If you’re like me, the idea of someone seeing the real you is terrifying. Until I met my husband, I always had a fear that whoever I dated would eventually see how messed up I was inside and run in the opposite direction.
So I did my best to maintain an image of a person who had it all together, who was nice, God-fearing, and always did the right thing.
But when I got into a relationship with my husband, I experienced something I had never encountered before: unconditional acceptance.
My husband saw every side me-my nice side, my angry side, my brave side, my cowardly side, my pretty smile, and my ugly feet-but still loved all of me.
Experiencing that kind of love felt strange, but so liberating. As the years went by in our marriage, though, I realized that I was still an insecure woman who was afraid of letting anyone too close to me. If a friend hurt me, I just cut them off until I wasn’t hurting anymore. I was afraid to be vocal about my needs to people close to me, and it was keeping me isolated in my relationships.
How Vulnerability Can Hurt Your Relationships
Insecurity can come from low self-esteem, or pain experienced in the past. Wherever it comes from, it causes you to think irrational, distorted thoughts about yourself. And from there, you interpret everything that happens to you in that same light. You think to yourself, “I’m not good enough, I’m not strong enough, I don’t deserve anything good.”
So when a friend hurts you, it feels like they’re saying they agree with those thoughts. If you’re in a relationship, you want to keep your walls up so that your partner can’t see the ugliness that you see in yourself. You make yourself impenetrable so that you won’t experience the pain and disappointment you anticipate will come when the people in your life see you the way you see yourself.
In reality, though, we’re all messed up and in need of God’s unconditional love. The thing about knowing you’re loved unconditionally by God-really knowing it and believing it-is that you can look at yourself honestly with all your faults and flaws, and still smile at yourself in the mirror because you know that you are amazing and precious-not because of anything you’ve done, but because of the value God Himself placed on you by making you.
Believing that God loves you unconditionally allows you to acknowledge your past and all of its pain, but still put in the work to experience healing and transformation-because you understand your value.
Finally, believing that God loves you unconditionally frees you to be yourself no matter who you’re with or what you’re doing, because your value gives you influence in your corner of the universe that no one else has.
The Freedom of Being Vulnerable
In the freedom that God wants to give you, there’s no need to hide your flaws from others. Instead, when you acknowledge your flaws, you give people the hope and courage to face theirs. You make your relationship a safe space for you and your partner to be
If you want to experience complete intimacy in your relationship, you have to be able to be vulnerable in every way. That kind of freedom is only possible when you decide to acknowledge the baggage you’ve been carrying and put in the work to get healing from it. Hiding behind walls in your relationship will only give your emotional baggage the power to isolate you and your partner from one another.
Being vulnerable enough to communicate with your partner about the most intimate things will take time, but it’s so worth the effort. It creates a strong bond of trust in your relationship that will stand the test of time and trials.
Here are some of my other posts about deepening intimacy and communication in your marriage:
Till next time! Stay in touch and get resources to keep your love thriving-while growing into the person you’re meant to by signing up for my weekly newsletter here.