Quantcast
How Allowing Fear To Lead The Way I Love Impacted My Marriage

How Allowing Fear To Lead The Way I Love Impacted My Marriage

A healed heart makes room for fearless love.

Her Voice

Remember the first time you knew what love was? The innocent, no hesitation kind of love. The one that had no frame of reference for heartbreak, but literally survived on 'this is what life is meant to be'. Then the terrible, awful happened. Some level of disappointment seeped in and changed the game; heartbreak found you and it altered what love, trust, and maybe even self-worth looked like.

How do we get back to that innocent, fearless love?

As I examine the residual layers of my experiences with trauma — insecurity, worthiness, and brokenness, I am learning that there's no getting back to fearless love because it never left. It's just deeply buried and waiting to be activated. Underneath hurt and shame, there's a deep well of love that could never fully be tapped into because my heart was once mismanaged. I found it hard to trust someone else to handle the most fragile muscle I have. I knew that I had holes in my heart that I wanted filled but trusting someone to pour love into those holes meant that I'd have to trust them to hold my heart carefully. That was not something I could handle.

As a young girl trying to find peace within discomfort, trauma held my hand and guided me into survival mode.

My therapist pointed out that years of holding onto that trauma and not properly processing its pain left me with no capacity to embrace, or even adjust, to my current environment. One that is safe and ready to be filled with love and trust. Instead, I'd trained myself to become emotionally detached from anyone that showed signs of wanting to love me or showed signs that they could be trusted — an avoidant attachment style (sounds so cold-hearted, doesn't it?). Friendships included, your girl was not interested in being close with or loved by anyone! I'd learned to live my life with one foot in and the other foot out of all relationships that way I'd have an easy escape from the mere possibility of being hurt.

Romantically, I'd even gone so far as to believing that if we did not have a label on the connection, then its ending would be painless. Eventually, but still immature, I began to believe that even if we put a label on it, I could give just enough of my heart away to show that I'm committed but not enough to leave me hurt should the relationship not last.

This unhealthy, fearful love has had a pretty lengthy shelf-life in my marriage.

Keeping people at a distance doesn't work; I've hurt myself, possibly more than someone else could have but also the person I love. Allowing fear and insecurity to lead how I love, it's impacted my marriage in a way that periodically has my husband ask if it's his fault that I find it hard to love him as much as he loves me.

That's painful. I can't protect us both. I can't protect me from a possibility that may never happen, and I can't protect him from being hurt as I occasionally pull away. The more I do the work required to heal old wounds, the more I realize that the ones that broke my heart are not going to be the ones to heal me. It won't even be the love of an amazingly patient life partner that will mend my broken pieces.

It is the love I feed myself that will fill those holes. It's an inside job of setting a standard for what love means to me, instead of a fierce avoidance of pain being my compass.

It's being able to accept all of who I am, as I am; knowing my worth and being patient with myself on the journey. Once that is secure, then I'll be able to discern who is deserving of all the love I have to give, instead of closing everyone out.

In a recent conversation with my Pastor about love and trust, she explained when they don't come naturally, we must intentionally make the choice to love and trust others until it becomes our default setting. It will mean making the tough decision to be vulnerable when I'd much rather be guarded and merely survive; it's up to me to choose to receive and give the deepest love I have to offer. For many reasons, but most importantly, it's what my heart naturally wants to do. No matter how much pain my heart has felt, if I'm honest, I still have a strong desire to love so freely, it has become the only way I know how to live.

Just like all muscles, our hearts must be exercised.

Of course, we want to limit the pain our hearts may encounter, but by trying to section off access to our hearts, we're also taking away the light it needs to flourish and the joy it needs to feel. We're most alive when we allow our hearts to do its job — to love completely. Didn't you feel free when you loved and trusted wholeheartedly, instead of the time(s) when you tried to love with one foot in and the other foot on the gas, ready to cut all ties at the first sign of trouble?

The second time around may not feel as pure as the first time, but it's up to us to allow it to be as pure as possible. When we add our past traumas, we begin to diminish the possibility of loving fearlessly.

A healed heart makes room for fearless love.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com.

Featured image by Shutterstock

stop-trying-to-change-your-partner

You ever go into a dating experience like, 'He’s great, but he needs to work on XYZ,' and before you know it, you're over his head every second you can get to remind him to work on that same 'XYZ?' Yes? Well, perfect because this article is for my lovely fixers; it’s time to dive deep into learning to discern better potential long-term partners for you!

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
This Couple Once Broke Up Over Money And Now They've Made It Their Mission To Teach Others About Building Wealth

Julien and Kiersten Saunders met in 2012 while working for the same company and they quickly fell for one another. However, their whirlwind romance was cut short following an extravagant vacation. When they got home from Panama, reality set in, and they were forced to have a tough conversation about money after they both had different opinions on recouping the money spent on the vacation.

Keep reading...Show less
Five Things To Know Before Becoming A Dog Mom

This post is in partnership with Blue Buffalo.

So you’re thinking about becoming a dog mom? We love that for you! Having a happy, furry friend to greet you at the door each day, cuddle up on the couch with, and keep you in touch with the great outdoors is one of life’s greatest joys. And that’s before we get into all the cute puppy outfits there are to buy! But there are some key and non-negotiable things to know and consider before saying yes to bringing home a fur baby.

Keep reading...Show less
sagittarius-season-december-2022-monthly-horoscopes

December is a powerful month for the world and a month where love, power, and connection are all coming together as one. With the Astrological transits that are happening this month, true gifts are appearing to tap in to, and the possibilities are truly endless right now. Sagittarius Season is always a time when there is more hope and excitement in the air, and December is no different. There are a lot of opportunities this month if you open your heart to receiving them.

Keep reading...Show less
Here's The Real-Life Story Behind Netflix's 'From Scratch'

If you’ve recently heard the loud sobbing of women across social media, you can thank Netflix’s new romantic drama From Scratch for that. The series, based loosely on the memoir of the same name, which was written by Tembi Locke, centers on the story of a Black woman named Amy (Zoe Saldaña) who leaves behind her life and budding law career to move to Italy to study art. While there, she meets a local professional chef named Lino, and the two begin a romance that brings together two different cultures.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts