Let’s Talk About Emotional Safety in Relationships
Updated: Dec 29, 2019
To have an intimate loving thriving relationship, it’s a given we need to have a sense of emotional safety in it.
We need it so we can feel safe and at ease, of course, and so:
We can speak our desires and ask for what we want, instead of growing resentful because he doesn’t just know what we want or need.
We can be who we really are, and not hide any part of ourself (if we do we won’t ever feel really loved).
We can be vulnerable enough to expose our rawest parts, and be witnessed to the deepest level—which is when the richest kind of intimacy and connection happens.
Unfortunately, I often see one major issue getting in the way of women having that kind of emotional safety:
We depend on the other person—our partner— to provide our emotional safety FOR US. We think things like “he’s trustworthy” or “he’s not trustworthy”. “He’s safe to share things with”, or “He’s not safe to share things with”.
When we do that, we lose any authority over how we feel —we give over that power to this other person. Not where our power should be.
(If you are like, "What?!", just stay with me. This is advanced territory, but will change your life if you give it a chance!)
The funny thing is, that other person never actually has the capacity to make you feel safe or unsafe. (Please know I am never talking about physical safety. If there is physical abuse going on, I always recommend finding a domestic abuse expert’s help right away.)
You know how we know this is true?
Here’s an example: I think back to a boyfriend I had many years ago. When I first met him, I thought he was super cool, but totally out of my league. I felt so awkward and emotionally ill-at-ease around him that I could hardly even speak a word in his presence. I didn’t feel safe to be me.
You may have had a similar experience at some point?
Later, though, after being put in some situations where I got to see him differently, I had the experience of feeling the most safe with him— free to be entirely myself, and totally loved for it.
This is so key: He didn’t change. What changed with the way I thought about him. I started feeling safe within myself to relax around him.
I also had friends who did not feel he was safe space for them to bear their souls.
So it was not HIM who created our sense of safety, or lack of safety. It was the way we related to him in our own inner world…
I know it seems like other people are the source of your emotional safety—or lack of it. And it sure helps when your partner shows he’s a kind human, and I always want that for you.
It felt like others were in charge of my feelings, too, fo much of my life, until I learned and experienced where emotional safety really comes from.
To break it down a little bit further, your emotional safety comes from:
how confident you feel in your ability to handle your emotions.
how safe you feel to feel.
It comes from how steady and stable you are within yourself.
It comes from knowing no feeling that you have is too difficult for you to experience.
It comes from not hinging your happiness on what your partner’s willing to do for you or not do for you.
It comes from knowing you are worthy and lovable no matter what he says or does.
It comes from not expecting him to be the source of your happiness.
It comes from knowing that you are the source of your happiness.
It comes from being your own reliable source of unconditional acceptance, support, nourishment, and kindness.
It comes from trusting yourself and having your own back 100%.
If you want to begin building this emotional safety inside yourself, here’s a short video I made to give you a tiny taste:
Keep in mind that what I share in the video is just a part of the bigger picture of building emotional safety.
So much of it truly comes down to knowing how to work with the fear part of your brain… the hardwired fear circuits that hijack you into feeling anxious and distrustful, unable to open up and be fully yourself.
This is something I do with my clients in a deep way: I teach them how to trust themselves. How to stop being at the mercy of their own fear-generating part of their brain. How to create their own deep sense of emotional safety, confidence, and security.
You can learn this, too.
So that you’re no longer feeling emotionally jerked around by what your partner does or doesn’t not do.…
So that you can make requests (instead of complaints) without needing your partner to honor them or being distraught when he doesn’t.
So that you can be yourself, unabashedly, confidently.
So that you can feel more lighthearted around your partner.
So that he doesn’t have to walk on eggshells or be someone he isn’t in order for you to feel great around him.
So that you can guys can laugh often together.
So you can be honest and open and have those deeper connecting conversations that require emotional safety—and actually build even more of it in both of you.
So that your love becomes the most safe, nourishing, delightful zone in your life.
That is what I most want for you.
If you're ready for my help to do all that, email me and we’ll set up a time to talk about just what it involves for you, and how to get started.