When we make a commitment to a relationship, we agree to be involved in all aspects of each other’s lives. We also commit to giving of our selves to each other. Sharing our lives and sharing our selves—these are at the heart of an intimate relationship. But sharing is not always easy: we are all selfish and we all have aspects of ourself we hesitate to allow our partner to see. It takes courage to open our hearts to deeper sharing. Sharing often feels risky but the rewards are immeasurable.
Points to remember:
• For a relationship to thrive and grow, we have to share not only our outer lives and activities but also our inner experience–thoughts, feelings, opinions and dreams.
• The most important thing to share is our attention and presence. We have to stay engaged and connected.
• When the intimacy and spontaneity of our sharing diminishes, our feeling of connection lessens and the relationship stagnates.
• We all have difficulties sharing our more private and vulnerable thoughts and feelings. These resistances stem from experiences in our childhood and earlier life.
• To share more fully, we have to make efforts to practice generosity and re-open our hearts to our partner.
Think about the following questions and possibly take some notes to help you remember:
• What parts of our lives do we share with each other? Do we share everyday tasks evenly and fairly?
• Do I spontaneously and generously do my share of the daily tasks. Do I do too much or or do I hold back?
• Do we share our opinions, thoughts and plans? Do we listen to each other without interruption or distraction?
• Do I share my innermost intuitions and dreams? How do I stop myself from sharing more?
Have a conversation with your partner:
• Share your responses to the questions above.
• Discuss: What would we both like to share more? What gets in the way of sharing more deeply and fully?