While weekly date nights and using each other’s “love language” might make it easier to create a healthy relationship, nothing will work so long as you engage in counterproductive habits.
I’ve spent 20-plus years as a therapist helping individuals and couples construct mental strength. Growing mentally stronger can make it easier to grow to be a greater partner, bring out one of the best in one another, and improve your relationship.
The primary thing mentally strong couples never do, I’ve found, is use their emotions as weapons.
In a healthy relationship, you may each express your feelings while still respecting where the opposite person is coming from. But some people will use their emotions to control a situation or conflict, sometimes without even realizing it.
How a lot of these statements sound familiar, for you or on your partner?
- I’ve cried during a conversation to make my partner stop talking a couple of difficult subject.
- I’ve expressed anger during a conversation with my partner because I wanted them to vary their viewpoint.
- I’ve tried to make use of guilt to make my partner change their behavior.
- I’ve told my partner I am unable to discuss certain topics surrounding our relationship since the material is just too upsetting.
- I’ve used the silent treatment once I’m offended.
- I’ve reminded my partner that I’m too fragile to handle certain things.
If these behaviors ring true for either of you, you could be using your emotions as weapons.
Many individuals use their emotions as weapons just because it really works. In case your partner desires to get out of doing something, they could say they’re too anxious. Or in the event you want your partner to stop talking, you would possibly raise your voice.
These strategies may be effective ways to get what you would like. But they’re damaging tactics that may obscure what is admittedly occurring.
Someone might use emotional expressions to manage others, because they feel like their real emotions are so uncontrolled. This might tame some internal chaos, but only temporarily.
Try these communication strategies as an alternative:
1. Create emotional rules for your private home
Consider your unofficial house rules. Are you comfortable with them? In case your partner is open to a discussion, speak about your rules and if there are any they’d like to vary.
Indicate behaviors that you have tolerated up to now that you simply might need to adjust now. You could possibly say, for instance, “I notice we slam doors on this house at any time when we’re offended. I ponder if we could find one other technique to tell someone that we’re upset without being so disruptive?”
2. Respect, acknowledge and care for one another’s feelings
If a conversation becomes intense, take a break. Give your partner the advantage of the doubt, but don’t allow their behavior to dictate yours. Separate the behavior from the sensation.
You never need to invalidate their feelings. They’re entitled to whatever emotion they’ve. But they’re the one who’s answerable for what they do with that emotion. Ranging from there can make it easier to construct a stronger sense of trust.
If things begin to get charged, you may say things like:
- “It’s okay to be offended, but it surely’s not okay to scream at me.”
- “It’s okay to feel sad, but it surely’s not okay to disregard me.”
- “It’s okay to feel frustrated, but it surely’s not okay to call me names.”
3. Provide you with a plan together
As an example you received a job opportunity that requires you to maneuver several hours away. You are feeling enthusiastic about it, but your partner feels sad about the potential for moving they usually want you to say no. How do you select what to do?
Does your level of pleasure have to outweigh your partner’s level of sadness about moving? Would you not move because you do not need to do anything that can upset your partner? Do you suggest a compromise, like you will move to the brand new place and are available home on weekends?
There isn’t any scientific formula to follow in relation to making relationship decisions like this. Nevertheless it’s necessary to discuss with your partner openly and truthfully about your feelings. And take each of your emotions into consideration if you tackle issues together.
Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, clinical social employee and instructor at Northeastern University. She is the writer of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” and “13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don’t Do.” Her TEDx talk “The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong” is one of the vital viewed talks of all time. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
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