Quality vs. Quantity


When my husband and I met a little over a year ago there was so much going on in my life.  I was truly at my lowest and there was so much I was not proud of.  At the time I had lost everything.  Take the time to define what everything is to you and that is the amount that I lost two years ago.  My life took an unexpected turn for the worst and when I met my husband I was in the process of picking up the pieces from a slew of choices that left me homeless.  There I said it.  Two years ago I was homeless, for more reasons than I have time to divulge and some I have never whispered to a soul and never will.  Point is, I told my husband (then boyfriend) the truth about where I was in my life.  I did not tell him all the reasons why at the time, but I felt I was as honest as I needed to be.  So now I would like the time to take a poll for my sanity, what is more important, quality or quantity?

Let me elaborate a bit before you respond.  It has always been difficult for me to tell someone EVERYTHING about me.  Frankly it would take forever, but if one sticks around long enough they will find EVERYTHING about me.  Who I am is in the things I don’t say, the lyrical way that I move, and in the folds of eccentric ensembles that I wear.  Like a painting if you look hard enough, long enough, you will find me, and you will know me.  Not many people take the time to stand in front of an abstract painting to find the meaning in the surrealism in which they are drawn to.  They just take the time to enjoy it and later when the understanding comes their interest leaves.  This is my life.  People allow themselves to get so close, because they are so intrigued and when they begin to figure out why this painting is constructed the way it is they lose sight of the beauty and focus on the why.  I am strong, because of the pain I endured as a child.  I am swift with my words and my actions, because life happened so fast around me that to survive I needed to think fast, and I am aloof, because those I was entrusted to betrayed my trust.  People oftentimes appreciate beauty, but they shun the things that created that beauty.  They appreciate the result without taking the time to appreciate the process.  This tends to leave them disappointed as they find there is so much more than what is on the surface.

I met my husband online and as I stated I was not in the greatest state.  My life was still all around me and I was trying to make sense of it all.  I was literally living in a homeless shelter and just to give a bit of perspective, when I walked to work other homeless individuals would ask me for money.  They had no clue that I was going to work just as much as they had no clue that I too was homeless.  Looking at me one would not know that I was living in a shelter.  However, I was upfront with my husband about where I was at in my life.  I did not inform him of my living situation the first day we met, but within the first three days I realized it was not something I wanted to hide.  His character was too understanding, too loving and I started to feel like I was lying about who I was.  That is when I decided to tell him that I was living in a homeless shelter.  I reiterate that I did not tell him all of the reasons why right off the back.  It is hard for me to tell someone everything about me.  I had shared so much in those first three days.  I was upfront about my background, growing up in foster care and so much more.  So now I ask, which is more important quality or quantity?  Is it the quality of the individual that matters most or the quantity of their existence?  How much does one have a right to know about me?

I ask, because I am paying a pretty price for not being “forthcoming” in EVERYTHING about me.  I withheld something from six years ago and now he feels that I did it on purpose.  That I strategically waited until we were married before I became honest, because I was trying to “Get what I wanted” from him.  This is not true, but it is what he believes.  I chose not to tell him, because frankly, I did not feel it was his business.  I felt like I had a right to keep some things to myself especially if it did not affect him.  The reason I decided to tell him was because I realized that it could.  Unfortunately, this was after we were married by literally a day and now he questions the quality of my being and he doesn’t believe it.  So what about the quantity of my being?  Why is it that despite the intimate layers that I shared with him about who I am does he not believe me nor in me?

I apologized and I do see it from his perspective that I betrayed his trust and I am amiss about it.  I see that maybe I should have told him though my position still remains that I felt I did not have to tell him everything.  After all at the time he was only my boyfriend, which can mean everything and nothing!  The depths of our relationship were thus that perhaps he had a right to know.  In the same stroke I felt it was my God given right to say as much as I chose to.  Knowing every intimate detail of someone is not a right it is a privilege.

In conclusion, where do we draw the line?  Quality vs. Quantity: How much of who I am do I have to share with you? When one really thinks about it in these terms, how can you separate the two?  It feels as though they are one.


