2. Vocabulary to identify subtle feelings. Once you have identified your bodily sensation, you can begin to identify the feeling associated with it. Most people will identify with feelings of sad, mad or glad. But there are deeper feelings which fuel these basic catagories of feelings. Some of these deeper feelings can be fear of rejection, fear of lonliness or fear of abandonment.
I had to learn to accept my sad and mad feelings. Then after digging deeper, I found that I felt cast aside, rejected and abandoned by my husband when he told his stories. He would be the center of attention and I would be in a pity party with myself.
3. Courage to communicate your feelings to your partner. Talking about deep feelings is a courageous act. When we risk exposing ourselves in a deep way we risk being hurt by the other person. Ultimately we have to decide if it is worth the risk of being exposed and connected fully and authentically with another person. Hiding parts of who we are out of fear leaves us disconnected and not really known.
Once I identified my deep feelings, I had to take responsibility for myself and be more assertive. I needed to communicate and share who I was with my husband and with other people. I knew that if I wanted to be known by him I had to be willing to work through any reaction he might display. I had to have courage to risk his disapproval or rejection if he reacted to my deep feelings. Actually, by the time I did share my feelings with him, I was determined to be known regardless the cost.
4. Problem solving skills to address the situation with your partner for a win-win outcome. Sometimes when you change a behavior in a relationship it is confusing to your partner. Through couples counseling you can learn new ways of relating to each other that work better for both of you. Helping your partner to thrive will improve your satiisfaction in the relationship.
My husband and I learned to resolve differences with help. I learned to take care of my social needs and he learned to allow space for others to tell their stories too. My husband's determination to find a win-win solution helped us grow closer together.
Always remember relationships are messy — there is no way around that fact. Negotiating the intimate details of our lives is risky. Every person has gut feelings. Working through these feelings is what makes for a healthy marriage or couple-ship. If you are motivated to Thrive, then Invest in your relationship.
If you would like more information to make your Couple-ship Thrive please sign up for my newsletter. You may also connect with me on my website Teresa Maples LMHC, CSAT and on twitter.