Estimated reading time: 2 1/2 minutes
We all want to feel love and to be loved. This yearning can be a challenge and common to struggle in our relationships.
Often it is our romantic relationships can present some of the greatest challenges we have to face. According to the National Centre for Health Statistics, 65% of married couples break up over a 40 year period and 46% of second marriages in the United States, end within the first ten years.
Love is a feeling and to give and receive love we need to feel comfortable with all our feelings—even the ones we find difficult to face. Otherwise, the ones we are not so comfortable with such as anger, sadness and hurt can take us by surprise, and we can unconsciously act them out in our relationships.
It is a helpful relationship skill to be able to accept and validate our and our partner’s feelings, so they flow freely and do not build up or excalate into a situation that is “out of control”.
Men in many cases were not “allowed” to feel as children, as was acceptable for women. It was is common for many men to have been taught to cover up their emotions and be strong and put on a brave front when they sadness or hurt, for example. However, denial or repression of how you really feel—that is, feeling emotionally disconnected or not as in tune with your emotions as you could be—can prevent you from living in a fully authentic or wholehearted way.
What allows our emotions to flow is the ability to observe them in a non-judgemental way—without labelling them as being good, bad, right or wrong.
Many women, when they were young were given the message that it is not OK to express emotions such as anger or disappointment. That it was important to please others and to smile and be friendly no matter how they really felt inside.
The ability to tune into, process and express emotions keeps us emotionally healthy. Emotions means energy in motion. Love and compassion are emotions, and are the foundation of a safe and harmonious world. When we start to value these qualities at a deep level, our world will advance in a major way.