If there’s anything that can bring clarity to a struggle, it’s being open about it. And if there’s anything that can save a marriage, it’s communicating honestly. Secrets, lies and denial don’t make for good relationships.

Love Is Being Vulnerable

You can’t experience understanding, compassion or friendship without being open and honest. Revealing your struggles can be scary; no one wants to be rejected. At the same time, can anyone truly be your friend or lover if you’re afraid to tell them the truth?

Love is a very big concept that includes things like forgiveness, grace, mercy, patience, acceptance, and tolerance. But to experience the many facets of love you have to become vulnerable. You have to put yourself out there just as you are in the moment and be willing to accept the consequences.

The Consequences of Love

Somewhere along the way we learned that love means always being happy, or feeling good. Well, that’s not exactly true. Sure, joy is the end game of love, but within that there is room for pain, sadness, mistakes, loss and sorrow. It’s the natural balance of the universe.

To be alive is to be given the chance to love and be loved. Love is something that grows, and growth requires an element of struggle. Think of anything you’ve accomplished in life and you will see that there was some struggle. Struggle is not bad, it’s the way we grow – and it’s part of love.

Struggle is Your Friend

When a problem arises in any relationship, even within yourself, it’s a unique opportunity to learn and grow. If you think of a struggle as your friend prodding you to be better, to live up to your full potential, then you’ve learned the secret of life and love. Don’t be afraid to take up the challenge.

Our troubles are meant to be shared because it allows us to grow more. We do need to take personal responsibility for our problems, but that’s different from hiding and thinking we can deal with it alone. We can’t really take responsibility until we’re honest and open.

Take Love’s Risks

So, open up and talk about it. Take the risk of being rejected, misunderstood or feeling humiliated. You’re strong enough to get over that. Take the risk of the other person feeling upset, angry or sad. They need to grow too. Keep accusation and judgment out of the conversation by focusing on growth toward greater love. Even if it’s difficult, embrace the struggle and let it make you stronger. It will be worth it if you don’t give up.