When there is safety in a relationship, there is freedom to grow. There is relief from distress. There is vision, and there is intimacy.
Creating a container of safety in a relationship focuses on the concept of stability. This does not indicate there will not be difficulties and free from challenges, but what it does say is that "for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, etc...", the relationship remains.
How can you create such a container of safety and stability, which closes the door leading one or both to leave the relationship and identifies the entrances on how to connect more strongly.
This strategy of relational longevity requires you and your partner to sit and reflect on a set of distinct questions that will help identify the strengths and weaknesses in your relationship container.
- What are your expectations of the relationship?
- What are your expectations of each other?
- How can we express the important exchanges (intimacy and conflict)?
- Where is this relationship going?
- Are there any deal breakers?
- What things or situations create discontent, resentment, or fear in our relationship?
- What are both of us willing to do to keep this container safe and strong?
- What brought us together as a couple?
- When do we feel most connected? What are we doing? How can we do that more often?
Once you have identified what this relationship container looks like, its maintenance involves acknowledging its presence "in good times and in bad times".
Have you ever walked alone on a beach or in a forest? The freedom of that safe space can generate a remarkable shower of openness and ease.
Consider the back door of your container, and foster ways to protect each other and your relationship from nearing that escape too soon.
Now, envision the front door of your container, and begin to cultivate new avenues for greater intimacy while investing in the things that created this relationship in the first place.