One Practice That Saves More Relationships Than Anything Else
Jordan Gray says that you can save yourself years of frustration, heartache, and confusion by adopting this one relationship practice.
By Jordan Gray
People often ask me “What’s the one piece of advice you’d give for people to have the best relationship possible?”
I dislike the paint by numbers approach because every relationship needs different things. It’s all so personalized. There is no magic bullet that will make sense for every recipient at any point in time. Different people need to hear different things for where they’re at.
But if there had to be one tip that I would say would benefit every relationship on the planet the most, it’d be this…
Tell the truth.
As in, tell the big, scary, revealing truth. Be absolutely authentic with your partner and tell them what’s going on inside your head more than you currently think you should.
Because it is only when we lay ourselves on the line and say “This is who I am, and this is what’s really going on for me” that we are able to access the kind of love that you see in movies.
Knowing yourself, being aware of your emotions, and being willing to express your emotions are pre-requisites for intimacy.
This is not a relationship-boosting tip… it is a fact.
If you want to be in a functional relationship, you have to show up and let your partner see you as you truly are.
Vulnerability is the access point for deep intimate connections.
But the truth can also feel risky. We fear that if we tell our partners what we really did/said/felt that we won’t be able to handle the consequences. Or that they won’t receive it well.
When we have the courage to tell our partner what’s really going on inside of us, it gives our relationship the opportunity to grow exponentially.
Here are some of the things my clients have told me they were terrified to tell their partner, but that ended up improving their relationship more than anything else…
“I love you more than anything, but I’m not currently in love with you. And I want to be. Would you be willing to see a relationship counsellor with me?”
“I know that we haven’t had sex in a few weeks… and it’s not because I don’t love you. It’s because I had a miscarriage and I’ve been terrified to tell you.”
“My past is darker than I’ve previously let on and I feel like I’ve been dishonest with you. I’ve struggled with eating disorders, sexually compulsive behaviour, and some pretty severe episodes of OCD. Where would you like me to start?”
Without fail, every single one of these clients expressed fear that upon the hearing of their truth, their partners would instantly pack up and terminate the relationship. This is the voice of shame. Shame tries to convince us that our authentic selves are disgusting, wrong, or inherently flawed. And while, yes, we all have imperfections… that does not mean that our imperfections make us unloveable. Everything in nature is imperfect. You don’t look at a tree and say that it’s unloveable for having branches that stick out in random directions. It exists, it is exactly as it is meant to be, just as you are (part of nature, and perfect).
When you tell the truth to your partner, you are able to both drop in to being real again. You move the stuck boulder of energy that you didn’t know was weighing on you so heavily until you put it down. And, when you go first, you give your partner permission to be authentic with you as well.
It’s also common for their to be a surge of sexual energy after you and your partner tell the truth on yourselves since inauthenticities get stuck in the way of our sex drives. Little lies and cumulating inauthenticities in your relationship are like a series of boulders in the river of your love. They don’t stop the love from flowing entirely (at least at first) but they do impede and slow the flow of the river.
I truly believe that the best non-medicinal cure for low libido (in men and women) is deciding to be completely truthful with your partner. I’ve had dozens of clients describe the feeling of telling their partner their scary/real/vulnerable thing, and once it was cleared they either had the most powerful erection they’d had in months or they became the wettest they’d been since they first started dating.
You’ll also experience a huge surge of love and connection after you tell the big, scary truths. More truth = more love.
Bottom line… the truth will set you free.
If you have the courage to speak your truth, cry through your pain, and be real with your partner… you will make it. But if you decide to keep your truth locked up inside of you then it will fester into the thing that ruins your relationship. You are a human. You make mistakes. Come clean about what’s going on for you and your relationship will deepen (with yourself and with your partner).
So where in your relationship could you be more truthful?
What big, scary thing do you hold back from telling your partner about?
Would you be willing to use the safe container of your relationship to heal through your old wounds that you’re ready to move through, once and for all?
The choice, as always, is yours.
This story was previously published on The Good Men Project.