We had just finished lunch, still sitting at the table.
“But what about the secret tears moments? Are you telling me that you’ve never had those?” She asked.
“What are the secret tears?” I asked.
She stared at me dumbfounded, I stared back perplexed.
“I mean those moments when he does things that hurt you. You can’t tell anyone. It’s just between you and God so you just pray and cry about it, and then when you are ready you share with someone for encouragement”. She added.
“Who does this?” I asked.
“Every woman”. She replied.
“And this is normal?” I asked.
“Moira this happens to every woman”. She said.
I sat there quiet, searching for her face, it was serious and waiting for an answer.
“No I’ve never had secret tears, he has never hurt me like that”.
“Wow, you are one in a million”. She said shaking her head.
This was 3 years ago, the first time I heard about secret tears as the term used for when your husband/partner hurts you and it happens every so often.
It was then that I realized that when I was with my ex who I dated for 4 years, 3 years too many, 😬 but that’s a story for another day, secret tears were normal for me. I truly believed that this was just how relationships work. But when I finally dared to seek joy in my relationships with an awareness that I also needed to stop painful societal norms, I finally met the right love.
What changed was that I wasn’t afraid to look at my past relationships and see what didn’t work so I could own the kind of relationship I wanted. I chose to be with the person who wanted the same things and was willing to do the work with me to NOT recycle generational trauma including secret tears.
Listen, secret tears are NOT normal in healthy relationships. If you are experiencing them you’ve normalised not owning the kind of relationship you want. You are dating and committing to people who don’t necessarily want what you want. People who are committed to relationships as ‘normal’ this is how secret tears become normal.
So for today, I’m asking you to consider how you’ve made choices that normalize secret tears and what you can do differently to stop recycling pain.