Emotional adulthood in your relationship.
Are you an emotional adult yet?
“You make me feel sad… frustrated… disappointed!” is a common way to express our emotions to our partners, when we are unhappy.
Most of our emotional wounds are caused by other people, such is our perception anyway. It’s most evident in an intimate relationship when our partner behaves in a certain way, we might feel hurt, upset or perhaps angry. However, instead of dealing with these emotions right away, we tend to suppress them, hoping they will simply disappear.
Soon enough a pile of unresolved emotional issues grows so big that sorting it out would seem impossible or would take too much effort. As a result, it is easier to walk away and start from scratch with someone else. Assuming – this time everything will be different.
This happened to me and my ex. We didn’t try to (or didn’t know how to) deal with our issues as they arose and eventually got so stuck in our ways, that I was convinced, he did everything he could to annoy or hurt me.
Do you know the feeling?
When every single action, no matter how small, would drive you mad? Like a pair of socks on the floor, or dirty dishes in the sink or an evening spent staring at his computer, pretending he did something important… All of these seeming trifles caused an increasing feeling of disappointment in me. Whilst to him they were just a part of his lifestyle. He thought there was nothing wrong with neither him nor his behaviour. And to be fair to him, it was true, but my view of the reality was skewed by my unmet expectations.
Luckily, by the time I met my husband, I learned to understand my emotional world and became what is called an “emotional adult”.
Imagine, what your life (and relationships) could look like if you were to take responsibility for your emotions and accept that other people have nothing to do with the way you feel? It is only your perception of their actions, that gives you a certain experience. That’s a fundamental shift towards becoming emotionally mature.
It might sound easier said than done. But here are a few ideas you can start from:
- Increase your level of self-awareness, i.e. an ability to observe and recognise your emotions and what triggers them. With time you will become better in spotting your patterns, for example, maybe you always become upset when someone challenges your skills, or you get angry when you see an unfair situation, etc.
- Once you become better in understanding your emotional world, you can take a step further to managing your emotions, which means not following your default reaction (or over-reaction) to a situation, but taking a moment to think how could I respond to it differently that won’t involve hurting yourself or the other person.
My husband Rafael and I went through this “growing up” process at the beginning of our relationship. It took us a few years of trial and error (and we are not perfect yet), but once we learned to deal with our emotions, the level of mutual understanding in our relationship raised to a whole new level.
So, I encourage you to be honest with yourself and ask yourself “Am I an emotional adult yet?”
By Olga Frankow
Balanced lifestyle and relationship Coach for women
LinkedIn page: OlgaFrankow
FB page: OlgaFrankowRelationshipCoach
Olga has a Webinar on 11th of September, about Balanced life and Emotional Intelligence. See the link to find out more!
The link is here https://bit.ly/2MxiPv3
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