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T/J -- Safe

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hexed posted 9/5/2013 23:42 PM

I thought the comments about safe and the different perspectives were interesting.

I feel very physically safe with and protected by my TG.

He views me as his safe place emotionally, particularly with some of his issues with PTSD.

I don't give him anything in terms of physical safety but I create a 'home' which he didn't really have before me.

I feel safe with hime emotionally with the current trials and dramas of my life. With my past things... At least as much as I can... I'm working on that.

What does this mean for me? SAFE is the overwhelming sense of comfort I have when I need him, I know he's there for.

What is safe for you?

jennie160 posted 9/6/2013 09:25 AM

Safe for me is both physically and emotionally. When I was with XH I felt physically safe in a sense, I knew he could protect me if anything happened. But I didn't actually feel physically or emotionally safe FROM him. I had to walk on eggshells to protect myself. I couldn't open up and be honest because I had to protect myself from him.

But with SO I do feel both physically and emotionally safe. I feel safe to be myself without fear of criticism. I can be 100% honest and open, share my hopes and dreams. But it didn't come over night. My trust had to grow in him first, as my trust grew I gradually started to open up more.

I think that SO feels physically safe with me simply for the fact that he knows I won't be the one to cause physical harm but beyond that he can do a better job of physically protecting himself. What I really offer him is emotional safety, I offer him support, a safe place to just be. If he has had a bad day he knows I will be there, not necessarily to talk or offer solutions but just to be there.

For me, emotional safety greatly outweighs my need for physical safety and is the #1 quality I look for in a partner. I feel pretty capable of protecting myself physically and even if I'm not, physical wounds are a lot easier to heal than emotional.

Newlease posted 9/6/2013 10:10 AM

Safe for me means emotional safety. Physical safety is something I can do for myself. I don't tend to put myself in situations where I need a protector.

I can tell SO anything. I can share my emotions. I haven't experienced that with any other partner. I just feel like he is my home.


Crescita posted 9/6/2013 12:20 PM

Safe is strictly emotional for me as well. I donít put myself in physically compromising situations so any physical safety I feel with a partner is just the strength in numbers I would feel with anyone vs. being alone.

Emotional safety comes from trust, consideration, feeling that your partner cares, and acts in the best interest of you and the relationship.

Not to be too tangential, but people talk about how marriage is supposed to be difficult, I disagree. Life is difficult. Marriage is a partnership which must constantly adjust to those difficulties. Your partner canít be your adversary; you have to be able to rely on them. Safety is knowing your partner will be there for you through lifeís hurdles, not the one out there putting more up along the way.

wildbananas posted 9/7/2013 13:16 PM

Safe for me is strictly emotional... the EAs always hit me harder than the PA(s?) did. I haven't felt truly safe with a partner... well, ever, now that I think about it. Not really.

I still have hope that I'll find that someday. It'll be a bit of rough sledding to get to that point with someone, I think, but I'm willing to try with the right person.

Amazonia posted 9/7/2013 14:17 PM

Safe is both emotional and physical for me, and I think both genders deserve to feel it. As someone who was sexually abused in the past, I really have to trust someone to be intimate with them, and that's a big part of safety for me. Someone has joked here (and I've seen it elsewhere) that the worst men fear in dating is being laughed at, while women fear being murdered... There's some truth to that.

cmego posted 9/7/2013 14:34 PM

I'm with wildbananas here.


I need emotional safety, and I know it is going to be a rough road getting there, but I think with the right guy, it will work out. I will feel emotionally safe and secure.

I wasn't like this before my marriage, so it is somehow a by-product OF the marriage. But, I can't sweep my past under the rug and pretend I wasn't changed. It is what it is, I have PTSD and I know it. From the stories on SI, and having IRL friends, I know those good guys do exist. I just need to find the one for me.

Sad in AZ posted 9/7/2013 15:09 PM

It's funny that this has come up; I was thinking about this the other day with regard to the breakup of my M. It was as a result of click saying that she was being taken to task by her counselor for things she did in her M.

