Emotions in Relationships: Which Ones Are Safe?

Sally dissolved in tears when Tom, her husband of 10 years, stormed out after a heated discussion about their finances.

They had a modest amount in their savings account and Sally wanted to spend it on a cruise this summer because she felt frustrated, discouraged and was so tired of the restrictions this past year….

And Tom wanted to keep the money in the bank because he felt uncertain and very fearful about the future.

Both had intense feelings about the topic and they fought every time Sally brought it up.

She reached out to us to help them sort it all out and come to some kind of resolution.

Here’s what Sally and Mark discovered as we talked during our session and what you may find helpful around emotions in relationships…

1. Your emotions will pass if you allow them to

If you really look at how your emotions have played out with you and other people…

You’ll recognize that they come and go.

They don’t last forever and when you see that, you won’t be so afraid of them.

You’ll see your feelings as nothing to fix in yourself or in others because they will pass of their own accord–if you let them.

When Sally and Tom stopped to see their arugments that had been fueled by their intense emotions…

They saw that those feelings did pass even though the situation hadn’t been resolved.

When they didn’t carry over their fears and constantly mull them over…

They just got on with their lives together.

They saw that talking about the situation when they were both emotionally overwhelmed didn’t solve anything.

In fact, it made it worse.

2. All of your emotions can be an invitation to examine your beliefs

Even though we don’t recommend digging in and focusing on your emotions and in the process making them bigger…

We have seen benefit in gently noticing some beliefs that are creating the emotion.

Sally noticed that underneath her frustration and strong desire to go on a cruise was her belief that she deserved a vacation in an exotic place, no matter what, because she wanted to forget the restrictions of the past year.

She thought a trip would solve her problems.

She also saw that even when they seemed to be getting along, in the back of her mind, she had the fear that they would get into a fight over any little thing.

When Tom looked underneath his fear, he saw that from watching his parents struggle with money, he had carried that same emotion into his marriage.

He saw that he’d carried a belief that there never was enough money and never would be.

As they both looked beneath what appeared on the surface, they saw beliefs that they could decide whether they wanted to keep active or not.

3. Your emotions can be an opening to connection

As you look at what your emotions are showing you about what you’re believing…

You can make the choice to open to connecting instead of pulling away.

As Sally and Tom shared their beliefs with each other, they could understand more about why they had clashed so often about money.

When they opened more to one another, they saw a third option available to them.

Sally saw that she didn’t have to go on an expensive cruise but would be happy taking a less expensive trip and just getting away.

Tom saw that he had become (in his words) very “stingy” with money, allowing his fear to overwhelm him.

When he actually looked at their financial situation with clearer eyes, he could see how they could make a more modest vacation work.

They discovered that they didn’t have to held hostage by their emotions and continued arguments.

They saw that any emotion they had was “safe” to feel and then allow it to pass as it normally does.

They saw that they didn’t have to be afraid to feel.

How about you?

If you’d like to have a conversation with us about handling emotions in yourself or in a relationship, contact us here

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