How to Be a Safe Place in Your Marriage
There is nothing like being with that special person that makes you feel the most comfortable–you know with certainty that this person will not judge you, they will protect you, they will always be there for you physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and you can truly be yourself around them.
They make you feel cozy and warm when you are around them and no matter where you are in life, they will be by your side.
Hopefully you have this in your life and hopefully this person is your spouse.
You may have had negative relationship experiences in the past that were not great and you didn’t have those safe feelings surrounding that person.
Maybe you aren’t fully feeling this way with your spouse just yet or perhaps your spouse is the one needing you to be their safe space.
Regardless of the circumstances and the feelings you have or do not have, but want, couples can always work toward becoming that safe space for each other.
Aside from feeling physically safe, emotional safety is something that is necessary in a relationship to help foster and keep an emotional connection between you and your spouse.
Some may define emotional safety as:
- Not feeling judged
- Being reassured
- Being able to feel comfortable in the skin you’re in
- Feeling comfortable, calm, and relaxed
- Trusting another
- Feeling unconditionally loved
- Feeling accepted, secure, and valued
Some people may not naturally feel safe emotionally due to past relationship experiences or from childhood trauma such as abuse or neglect.
For these individuals, it is even more pertinent that they feel safe and secure in the relationship they are in.
Because of the past, it may take a person with trauma some extra time and patience to develop that emotional safety; a lot of it correlates with trust.
The process of cultivating emotional safety in a marriage where one person struggles can be a vulnerable one that needs to be dealt with with love and care.
If we desire intimacy and transparency, we must be a “safe place” for our spouse. It is good to remember that we each must give what we want in return.
Here are some tips for creating an emotional safe space for your spouse:
Be available and open for your spouse to come to you with anything they need to get off their chest.
Do not judge, criticize, or reject.
Showing that you are open to any type of communication will help your spouse to be more willing to open up emotionally and feel safe to divulge whatever is on his or her heart and mind.
Show that you are a trustworthy spouse and committed to the marriage.
There is nothing more hurtful than wondering if your spouse is not being faithful or if you aren’t completely sure if they are fully committed to you.
Tell your spouse and show him or her that you are there for them no matter what both of you may face.
Show your love.
Be a refuge for your spouse from the outside world.
We all have bad days at work, with family, or even just driving home in traffic.
Allow your spouse to vent and get things off their chest when needed.
Be a sounding board and bring comfort to them.
Provide physical protection.
Would you take a bullet for your spouse?
Will you defend them physically and verbally?
Do you take care of them when they are sick?
If your spouse doubts that you would, it may be difficult for them to feel safe—physically and emotionally.
Show your own vulnerability.
It is easier for someone else to open up to you when you have already done so to them.
Reciprocating vulnerability will go a long way to create an emotional connection.
Allow your spouse to fully know you—know your fears, desires, frustrations, needs, wants, etc.
When a hurt or frustration is voiced to you by your spouse, show compassion and empathy.
Avoid judgement, criticism, and closed-off body language.
By eye contact, touch, tone of voice, and what you say, you can communicate that you genuinely care about what they are saying and feel the emotions they are voicing.
Expressing gratitude toward your spouse is imperative in a marriage and demonstrates that you appreciate them, what they do, and who they are as a person and partner in life.
Verbalizing gratitude can not only bring about positive feelings in your spouse but also changes your own mind and way of thinking about things.
When trying to create or build emotional safety within a marriage, both partners must be willing to commit fully to the process and become vulnerable with each other.
The process is worth it.
There is no greater feeling than to know your partner has your back and will be there for you physically, emotionally, and spiritually no matter what the world may bring.
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