I always want ModernMarried to be a place of inspiration and love. That is my ultimate goal in everything I do. I don’t particularly want it to be the home of tissues and chicken soup, but that is what it happens to be this weekend.
The Hubs is sleeping in the middle of the day. (That’s when you know he is well and truly sick.) And I have been quietly roaming around Facebook, watching House Hunters International, and well, puttering with absolutely no sense of direction or focus. (That’s how you know there must be cold medicine in my system.)
Soooooo, there I am in my pajama jeans. (Yes, I wear pajama jeans, my mother in law gave them to me and at first I thought, what? And then I thought, cool!) Anyway, there I was, clicking around, when I came across an old episode of Super Soul Sunday with Oprah and Brene Brown.
If you read this blog for any length of time you will know that all roads lead to Oprah (well the main road leads to The Hubs, all other roads, go straight to Ms. O). Watching her show has influenced how I practice gratitude, the way I love my bestie, what I believe, and in a long and winding story for another day, had tons to do with why I became a Life Coach.
So, there we are, Oprah, Brene and your friendly neighborhood marriage blogger, together on a Saturday, pondering vulnerability.
And it hit me.
I have to write about this. I need to tell people about vulnerability in marriage and why it’s so important.
I need to add to this conversation because while they talked about A LOT, that was the one space they missed. I believe a willingness to be vulnerable is essential to a happy, thriving marriage.
What is vulnerability? Why does it matter?
Brene says that the definition of vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.
Uhm, uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure?!?
These are like the 3 holy grails of entering a relationship. Whether it’s with a husband, a friend, a new job, or a blog, starting something new is entering the vulnerability zone.
Then, when you try it, date it, and figure out you love it, you suddenly drop deeper into the vulnerability zone, with more uncertainty, higher risk and the fear and avoidance of emotional exposure at all costs.
Anyone who wants to deny that, tell me if your co-workers have seen you cry.
I will say this, my boss has seen me cry. My husband has seen my cry and someday I will make a video and you will see my cry. But this is Maggie2.0 – the vulnerable, life coachy one.
The whole first half of my life, the 1.0 version was all about being strong and never would I ever have let people see me in my pajama jeans, uhm, I mean in tears. You know what I mean.
So now that we have determined that opportunities to embrace or deny vulnerability are just about everywhere, why is it such a big deal?
Well according to Brene, vulnerability is the birthplace of everything we hunger for.
Closeness. Intimacy. Being heard. Loving. Being Loved.
It all begins with the risk of opening our hearts.
Oprah says that vulnerability is the cornerstone of confidence.
The larger your ability to become comfortable with your own vulnerability, the greater your confidence that you can handle the aftermath.
So that question is – how do you do it? How do you do Vulnerablity?
Here is my Vulnerability 101 – Cheat Sheet
You are vulnerable when you speak your truth. To your husband, to your co-workers, to your friends.
Is there a place in your life where you don’t feel like you can be authentic? That’s a place where vulnerablity is missing.
How do we add it? By speaking and sharing our honest experience, one conversation at a time.
You are vulnerable when you open your heart – to a new experience, to your husband, to your kids.
Every time you give love you open your heart to risk. And to joy.
You are vulnerable whenever you take a chance. When there is no guarantee. The higher the degree of uncertainty, the greater your vulnerability muscle expands.
So the question of course is how can you be vulnerable in marriage if you are not being vulnerable in other areas of your life?
Start a blog? Create a scrapbook? Tell a joke? Play with your kids? Apply for your dream job? Order something different for dinner?
Vulnerability comes in all shapes in sizes – and you can start building that muscle with the small things before you jump into a larger arena.
Why does vulnerability matter in your marriage? Because ultimately it is the one act of daily love that will make it last.
This week’s LOVEWORK – Identify one thing that feels like vulnerability to you and do it.
Please share in the comments: How do you define vulnerability?
One of the best things you can do in your marriage to encourage vulnerability is to create moments of safety, emotional safety where your partner feels like they can connect with you and demonstrate vulnerability and still be heard and loved.
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