I often hear the phrase, “To our friends and family, we are the perfect couple.” Followed by, “But they don’t know…” ”we fight all the time,” “he’s addicted to porn,” “she had an affair,” “we haven’t had sex in over a year,” “we don’t even sleep in the same bed,” etc. No one ever really knows what goes on behind closed doors. And I wonder why is that? Why do we tend to isolate ourselves when we are feeling so scared, frustrated, angry, hurt? Why do we pretend everything is okay?
When I ask these questions to my clients I often hear that they feel embarrassed, ashamed, guilty. However, I also hear how very lonely they feel. Logically, many people are able to recognize that many of their friends and family have in the past or are currently struggling in their relationships, as well. Yet, we often don’t feel comfortable asking others about their struggles and how they have managed them or are managing them now. We see the smiling faces and assume “they have no idea how I feel, they are so obviously happy.” But no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.
I can’t help but wonder what would it be like if people reached out a little bit more to others for help? If you think about when the door to a room is closed it can often feel a little stuffy because the air isn’t circulating. If people opened up those closed doors, just a little. I think it would help others to feel less alone, to find tools others might have used, communication techniques or perhaps the name of a good therapist. All we have to do is open the doors just a crack to let some of the fresh air in to help us breathe easier.