Practicing Vulnerability With Your Spouse
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selvesto be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow..." Brene Brown
Love is something we nurture and grow NOT something we give or get.
This is a powerful idea, made even more challenging when applied. How do you grow love exactly?
The ideas could fill libraries, but one commonality you'll find in every fulfilling relationship is engagement; couples invest in each other, close gaps in their misunderstandings, and make an effort to be vulnerable.
One of the most direct ways to do this is surface the workings of the relationship with a conversation about the relationship. A kind of "state of the union" talk.
Do you ever check in with you spouse to see how your relationship is going?
Do you ask them directly if they are pleased with the direction you are moving?
This isn't an easy conversation to have and is probably handled with a light touch; which means pick a good time and leave your agenda behind. The first goal is to understand.
A couple of questions should be all you need to get the conversation going. These are a few we use:
Is there any pattern in our relationship which makes you nervous?
Is there anything we do which seems unhealthy?
If you could change one thing about our interactions, what would it be?
While most of the time the answers aren't surprising, there are moments where I inevitably cry, not because of what I hear, but because of what I need to say, insecurities I need to share.
I share not only to honor Billy, but to grow our relationship, to practice vulnerability. Marriage is EXACTLY the place to admit our fears, the place to own our insecurities.
Sure most, if not all, of our insecurities are ill-founded. But sometimes the only way we KNOW they are wacky is to have our spouse tell us so.
The quickest way to overcome these feeling is to discover security in this relationship; to practice vulnerability and be fully known; to give and accept trust, respect, kindness, and affection.
All good things.