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Author Topic: Being Vulnerable...

May 02, 2019, 01:58:54 PM
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I have been married to the same woman for 11 years. We have two boys, successful jobs, and a great home. Ever since my second son wasn’t born (2013) I have been more distant and closed up emotionally when things get difficult. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety and am currently on medication for that. My wife is beyond amazing and is the best wife I could ever ask for.
     We’ve had several arguments over the past 6 years where I’m so distant she wonders what’s going on. It’s been related to me having a wall around me and not letting her in. She tells me everything and has no problem being vulnerable. We fought again last night and she’s tired of hearing the same responses. I’m hurting so much on the inside because I’m having trouble being vulnerable to her. I don’t know how to change that. I am looking for any advice on how to change my behavior or at least how to take baby steps toward proving I can change.
     I worry about everything and set standards I can’t reach. Has anyone else dealt with this? Thanks in advance.

May 07, 2019, 12:13:54 PM
Reply #1


I'm not sure I can come with any brilliant advice, but as a person who finds it difficult to be vulnerable in front of others, I'll at least try.

First, ask yourself what it is about being vulnerable in front of her that scares you or makes it so difficult. She obviously wants you to share your thoughts and feelings, and would hopefully be glad and honoured if you shared your fears with her. Perhaps you have already had this discussion, but perhaps that is where you should start? By talking about your fears of being vulnerable.

I realise it's not an easy thing, but for me, I've found it's almost always easier to begin by explaining why I'm having trouble opening up. For me, some of the reasons have been that I'm afraid the other person will see me in a different light, or that it will change our relationship, or that I am afraid that they will not be able to deal with what I'm telling them. Sometimes, I try to tell the other person what I need to hear from them. Not in the "repeat the words back to me"-kind of way, but "I really need you to tell me that you understand what I'm saying, and you need to reassure me of some things, because my anxiety is just that bad right now".

Or maybe it would be easier for you to write to her, initially, rather than sit and talk? Can you find other ways of communicating that might make it a little easier for you to open up?

It seems to me that you know that your wife really wants to have a close relationship with you, and wants to share your burdens, and that you want it too. I hope you find a way forward, and wish you all the best.


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