Emotional Safety In Marriage
Why does your partner lie to you to get your love and approval? You have not created emotional safety in marriage.
Lying to get love or approval is commonplace if you look for it.
Have you ever dealt with a child who denies responsibility for something he or she has done wrong? How about at work, when a team member glosses over what turns out to be an inconvenient truth? How about a family member that avoids you and won’t make eye contact, doesn’t want to have a conversation, doesn’t return text messages, and doesn’t return calls.
Do you have a partner who avoids important, but difficult, conversations?
These are the lies that people make to you to get your love and approval. In many cases, these lies erode love and trust. Worse, if there is underlying conflict, it will simmer underneath making the discomfort more intense.
So what is going on?
First, people fear rejection. People will lie to you to get your love or approval because they’re afraid if they tell you the truth, you will reject them This is a deep fear.
We are social animals, and we need connection, not rejection. Creating emotional safety in marriage requires elimination of the fear of rejection. When you demonstrate unconditional love, the fear of rejection goes away.
Your partner may have a deep-seated fear of abandonment. This goes all the way back to childhood because children have a survival instinct that compels them to attach to a parent. Abandonment probably means death, or at least a very difficult life. If your partner’s childhood was difficult and emotionally erratic, fear of abandonment may be carried into adult relationships. If you have a relationship where somebody is fearing that you’ll abandon them or generally have a fear of abandonment, then your partner is more likely to lie to you to get your love and approval.
Fundamentally, people fear pain and will avoid pain whenever they can. Negative emotions are painful and can be intense. If that means they must lie to avoid pain that’s what they’re going to do. Creating emotional safety in marriage takes away the pain of negative emotions by validating them. More on this below.
Many people have very a weak self-image or low self-worth. Again, this goes back to childhood programming. Low self-esteem develops in from shame, humiliation, and emotionally invalidation in childhood. If your partner has a fragile identity, he or she will lie to protect it. Emotional safety in marriage has to be consistent and constant to rebuild self-esteem and self-worth.
All of these fears cause anxiety, and we will do anything to avoid it. Anxiety’s purpose is to make us take action, and the only way we can reduce anxiety, if we’re not self-aware, is by physical action.
If your partner does not have tools to manage anxiety, one way he or she can relieve anxiety is to lie to you. 12 Powerful Benefits of Emotional Awareness
What’s really crazy is that people will seek relief from anxiety. even though they know it will cause long-term pain to them. People don’t have the discipline or the courage to accept short-term consequences to preserve relationships. Creating emotional safety in your marriage is the only way to stop this behavior.
In a moment, I will show you a superpower to create emotional safety in your marriage. How to Honor Your Emotions With This 1 Powerful Tool
Why Don’t People Feel Emotionally Safe In Marriage
Why is it that most people do not feel emotionally safe in marriage?
Emotional safety is a place where you can accept your own emotions, positive, negative or neutral. They’re just there and they don’t disturb you. Likewise, when you create emotional safety for someone else, you hold a safe space for them to have any emotional experience.
When other people are experiencing intense emotions around you, those intense emotions are not provoking anxiety, fear, or a reaction that makes you want to run from them or shut them down.
Most people, don’t feel emotionally safe. They wonder why they are not happy or why their relationships are not working. They wonder why the promise of living happily ever after was never fulfilled. It’s because they have never felt emotionally safe. The cause of this is emotionally invalidation from a very young age.
Emotional Invalidation Does Not Create Safety In Marriage
Consider this experience: As a two-year-old, you run outside, fall over, skin your knee, and you start to cry.
What are you told?
You were told, “Don’t be a cry baby,” “Don’t be a sissie,” “Stop crying,” It doesn’t hurt,” “Big girls don’t cry,” and so on.
While parents think that they’re trying to soothe you and maybe even toughen you up a little bit, what they are doing is emotional invalidation . It is brutally abusing you.
Emotional invalidation is abusive because, at about 18 months, the emotional centers of your toddler brain begins to mature.Those brain centers have to go through a certain learning process for the next five or six years to master emotions.
