I used to think I wanted an emotional man until I got one!
After my divorce when Otto and I were first together 22 years ago, I remember feeling so loved and cared for in a way I had never felt before.
But I also remember being frustrated and puzzled at the same time as well.
I wasn’t used to a moody partner who very freely showed his emotions.
While we both agreed that we’d never felt anything like this love and connection before…
Otto would fall into depressed moods every now and then and I couldn’t understand it.
Of course there was a logical reason for this…
He’d left his 8 year old son and arranging visitation was a nightmare for him.
But here was my thinking at the time…
Wasn’t our love enough for him?
And I spent a lot of time trying to “fix” his moods because I saw a “problem” which of course never got me what I wanted.
Even though I said I wanted to be with a partner who showed what he was feeling…
I guess I really didn’t.
In the past 22 years, I’ve learned a lot about relationships and being with an emotional, moody partner.
Here are a few thoughts…
1. We are all moody at times.
It took me awhile to see that I was just as moody as Otto but I internalized my feelings while he externalized his.
I somehow had the idea that I was “superior” because I was “steady” and didn’t show what I was feeling.
What a joke!
As the years went by, I began to see that my ignoring my emotions or internalizing them…
Was actually putting up a barrier to connection with my beloved.
I had been holding a lot of my true self back and hadn’t even realized it.
I began to see that I didn’t have to mirror Otto’s emotional journey but…
I did need to be honest about what I was feeling and share them more than I had.
2. Our emotions ebb and flow
Our feelings come from the thoughts we believe to be true–and those change from moment to moment.
When Otto believed he’d never be able to see his son…
He’d go into a depressed slump.
When I believed Otto would stay in that slump and somehow I had to fix it for him…
I’d get pushy.
I discovered that because our thoughts shifted, there is an ebb and flow to reactions to our feelings.
3. We don’t have to “do” anything
I also discovered I didn’t have to “do” anything for Otto to feel better or be happy.
It wasn’t my job!
I could love all of him no matter what his mood.
I could also view my internal emotional landscape more kindly as well.
I didn’t have to make me “wrong” for some of the feelings that I held back.
They shift all by themselves.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re dealing with a moody partner…
–-What problem do you perceive moodiness is creating?
–What is it about someone’s moodiness that you want to change?
–What problem does your reaction cause in your relationship?
If you want to build connection instead of judgment and being critical…
Be curious and find out more about what your partner is believing to be true.
Without trying to fix him or her, just listen.
The same goes for connecting with your moods.
The mood will evaporate as it softens and is acknowledged.
We’ve seen this to be true and you may see it as well.