If you or your partner begin to feel differently about yourselves or the relationship for whatever reasons, and do not share those internal changes as they happen, you may lose the bond that keeps you close without even realizing it is happening. You can, seemingly out of nowhere, feel that you have become more like old friends, but no longer as intimately connected.
Many of my patients have told me that they hesitate to “rock the boat” when they’re not sure that what they are thinking and feeling might upend that balance when they are not ready to face those potential consequences. Perhaps their thoughts and feelings are just of the moment or caused by extraneous circumstances that will pass. They make the decision to postpone sharing it in hopes that will happen.
Every intimate relationship is unique unto itself. What, when, and how internal thoughts and feelings are shared must be decided within each partnership. However, it cannot be denied that the level of true intimacy is directly related to the level of transparency and vulnerability any couple shares.
If you are clear about our own motivations when you make the decision to withhold your inner self from our partner, you can begin by honestly answering the following questions:
Am I making this decision to hold on to something that I might lose were I to be honest for my own comfort?
Am I withholding because I truly believe my partner would be unnecessarily harmed were I to tell him or her what I was feeling?
Am I being private or rationalizing secret behavior that my partner would not be able to tolerate?
Is my holding back going to help or hinder the successful future of my relationship?
Would I want my partner to do the same?
Written by Randi Gunther Ph.D.
Originally appeared in psychologytoday
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