Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
The ongoing stress in a relationship, can be all-consuming at worst and distracting at the least. When it comes to distress in a relationship, the way we respond or react to our challenges has a major role in how in control and happy we will feel.
Whether we respond or react has a great deal to do with how we are bought up, what our internal triggers are and our resulting perspective of ourselves and the world.
How aware we are of our thoughts, emotions and resulting behaviours gives us the ability to know what drives us and choose our response, rather than react in a negative. way.
When we are not conscious of the thoughts we are thinking—they can drive us to situations where we feel out of control and later regret our behaviours. We can get tangled up or enmeshed in our partner’s emotions, rather than letting them have their experience, or feel as though we are a victim of our emotions which can negatively impact our relationships—most often with those we are closest to.
When we learn to observe our thoughts and emotions, we will be the master of how we are in relationships, allowing us to connect with our partner in a healthy and loving ways.
Creating Ease in Your Relationships by:
- A challenging situation manifesting as tension in your body is a reflection of what you are thinking or feeling. Tension is a golden opportunity to observe your thoughts and emotions and resulting beliefs that are not supporting you, to ones that do. For example, if you feel the tension in your body, observe your thoughts and you may find yourself thinking: My needs are not valued. You would not consciously choose to believe this.
- Observe any emotions or tension you feel in a loving way. Meditation can be a helpful skill in doing this. A walk in nature is also powerful in supporting you to relax and reconnect to your natural state of calm and inner wisdom.
- With new awareness, you will be able to change any previously unconscious thoughts or beliefs to conscious ones that do support you such as I value the wisdom, gifts and talents that I have to share with the world. Remember that you cannot generally control what other people think and feel, however you can choose your thoughts and emotions and this, in turn, will have a positive effect in the way you related to others.
In a long-term relationship, it is almost certain your partner will also experience reactivity. When this occurs, the greatest gift you can give your partner is space and respect. Space to tune into what he or she is feeling and the respect that allows them to sort out their feelings without being rescued by you.
When we rescue someone from their emotional experience , it can keep them stuck in the same situation, as they are not being given the chance to confront their difficult emotions and transform them into more peaceful ones. Just a a caterpillar needs the experience of struggle to free himself from the cocoon to transform into a beautiful butterfly.
Just as a part of a butterflies evolution is to struggle its way out of a cocoon in order develop strong wings; as part of our growth, we are required to face our emotional challenges and work through them individually. We can support our partner with love and kindness. However, their emotional journey is one they must do themselves.
To create a truly alive and dynamic relationship, we need to be able to move through any fear that we have around dealing with our own or our partner’s emotions. Perhaps we are not ready, or our partner is not ready to take this step.
If this is the way we feel, acceptance is the way to move forward. We can only do what we are ready for. Sometimes, change does mean, however, going beyond our comfort zone and feeling uncomfortable until we achieve mastery in a new area. While we are learning to walk, drive or play tennis, for example, it can feel challenging initially while we are developing our new skills. So too, can learning to move through any emotional pain to develop a more harmonious relationship.
When we try a new skill and it doesn’t go the way we intended, it’s important to reflect and what we could improve upon next time. It is also helpful to acknowledge ourselves for our bravery and courage in trying. Chances are, we may have fallen a few times while we were learning to walk, but that did not stop us from trying and ultimately reaching our goal.
When relationships aren’t working out, it is common for people to give up and either separate or just co-exist. Co-existent couples come and go like flatmates without any true intimacy or deep emotional connection. With expanding awareness and developing new skills, it’s reasonable and possible for your relationship to be deeply connected, joyous and fulfilling.