When you’re experiencing conflict with your partner, you may wonder sometimes: “Why does my partner react this way? It just doesn’t make sense!” And perhaps your partner is thinking the same thing.
The truth is, our behaviors, actions, and reactions to situations are often programmed – meaning we act in certain ways because it is usually the ONLY way we know how to react, and a lot of the time the only way we have ever done so.
Feelings and the way they manifest are an accumulation of our past experiences. A lot of what happens in our brains is unconscious. So if you want your partner to understand you, you have to better understand yourself.
Here are two steps you can take to help you and your partner better understand each other.
Practice Identifying Your Underlying Emotions
To better understand yourself and the source of your feelings, try asking these 3 questions:
- “Am I experiencing any hurt feelings?”
- “Are there any unmet needs behind what I’m feeling?”
- “Are there hidden fears that may be beneath the surface of my emotions?”
Sometimes you can identify the cause of your emotions right away. And sometimes, you have no idea. That’s where a therapist can walk with you to identify the source of those feelings.
Share Your Emotions with Your Partner
If you want your partner to understand you, you need to share your feelings and emotions with them.
Most partners want to be supportive, but they often don’t know how. So, you’ll need to share with them what you’re feeling, what that might look like, and perhaps even what you need.
- Maybe your anger causes you to be easily irritated, and all you need is simply some space.
- Maybe your sadness looks like isolation from others, and what you need is some gentle encouragement to reach out.
- Maybe your anxiousness manifests in racing thoughts, and what you need is just to be heard, uninterrupted.
It is important for us to know how to identify and name what we are feeling so we can better communicate with our partner. The more you do this, the more your partner will understand you and you’ll be able to better support each other.
If you need extra support in understanding your feelings, or if you and your partner need support in how to better understand each other, schedule an appointment today. I can help.
Women and Couples
I come alongside women and couples to help them navigate the relationships in their lives. We all need connection with other people. Because the fact of the matter is, relationships – whether friendships, romantic, or familial – they all matter!
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Cedar Tree's Mission:
There are a lot of broken families who struggle to do life well together.
That’s why we help families create an environment where deeper connection & healing can happen.