ProConnect

Vulnerability: The Secret Key To A Long-Lasting Relationship

By

Vulnerability: The Secret Key To A Long-Lasting Relationship
For a relationship to be balanced, partners must depend on one another.
It's the most important ingredient of a trusting, intimate relationship.

So what can you do if you are paralyzed by fear or unable to risk being vulnerable with your partner? First, you need to acknowledge it. Fear doesn't go away on its own — it tends to morph into something else. Did you ever notice that trying to be perfect and walking on eggshells doesn't work because it drains you of energy?

5 Top Reasons Why Vulnerability Leads to Intimacy:

More from YourTango: Is Living With A Narcissistic Parent Damaging To Your Kids?

  • Vulnerability increases our sense of worthiness and authenticity.
  • Vulnerability helps us feel close and connected to our partner, yet achieve our own sense of identity.
  • Being vulnerable helps us ask for what we want and avoid stonewalling (shutting down or distancing ourselves from a partner).
  • It allows us to build trust in others and to become fully engaged in an intimate relationship.
  • Being vulnerable allows us to open our heart — to give and receive love fully.

According to Dr. Brown disengagement is the most dangerous factor that erodes trust in a relationship. The only way to avoid this is to risk being vulnerable with your partner by asking for help, standing up for yourself, sharing unpopular opinions, and having faith in yourself and your partner. The ultimate risk is allowing yourself to fall in love, which requires letting go of control — and of the fear of being hurt or abandoned.

Four Steps To Allowing Yourself To Be Vulnerable With Your Partner

While all relationships present risks, they are risks worth taking. Even if you have been abandoned or cheated on, you can surrender your shield and allow your partner in. Healthy partnerships are within reach if you let go of fear and believe you are worthy of love and all of the gifts it has to offer.

More from YourTango: Falling Out Of Love: Does It Mean The End Of Your Relationship?

  • Step One: Visualize yourself in an honest and open relationship and work toward allowing yourself to be more vulnerable and open with your partner.
  • Step Two: Challenge your beliefs and self-defeating thoughts about accepting nurturing and support from your partner.
  • Step Three: Remind yourself daily that it's healthy to accept help from others and a sign of strength rather than weakness. Don't let your fear of rejection or past hurt stop you from achieving the love and intimacy you deserve. Practice being vulnerable in small steps and keep a journal or talk to a therapist or close friend about your progress.
  • Step Four: Create a more trusting relationship with a partner by giving yourself permission to be vulnerable and take risks — one where you can be comfortable sharing your dreams and being your authentic self.

Intimacy can be an important source of comfort and provide predictability in an uncertain world. The truth is that all relationships end; through breakup, death, or divorce. Why waste time being preoccupied with fear of your relationship ending? It is possible to be vulnerable to others without losing parts of yourself. By doing this, you'll be able to restore your faith in love, trust, and intimacy.

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Terry Gaspard

Author

Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW is a licensed therapist, author, and college instructor. She and her daughter Tracy offer a healing community about divorce related issues at  Moving Past Divorce.  Terry is also a regular contributor to Huffington Post Divorce and enjoys public speaking. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Location: Portsmouth, RI
Credentials: LICSW
Other Articles/News by Terry Gaspard:

5 Ways To Overcome Your Fear of Commitment

By

Marriage need not be the institution that defines us as individuals. That being said, many people still seek lasting commitment, often in the form of marriage. This can be a healthy desire if we bring realistic expectations to it. But many adults don’t have a healthy template of marriage to follow when it comes to nurturing and sustaining a committed ... Read more

6 WaysTo Resolve Conflicts And End "The Blame Game" In Marriage

By

Most of us dislike conflict. Very few people were raised with healthy role models for dealing with differences. But while conflict may appear to be a destructive force in relationships, it can actually help us achieve lasting love. Author Kate McNulty, LCSW writes “Differences can be a source of interest and fresh energy rather than cause us to dig in our ... Read more

Is Living With A Narcissistic Parent Damaging To Your Kids?

By

Is Living With A Narcissistic Parent Damaging To Your Kids? Recently, several books and articles have been written about narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). While these publications have great merit, few have examined the impact on children of living with a parent with narcissistic traits. There is some evidence that children raised by a narcissist can ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Smooches

The Least & Most Open-Minded Cities In Online Dating

Wondering if your city is open-minded when it comes to online dating? Check out this data from Zoosk

Faith

3 Ways to Define Who You Want To Be

Sometimes the best way to know who you want to be is to notice how you react in the here and now.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS