OPENING UP TO ONE ANOTHER
Relationships often begin with physical attraction and an important part of marriage is the physical intimacy you both share. But the physical attraction you share is not enough to form true unity and bring fulfillment in your marriage.
To build a strong relationship, you must be willing to share your whole self with your spouse, and this includes your feelings, deep desires, and intimate secrets.
The more you are willing to do this, the more you are investing in your relationship by giving yourselves to one another emotionally.
As already stated, there is a great responsibility on both sides to treasure this emotional intimacy by not sharing secrets with others, even when you are at odds with one another. Doing so will break the trust between you and will make it very difficult for you to open up to each other again once your differences are resolved.
If you are afraid to share yourself emotionally with your partner because you have been hurt in the past, it is very important to confront this fear by working to overcome it together.
Realize that this kind of fear has no part in love, and shift your focus away from yourself and onto the needs of your spouse. Every time you find yourself unwilling to open up and share your deep thoughts with your spouse, ask yourself these questions:
•Am I unwilling to share my feelings because I’m afraid I may be hurt?
•If so, is there a just cause for this fear now or is this fear stemming from a bad experience in a previous relationship?
•Is my unwillingness to become emotionally vulnerable to my spouse communicating a lack of trust or showing a lack of interest in our relationship?
•Do I love my spouse enough to put to confront this fear and try to put it behind me for the sake of our marriage?
•Is this fear greater than the love I have for my spouse and my desire to meet his or her needs?
Answering these questions may be difficult at first but may help you discover the reason you are hesitating to open up and invest yourself in the relationship.
If you are willing to be vulnerable, but your spouse is hesitant, be sensitive to the possibility of insecurity that has resulted from broken trust in past relationships.
Gently encourage discussions that will help reveal the root of the problem, but don’t be pushy in your attempt to get your spouse to share.
Continue to share your feelings and thoughts, and be willing to be patient with your spouse if he or she is hesitating to do so. Love and kindness is the best way to heal wounds from the past, but the healing process sometimes takes a long time.