Marriage, as a meaningful relationship between two loving people can be a solid foundation for personal satisfaction and happiness. But we also all know that it is a lot of work. So now, after a period on the job, I’m back to report what I learned.
Don’t Analyze Your Woman
Wherever tension arises, and emotions start to run wild, I used to say “OK, I see that you are angry and upset, but let’s talk about it. I want to get to the bottom of this”. Naively, I thought that the best way to handle emotional turmoil my partner is experiencing is by talking about this right there and right now, and finding concrete solutions to the underlying issue.
Of course there should be a time and a place for talking about it – but not when frustration and impatience take central stage. When love and understanding flow again, and a safe and intimate space is restored – than you can talk about the issue. When the attitude of both partners is of attentive listening and striving to understand each other, the chances that acknowledging the problem and talking about it will actually nurture the relationship, and not strain it further, are much higher.
Instead, the best way I found to handle my partner’s occasional emotional turmoil is simply to be there with her. To listen with empathy, to hug her, to acknowledge that she isn’t happy, but without feeling responsible, and thus without becoming defensive. The challenge is of course not only in understanding this, but in actually being that way in those moments.
Don’ t Try To Please Your Woman
When you are in a loving, tender relationship, you grow accustomed to the harmony and serenity that flows freely. This is a good thing of course. But when conflict arises, and the balance is thrown off, you suddenly find yourself striving to restore harmony as quickly as possible. A conflict, and a feeling of imbalance it creates is an uncomfortable experience. But trying to restore the balance, trying to make things better, actually makes things worse.
Your attempts aren’t seen as authentic responses based on understanding, but as superficial “bandage” thrown to please, to “shut her up”. I discovered it’s better to give the needed space and time for the tension to wear itself off, without rushing it, merely listening, without taking blame and without promising anything. Your words and actions will have more weight, when you had more chance to reflect on it.
Don’t Be Sucked Into The Drama
Whenever my partner becomes unhappy (which doesn’t happen too often), I used to be “sucked into the unhappiness” with her. If instead of watching a movie together as planned, she decides to lie in bed, feeling sorry for herself, I would regard that as “evening ruined”. Becoming upset for her “unreasonable behavior”, switching between guilt and anger I would watch my resentment grow, becoming eventually detached and unloving.
We all need sometimes to be left alone, to bathe in our sadness. And while our partner does that, we shouldn’t be dragged down with him. Instead, it’s best to occupy ourselves with something we enjoy, something that takes our mind from it – watch a movie by ourselves, or read a book for that matter. Not leaving (which may be seen as abandoning), but distancing ourselves from our partner’s feelings, just for enough time to recuperate.
While doing our own thing, resentment disappears, as our partner’s low spirits isn’t perceived anymore as the reason for our own bad mood. And then we are free for our natural empathy to express itself – simply by being by her side – touching, hugging, holding hands. Not because you have to, not because you want her to be “herself” again, but because you genuinely sympathize.
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Do you relate? What you have learned from your relationship?