How do you help someone learn how to allow themselves to open up to their significant other?
I was recently asked to help someone learn to open themselves up, as their significant other was unhappy due to lack of communication/emotion in the relationship. I personally think it would happen naturally if you truly love someone, you would have no problem feeling vulnerable to them. I was thinking maybe there are some unresolved past issues or maybe it's not real love. Anyone have experience/an idea of teaching this?
If this is a relationship, there must have been some communication/emotion at one point. There could be some leftover baggage filled with hurts, distrust, or deceiving that may have happened previously. However, something could have happened in the present relationship to trigger a person's defense system, i.e., something said, an irresponsible act, or something that brought out warning signs.
I tell people to start being honest and accept themselves as they are. Then they can start speaking honestly to their partner. This opens things up.
I can understand it. I was a very closed off person due to childhood issues and losing my parents young. It took me a long time to learn to trust my husband and know he wouldn't leave me. Thankfully, he is a wonderfully patient man. It took several years for me to learn to relax and stop asking him if he loved me.
We've been married 43 years so things worked out just fine. I'm not sure why you would be asked to help this person. It needs to come from their significant other.
Well Kevin, there is no gauge for love. Some people are just more closed off than others, much of it has to do with how we are raised or personal experiences (i.e. fear). Which brings me to trust. Sadly, many of us have trust issues that stem from within - the older (and more jaded) we become, trust becomes the single most difficult hurdle. That being said, it's rarely attached to the object of your desire but rather it comes from within. A person who subconsciously feels they are not worthy of trust tends to distrust others and thereby closes everyone off by walls that they THINK protect them from harm, when in fact, it causes harm and prevents them from being loved and trusting the way they so wish they could or would be in return. (I know this all too well... and I think you do, also.)
The answer to this - that's never so easy - the only way to break these patterns is with patience and love. You can teach a person how to love and communicate with you by example. We treat others the way we wish to be treated (or how we subconsciously feel we deserve to be treated.)
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