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One of the main factors of having and keeping a good relationship is being able to trust, and have good communication. In order for others to trust us, we have to be able to become vulnerable, and show our vulnerability. Honesty and vulnerability go hand in hand. You cannot be totally, and genuinely truthful with another, without opening up fully to them.[...]

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Air Your Dirty Laundry At Home

We all have fears, and insecurities, lost hopes and dreams, that we don’t allow most people in on. We aren't perfect, we have faults and warts, we would rather others not see. When you have a bestfriend(s) that you feel comfortable with, you can more closing relate your true self with them, because you trust them with that part of you. You are having the faith in them to honor, and keep those inner parts of you sacred between the two (or more) of you. You let them know and see vulnerable parts of yourself, that you are too afraid to let the rest of the world in on.

Most all of us have experienced a time in our lives when one of those friends betrays that trust and faith you had, and goes out and let’s the “cat out of the bag”. Whether intentional, or not, we all feel betrayed when this happens. Even if we patch up the betrayal, forgive, and continue with a friendship with them, something has been broken. You begin to hold back those vulnerabilities, and are much more cautious about letting them know, and experience that part of you. It will be a very long time, if ever, that you allow them back into that space.

When you enter into an intimate long term relationship with someone, the vulnerabilities that you share are part of what creates the bond, and intimacy between you. You are learning about each other on a deep level, showing the other that they are special…the one you share your secrets, and secret parts of you with. But in order to do that you need to have trust, and faith that your partner’s “got your back”, and you stand united together against the rest of the world.

I have read several articles lately about male bashing, and/or sitting around with the gals over coffee or tea, discussing all your partner’s shortcomings. Some people see no problem with this, but is there…?

Trust is so very important in any relationship, and I don’t understand why anyone would do something that they know is going to shatter that trust, or possibly shatter that trust. But some women believe there is nothing wrong with bashing their man, with a group of women over coffee. A man needs to be able to trust that the stories you tell your women/men friends are consistent with what you are telling him to his face, and that what he tells you in confidence will remain a secret between you two. Don’t you feel that way about your own wrinkles, and warts?

The way we talk about our relationship to our partners and to outsiders, send powerful signals to outsiders as to the health and viability of that relationship.
Not to mention, when you talk unfavorably about your partner, you are not only speaking badly about them, you are speaking badly about yourself. You are, in essence, stating that you have bad taste in people.

Even family members are not a wise idea. People have their own opinions about your partner, and your relationship, having their own agenda, which may, or may not agree with yours. They are going to voice their opinion, and many times these people like to interfere, and try to influence your view, which not always has your best interests at heart, but rather theirs. Not only are you betraying them by talking behind their back, complaining about their shortcomings, you are opening up the vulnerabilities of the relationship to outside attack. People outside the relationship cannot be allowed to interfere, there needs to be boundaries set.

I was reading a blog the other day, where the person wrote about how they had talked to her best friend about how well-endowed, and good in bed her boyfriend was. Only to have her boyfriend be seduced by her “so-called” bestfriend, because she wanted to experience these great pleasures for herself. I have also witnessed the same type of thing happen with the partner bashing, where the “so-called” trusted best-friend felt that the boyfriend was not appreciated enough, and they wanted to show him that they would appreciate him so much more. Things like this happen all too often, and it begins with seemingly innocent talk about your partner, and your relationship; talk that should be taking place between the two of you, not with your friends and family.

Aside from the fact that you are abusing their trust; aside from the fact that it reflects unfavorably toward yourself; aside from the fact that people have a tendency to allow other people to affect their opinions, and attitudes, which may or may not be beneficial to neither you, nor the relationship; aside from the fact that the information you give may be used against you, rather than support you; aside from the fact that gossip can, and usually is an evil thing that grows and takes on a life of its own; thoughts become things.

The more attention you give to an issue, the more thought you give it, and then add to that, the power of vocalization, you are effectively feeding the growth of the problem. You are effectively feeding your frustration with the issue, not to mention, when your cohorts agree with you, they help feed and add fuel to your frustration with the topic, adding some outside reassurance that you have the right to feel this way, to the mix. When all along, the person you should be talking to this about, is the very person who you allowed to make you feel this way to begin with, hopefully extinguishing the whole process, and receiving the relief you are after.

Be careful what seeds you plant, an inadvertently fertilize, lest you grow weeds that suck the life out of everything beautiful that surrounds it.

When we are vulnerable we put away the fancy airs we put on and drop our self-image, which is always hoping to look a little better than we actually feel. Any kind of spiritual self-image automatically blocks our vulnerability thus cutting off the heart and blocking us from the very thing that we want - love. When we do expose ourselves we become psychologically naked. This only happens when our defenses are down, when we are not worried that others will attack or judge us. Then we can be just who we are. But this is difficult because that is exactly what happens when we just are. People want us to be or feel or think something different. The paradox of vulnerability is that, though we can only be vulnerable when we are not worried that others will judge us, being vulnerable means openness to such an attack. In human relations no situation is completely safe when it comes to our vulnerabilities. In the beginning, when we first learn to open ourselves, it is prudent to pick the most gentle and caring people we can find to open our hearts with.The Heart is the Vulnerability of Being

open-your-heart

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14 Love note(s):

G8rBryan said...

Good post and very true. I recently married a lady whom I believe/know is my "soulmate". I would never "bash her" around my friends. It would kill me to know that I destroyed that trust and bond. I also know that she would never do the same to me.

searchingwithin said...

G8rBryan,

Hello good friend. It's been awhile.

It not only chips away at the trust and bond, those little complaints about the toilet seat being left up, etc., can so easily grow. I believe we need to concentrate on their good qualities, and not dwell on the warts.

We are always either moving toward something, or away, every moment.

Congrats on the wedding.

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T is for Trouble said...

I'm really enjoying reading your words.
You're such an interesting writer.

This post struck home quite hard.
What you're saying is very true. I just don't see many people addressing it.

I think most of us have been in the best friend situation, sometimes as the betrayed, sometimes as the betrayer. One thing I'll note--Once you've been the betrayer, you can pick up on the signals pretty fast when it's happening to you. I believe a woman should always follow her intuition. We are rarely wrong. Sometimes we may be off due to hormonal or chemical imbalance, but rarely are we totally wrong.

The loss of intimacy, the loss of trust. That hurts no matter what the relationship is. I remember once, in my grade school days, making a friend who I got close to very quickly. We were inseperable for a summer. It turned out that she was actually just using me to meet my other friends. Once they became friends she told them all of these horrible lies. Took things I had said about them out of context or completely twisted to sound terrible. That was it. She was in. I was out. My friends wouldn't even listen when I told them she was lying. That was more than 20 years ago, I was just a kid, and yet the betrayal has stuck with me.

I guess those are the ones you never completely get over. The betrayal of friendship.

JosMae said...

You are right! Trust should be maintain. Once you have a problem with your partner, it's better that you talk to them and tell them about it and work on it together. You'll see the better result after. Good communication results to strong relationship.

jason evans said...

I would say that a bashed relationship is a relationship sliding into trouble. Just because it stays together overall is cold comfort to me. Failure comes in an infinity of colors.

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