by Orna and Matthew Walters
When we are in a committed relationship there will be high times and low times, good times and bad. The idea is to weather the storm – TOGETHER!
The best course of action is to leave space for your partner to feel whatever they may be feeling. Often we may desire for things to be different. We wish our partner would forgive our mistakes. Or we wish we could forgive more quickly and no longer feel anger. However, leaving space for what is allows for the feelings and the situation to breath.
This doesn’t mean to leave the room, or check out. It means to allow your partner to feel and express their feelings without taking them personally, or allowing ourselves to be triggered into a defensive stance.
Intimacy in a relationship does not require agreement. What we want most of all is to feel heard, seen and loved – and agreement is simply not part of that equation. Agreement is often an ego desire to get your partner to see your point of view. Needing agreement in this way can continue to push your partner away and blocking the intimacy that we truly desire.
Healthy Relationships Involve Conflict
Every couple will have their disagreements, and arguments, that is normal and part of relating to one another. Its in HOW you have those disagreements and arguments that makes for a lasting loving partnership.
Next time there’s a disagreement in your relationship take a deep breath and simply open the space to really listen to your partner. What is he saying, exactly?
We know that if we catch ourselves formulating a reply in our mind, then we are not really listening – so be sure to set aside that desire to prepare and step into a receptive place of hearing without judgment or criticism.
We find it helpful to take turns speaking until the person who is talking says the words, “I’m done.” It is important to resist the urge to interrupt, defend, or explain. Just allow each other to say what needs to be said and give the space to listen and hear what is going on with your partner.
If you’ve had a doozey of a fight and things got heated, that’s okay. Once tempers calm down then propose the opportunity to really talk and utilize the “I’m done” strategy.
Understanding Your Own Emotions in Your Relationship
On very rare occasions emotions may take a few days to really come fully to the surface. Or we may need some time to simply process how we are feeling so we can communicate effectively.
If you’ve been truly hurt or disappointed – and rightly so – anger may rise to the surface. Rather then suppress the anger – allow yourself to express it. Communicate with your partner the need to express.
If you are the one on the receiving end, and did the disappointing (we’ve all been there) simply give your partner the space to express their full range of emotions. Watch that you don’t project your anger with yourself onto your partner.
We energetically give permission to one another all the time. Make it okay for your partner to be sad, hurt, angry – any emotion that is coming up for them is the appropriate emotion.
When we let our defenses down, we can let love in. Our hearts were not designed to work in stealth mode. Speaking how we feel is how we create intimacy.
The next time you have an argument, give yourself and your partner the space to feel your feelings. It will go a long way towards creating deeper intimacy in your relationship.
Loving someone is in our behavior. Simply giving your partner the permission to express their feelings is a huge act of a loving relationship.
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