by Johanna Galyen | Featured Contributor
Love in marriage is like walking a high-wire.
Look out down below!
One small slip and suddenly you are faced with betrayal. Loss. Hurt feelings. Raw emotions.
When your world starts spiraling out of control, what will you grab onto? What will allow your heart to heal? What will allow you to stop putting walls between you and your spouse and open yourself to vulnerability and love?
It is a simple word, but almost impossible to define.
A lack of trust a relationship will cause it to slowly die from within. The walls are high and thick and impossible for any spouse to scale.
A loss of trust is a betrayal. A dishonesty. A deep disappointment. It is a deep, hot pain. A searing knife that burns immediately upon contact. Its presence is deadly to any relationship. Nothing short of a miracle will cure the disease of betrayal…yet its scars will remain for a lifetime.
When trust is found, it is a little piece of heaven. It is safety, security, a calmness of heart, it is true happiness.
Trust is not built in large grandiose acts of love. It is not swooping in to save the day like Prince Charming on his gallant steed. It is built on small acts of caring.
“When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, what is valued most highly.” Blaine Lee
No one ever really wakes up and says, “Today, I want to be vulnerable!” but for a relationship to thrive, that is exactly what is needed. Being vulnerable, by definition, opens you up to the possibility of hurt either physically or emotionally (www.dictionary.com). Just the even the chance that you could be emotionally hurt is enough for some people to keep their walls high and gates securely locked.
In Brené Brown’s book, “Rising Strong”, she offers 7 explanations of what trust exactly is by using the acronym B.R.A.V.I.N.G.
B – boundaries
Setting clear and well-marked boundaries for yourself and your relationship. Know exactly what you will and won’t do in your marriage. If you made a vow, then stay within that boundary! This provides security and comfort for both of you.
R – reliability
You can be counted on. If you say something, then you keep your word. Promises are not broken with you.
A – accountability
While no one is perfect, if you make a mistake, then own up to it. Seek restitution and forgiveness in your marriage.
In every good relationship, there are secrets that are made to be kept. Whether it be the location of your grandmother’s diamond ring or some horrific embarrassing event, keep your mouth closed. Don’t share intimate details with other people. Loose lips sink ships – was the motto of World War II. Loose lips also sink marriages by losing trust; so if your spouse has shared with you something (not illegal of course), keep that in confidence.
I – integrity
Dr. Bob Jones, Sr was quoted saying “Do Right ’till the Stars Fall.” Hopefully, the stars will not be falling out of the sky, but the saying is still true. Always do what is right. Do it honestly and with uprightness of spirit. By keeping integrity in your marriage, you will show your spouse that you are a trustworthy person.
N – non-judgment
In the definition of vulnerability, you are opening yourself to the possibility of emotional harm. Unfortunately, mistakes will happen in life. Emotional harm can be done. But each person in the marriage needs to have the freedom to fly and try new things in life…without fear of judgment from the other spouse. There is never a need for an “I told you so!” statement in marriage. Nor is there ever a place for a condescending look or expression. Give your spouse the freedom to try new things in their career, clothing choices, education, or business. By being their cheerleader, and not a judge, you will give them the impetus needed to expand their horizons…and in turn, their love for you will increase exponentially.
G – generous
1 Corinthians 13:7 states “Love beareth all things”. It is generous. Love allows you to give freely and abundantly. It believes and remembers the kindness that you have demonstrated in the past. It allows you to make mistakes. A generous heart knows that just because you mess up, does not mean that you are a failure.
No matter what difficulties you are facing in your marriage, I challenge you to be BRAVING in your response. To open your heart with vulnerability and allow it to be healed by your spouse’s trust. Be kind in your responses, keep those confidences, be their cheerleader, seek accountability and forgiveness…but most importantly, love abundantly and generously! Love given is never subtracted, it is only multiplied.
Johanna Galyen, Christian Life Coach at Glowing Still
Johanna is a Christian Life Coach focused on helping women have loving & intimate marriage. She is married to her Galyent knight of 14 years, a homeschooling mother of 4 children (including a teenager who is taller than her). She loves blogging about marriage and her faith. And offers one-on-one coaching through Skype and FaceTime.
She adores cruising on the warm Caribbean sea with a cup of hot chocolate in her hand and prefers jet skiing over shopping. Every Saturday in the fall, she’ll be wearing bright orange and cheering on her UT Volunteers to victory and one day she dreams of having her own Thomas Kinkade gallery of puzzles.