Surrendering without fear of being seen vulnerable is an essential requirement for living deep and full relationships. Regain trust in you and your partner.
When we build a relationship and do not dare to give ourselves completely, fear reminds us that we are vulnerable. Fear is a warning signal that our body sets in motion to remind us of past situations in which we suffer. But it can also provoke defensive reactions that take us away from the person with whom we want to build a new life project. Following other parameters we can get a solid link and close old wounds.
Surrender to the relationship without fear
María had decided to start a therapeutic process to review some aspects of her life. Although he was in a stable vital moment, some issues worried him and he wanted to change them. “I have very low self-esteem and almost always believe that others think badly of me,” he told me in the first session.
After a few days we addressed the relationship he had with his partner. “I do not think I have confidence with Jorge,” he told me. “There are many things that I do not tell him, and I do not know if that’s okay or not.” “It is neither good nor bad. The important thing is that you know what relationship you want to have with him. You are the one who has to decide what you want to share and what not, “ I replied.
Maria was clear that she wanted a deeper relationship. They had been together for two years and almost did not know each other.
With the passage of time they had not managed to have that space of intimacy that is created when two people build a safe couple bond. He realized then that he was afraid to give himself up , and that fear was preventing him from building the relationship that he really wanted to have.
Wounds that prevent us from moving forward
Maria had previously married who was her first partner and had two daughters. In love, she thought she gave herself body and soul to the one who thought he was the man of her life.
However, the relationship did not work as expected; she did not feel taken into account or respected as a person, something that happened to her in other relationships as well. Her partner criticized her and despised her continually . Despite the disappointment and pain, he continued with it for years until the situation became untenable and they separated.
Two years later he met Jorge. Maria knew that her love for him had been growing, although she felt that something prevented them from moving forward. María did not share her concerns with Jorge (“I dare not tell her about the problem I have with my daughter, I am afraid she thinks badly of me”) or her feelings ; When I had to cry, I did it alone.
She did not feel safe to share her vulnerability.
“He does not support me,” he told me one day. “I wonder how he can support you if he does not know how you are or what you need, ” I replied. He was realizing how much she contributed to that lack of support. And how his fear of surrender was related to what little was valued and wanted, with his lack of confidence and his previous experience.
Why are we afraid of who we love?
Fear tells us that we are perceiving some danger and its objective is to protect us . Our body is wise and registers what can cause us pain or that involves some physical or emotional risk. What happens is that from time to time it is necessary to “update” it,because what one day hurt us does not have to hurt now.
If we are afraid to share our vulnerability, it is because, surely, at some point we did it and we had a bad experience. However, even if the alarm goes off, what happens now is not the same as what happened in the past . Neither are we the same, nor is the other person the same, nor is the situation.
The origin of the fear to trust
Erik Erikson , American psychoanalyst of German origin, elaborated the “Psychosocial theory of personality development ” and concluded that the feeling of trust is experienced in the stage from birth to 18 months. Depending on the warmth of the mother’s body, the support and affectionate care received , the bond that will be the basis of future relationships with other important people is created.
It is then, based on these experiences, when we develop the basic trust that allows us to be in the world without anguish or, on the contrary, we grow with a distrust that can make our openness to others difficult.
How to trust more in your partner
Another factor necessary to deliver ourselves in a healthy way is to perceive that the other person is available, that recognizes us and accepts us in our individuality. In a couple relationship everything is built between two.
Explaining what we need to our partner will help us. Waiting for you to guess it only creates frustration and resentment.
The challenge is to dare to surrender, even with fear, as long as we receive support and a minimum of security , and that has to do with our own trust and also with the elements that the other puts into the relationship.
Maria saw that her fear had protected her for a while. Keeping his wall he had avoided suffering, but now that did not help him. To continue functioning in this way caused his relationship to be so superficial that it did not satisfy him. So she accepted her fear, accepted her vulnerability and decided to take the risk of surrendering herself and, little by little, discovering herself before her partner.
During her therapy process, in addition to knowing herself better, accepting herself, loving herself and valuing herself much more, she learned to share feelings . Jorge showed his commitment and with this mutual delivery they were able to build a solid bond. As Norman Shub says in his book Heart to Heart : “Love develops when you make another important person.”