One of the core ingredients of a healthy relation is to risk vulnerability in the presence of your partner. Vulnerability has an element of risk in it, because you are defenseless. You are at a very tender place. Another risk in it is that you have no idea what the outcome will be. You can't be in control and vulnerable. You have to let go of control. Couples who risk this, experience intimacy and connection. It feels like relationship. Not like two individuals sharing a house.
Examples of vulnerability are
- To first initiate contact after conflict. Like to reach out to touch, even if you are at a uncomfortable place in your relationship.
- To ask for a dialogue.
- To initiate sex
- To leave what you are busy with to make contact with your partner when they coming home.
- To say "I love you" first.
You need a lot of safety in your relationship to relate to each other in such a way. If your partner does not relate to you in a vulnerable way, the the important question is not "what is wrong with my partner", but rather " what is it that I am doing that makes it unsafe for my partner to be vulnerable in my presence"
Esther Perel says in her book, Mating in Captivity, the highest experience of power, is to choose to surrender. If you want to win the power struggle, choose vulnerability. It leads to the highest level of intimacy and connection.
Whatch this excellent video on intimacy by Rene Brown.