Deciding to go ahead and feel the fear in a relationship requires checks and balances. Embodied as guidelines… so to speak.
This isn’t editing this is negotiating.
Imagine this kind of relationship is a sea full of sharp rocks. Any of which can sink the whole couple-thing. Most people steer clear for the risks, but it can be sailed through and with enjoyment provided the sailor speaks to the navigator and visa versa.
I really understand how this works so bear with me.
Firstly, it requires honesty in yourself as projected to another. But, the honesty comes at a premium. Just as important as is the sharing out is the feedback in as to how it was received. If the feedback is: “oh, ok no problem”; or: “oh ok that’s interesting”, then it’s all clear to carry on.
Never share without the balance of the feedback it’s irresponsible and selfish and emotionally dangerous.
Any bogus feedback in is not bloody on, and everyone will suffer in the long run. So brutal honesty in the feedback, even if it’s “blank” is the way. Any duff info such as: all good – when it’s not at all, is a hangable offence.
If the feedback is “hold it: Fuck me ouch”. Then something important happens. In the first instance, you as the sharer, do not apologise but you do wait, reassure, give encouragement but you let it be owned. Preferably, the best type of encouragement has been deduced beforehand – maybe reassurance. Most importantly, you do not modify to delete such sharing in the future. Neither are you an insensitive ass who keeps on keeping on. It’s a learning curve people.
Secondly, there is under no circumstances sulking or silent-treatment or punishment. This undermines the whole thing. And these passive behaviours are not only unnecessary, but they will slow everything down. These behaviours are also hard to eradicate, so if you fall into their trap best to send up a signal flare. Maybe a “help me” I am sulking; or “help me” I am being a moron. Maybe even just sorry I am stuck being a Wally and need some time. If your partner is able to identify and ask for help, best to leap in quickly because it is a quick way out, and a huge plus for them that they can be so objective.
Lastly, always (try to) be grateful when someone shares something even if it hurts. Sometimes people share personal things together with warnings and often some trepidation. Which might seem silly – like “there was nothing surprising there, what are you talking about?”. They might ask for reassurance that you are ok. Generally people don’t want to hurt you more than you can take. Always be careful to look for their anxiety and know that it probably meant they exposed their truth. It’s a risky business. Easily corrected in the feedbacks.
I suspect that the whole process isn’t linear and something that was ok last week might not fly this week. Who knows what factors effect, so whilst the whole thing is a learning curve it may also be evolvable in any direction.
It’s that simple I reckon.