5 Marriage Builders That Remove Fear From Relationships
Fear deconstructs. Fear is not a marriage builder. Actually, not much messes a marriage up more than fear. Fear has partners withdrawing from each other, getting defensive, talking themselves out of making effort, being down right mean to each other, and looking for love in all the wrong places (What Is a Healthy Relationship?).
It can ruin a good thing and make a not so good thing much, much worse.
Why does fear play such a large role in our relationships? Our ego is so afraid of getting hurt, that in its effort to try to protect us, it has us pulling away from relationships, avoiding connection, and constructing some pretty good evidence that this is necessary. So in effort to protect ourselves, we can ruin a good thing.
In the context of therapy, people tell me the stories of what their partner did. While I do validate that it hurt, I also share with them the possible perspective of the other person. I find that it is always fear in some form.
Fear is probably the most destructive things in marriages today. (Actually one of the most destructive things in the world today.)
So how do you construct your relationship outside fear?
5 Marriage Builders To Help You Stay Connected
1st Marriage Builder: Speak from the heart rather than your mind
Let go of "tit for tat" thinking. "Getting even" is overrated. Remember when people hurt you, they are usually feeling unloved. You don't have to solve this for everyone, but you can give love to your significant other. This will change their response to you. (Right away or eventually.*) Be kind and compassionate before being defensive and competitive. Express love.
* Don't however stay in an abusive situation waiting for the other person to change. Read Ending A Relationship: How do you know when enough is enough?
2nd Marriage Builder: Listen with your heart
Rather than hearing the anger or the defensiveness. Put aside your fear that he or she is rejecting you and listen for what is absent but implicit in what your partner is saying. Listen for what they are telling you is important to them. Ask about and acknowledge this and you will see them calming down and feeling better.
3rd Marriage Builder: Give the benefit of the doubt
Allow mistakes. Everyone makes them since none of us is perfect. Forgive, especially the small things, right away before they fester. You may be on the other side someday wanting forgiveness and hoping you are worthy enough. Give this gift to the person you love. Stop judging. Accept the imperfections in yourself and others, and each of you will be better than who you were on the account of this acceptance.
4th Marriage Builder: Appreciate and acknowledge the good things
Showing appreciation gets more mileage than most anything else you can do in a relationship. Let your partner know what you like and he or she will do it more, because being appreciated feels that good. Take every opportunity to tell each other what you like and appreciate about each other. Don't hesitate.
5th Marriage Builder: Choose connection
You are only vulnerable in a relationship when you think you are vulnerable. You always have the choice how to respond. Our souls long for connection. When they are not allowed that, we are dreadfully unhappy. Find someone who lifts you up and connect. Touch your partner. It speaks louder than words.
How are you choosing love and connection today?
Lobozzo, J. (2013, February 13). 5 Marriage Builders That Remove Fear From Relationships, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, October 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2013/02/5-important-marriage-builders-constructing-your-relationship-outside-fear
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
Please help me I am a divorced 48-year-old male and started dating a married woman and now I lost A married woman that I love more than anything in this world together for over five years saw each other every day she changed my life and made me feel alive again and worth living but it's complicated she's from India and is the net arranged marriage she won't leave him as she says she wish she could and I've been waiting patiently over five years and suddenly it stopped too much stress on her I am so lost and I don't know what to do I have really nobody in my lifethat makes me feel the way she made me feel . I'm really feeling like I cannot continue going on with life anymore without her. HELP!!
When your feelings are that intense, it's very important to reach out to either a local hospital, mental health professional, or life line. A good resource is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. They have a chatline available, and you can reach them by phone at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They are trained to help with almost any difficulty, and they can point you in the direction for further help.