My husband and I budget the money we spend carefully as a couple. For most things, we simply trust each other to buy what we need. But over a certain dollar amount, we clear it with each other first.
We’ve had our financial struggles, so we typically don’t spend too much money on ourselves. But I decided to switch to all-natural makeup because I wanted to be more conscientious about what I put on my body (and about what seeps into it). I knew it would be more expensive than the products I had been buying, so I actually went without buying makeup for a while. Now I was going to find something—something decent—and I had looked at a few different brands and determined my price range. Or so I thought.
I drove about 30 minutes to a natural makeup boutique because I had been unable to find a powder foundation that matched my skin tone nearby. The salesperson sat me in front of a mirror and swirled some powder on my cheeks. It matched pretty well and felt like some kind of airy, heavenly silk on my skin. I wanted it.
After learning the price I should have run away screaming (or maybe just asked if they carried any less expensive brands). Somehow, though, “I’ll take it” came out of my mouth instead. The makeup alone would have been bad enough, but then the salesperson asked if I would like the grossly overpriced applicator brush too (though not in those exact words).
“Well, gee,” I thought, “If I’m spending this kind of money on the makeup, it’d be a shame not to apply it correctly.” The ones I already owned probably wouldn’t do it justice, I reasoned. The silk makeup would likely clump up on my face in revulsion if placed there by an inferior makeup brush.
“Sure.” I told her.
The salesperson then asked if I would like a luxury cleaning solution so I could clean the over-priced brush regularly. “Well, if I’m spending this kind of money on the makeup and the brush, it’d be a shame not to take care of it properly,” I thought.
“Yes, I’ll take that too.” I told her.
I left the store with my perfect, extravagant purchases. I wondered what (or if) I was going to tell my husband about how much money I had just spent on these things. But I’m the one who handles our finances and keeps track of the budget. These three items weren’t going to break our current budget. If I didn’t tell my husband, he would never know about that day’s financial failings. But I also recognized, I owed him the truth.
It didn’t take long to decide what I had to do. My husband and I don’t believe in hiding things from one another. I knew I had to tell him. Keeping even little secrets can undermine trust in a big way. It’s better to be straightforward. He might be upset that I spent so much money on something, but he’ll know he can trust me to tell the truth no matter what.
It took me a couple of days, but eventually I told him. We were lying in bed at night getting ready to turn out the lights. My eyebrows were furrowed and my husband could tell I was thinking about something.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked me.
“Nothing.” I responded, “I’m just lying here riddled with guilt.”
He laughed. “Oh really.” he said. “What did you do?” I took a deep breath and told him about the makeup. Of course he wasn’t exactly happy about how much I had spent, but he wasn’t angry at me. He just listened to me. It was what it was.
Even though part of me didn’t want to share my mistake with my husband, I’m glad that I did. Few things can sink a relationship quicker than a lack of trust. My husband and I can’t trust each other to be perfect, but we can always trust each other to be honest.