3 Emotions That Have The Power To Destroy A Relationship

Photo: Dean Drobot, anuchit kamsongmueang, SeventyFour  | Canva
Couple having an emotional, truthful conversation with empathy for one another

Being emotionally vulnerable in your relationship doesn't come easy, but it's the key to creating a happy, healthy relationship that thrives on intimacy and understanding.

Being emotionally vulnerable can help you and your partner work through relationship fights, overcome hurdles, and be stronger than ever.

But to get to that place of intimacy with another person, you have to be willing to get emotionally vulnerable by opening up to your partner — which can be one of the most difficult things you ever do. But why?

RELATED: 5 Reasons Vulnerability Is The Secret To A Long-Lasting Relationship (And 4 Ways To Turn Vulnerability Into True Intimacy)

Here are 3 emotions that have the power to destroy a relationship.

1. Shame

Shame is one barrier to being emotionally vulnerable with another person. Perhaps there’s a part of you you don’t like and are afraid will be rejected if you are emotionally exposed and reveal what you think are negative traits.

If one partner feels shame, you struggle to build an intimate connection. A relationship can be saved and even deepened when both partners express emotions from their authentic selves.

2. Anger

Anger is the fastest emotion to come up and perhaps the most difficult to control. When it flares up, we tend to blow things out of proportion, which damages the relationship. Anger is often caused by not getting what we want and deserve.

You start to think things like, My boyfriend doesn't listen to me, or, My girlfriend doesn't appreciate what I do for her.

3. Pain

Aanger is often covering up a deep pain. It’s hard to feel this pain, but it is easier to explode out of anger and jump at your partner. Anger makes you feel powerful, while pain makes you feel weak and small.

The problem is pain makes the anger even bigger. When you are in pain and angry, all your energy is caught up in punishing the person you think caused you anger. That outburst can make things even worse and cause further alienation.

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Instead of letting these emotions destroy your relationship, work toward becoming more emotionally vulnerable in your relationship.

Surprisingly, being physically exposed in front of someone is nowhere near as terrifying as expressing your inner thoughts, dreams, and feelings — especially when those feelings are unsavory.

Humans wind up feeling guilty for their emotions if they are not expressing compassion or love. Yet, if you are in a relationship with someone, you feel anger, loneliness, sadness, envy, or other unpleasant emotions and should be able to express them openly with your soulmate.

If you instead feel guilt over your natural reaction and suppress these feelings, it will cause damage to you, your partner and relationship. It can even create a wall between the two of you.

The intimacy in your relationship may even start to suffer, and you avoid being intimate. You might be able to fake love, but you no longer feel the passion when you’re feeling seen and appreciated.​

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Here's how to be emotionally vulnerable before shame, anger, and pain destroy your relationship.

1. Identify your emotions.

This is an important part of being emotionally vulnerable. You must understand what's going on inside of you so that you can express yourself to the person you love positively — even when the way you feel isn't good.

2. Avoid an immediate response.

Step back before expressing your emotions so you avoid attacking your partner. Try this exercise:

Keep your mouth closed — as you would the window when a storm comes — and then focus on your breath. Continue to follow your breath down to the bottom of your lungs until you have created enough space to think about the best approach to your current situation.

3. Meditate together and alone.

Some people also find it helpful to meditate. Consider what your real feelings are and how to express them. Creating the space before you talk helps to get the best results.

4. Open up to your partner.

It is only at this point that you should talk to your partner, doing your best to bridge the gap of understanding. Conveying empathy through body language and the tone of your voice is essential. Holding hands will help calm down the mind and foster connection, too.

When you can be emotionally vulnerable together, you also need to re-establish and deepen your physical connection. True intimacy is when you can be physically and emotionally connected while being in touch with your feelings and your partner's.

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Carla Tara is a psychotherapist, Tantra master, relationship counselor, intimacy expert, and public speaker.