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5 Steps To Opening Up Emotionally In Your Relationship

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open up emotionally
Vulnerability can bring you closer together.
Expressing your emotions in a relationship isn't always easy, but it can be profoundly rewarding.

Do you find it hard to let yourself be vulnerable in a relationship? Fear of intimacy is the main reason people do not open up emotionally with another person. I define intimacy as feeling safe with another person when you expose who you are to them. Intimacy involves protecting your loved one rather than exploiting their vulnerabilities. And when I say intimacy, I don't just mean sex. There are a huge range of emotions and behaviors that enhance the intimacy, or deepening, of your relationship. Your own feelings are the key to discovering what intimacy-building behaviors will work for you.

If you want a closer, deeper and more emotionally safe relationship, make a decision to identify your feelings and share them with your partner.

More from YourTango: 5 Things 'Awkward' Teaches About Cheaters & Why They Blame You

Here are a few practical tips for discovering and sharing your emotions with your partner:

1. Identify your feelings. How can you put your finger on what you're feeling? Become aware of your body's movements and sensations. Are you feeling a tightness in your chest? Does your heart hurt? Are you smiling or frowning? Once you notice your body's sensation, you can pinpoint the feeling associated with it.

You can find many terms to describe your feelings through a quick Google search. Look up "feeling words" and pick a list of terms you identify with. Keep an emotional tracker and jot down words four or five times a day. Document what you are feeling at breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime for one week and look for any trends or patterns.

2. Talk about it. After identifying your feelings you can choose to share them with your primary love interest or partner. If this is new to you, you are going to feel uncomfortable, which is normal. The more you practice sharing your feelings the more natural it will feel.

You always have the choice to not share your feelings. By withholding your feelings, you are choosing to limit the level of intimacy between you and your partner. Your partner can't know the real you unless you let them into your world by opening up.

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3. Listen. Sharing your feelings is the starting point. You also can choose to listen to your partners feelings. This may be challenging if you have not done this before. You will want to give your undivided attention. Listening to your partner is not the time to multitask (playing a video game while watching TV and trying to listen to your partner at the same time will not work well.) Turn off the technology and maintain eye contact with your partner. Listen to understand your partner's feelings. Keep reading ...

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Teresa Maples

Counselor/Therapist

Teresa Maples MS, LMHC, CSAT, CMAT

If you are a woman who has been betrayed and want to heal and thrive  I want to invite you to my Free Webinar.

My passion is to encourage, nurture,and validate people, deepening their most important relationships to Live Life Abundantly!

Reserve my seat now for the amazing webinar, "Surviving to Thriving" Help for women after discovering your partner has cheated.

 

Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Credentials: CMAT, CSAT, LMHC
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Sex Addiction
Other Articles/News by Teresa Maples:

5 Things 'Awkward' Teaches About Cheaters & Why They Blame You

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On the successful MTV show Awkward, Jenna and Matty were the perfect couple — until Jenna messed it up by cheating and not taking responsibility for her actions.  The show is so compelling that I watched all three seasons in one week. It helps that I am a serious student of human nature and found the characters similar to what you ... Read more

Taking Back Your Sexuality After Trauma Or Abuse

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If you suffered from childhood sexual abuse you probably land in one of two camps; those who have nightmares and avoid sexual experiences out of fear, and those that repeat the pattern of sexual trauma, justifying it in the name of freedom. Both behaviors are problematic and can deprive you of a fulfilling life. Even though you were abused as a child, it ... Read more

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Carol the Coach interviewed Teresa Maples on March 3, 2014 on the topic of Partners of Cheaters. If you are interested click here and you can listen to the interview in its entirety. Teresa talked about her upcoming webinar and how she can help women who want healing after being betrayed by their partners. Many partners feel like they are going crazy and ... Read more

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