Vulnerability Island (Like Survivor but with more tears)


We have talked about several important topics in our posts specific to creating and maintaining relationships. We have talked about prioritizing, choosing to love, communication, intimacy and whether or not KY Jelly Yours and Mine is worth the 20 bucks if you like a minty muff and numb dick. So what’s left to talk about?

Lee says: During a recent girl’s weekend (or what we affectionately call ‘Bitch Weekend’), one of my dear friends confessed that she wasn’t comfortable letting us meet her new beau because she acts differently with him than she does with us. The other bitches took this to mean that our pal was out of integrity, or for a less P.C. phrase: she was faking it with him.  After I slipped on my therapist hat (oh, who am I kidding, that thing never comes off) and asked a few pointed questions, I came to the conclusion that she was being honest with all of us and that her new boyfriend was getting to see a side of her we see occasionally: vulnerability.

I have been accused on more than one occasion of being a bitch. I know that I have been called worse since I worked with drug addicts, sex offenders and adolescent girls. However, they don’t get to see all facets of me. The only person who does is my husband. Even though I am quite vulnerable with people and can have intimate experiences (with my clothes on), Paul is the only one who sees all of me. Now get you head out of the gutter and pay attention.

Most people create facades to hide certain aspects of their personality or past. They believe that who they are is not worth a second chance and consign that part of their being to hide while the mask goes on dates. The mask is there to protect, play games and manipulate. It also serves another purpose; it blocks you from creating intimacy and being vulnerable. We don’t realize that while seemingly protecting us it also ultimately makes the hurt worse but that is a topic for a future post.

Here we are talking about vulnerability and sharing it with your partner.  No masks. No pretense.  Mano a mano. We use words like partner, mate, spouse, husband, wife, lover and significant other to denote something special: We are on the same team. You share your secrets and strategies with that one person who, we hope, shares your goals or will support you in attaining your dreams. This is a true relationship. True couples do not compete with each other. They take their union and pit themselves against the world. 

I see my husband as a peaceful island for me. I retreat to him to feel safe and relax. There are no airs or need to impress. He loves me. If there is a threat or a challenge we band together and take it on. Although the outcome may not always be favorable, we never lose because we have each other. To the world we may be the bitch or the geek, but to each other, we are home.

I think I’ll go cuddle with my hippy geek now. All this disclosure makes me feel all exposed.   

          Paul says: I love you, Pooky. (Can’t write now. Too busy cuddling.)  

One comment

  • jonreika

    This really hit home, reading this I was thinking that I was that girlfriend they were discussing but of course I am not. I can identify with this. I have survived many hurts throughout my life and although i partially worked through most of them there is still that desire to put that wall up. The wall is not just for men or my husband its for my girlfriends. My wall may manifest in different ways. It may be that you don’t hear from me for a long time doesn’t mean that I don’t miss you or care about you. What it may mean is that you may be too emotionally healthy and you’re getting too close. Yeah, I know its unhealthy but we’re being real right now. I don’t think anyone wants to be hurt but I have found that I’ve been cheating myself from an emotionally healthy life. By avoiding being vulnerable I have cheated many people especially my husband. I am uncomfortable with myself hence I am uncomfortable with others. I hate feeling needy but would jump at the bit to be needed.

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