One of the best things about marriage is having the freedom to be yourself. Keeping up appearances is exhausting but letting go of all that is relaxing and restful. When you’re with your spouse you should be the most real you. You should be comfortable enough with your spouse that you can be totally authentic, and your spouse should be comfortable being totally real with you.

1. Share your Fear.

Share with your spouse that you feel insecure and afraid to be vulnerable and authentic with them. Explain why you feel this way without passing all the blame on to them. Take responsibility for your lack of authenticity in the past. Once you’ve examined your own heart share, what you’re really afraid of if you are completely honest with them. Share the fear of rejection, loss of respect, conflict, or your fear of their response to the real you.

2. Share it All.

Your spouse needs to know the real you; nothing held back or hidden. Be completely open and painfully honest about your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Share the seemingly unimportant and random thoughts that run briefly through your mind. Share the deep important thoughts and feelings. The most insignificant thoughts to you, may be some of the most valuable information to your spouse.

3. Embrace the Conflict.

When you’re tempted to fudge the truth or flat out lie to your spouse to prevent conflict, choose not to fear the conflict. Set your mind to view the conflict as an opportunity to deepen your relationship. Remind yourself that this discussion, no matter how uncomfortable, will deepen your relationship and help your spouse to know you better. Take a deep breath and be honest with your spouse about how you feel.

4. Trust God Enough.

When you’re tempted not to tell your spouse a truth from your heart, trust God enough to say it. Share the struggle you’re trying to overcome and ask for help. Share how God’s working in your life. Share the secret hurts. Share it all. Nothing should be off limits. Imagine the intimacy in marriage you will enjoy if you are both completely honest about everything.

5. Understand the Freedom of Authenticity.

If you hear that little voice inside saying, “Don’t tell them.” Don’t listen to it. Tell the truth and you’ll find freedom in it. Jesus himself said in John 8:32, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” It really is true that there’s freedom in being totally authentic with your spouse. When they love you for the real you it is amazing!

The reward for authenticity is totally worth the risk. Keep in mind that if you want your spouse to love the real you, you must also love the real them. When they trust you enough to show you their authentic self, accept them and love them. This doesn’t mean to view their sin as acceptable. Sin must be dealt with; you can walk with your spouse as they seek freedom from the chains of their sin. When your spouse is authentic with you, go as far as to thank them for their authenticity. Show your appreciation for their vulnerability. Sharing goes both ways. As you share, your spouse will feel more comfortable to share.

When both spouses are totally authentic with each other trust is built, love is deepened, and friendship grows. Enjoy a completely authentic relationship with your spouse today.