Use Emotional Vulnerability to Strengthen Your Relationship
Edited by Donna, Eng
How Expressing Your Vulnerability Can Work to Strengthen Your Relationship
Romantic and sexual relationships have been traditionally based on power plays between the sexes, with people focusing on playing hard to get in order to attract each other. However, times have changed, thanks to concepts put forth by modern psychology and New Age thinking, which frames the modern couple as equals and soul mates rather than as polarities and rivals. Men and women should relate to each other in a less competitive way and in a more open and honest manner. Nowadays, relationships are less about one-upping each other and more about being a compassionate and caring team. Showing your partner that you are vulnerable is no longer a sign of personal weakness. In fact, showing your partner who you really are, by revealing your flaws, feelings and insecurities are likely to strengthen your bond with each other.
Revealing your vulnerabilities to your partner can strengthen your relationship because:
- Confiding in your partner in this way increases your potential for emotional intimacy with each other
- Trusting him or her with your deepest darkest secrets honors your partner by giving him or her a lot of power, simply because they could use your secrets to betray or hurt you in the future
- Being open and honest with each other can keep a love alive for years, far past the point when the initial romantic passion and physical beauty has faded
- If you open up about what makes you tick, it may help your partner understand you better and result in arguments and less conflict
- If you talk about your deepest fears and insecurities, your partner may be more considerate and avoid leading you into situations that are upsetting to you
- Being open about your insecurities can help your partner avoid hurting you in the future by accidentally playing with your worst fears, even with just a casual remark, and lead to a more peaceful and trusting union
- Revealing that you are a person with many emotional and intellectual layers may make you seem like a more profound and complex individual who has great psychological depth, with the result that your partner becomes even more intrigued with you than ever
- Showing your vulnerability to your partner increases your self-esteem and self-respect because you are showing off your authentic self, rather than pretending to play a role to please your lover
- Ultimately, expressing your vulnerabilities can be a way of asking for what you want in a relationship, (mainly by expressing what you don't want) and if you are in a good relationship, your lover will probably help you feel more emotionally secure and safe
Ways to Be More Vulnerable in Your Relationship
Many people have no idea how to make their relationship with their partner more open, honest and vulnerable, but they do know that it needs to happen in order for resentments, misunderstandings and chronic negative behaviors to be eliminated from their daily interactions.
Here are some ways to open up to your partner and be more vulnerable.
- 1Let your partner see a different you, rather than the one that was confident, flirtatious and funny when you first met. Let it all out, including any fears about infidelity, being abandoned or not attaining your life goals together. Your partner may even identify with or share some of your fears and ideally, reassure you that those fears are unfounded. It is especially important to do this if you have been through a deeply traumatic situation so that your partner knows how to avoid triggering you in the future.Confess your worst fears about what can happen in a relationship.Advertisement
- 2The regrets do not have to be specifically about the relationship with him or her, they can be about anything you consider to be regrettable in general. Be aware that if this type of sharing leads to a bit of a conflict, then you can consider it to be an opportunity to clear the air. However, for the most part, your partner may have the same sort of regrets that you do and may even apologize for any failings in the past that may have affected your mutual happiness. Note that if the regrets have to do with leaving a past relationship, or not marrying a predecessor to your partner, then you might be hurting his or her feelings. You can be honest about the past, but use a bit of discretion if you know for a fact that your partner does not want to hear about your ex.Share any regrets that you may have had about the past with your partner.Advertisement
- 3Be aware that your approach and timing on this one is very important, especially if what you are about to reveal is going to be really upsetting to your partner. Choose a quiet, private place and have tissues ready in case there is an explosion of emotion. If you are about to confess an episode of infidelity, be very careful, as sometimes this can lead to a complete breakup. Other confessions, besides infidelity, that fall into this category of revelation include secret drug use, time spent in jail and lies about your immigration or financial status. This type of honesty is a real test of your partner's love for you, but if the person really loves you, they will understand how your fear of being judged or rejected forced you to live a lie for a while. Note that you may choose not to reveal this type of secret if you know for a fact that a confession of infidelity may drive your partner away for good.[ [[Image:emp_42914.jpg|If you're partner loves you, you will not be judged for your past.|630px]]If you are hiding something from your partner, revealing it can free you both from a psychological prison of toxic relationship secrets.
- 4Maybe you want to climb to the top of Mount Everest, write a novel or build a cottage on your own private island. Maybe you want to quit your job and go back to school again. Some people don't share what they would really like to do with their life because they are afraid of being called dreamers, immediately silenced or even mocked by their partners. When you tell a partner about a secret ambition you have, he or she should feel honored that you have chosen to tell it them because you are making him or her part of your private world. However, make sure that your visionary narrative includes him or her in a happy role, or you could end up hurting your partner's feelings.If you have a secret dream or special goal that you have not yet told your partner about, go ahead and share it.
- 5Crying is an act that we generally associate with humiliation and most people believe they look ugly when they are weeping. However letting your grief go in front of your partner can be a deeply cleansing experience. It can also help your partner see you as being more human and invite empathy from him or her. Another benefit of crying in front of your partner is that if he or she has been holding a resentment against you, the sight of your misery is likely to make them forgive and forget. In this regard, crying in front of your partner can be a very healing exercise.Don't be afraid to cry in front of your partner.Advertisement
Tips and Tricks
- Remember that being vulnerable is a sign of strength and not weakness and your partner will admire you for your honesty
- Remind yourself that is okay to accept help or hugs from your partner, after you have revealed your fears, and that this is what should happen when a relationship is healthy
- Take time to question why you have been avoiding expressing your vulnerability to your partner, because that is the main way to keep another person at a distance and have a slightly less genuine arms-length relationship
- Before you confide in your partner, make sure that he or she is in the mood to talk and that you have chosen a convenient time
- Note that almost any type of personal confession or expression can be volatile and trigger an argument, so be prepared to handle that if it comes up and also be prepared to leave your partner, for a few hours or even days if they ask you to
- Be aware that not all relationships are strengthened by vulnerability, especially if you happen to be with an alpha male or female or narcissist who expects you to be silent and perfect
- Note that if your partner is older, he or she is likely to be "old school", and not really be as big of a fan of shows of vulnerability and may even find it to be a romantic turn off
- If your partner lacks empathy in general, it is probably a good idea not to portray yourself as a victim of circumstance, especially if you are trying to link any past bad behavior to a bad childhood
- If your past is really dark, it may not be a good idea to tell your partner everything, especially if you suspect that it violates their moral code
- If your partner has problems accepting your past, then tell you that you have accepted it and urge him or her to move onto a future that is full of possibilities
- If your partner insists on shaming you for opening up to him consider leaving the relationship
- If your partner shames you or makes fun of you for crying in front of him or her, it is time to consider leaving the relationship
- Sometimes the very best time to open up to someone is while you are having an argument, because confessing your fears and anxieties can help clear the air
Categories : Relationships
Recent edits by: Donna