How to Use What We Know About Vulnerability to Transform Your Marriage Today
Let’s start by thinking of a relationship as a territory with different neighborhoods.
Some neighborhoods are safe and familiar. You have visited them many times in your life and you know exactly how they work.
Some neighborhoods are dangerous. You don’t know much about them because you’ve never been there, but you know bad stuff happens there and it’s better be avoided.
Some neighborhoods are neither safe nor dangerous. They might be newer, and you still need to do your research and talk to your friends and family to formulate an actual opinion about it.
So, the same concept applies to our relationships.
We generally feel okay staying in the safe neighborhood and talk about things (or fight about things) that are comfortable for us.
It’s our comfort zone.
However, when the conversation gets deeper and it involves the discussion about our fears, secrets and insecurities, we chicken out and emotionally exit the dangerous neighborhood! Why? Because we have been avoiding going there in the first place! Because it’s freaking painful! Because we got hurt there really bad in the past, so we don’t want to relive that pain.
What if I tell you that you ABSOLUTELY need to learn to stay here, in this dangerous unfamiliar neighborhood, if you want to build true safety, intimacy, and connection with your partner?
This is where awesome stuff happens, but only after we learn how to turn to our partner and face our fears! You know how they say that great things happen outside of your comfort zone? True story.
What does it mean? Instead of pointing fingers and blaming:
“I am tired of all your lies and the fact that you don’t give a shit about me”
You pause, reflect beyond your immediate frustration, and say something like this:
“I feel so scared and insecure when you don’t respond to me when I need you. I get desperate and I panic, and that’s where my criticism and blame really kick in”
Do you hear the difference? It’s magical because it allows you to be emotionally accessible and truly vulnerable with your partner-the key to a successful marriage! The kind of a needed vulnerability that Brene Brown, a very prominent researcher talks about in her book “Daring Greatly.”
Notice, that I am not suggesting to get rid of these old tapes that keep playing in our heads and tell us that we are “not lovable”, “not good enough”, or “not deserving.” These tapes have been there for a reason and have helped us to cope with many life problems. And we coped well. But now it’s time to finally start living, not just coping.
So what we need to do is to start exploring where these tapes are coming from and share this sensitive and vulnerable information with our partner.
Because what’s sharable is bearable!
And after our partner validates our experiences and feelings over time, our brain will rewrite our story and create new neuro pathways. It will reprocess our pain until it shrinks.
In other ways, YOU can rewire your brain with the help of your loving partner!
Isn’t this just fascinating? So go ahead, ditch your comfort zone, and embrace YOUR dangerous neighborhood.
“There really is no effort without error and shortcoming, and there is really no triumph and connection without vulnerability!”
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how I can help unpack YOUR unique fears for a more connected and more peaceful marriage, contact me here for a free consultation.