The terrible twos, with its tantrums, and the meltdowns are all part of the brain’s way of dealing with emotions. Tantrums are not abnormal; they’re perfectly normal. You can help the child work through those tantrums using the superpower I’m, going to show you in a moment. The key here is that most families, are emotionally dysfunctional abusive, and they don’t even know it.
They think they are a lovely kind family, but they are not. For example, at the dinner it is okay for dad to be angry, but it is not okay for the children to be angry. Children cannot show any emotions at all in many or if they can show emotions, they can only show positive emotions.
Mom and dad become anxious around your emotional experience and, rather than working with you and validating your emotions, they end up punishing you for having an emotional experience. Parents are doing the opposite of what they should be doing because they unconsciously soothe their own anxiety.
This is incredibly abusive, and it is pervasive around the world.
As a teenager, you learned that there are no emotional rules, and you stumble your way through it. You’re more embarrassed and humiliated than you are validated, and you learn that emotional experiences are bad. So you shut down, you become defensive, you become emotionally unavailable. You are more comfortable avoiding your emotions confronting them. On to of this, you are taught that emotions are weak, irrational, make you vulnerable, and so forth.
In short, you never experienced emotional safety. This leads to lots of problems later in life, including lying to get approval and love.
Earlier I said we would cover a superpower for creating emotional safety.
There is a particular skill and technique that is extraordinarily powerful. It’s a superpower that, once you master, will change everything in your life.
Three Steps To Creating Emotional Safety In Marriage
Step 1: Ignore The Words
When you listen to somebody, you pay attention to words. What would happen if we ignored the words? Well, you might think,”Geez I’m, ignoring my partner.”
No! You’re, not ignoring them. You’re only ignoring the words they’re speaking because those words for the next minute or two are unimportant.
When you ignore the words and pay attention to the emotions, you will remember what the words are because all memory is associated with emotion. If all you do is focus on the emotions, it’s not like you won’t hear the words. Your brain will still register them and you’ll actually be able to repeat back what the person said verbatim. By ignoring your partner’s words, you create emotional safety in marriage.
Step 2: Read Your Partner’s Emotions
After you have ignored the words, you read your partner’s emotions. What is he or she feeling right now? Instead of hearing words, you are hearing emotions.
If you are emotionally shut down, defensive, unavailable, or you have unresolved anger inside yourself, you might thinking, “How can i read the emotions of other people when i can’t even manage my own emotions?”
This is the beauty of this super power. We have an innate ability to read the emotions of other people. All you have to do is get out of the way of yourself, and you can read those emotions efficiently, accurately and quickly.
The secret is let yourself relax, sit in silence for a moment, and your partner’s emotions will flow into your awareness.
Here’s an easy exercise to practice reading emotions. Listen to an advertisement and ignore the words.
How many emotions can you detect in that ad? You will find 10 or 15 different emotions, because all ads are based on emotion. Every day, see if you can identify every emotion in one ad as quickly as possible. That will teach you in just a couple of days that you really can read emotions – your brain is hard wired to do it. Read your partner’s emotions to create emotional safety in marriage.
Step 3: Reflect Back Your Partner’s Emotions
The third step is to reflect back your partner’s emotions with a ‘you” statement.
Let’s say that your partner wants to say something that she doesn’t think is going to be taken well by you.
You would reflect back her anxiety by saying, “You’re really anxious! You’re kind of nervous and worried, and you’re, a little scared and you don’t know you’re confused and you don’t know how to approach this and and you’re nervous that bad things will come of it.”
When you validate your partner’s emotions with a “you” statement, some really amazing things start to happen. First of all, and most importantly, as you validate emotions, which is your new superpower, you will create emotional safety in marriage.
Your partner will feel emotionally safe around you because, rather than attacking or invalidating his emotions, you are validating who he is as a human being. Your partner will stop lying to get your love and approval because once he feels safe around you, he won’t have a compulsion to lie.
In fact, he will want to talk to you because he will feel grateful that you have listened him into existence.
That’s how you create emotional safety in marriage-listen your partner into existence.