February 10, 2024

Building Deeper Connections in Marriage: The power of Vulnerability

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IN THIS ARTICLE: 

  • Understanding vulnerability in marriage 
  • The importance of vulnerability in marriage 
  • How to increase vulnerability in marriage 

Vulnerability is an often misunderstood topic, especially when much of our society teaches people to not be vulnerable or show signs of weakness. But to be vulnerable in a marriage takes a lot of courage and strength. To let down your guard and truly let some one in can be a scary prospect if you are used to keeping people at arms length. However, it can help improve your marriage by enhancing your intimacy, and trust in the relationship. 

Young Couple on Sofa at Ho

Understanding Vulnerability in Marriage 

Vulnerability in marriage is when you are wiling to be your true and authentic self in your marriage. This involves sharing about our wishes, hopes, and dreams, but also about your fears and insecurities. Instead of wearing  mask, or going along with what you think your partner wants, vulnerability in marriage means allowing you spouse to know the real you, who you really are, and what you actually think, feel, and want. It requires openness and honesty, both with yourself and your partner. 

The Importance of Vulnerability in Marriage

Being vulnerable in your marriage helps with: 

  1. Building Trust: Trust is one of the foundational components of a successful marriage. When both partners have mutual vulnerability in their marriage, it creates environment of safety and openness that encourages both partners to be genuine and authentic. Seeing each other’s vulnerabilities strengthens trust in the marriage because it helps people know how to predict what their partner will be like, and helps them know that they are accepted for who they are.
  2. Strengthening Emotional Intimacy: Mutual vulnerability in marriage also helps enhance emotional intimacy. By being open and sharing our deepest thoughts and feelings, you invite your partner into your inner would which then fosters a deep sense of closeness and understanding. This is the foundation of emotional connection with your spouse. 
  3. Conflict Resolution: Every marriage experiences conflicts, but the more mutual vulnerability their in in  marriage, the easier it is to understand where each other is coming from and to empathize with each other.  When you can communicate openly about your emotions and vulnerabilities, it also makes it easier to resolve conflict and repair after conflict. 
  4. Shared Growth: Marriage helps you both grow as individuals; it is a shared journey of personal growth. When you are vulnerable enough to share your dreams and aspirations with your spouse, it allows them to be there for you to support and encourage you. Marriages do best when there is mutual support and mutual growth toward both individual and couple goals.
  5. Overcoming Challenges Together: Life is challenging at times and can be very overwhelming. Leaning on each other in difficult times is one of the best benefits of marriage–you don’t have to do things alone. To do things together though, and share the burdens in life, requires mutual vulnerability from both partners. 
Happy Couple Sitting on Sofa Having Coffee

How to Increase Vulnerability in Marriage

  1. Build your Emotional Self-Awareness: Begin by learning about emotions, building your own emotional intelligence, and be honest with yourself about your thought, feelings, and areas of insecurity. Before you can share your vulnerabilities clearly with your partner, you need to be able to understand them yourself. 
  2. Create a Safe Space: Within your relationship, you want to foster an environment of acceptance and non-judgment. This is important because you  both need to feel comfortable expressing your true selves without fear of rejection. When your partner shares, work are trying to understand their perspective. This will help them feel understood, accepted, and cared for. 
  3. Kind Communication: When your partner shares, try to have kind and compassionate responses. Practice active listening and expressing empathy for how they are feeling. Make a real effort to understand where your partner is coming from. 
  4. Share Your Desires and Fears: Make sure to openly express your feelings and concerns with your spouse. While you need to support our partner, when you share vulnerably, it allows your partner to support you! 
  5. Celebrate Vulnerability: Make sure to respond with love and appreciation when your partner does share something vulnerable. Notice it as the gift it is and celebrate their courage in being open and vulnerable with you.Remember that vulnerability is an ongoing journey of mutual growth. Creating an environment of mutual vulnerability in your marriage can be transformative, and create a deeper emotional connection.  

Looking to Develop Mutual Vulnerability in Your Marriage?

Elizabeth Polinsky Counseling provides online Marriage Counseling, as well as weekend-long Marriage Intensives, throughout the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. Click the button below to schedule a complimentary consult. 

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.

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