Finding a Place of Honesty, Authenticity, and Love

Written by: Steven Andrews, M.A., M.Div.
Finding a Place of Honesty, Authenticity, and Love

Can you tell your partner everything? When intimate relationships are built on a foundation of honesty, they can reach a level of profound authenticity and mutual understanding. But since the beginning of time, it seems, people have been prone to hide from each other. Even in the closest and most fulfilling relationships, we are afraid to reveal the full complexity of who we are and how we feel.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a process of communication designed to help people be fully honest with each other without putting their partner on the defensive. Developed by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, it is not just about physical violence, but emotional, spiritual, and mental violence, any form of communicating or being that might lead to a person feeling “violated.”

Full and complete honesty is a vulnerable proposition. In marriage, in dating, or in other close relationships, what if we tell another person how we feel, and they don’t like what we have to say? What if they reject our feelings or reject us? After all, for the other person, there is vulnerability involved, as well. We are often insecure about how our partners feel about us. Do they love us? Will they leave us? Can they really accept us, fully and completely, for who we are, or do we need to keep some part of ourselves in the shadows?

NVC is designed to help us be completely honest without making our partner feel angry or defensive. It is centered around the insight that we all have feelings and needs, and that these feelings and needs can be a universal language that helps us navigate the choppy waters of communication—until we get to the beautiful, but still-occasionally-rocky, island of authenticity.

To learn more about NVC, you can check out this helpful resource:
You may also consider booking an appointment with me or one of the other experienced relationship counselors at Summit Counseling Center.

Either way, may you find a place of honesty, authenticity, and love, either on your own or with your partner—in every facet of your life.