Honesty is the basis of intimacy in any relationship — and that rings especially true for marriage. "Without honesty," says April Masini, relationship expert and advice columnist, "you second-guess people, and doubt the relationship."
There is a line between sharing and over-sharing however; it's drawn in different ways for every couple. "Some couples thrive on knowing every detail of each other's' day," says Masini. "Other couples do really well by sharing on a need-to-know basis."
The trick, Masini says, "is to know what the other person needs from you to feel secure — as well as what you need to know to feel secure." This idea of information will shift at times but keep in mind that "a fluid communication channel allows you to change your mind about what's over-sharing and what's enough," explains Masini.
For example, "if one of you has a stressful busy day at work, what's normally shared will seem like over-sharing in that moment," says Masini. "The spouse who just had the stressful day doesn't have the capacity to take in your sharing. So you have to be aware of each others stress levels, which can be caused by business, conflict, and or fatigue."
Also consider your spouse's familial environment. How he or she was raised can determine what he or she thinks is proper to share. "Some spouses don't want you going to the bathroom with the door open — or to hear details of your menstrual cycle," says Masini. "Other spouses are used to this and don't see it as over-sharing."
Remember this as you figure out what works for you: "The beauty of sharing and over-sharing is that you get to create your own way of relating to each other," says Masini. "This not only becomes a special bond but it showcases the level of respect, which is not to be crossed in the relationship."