Recently, we had a traumatic event in our family. It was sad and hurtful, and yes—embarrassing. I was really stressed and upset and I needed to share this with someone. But, as usual, I got the gag order from my husband. I could see his point—sort of. I mean, why blab about it when it wouldn’t help the problem?
Well, I flailed around in my private hell for a couple of weeks. It was one of the lowest points in my life. Yes, I prayed. But I felt I was going to burst if I couldn’t share my feelings, hurts, and worries with another woman. So I finally called my sister and poured my heart out to her. We talked about what had happened; I ranted and raved and vented and cried. She listened and sympathized, encouraged me and prayed for me.
It was like instant medicine. I felt so much better. I honestly don’t know how I could have gotten through that difficult time without the support and love of my sister and other friends.
It proved once again how different men and women are—the whole his brain/her brain thing. Women process grief and work their way through tough times by—TALKING. We cope by SHARING. Men, on the other hand, are only interested in SOLVING the problem. Until they have a solution, they keep everything inside. They are reluctant to share their feelings and can become so guarded and secretive that, I think, it’s unhealthy.
Now, I realize it’s wise to be cautious, especially when you’re sharing your deepest secrets. You have to be careful whom you talk to—someone you can trust to keep your confidence. But sharing is also healing. Being completely open and vulnerable is risky. But covering things up or pretending everything’s fine when it’s not is also risky.
Did you ever wonder why the scandals and moral failures among Christian leaders and politicians usually happen to men—not women? I don’t think that’s because women are more moral necessarily. Maybe it’s because men just tend to cover up their problems and think they can solve them without involving anyone else.
I remember one poignant line from a televangelist who had fallen hard. When asked why he didn’t get help, he said, but whom could I have gone to with this? That says a lot about his pride, doesn’t it?
So, girlfriends, I want to know if you feel the same way or if it’s just that I’m the world’s biggest blabbermouth. Please let me know if you agree or disagree with my theory. Tell me how you work your way through your problems. Do you talk or clam up?
I love the quote, “A burden shared is half the burden, and a joy shared is twice the joy.” That is so true.
So in the meantime, keep talking. Keep sharing those secrets.
And remember, I’m here for you.