As many of you may know among the many hats I wear, I am a divorce recovery coach and reinvention strategist working with women during and after the trauma of divorce and unpacking all that the journey entails. What you may not know is that I also work with couples who may be on the brink of divorce but perhaps are able to acknowledge that there is an iota of a chance that their marriage can be rescued/restored back to health and both parties are committed to working together with me to make their marriage work
Being an old romantic whose divorce story has not dampened my belief that marriage is for “happily ever after”, I strongly believe that marriage can be an incredibly rewarding path of growth and connection, but that’s not always how it feels to many couples. I have found that many couples are disillusioned believing that divorce is their only option when perhaps they can be gently guided back into lasting love and hope. Talking from firsthand experience, with the healed scars to show for it - divorce to my mind is not a decision to be taken lightly and where it is at all possible couples may want to try again and give love a chance. This is why I created the Believe, Love and Live Again - Marriage Rescue Divorce Prevention Programme (a 6-12 month programme) to provide a safe space and an opportunity for couples to discover and rediscover the best in themselves and their spouse, to learn to love and live again so as to relate from that which is already whole in themselves, and to step out of the old patterns which keep them stuck.
This programme is for couples who want and are committed to:
- Get unstuck from old negative patterns
- Develop better communication skills around parenting, housework, finances, sex, etc.
- Reconnect and rebuild trust after a betrayal or painful experience in the relationship
- Enhance and maintain intimacy
- Rebuild astrong foundation for the future.
- Live in the permanent daily renewal of their marriage
I have to say that for me as a coach this programme has been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, I have learnt a lot about myself and will use the positive learning in my second marriage....spoiler alert.
Again, from working with countless couples I have also come to a startling realisation that couples routinely keep secrets from each other despite the damage this does to their marriages and relationships. These secrets can range from innocent mistakes, little untruths, to more serious lies and deception.
These secrets that are often kept from one another in a marriage or relationship can vary however here are some common trends I have observed.
If you suspect your loved one isn’t being upfront about everything, one of these relationship secrets might be the culprit:
- Money secrets. One of the most common secrets in relationships is money and tends to be focused on spending.
- Most couples don’t hide their salaries from each other. However, they often hide how much they spend. From an innocent fib about finding something on sale instead of paying full price to more serious lies about thousands in credit card debt, the secrets can differ.
- Both men and women try to hide their spending habits.
- Food secrets. This secret isn’t always easy to keep in a relationship since you usually share a kitchen. It’s not hard to spot the candy wrappers in the trash can or notice the extra bottles of soda in the fridge.
- Couples still manage to keep food secrets from each other. However, they’re usually related to eating out instead of what they eat at home.
- Couples sometimes try to hide what they had at a fast food place or a restaurant by sneaking them in the car or at work.
- Most of the food secrets happen when one or both partners are supposed to be on a diet. It’s tempting to cheat, and it’s easy to pick up food as you do errands or return from work.
- Cheating secrets. Infidelity is a serious issue for many relationships.
- Your partner will probably try to hide that he or she is cheating on you. It’s rare for them to blatantly parade another person in front of you or to discuss their affairs while you’re still in a relationship.
- Cheating secrets are some of the most damaging to the security and long-term success of a marriage or relationship.
- Exercise secrets. Some couples will hide how little they exercise, and some will try to hide how much they exercise.
- Although it’s more common to keep secrets about not working out, there are cases of people lying about working out more. Some of these are related to eating disorders, and your partner may be keeping the high workouts a secret because they want to burn off too many calories.
- Television secrets. This secret may seem unusual, but it’s more common than you think.
- Some couples keep their television habits and favorites a secret from each other at home.
- In many cases, they have an agreement to watch a show together, but one of them will cheat and watch it alone. Then, they try to keep it a secret and pretend they haven’t seen the latest episode.
- In other cases, partners are embarrassed to watch trashy shows or bad comedies. They may keep their TV habits a secret because of shame or guilt.
- Secrets about their “ex.” Often, couples will keep meetings or phone calls from a former partner a secret.
- Most couples worry about their loved one finding out an ex is back in their lives. They don’t want to sabotage the new relationship, so they hide it.
- Cutting out the size tag from their clothes especially when there is a change in dress size due to weight loss or weight gain. This is absolutely hilarious and although many may say it is not that big a deal, but it still does not make it any less dishonest. In the interest of integrity and openness I have to confess that while I was married I routinely cut out the size tags from my clothes when I noticed weight gain….phew! a weight of my chest now…pardon the pun.
In the final analysis, secrets can hurt both people in a relationship, and the damage can extend to other members of our families too.
Although you know you should be honest with your partner, it’s not always easy, and secrets are sometimes hard to avoid. In most cases, though, honesty is the best policy. Honesty naturally builds trust and strengthens be it a marriage or your relationship.
Looking forward to receiving your marriage renewal invitation – I so want a reason to wear that pretty frock I bought
Whatever you do, take the process in your stride, it is all part of your Believe and Live Again recovery, bounce back and transition journey from being a “we” to becoming a “me”.
If you would like to have an informal chat about it, don't hesitate to get in touch on: +44 208 938 3672 and myself or a member of my team will gladly schedule a Complimentary Believe and Live Again Coaching Discovery session or a 30 minute "Forgive and Let Go" consultation and together, we could be embarking upon the Believe and Live Again 5 R's journey to heal your heart, outgrow your challenges and let go of the past so that your glorious future can finally emerge.
Once again, I invite you to contact me or schedule a time to talk, call: +44 (0) 208 938 3672 (24 hours) or click on the pink "Contact" at the bottom right hand side of this page and this will take you into my "Let's Talk" contact form. Kindly complete the form and you will get a call back.
In the meantime, until next time, Keep Smiling, Keep Strong and Keep Believing.
Best Wishes and God's Blessings
Zina Arinze helps female professionals, business women, entrepreneurs and women of faith, swiftly recover from the grief, trauma and stigma of divorce, separation or relationship breakdown by giving them clarity for their radiant future so that they are able to transition their mindsets from “we” to “me”, reconnect to their positive of self, regain their feminine power and walk in the healing restorative power of God. A lawyer by training and armed with an MBA, Zina has over 15 years in IT Project Management Consultancy, Training and Capacity Building for both the Public and Private Sectors, she very passionate about building lasting relationships and encouraging the discovery, development and deployment of hidden talents.