of my joggers and sweatshirts that have been my work uniform for the past seventeen years)(nervous and unsure) and went for it, talk about imposter syndrome? I felt like a guy dating way out of his league.

There have been 3 interviews thus far 1) was a huge editorial opportunity at a digital news outlet paying great money 2) an editor position heading up their newly formed parenting channel 3) an opportunity to enter the digital marketing field as a strategist. To say I was stressed about having these out-of-the-blue interviews would be an understatement but I’ve never let fear stop me from jumping in head first before, why stop now?

I pulled on my big girl panties and so I lept. Now, the reason I’m able to do this is that I’ve always had my core group of family’s unconditional support and confidence. My husband has always been my biggest supporter. No dream too big. No goal too lofty. “Baby you can do it!” Before the Big Guy, my dad was my hype man. While I’m humble, I’m not afraid of trying. I don’t particularly like failure but I always remain optimistic and try my hardest. A lot of that has to do with my unwavering support system and their belief in me. They truly lift me up so you can imagine what it would feel like if I found out maybe that wasn’t always the case.

Thursday, I was prepping for what would be the most stressful interview yet, the opportunity in digital marketing. Stressful because I’ve only worked from the content creation and influencer side and this position is in the strategist side. Plus, this wasn’t a phone interview but a video conference with not 1 but 2 of the executives. Did I mention I have an issue controlling my facial expressions and so ramble when I’m nervous? Also, how do I dress to look professional but youthful, energetic and creative without looking like a try-hard imposter, matronly or age-inappropriate? When let’s face it, I am often age-inappropriate because even though I’m on the verge of middle age, my heart and soul are stuck around 23-years-old. There were 100 different ways this could all go sideways and so couldn’t stop running every one of those scenarios through my head.  I spent all that morning on the precipice of vomiting but I pushed through and decided to get out of my own way.

About an hour and a half before the interview, I sent the Big Guy to pick up the girls from school so I could finish centering myself and get ready (suit up in my interview armor so to speak). I was so nervous that I was getting irritable and second guessing every choice so when my girls got home I asked for their opinions on one fashion options. In retrospect, this was a completely futile and terrible choice. They’ve never been on an interview in their lives but I was desperate for reassurance.

That’s when, in my frantic state, my youngest pulls me aside to drop a truth bomb.I pride myself on raising my girls to be upfront, honest and transparent and to never, ever say something behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t say to their face. I guess I should have more clearly explained timing and how sometimes silence is the best option if the truth will hurt someone you care about. But, some lessons are learned late which Im still debating if it’s actually better than never.

The truth bomb she hit me with 45 minutes before my interview, “dad says you’re really nervous about your interview. You’ve been out of the game too long and you probably won’t get the job.”

In my head…. He said what!?!?!!!!!!!! Not in anger but in shock, awe and heartbreak.

She may as well have shot me on the heart because that’s literally what it felt like.

So, 30 minutes before my interview that I was already feeling insecure about, I’m beginning to look like a leopard from the crying. I can’t figure out how to react. Am I angry? Am I sad? Is this grounds for divorce? Was all that faith in me bullshit? Is our entire marriage a lie? If he, the man who supposedly “loves” me doesn’t believe I can do it, will anybody? Should I cancel the interview! Oh my God, he thinks I’m old??? I fucking hate it here. I’m an imposter. I have no business talking to these people. What was I thinking agreeing to this?? Omg, it’s virtual. They’re going to see my red-spotted, puffy just cried face. Every insecurity I had 45 minutes ago had been amplified by infinity. Does this man even love me? Do I even know who this person is?

Frantically spinning out of control like a helicopter caught in a hurricane about to crash into the ground and kill us all.

Then, 20 minutes before my interview, still not sure what to wear and trying to put on my makeup to cover my leopard spots, thanks to my toxic optimism, stubbornness and refusal to let anyone define what I can or can’t do ( thanks dad for raising me to believe in myself even when others don’t, to take pleasure in proving people wrong and succeeding to spite other peoples underestimation of me) I decided to let it go ( for the duration of the interview). Priorities.

I had a great interview. I was honest about everything including that most of my strategy work has been for class projects but I’m eager to learn and apply everything I’ve learned in class to real-world situations. We had a good rapport and the interview lasted a little over an hour( longer than they’d planned for), I did my best and I’m ok with however it plays out. TBH, I’m thankful for these interview experiences and less afraid of entering back into a corporate position. I feel more confident about my skills and what I have to offer. But even so, is saying thoughtless, hurtful things  ( in any context) grounds for divorce?

In the end, I wasn’t mad but truly hurt … wounded. I had a talk with my husband and explained how his comments undermined my faith in myself and my trust in him. He tried to explain that it was taken out of context and he didn’t mean it “that” way. He humbly apologized. I know he felt shitty about me knowing he said it but I told him I was more hurt that he even thought it and in the end, how can I ever believe him when he hypes me up? I felt foolish, embarrassed and betrayed. I don’t like any of those.

He was upset that our daughter told me this before my interview. I told him, I was upset he said it at all. If you won’t say it to my face, then you shouldn’t say it behind my back. I wasn’t mad because she told me, I was sad that he thought that without discussing it directly with me. In fact, always supported me and told me he believed in me. It stung and it’s the only serious argument we’ve had in 25 years but it was serious. Not going to lie, it’s a chip in the foundation and that scares me because it’s the little things that erode a relationship.

We talked it out immediately ( well, as soon as the interview was over) because grudges and pushed-down hurts have no place in a marriage. But we both learned some lessons that day and I’m still processing them. This may sound trivial to some but in our relationship, it’s a big giving deal. Words matter and we all need to think a little more before we say things that may be hurtful to the people we love most because when we stop caring about the wounds we give, do we even love at all?

What would you have done? How much do you think words matter in a marriage?

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