We all have feelings. That in itself is not a problem. Feelings give us a lot of information. We learn what we like and don’t like. That translates into what we want and don’t want. Without this information, we cannot direct our lives. We don’t like working with numbers; we like working with people. That is useful to know.
We often delay sharing our feelings in a relationship because we don’t want to bring up something negative or stir up an argument. Of course, sharing feelings does not have to be an argument if we know how to have that conversation. Delaying the conversation often brings more intensity to the feelings because they are on hold, and we have time to build a case about our feelings. This is more likely to bring conflict.
Then there is the phenomenon of a present-time hurt that reactivates an old hurt or trauma that has nothing to do with our partner, but the past explodes into the present because your partner’s behavior presents a facsimile of remembered pain from your childhood. Neither you nor your partner are aware of this historical pain, which hurts badly. That is complicated and requires a very sensitive conversation that you don’t know how to have because you are overwhelmed by the past in the present.
Talking these feelings through and understanding each other without blame is a precious opportunity to heal these old injuries. In fact, that is what makes your relationship with each other unique and transformational. No one else will reactivate you like your partner, and that provides you with insight about yourself, your history, and what needs healing.
The key is to share your feelings intimately. Anger is not intimate. It is not even a primary feeling. Underneath anger is usually hurt and fear. We catch our feelings early and discipline ourselves not to make a case against our partner; we share the hurt and fear. That is much easier for our partner to hear, and gives the conversation a constructive direction. Anger is only going to cause defensiveness and argument.
We teach these skills in our Forever Love Skills courses. It is good to learn skills and practice them so that they become automatic when you need them. Most of us go unconscious when we feel negative feelings and words come out of our mouths that can be destructive or cause defensiveness. That sets our cause back because we want to create understanding and ask for a new behavior that works better.
Join us for our online classes and learn how to share feelings with your partner and create deeper understanding. Find out how to express what hurts and what you want that will create love. This new way of sharing feelings will benefit you as individuals and as a partnership.