Guest contributor, Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women.com
You’d think I would know everything by now.
Or at least everything about him.
But here we were married for over 20 years and I was finding out something I never knew. A story he’d never told another living soul.
Not until me.
Not until now.
We’d simply been sitting there, quietly cuddling and chatting when the conversation began. I can’t say what sparked it, but I suddenly saw this look in his eyes. A glimpse of sadness. So I asked him about it.
Begged him, really. Please.
Please tell me what I’m seeing in your eyes? What happened back then and why so sad?
Then he started to tell me. Speaking slowly at first. It was clear that he’d never told anyone about this before. Not ever. I was the first.
I listened carefully and tearfully. Weeping silently so as not to stop him because I wanted to hear every word he was willing to say to me. I wanted to understand.
Maybe his story wouldn’t mean that much to you. It might only sound like the experience of so many others. But for me? It meant everything. I felt closer to him that night than I think I’d ever felt before. In that one moment we were as close as two people can be.
This man – whom I’ve known so well and for such a long time – had cautiously placed his heart in mine. His whole heart was right there, safely tucked into my own, and we both felt it. It was a night we’d always remember.
Maybe you’re wanting that kind of closeness too. You’d like to understand him better and be the one he turns to in time of need. You hope he’ll entrust his heart to you.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her (Prov. 31:11).
How Do You Become a Safe Place for Him?
Earn his trust. It can take a long time to build trust, especially if he’s been burnt before. Prove to him in all matters – both big and small – that you are trustworthy and loyal to him. Recognize that it might be a while before he’s willing to open up to you, but consistently demonstrate to him that his heart is safe with you.
Take a keen interest. Looking back, I don’t think my husband would have opened up if I hadn’t been so genuinely interested in who he is and what he’s been through. I don’t merely think of him as my “husband” but as a “person” too – a person who has his own dreams, history, and hurts. I want him to be convinced of my care and concern for him.
Listen quietly. I have to be careful not to add too much commentary or counsel. I believe the best place to start is by simply listening and loving. Keep in mind that he doesn’t want you to jump in and “change” him – any more than you don’t want him jumping in to “fix” it for you.
Keep his heart carefully. Okay, so I’ll admit it’s very tempting to tell my friends what he shared with me that evening. It’s such a bittersweet and touching story, I know they’d love to hear it too. But I never will. Sorry, girls, this one’s between us and I’m keeping it there.
He can be confident that his story will always be safe with me.
His heart tucked into my heart.
Right where it is belongs.
Close to me.
In His grace,
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