Perhaps the most important question you can ask yourself about your marriage or significant love relationship is this – does it feel safe? Is it a soft place to land? Is it a place where you can let down your defenses and be exactly who you are? Do you feel supported and heard in nearly any or all circumstances? Can you be vulnerable and share those parts of you that sometimes feel hurt, scared or alone? I believe that “feeling safe” needs to be an absolute priority for couples. I’m not saying it’s easy to achieve, but if you want a relationship that is truly exceptional, I think it’s a must-have. How does one create such a thing? Harville Hendrix, a world-renowned relationship expert, believes that criticism, negativity and blame have no place in a relationship that thrives. He believes in what he calls “zero negativity”. Each partner can still express what they want and need from each other (and it’s important to do so), but those needs must be expressed in a loving way. If your partner finds it difficult to meet a particular need of yours, it’s important to talk about it, but to do so with compassion, understanding and even curiosity? Why does your partner find it hard to meet that need? Is there anything you could do to make it easier for them to do so? Is there another way for you to have that need met? The rewards of living within a “safe” relationship cannot be quantified. You grow more, achieve more and become more than you ever could alone.
For a marriage or love relationship to truly thrive, it must “feel safe.” It needs to be about love, understanding, gratitude and compassion, rather than criticism, negativity and blame. This takes strength, courage and commitment. The rewards are beyond measure. Life becomes much more beautiful and as a person, so do you.