Being Vulnerable in Marriage
Recently, a friend of mine asked me what the hardest thing about going from single to married was. I gave her my answer, but thinking about it again, I changed my mind. The hardest part about going from single to married, for me, was learning to be vulnerable. In fact, I’m still having to actively work on it.
I think one of the reasons vulnerability is so hard is because when you’re first married, you’re still trying hard to impress. I put my best face forward and showed off my fun, creative, and totally lovable side. But if you live with someone long enough, the ugly, messed up side will rear its head a some point. The thing about marriage is, you’re not just living with someone. You’re not just roommates with benefits. Being married is sharing everything, including you’re imperfections. That’s pretty scary.
When I was single, I had an unhealthy way of dealing with negative emotions. I hid in my bedroom and blasted music or did anything to just be by myself and reflect on my feelings. When I married, I brought that practice with me. What I didn’t realize, though, was that by locking myself in the bathroom to cry, I was shutting my husband out. I pushed him away because I was afraid he’d think I was silly or weak.
It’s so easy to shut our partners out our problems because we are afraid to let them see the ugly; maybe we just don’t know where to start or how to say it. But God put our spouses in our lives for a reason. Not surprisingly, my husbands strengths are my weaknesses. The first time I completely bore all of my soul to my husband, I couldn’t believe the wisdom and courage that he responded with. What I was struggling with, he was able to reassure me and give me confidence. A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. It was amazing and humbling and yet it’s still terrifying.
Being vulnerable is hard because it means being completely and totally honest. And honestly, honesty sucks. It’s offensive sometimes, sometimes it hurts, sometimes it’s humiliating. In the long run, being able to be honest with your partner about your struggles and imperfections will strengthen your relationship. So be honest with your partner. Come clean and be vulnerable. Yahweh gave you your spouse for a good reason.