Many couples go through their daily lives harbouring within them hidden fears and inhibitions. Partners may conceal their secret fears from one another, from their families and the world. Some partners live with the worry that their hidden fear will be exposed within relationship. And for many couples this burden of secrecy comes at a heavy price for open, loving and trusting relationships.
Perhaps your hidden fear stems from childhood; fear of the dark; fear of trusting; fear of being shamed ; fear of inadequacy and inferiority; fears around identity; fear of social engagement; fear of intimacy; fear of being who you really are in life? Maybe your fear is a family secret? Is it a fear of illness; mental illness; a phobia? Perhaps even with the person closest to you, your partner, you are frightened to speak about your fears? Maybe you think that talking about your fears will only make them worse? Perhaps you feel talking about your fears will make you look stupid? Maybe you feel your partner might lose respect for you? Perhaps you’re thinking: “Well, maybe, just maybe, I could talk to a close friend, but not my partner?”
Living with hidden fears on a daily basis can sap your energy and your sense of confidence and self-esteem. Part of you wants to break free, tell all, and become the person you really are. But sometimes fear of fear holds you back. “If only” becomes the mantra of desperation. But just like the caterpillar waiting to break out of its cocoon, the transformation into the butterfly awaits you when you let go of fear.
Fears exposed may not be so fearsome after all. This can set you free.The fears that have consumed your days and darkened your life can dissipate. You will begin to see human existence and loving relationships through a new lens of hope and trust. Most reassuring of all, when you reveal your fears to your partner, you will most likely discover that he / she too has harboured hidden fears – all this time.
Exploring your fears openly and candidly with your partner can be therapeutic. Most essentially, it may generate within your relationship a new sense of unity, a deeper level of trust and renewed intimacy. It can also facilitate your partner to explore and share his / her fears and perhaps make it possible for you both to see one another as never before.
At different intervals in your life, fears may return or new fears arise. But having named your fears previously; you will have learned how to manage and overcome fears by sharing and exploring them within your relationship. Fears have less power when you are not isolated and alone with them.
Share with your partner the hidden fears that you both have harboured! Discuss the fears that have emerged within your relationship. Agree to discuss your fears, as they arise for you both, and support one another to deal with them.
If you are encountering problems in your relationship or if you wouldlike to explore unresolved relationship issues, and would like to speak to somebody on a confidential basis, you might like to speak to ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Counselling Service.
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