Being More Vulnerable With Your Partner Is Essential In A Healthy Relationship

All relationships take work. There is always a certain amount of time and effort that goes into maintaining friendships, family relationships, and romantic partnerships. Some of the necessary aspects of having healthy relations involve doing things that aren't always easy and sometimes, not even on our radar. That's partly because we are all flawed and in various stages of healing at any given time.

Being honest, considerate, and helpful are pretty easy to recognize as healthy components of a good relationship, and they are also not terribly difficult to do. You do what you say you will do, have clear and open communication, and try to comfort your partner through good and bad times. It seems like a no-brainer.

However, sometimes relationships require you to enter spaces in your heart and mind that might feel uncomfortable to do. One of the biggest areas is being vulnerable, an important part of a healthy relationship.

How being vulnerable helps foster connection

While being vulnerable can be a scary proposition, it's a necessary aspect of forming a deep bond with your partner. It can be especially frightening if you've been hurt before in relationships or if you never learned how to be open and didn't have secure attachments while growing up.  

Marriage and family therapist Shari Foos told Verywell Health, "Vulnerability is when a person willingly takes the risk to reveal their emotions and weaknesses. This emotional openness is essential in all healthy relationships, as it paves the way for deeper understanding and evokes the empathy necessary for healthy long-term relationships." 

When that component is missing, issues will arise and your partner might not know what you expect from them. This communication can lead to bigger problems with your significant other. "They will undoubtedly respond in unsatisfactory ways," said Foos. "And then, because you don't feel supported, you can resent them and blame them rather than owning your feelings."

Tips to become more vulnerable

Seeking therapy to get to the bottom of why you are afraid of being vulnerable is the best way to overcome it. A trained professional can help pinpoint and validate your feelings. Therapy is also a very safe place to allow your feelings to surface with no judgment and added support.

One initial way to begin the journey is to be more vulnerable with yourself, as per Psych Central. Allow yourself some regular time to consider what you're feeling and why you are feeling it. Then you can share those feelings in a journal that only you will read.

The more you are able to process your own feelings, the easier it will be to share them in time. You can also start small and share just one small vulnerability with your partner, such as how you feel when they do something that bothers you. When you learn how to share the small things and realize that they are being heard and understood, you will eventually feel more comfortable sharing your bigger vulnerabilities.