3 Emotions With The Power To Destroy Your Relationship — & How You Can Overcome Them, Together

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emotionally vulnerable

Being emotionally vulnerable in your relationship doesn't come easy, but it's the key to creating a happy and healthy relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend that thrives on intimacy and understanding.

The ability to be emotionally vulnerable in your relationship can help you and your partner work through relationship fights, overcome hurdles, and be stronger than ever.

But to get to that place of intimacy with another person, you have to be willing to get emotionally "naked" by opening up to your partner — which can be one of the most difficult things you ever do. Why?

Because three specific emotions get in the way that have the power to destroy the intimacy your relationship:​​

1. Shame

Shame is one barrier to being emotionally vulnerable with another person. Perhaps there’s a part of you that you don’t like and are afraid it will be rejected if you are completely emotionally naked and reveal what you think are negative traits.

When one person in the relationship feels shame, it’s difficult to build a strong, intimate connection. A relationship can be saved and even deepened when both partners are expressing emotions from their authentic selves.

2. Anger

Anger is the fastest emotion to come up, and perhaps the most difficult to control. When it flairs up, we tend to blow things out of proportion, which can damage the relationship. Anger is often caused by not getting what we want and deserve.

You start to think things like, My boyfriend doesn't really listen to me, or, My girlfriend doesn't appreciate all the things I do for her.

3. Pain

The truth is, anger is often covering up something deeper: pain. It’s harder to feel this pain, and therefore easier to just explode out of anger and jump at your partner. Anger makes you feel powerful, while pain makes you feel weak and small. 

The problem is that it makes the problem even bigger. When you are angry, all your energy is caught up in punishing the person who you think caused you anger. That outburst can make things even worse and cause further alienation.

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Instead of letting these emotions get the best of you and destroy your relationship, work toward becoming more emotionally "naked" in your relationship.

Surprisingly, being physically naked in front of someone is nowhere near as terrifying as expressing your inner thoughts, dreams, and feelings — especially when those feelings are unsavory.

Humans wind up feeling guilty for their emotions if they are not expressing compassion or love. Yet, if you are in a relationship with someone, you sometimes feel anger, loneliness, sadness, envy, or other unpleasant emotions, too, and should be able to express them openly with your soulmate.

If you instead feel guilt over your natural reaction and suppress these feelings, it will cause damage to you, your partner and your relationship, and can even create a wall between the two of you. 

The intimacy in your relationship may even start to suffer and you avoid being intimate — even when you have sex. You might be able to fake making love, but you no longer feel the passion that comes when you’re feeling truly seen and appreciated.​

Here's how to be emotionally vulnerable with your partner before feelings of shame, anger and pain destroy your relationship:

1. Identify your emotions.

This is an important part of being emotionally naked. You must understand what's going on inside of you so that you can express yourself to the person you love in a positive way — even when the way you feel isn't good.

2. Avoid an immediate response.

Take a step back before expressing your emotions, so you avoid attacking your partner. Try this exercise:

Keep your mouth closed — as you would close the window when a storm comes — and then place your full attention on your breath. Continue to follow your breath all the way down to the bottom of your lungs until you have created enough space to think about the best approach is to your current situation.

3. Meditate. 

Some people also find it helpful to meditate. Consider what your real feelings are and how to best express them. Creating the space before you talk helps to get the best results. 

4. Open up to your partner.

It is only at this point that you should talk to your partner, doing your best to bridge the gap of understanding. Conveying empathy through body language and the tone of your voice are essential. Holding hands will help calm down the mind and foster connection, too.

When you’re able to be emotionally naked together, it's important to also re-establish and deepen your physical connection, too. True intimacy is when you can be both physically and emotionally connected, in touch with your own feelings and with your partner's as well.

RELATED: Why Embracing Your 'Dark Side' Actually Makes You A NICER Person

Carla Tara is a relationship coach and the first Tantrika in her state of New York, as well being a psychotherapist and intimacy counselor. She works with people through her "Sacred Sexuality" teaching, helping them harness their energy for a healthy, happy lifestyle. If you'd like to talk to Carla about emotional vulnerability, contact her here!