Navigating emotions in a relationship

Your heart races, your face gets hot and the feeling of suffocation overwhelms all other senses. You don’t know if you’re going to blow or deflate, but something’s gotta give. How do you control these intense emotions that come up without hurting yourself or others around you?

Last night, I got upset with my partner for feedback he gave me that I asked for him to give. I was upset that he didn’t deliver the feedback in the way I wanted him to. It sounds so far fetched, and I know that if a friend was describing the same situation back to me, I would be flabbergasted by his/her overreaction. But when it’s happening to you, it feels like a train going full blast with the brakes out of commission. I was trying hard to not get upset, and I wish I could say that I succeeded, but I didn’t. I totally failed, and let the emotions get the better of me and got angry.

The hard part is trying to explain yourself to the other person without sounding ridiculous. I was doing all the text book things of saying how I felt and how it made me feel and what he could do in the future that would help me. But when the emotions are flying all over, the words don’t come out sounding as good as it does in your head.  Our conversation didn’t flow as smoothly as we both would have liked and it got to the point where I enacted the dreaded silent treatment.

Years of relationship experience has taught me that the silent treatment gets you nowhere and hurts the relationship more than helps it. And with each new relationship I enter,  always swear that I’m not going to do it and promise myself that I will always communicate in a calm and effective manner to solve the problem. But sometimes I fail. And so, I had to tuck away into my own little world away, in silence and just think. This is hard for my partner, as he’s the opposite and needs to talk things out right away. Brooding in silence always makes me feel bad for hurting the other person and I start to feel guilty and usually apologize pretty quickly. On the upside, in those solitary moments, I do tend to think inwardly and digest what happened and why it happened. I figured out why I got upset and realized and it was nothing at all to do with him, but everything to do with how I was feeling about myself in that moment. And I vowed to do better next time.

A few hours later, we eventually talked and had a sweet heart to heart about what happened and why it happened, and we made up and all was good. What I love about my partner is that he’s open to these conversations, and truly makes a concerted effort to take my concerns into account and accommodate them as do I for him. It makes me feel confident about him and the relationship, knowing that even through the emotional outbursts that occur, we can always navigate our way back to the centre.

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