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When forming deep, intimate relationships, we share a vast amount of personal information that we wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable sharing with others.
We feel safe sharing our deepest dreams, desires, fears, past histories, traumas, and goals for the future. Generally, this is a reciprocal and gradual process.
Healthy intimate relationships involve partners who are mutually responsive to each other's needs. This means recognizing, understanding, and supporting each other, both in times of pain (e.g., losing a parent or a job) and gain (e.g., getting a promotion, announcing a pregnancy).
There is a mutual choice for wanting the relationship to continue indefinitely.
It allows for trust to continue to deepen, common knowledge to further be shared, mutuality to envelop, care to be shown, and continual effort be put into responsiveness and interdependence for both partners.
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Stay-in-love partners know that the need to feel in control at times is natural and that it offers an opportunity for learning and helping each other. Partners have confidence in their own autonomy to not react defensively or take it personally.
As relationships mature, many begin to feel less willing to give that kind of unconditional nurturing, and might not be as available.
Stay-in-love couples understand the importance of not letting those special “sweet spots” die. They know that their partner sometimes needs to feel that guaranteed comfort and safety, and are more than willing to act as the good parent when asked.
If you find it difficult to share your past experiences, ask yourself why you are reluctant to open up. Getting to the root of the reluctance is key.
Before you talk to your partner about something difficult, find the right words to express it first. Until you can verbalize it, it remains unknown to you and to your partner.
If you do not feel safe enough to talk through these issues, consider journaling, or talking with a counsellor until you are clear about how you are feeling.
When you decide to open up, start by taking small steps to test the waters first.
The more you practice and see that you can do it, the easier it will get for you to open up.
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A codependent person tends to rely heavily on others for their sense of self and well-being. There is an enmeshed sense of responsibility to another person to meet their needs and/or for their partner to meet all of their needs to feel okay about who they are.