One of the great goals of our life is to put our masks down. A lot of us wear the mask of people pleasing and never showing when we have an emotional problem, and ultimately we’ll never really feel safe or emotionally seen.
Total intimacy in a relationship comes down to levels of honesty.
There’s a famous family therapist called John Bradshaw who says families are as sick as their secrets. and the same goes for intimate relationships.
It’s very easy to learn the pattern of what we call withholding. We start withholding information and truth and problems and our opinions. Eventually we’ve removed ourselves from the relationship. We can be physically present but no longer emotionally present.
When we become emotionally present we start to fill ourselves up through the relationship so we can fill our own cup, so we can create a feeling of safety and a bond with another person. That makes it actually easier to go out in the world and take more risks because we know we have a safe emotional home with another person.
This is exactly the same thing we needed when we grew up with our mum and dad, then we got told we needed to grow up and be independent. One of my favourite authors is Dr Sue Johnson, who says the only independent human is a dead human.
The rest of us require emotional safety and a place where we can connect and create a deep bond with our partner. How we do this is through honesty. What do I mean? Tell the microscopic truth with your partner—share with them what you’re thinking. Share your emotions.
This can sometimes be uncomfortable but nine times out of ten it will bring you closer.