Safety + Honesty = Intimacy
When I’m safe, I can be honest. When I don’t feel safe, all bets are off. Most people don’t have a clue when they have inadvertently made their spouse feel unsafe. And it may not even be something s/he did. It may be tucked away in the spouse’s head, way in the back of the brain where our stories are kept, complete with all the emotions associated with that story.
Let’s say a person is raised in a chaotic home where alcohol and physical abuse is commonplace. The caregivers (usually mother and/or father), who are supposed to be safe people and create trust in us, are not safe. This creates a storyline in the child that the people closest to you aren’t safe. Be very wary of those who are close to you. And you get married, and you have a person who is very close to you. Even if that person is very safe and honest, the closer you get to that spouse, the more anxiety will be triggered. This is completely counter-intuitive. My spouse is safe and honest. Shouldn’t I be drawing closer? Deep down in your brain, your storyline is triggered that says, People close to you are dangerous. That’s a very powerful message, and if you aren’t aware of it (most people aren’t), you’ll draw away right when the relationship is getting better.