© [bretagnebko] and [https://letmeseethelight.wordpress.com], [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [bretagnebko] and [https://letmeseethelight.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


4 thoughts on “Quality vs. Quantity

  1. Wow!!! this is pretty heavy but very affirming. I have always been quite the open book to everyone I have met. Recently I have started to question my doing this because it has cost me my relationship with my children. CPS had decided that my past was too traumatic to be able to be a “good parent”. I fought the system and came to realize that this system is very corrupt and they will fabricate, over elaborate and twist everything in order to be able to sell our children. My family just happened to be a prime target because of the simple fact that I had beautiful children, well behaved, brilliant, with very little damage because of my ability to protect them from their abusive father for the most part which made them highly adoptable. My older son with a diagnosis of child hood onset schizophrenia whose father died when he was two is deemed unadoptable and will be returned to me soon. Once realizing that it was the system, not me, I have gone back to being this open book and am 100% sure that my friends accept me for everything that I am. I will also know that the man I choose will have no surprises and will truly know me. I’m sorry that you had gone through all that you did. I believe that ego and the fear of what others would “know” gets in the way of not only properly building a good relationship of all kinds but it keeps us from allowing ourselves to truly be fully ourselves. Everything that we have gone through, experienced, endured and survived is what made us who and what we are today. In order to fully accept ourselves we must accept it ALL. To hide ANYTHING would be denying a part of yourself. The quantity of life’s experiences has give quality to my understanding, The quality of life’s experiences that I have endured has definitely given me a large quantity of things and ways TO understand…

    1. I am sorry to hear of your experience with CPS. I know case workers are not all that they are supposed to be and it is another unfortunate facet of the foster care system. Furthermore, I am very sorry about your son with schizophrenia. Please read the blog that I posted titled, “Window Shopping For Children.”


      It is a painful the way that the system “markets” children and then deems them “adoptable” or not.

      On a more positive note, I am glad that you have not lost who you are in this horrendous experience. I am glad that you have remained who God intended you to be, open and honest. It is interesting what others will do to take away our light and keep us in darkness. The trend that I have found is that if one can break up a family they can reek havoc for generations to follow. A broken home is hard to recuperate from as it is corrosive to the core of our beings making it difficult to create a family that is holistic. I pray God enables you with the strength to move forward blessing you tenfold for what has been lost.

      Thank you for sharing.

  2. You know I have this same debate with myself all the time, I find it very interesting that you also ask this question.

    I honestly feel as though it takes time to feel comfortable enough to reveal who you are to anyone. The only one who knows everything about you is God, so that is the only relationship where you can’t hide or slowly reveal who you are! Lol. To be fair, it might depend on if what you revealed would have been a deal-breaker or not; but, I am sure that if husband knew enough about your character to want to marry you, so, I see no issues with a late reveal.

    People will always have opinions about who you are before you get a chance to express yourself fully. I think that once your husband gets over the shock that you had something in your past that he was unaware of, it will be fine. You two have the rest of your lives to learn about each other and reveal pieces of yourselves to one another. My advice is to tell your husband to be patient, life is too complex to be able to recall everything at once. It will take time to learn everything there is to know about you. Likewise, it will take time for you to learn everything there is to know about him. That is what building relationships are about.

    Even though you are married, you still have the right to your privacy. You have the right to be embarrassed, anxious, scared, etc. Your emotions are valid, and it shouldn’t be taken personally by the other party, it just is what it is. Sometimes we instinctually hold back information from others because of emotions attached to the memory. As, you become more comfortable with feeling that emotion and not being afraid to express it, the easier it will be to reveal yourself and your past.

    In the meantime, I wish you the best on your marriage. Congrats on making it a year. May God bless your union. To directly answer your question though, I would say quality is more important. Quantity takes time to build. Quality will make less room for misunderstandings.

    Kyia L. Bish

  3. This was very heartfelt. I was moved to tears as I read your comments. I felt encouraged by your insight. This entire time I have felt that over time he will get over the shock and things will be restored back to the original state. Actually, I believe that our relationship will be restored and renewed to a better state than our original which was more than what I could have asked for. I am a firm believer that to get to the blessings one has to go through the fire and in the end one will be strengthened. That is how I feel my husband and I will be and frankly I am excited. If we can just withstand the fire, which I believe that we can, we will come out on top.

    Thank you for validating my feelings. I am learning how important it is for ones feelings to be validated. Without it one tends to question themselves which becomes discouraging over time. Your kind words are very much appreciated. I think you are a wise woman.
    Be blessed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s