I mentioned in another thread that I don't show much emotion; it's inbred in me to not reveal when I'm hurt. Well, during the betrayal I was an emotional wreck--screaming, crying--basically berserk at times, and this is one of the reasons that the X didn't want to R. Yeah, a big part was that he didn't want to do the hard work, but I think I scared the shit out of him with my freak-outs. He had never seen that side of me because it had never existed before. I guess I made him feel unsafe because he made me feel unsafe.

I can't answer the actual question; I have no 'safe' these days, but I deal with it as I've dealt for years. My safe place is within myself.

inconnu posted 9/7/2013 15:17 PM

I had a false sense of being physically safe with ex, because I thought he loved me enough to save me if ever I was in danger. Instead, he's the one who knowingly exposed me to the physical danger of STDs by cheating on me, contracting a STD, and not telling me for over 4 years.
It's really hard to feel safe around someone who does that, kwim?

When I'm able to be vulnerable and open emotionally, without fear of being mocked or disregarded - that's how I feel safe now.

cayc posted 9/7/2013 15:34 PM

Safe for me goes beyond just my romantic relationship or friendships. It's the absence of uncertainty. If I don't have everything categorized (all knowns known, all unknowns identified with a plan to handle) then I'm in a slightly panicky state.

And it is most very definitely tied to my M. I've always been a perfectionist and slightly anxious, but nothing like what I am now. Where I have to psych myself up to go to a store I haven't been to before. If I can get someone to go with me, then that alleviates the anxiety. But if I have to go by myself? It can take me weeks to work up the courage. I'm strong enough that when I have to do things regardless of how I feel, I can. But it sure doesn't feel good.

What's funny though is after I've met the challenge. So in my store analogy once I've gone, I feel fine, and I wonder what all the fuss was about!

It works the same with people. I pretty much trust everyone from the get go, but it's a situation that has to be re-proved periodically, and can easily be disrupted by say my SO not contacting when I think he should be, and then my mind will start off down the path of worst case scenarios.

Well now, so much for safe. Because apparently it seems I'm a basket case lol.

cmego posted 9/7/2013 17:00 PM


I agree, but in each scenario you mention, there is an element of building trust, right?

So, the don't trust it (scary, new people, looking lost, whatever...), but you make yourself go. Therefore, building trust in yourself that you can handle the situation. Trusting the store not to have sales people laugh at you when you walk in. You have a successful visit, the store earned your trust, you will return.

With friends, trust is built with time and consistency. Did they call you? Check on you? Show up on time? Show respect? Not gossip? Each item then earns trust and a relationship is born.

With kids...we teach them trust is earned with the right behavior. Want to ride you bike down the street? I need to trust that you will look both ways, let me know where you go, come back on time.

With SO's the same. Over time and with consistent behavior, the trust is earned.

Most of us were in long marriages where the trust was broken over and over and over. The pavlovian response will then be switched to "not trust" instead of "trust" because we were...taught that way.

Post infidelity healing now involves having to learn who to trust and who not to trust. And, dammit, the only way to learn is to try.

In order for people to earn trust, they have to be given opportunities, right? With any situation; new friends, new SO, new stores, new streets to bike on, we hand XX the opportunity to earn trust. Either they will reciprocate and earn trust back, or they will not.

Ariabook posted 9/7/2013 17:16 PM

Safe FEELS physical to me, but I'm pretty sure it comes down to emotional. I literally tremble when I'm around a guy I don't feel safe with, it doesn't need to be someone whose a rapist or a murderer... it can be ANY guy, I tremble or get a really ache stomach.

I believe this is the reason it is SO hard for me to see myself with someone else. Guys SCARE me. I trusted DD's Dad so much, both physically and emotional and got BURNED. I can't do it again.

NaiveAgain posted 9/7/2013 21:52 PM

He views me as his safe place emotionally, particularly with some of his issues with PTSD.

I don't give him anything in terms of physical safety but I create a 'home' which he didn't really have before me.

Same here. He tells me that home is anywhere that I am, and he has never felt completely comfortable and at home, ever, until now. And since we both have PTSD, we are both really good at being patient and tolerant of each other's weirdness from time to time.

I do feel I can tell him anything, I can cry in front of him, I can freak out, get grumpy, and be totally honest and he can deal. I can call him up anytime and tell him I need him or I am upset about something and he is there for me.

All these things put together helps me to feel safe.

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