Today's post is about to get real. I have permission from my lovely hubby to put our core struggle out there. It's a struggle I see all the time in my practice with couples. I know the struggle is real. It's also one of the main reasons emotional affairs happen unintentionally or intentionally.
Emotional disconnect can happen for oodles of reasons. Illness, busyness, misunderstandings, life stressors, raising kids, not taking time to share feelings, not knowing how to share feelings in positive ways, childhood wounds and many, many other day to day experiences called life.
I know it happens because it's recently creeped into my and hubby's day to day.
Not by our design or will but by the sheer force of the trials of this life. It isn't an easy battle to face
He has been working so much that when he is off, he is exhausted, wiped out, with little left to give. Me, on the other hand, I'm right where we left off when he took the commitment and anticipating his return to our shared business and ministry.
This isn't said to blame him: however, as this now year and three months comes to a close that's exactly what I unintentionally did to him the other day.
I was talking to him from a place of passion about our relationship in what I thought was a sharing of tender feelings sort of moment. For him though, it was a moment of hurt and feeling blamed. As we hashed this out, I realized my approach had been poor. Instead of sharing feelings of frustration and missing him, I was sharing my perspective in a way that was not cool. (Use your imagination) He returned the favor with some defensiveness (Use your imagination again) and 'wala', the intent of the talk went south. We weren't getting any closer emotionally nor understanding one another's feelings.
That's what this post is about. Because GOD is so good, and Hubby and I love each other fervently, we (eventually)worked it out and came up with a solution to our unmet emotional needs. After this conflict I got to thinking, some people aren't so lucky. They don't have the resources I have at my fingertips. So, that's what this post is about.
Finally you say. We hear what this post is about!
If you want to feel close to your partner and there's been a disconnect for any reason, here's a quick formula for successfully sharing feelings:
1. Pray before you say......Anything!
2. Pick a time that's good for you both.
3. Follow this validation process:
Partner A- State emotion, reason why and request for change
Say, "I feel ________when you________. I really need_________."
Partner B- Clarify what you've heard
Say, "What I hear you saying is________
Partner A- Restate your position
Say, "That's exactly how I feel and what I need" OR
Repeat Step A until your partner hears clearly what you've said.
Partner B- Offer understanding
Say, "I understand how you feel and what you need." Then state the feeling and need.
Partner A- Affirm partner B for getting it
Say, "It feels so good to be understood." or some other nice affirmation
Partner A and B- Brainstorm Solutions Together.
Partner B and A- Do it over again in opposite roles.
Okay, okay, okay. This may sound elementary; however, when there's hurt, anger, misunderstanding etc., words start flying and emotions get heightened or the opposite, people stonewall and shut down or fly off the handle and leave the scene. Instead of feeling closer, each person feels more misunderstood. Where the intent is to share feelings, instead conflict ensues.
By keeping it simple, the focus remains on the shared emotions. By sticking to the formula, it ensures each partner is heard. Otherwise, before the feelings are expressed and understood, conflict erupts and divides the partners. With this formula, conflict creates the beauty it intends. To bring two lovers to a better understanding of one another and draw them closer.
Nothing keeps the fires of love burning like some emotional closeness. Especially since women work sexually from an emotional place, men love to be admired and to feel like they are doing things their woman appreciates and needs.
Keep trying this process until it becomes so natural you and your partner can connect effortlessly and then get to the fun of why your partnered up in the first place... Intimacy.
Which, by the way means, INTO ME SEE. Who doesn't want that?
Meanwhile, got to go. Only have so much time with the hubby until his work is done next month, thank God. Praise the Lord!
Want to go spend it seeing into him and him seeing into me. We have a lot of catching up to do!