How to Make Your Spouse Your Best Friend — A Quote by Gary Smalley in “I Promise”

“Regardless of how hard a person may try, deep, emotionally-based, intimate, best-friend-type of relationships only happen when you feel safe and secure in the presence of the other… When you feel safe, you automatically open up and share more and more of your deepest self. As you continue opening up, the best-friend relationship begins to happen naturally.”

“Security will never happen in any marriage until partners get over their natural resistance to openness with each other. Why do we have this resistance? Because openness makes us vulnerable, and vulnerability means risk. We’re not quite sure what our spouse will say or do when we truly open up, or how he or she may use what we reveal. What will he think when I dare to reveal this long-hidden truth about myself? What will she say when I tell her what I’ve done? Will he laugh or ridicule me when I reveal to him what I’m thinking? When you risk you can lose…”

“When the risk involves the impairment of a vital relationship, the loss can be devastating. This is why so many marriage partners pull back from connection and intimacy. Usually it’s an attempt to avoid being hurt, humiliated, embarrassed, or simply being made uncomfortable by the prospect of complete openness. We have a natural tendency to avoid risk…”

“The way to overcome this risk is to establish in your marriage the security of knowing that each of you can safely reveal your heart to the other without fear of condemnation. The only way to achieve this kind of marital intimacy is to focus significant time, attention, and energy into creating an environment in which both partners feel secure in each other’s love and acceptance when they make themselves vulnerable by opening up.”

Gary Smalley, “I Promise”, Kindle location 133, 136, 157

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