Posts Tagged With: relationship issues

I Have A Question About Anger, My Husband And Email

Q: When I’m so mad at my husband I can’t even look him in the eye……I should…..send Back view portrait of a young couple using laptopan email instead!! Works for us. Or even…..a phone call instead. Somehow….not seeing his eyes – I can be more honest. Why does that work, Karen?!?!?

A:  It’s wonderful that you and your husband have found a way to communicate that works for you when you are mad at him. It’s my belief that, while this method works, I wouldn’t recommend it for the long haul. Not being able to work through angry conversations eye to eye is an indicator that your adult communication muscle is weak. That’s not a technical term…just something I’m making up to describe the weakness. When we are little, we don’t have the most mature communication styles. In the ideal scenario our parents and caregivers would be guiding us to become adults. Not just keeping us alive until we get there but coaching us wisely in all manners of life. Few of us got this wise coaching. Many of us fended for ourselves while our parents were busy providing for us or perhaps just providing for themselves…few idyllic childhoods exist.

You can develop this communication muscle by being aware of what’s going on within you, your thoughts and emotions, on a regular basis. Become a good student of you. Another prerequisite is to let your husband know, when all is calm, that you want to try a new way of communicating when you’re mad at him. You won’t be able to do it perfectly so the first few times might sound like, “I’m mad at you and I need to work through this before I can talk to you about it.” He’ll know what you’re doing because you gave him an advance warning.

The next time you are mad at your husband, notice it. Understand what you are feeling and why you are feeling it. Tell your husband your findings. If you can’t quite do that at first, let him know you are mad at him and trying the new way but you aren’t ready to talk just then. Let him know you need some time and specify how long: 15 minutes, an hour, a day. While you are away from him figure out what’s going on with you. Use your old way of writing your words down. When you have clarity, take your written words and speak them to your husband face to face. You’ll get better at this over time IF you keep exercising your adult communication muscle!

Note: The information on this blog is opinion only. If you are running into blocks you can’t get past, can’t understand your thoughts and emotions, are overwhelmed by your emotions…anything that is causing you emotional distress, please seek the help of a professional counselor.

 

Categories: I Have A Question, Processing Thoughts and Emotions, Recovery, Relationships, Self-Help | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting Your Needs Met Part 2: What Are Needs?

OK, I know it’s been a few weeks since my last post…I’m one of those people who has big dreams, limited follow through and poor organization…but that’s for another post. Back to needs!

I think the best place to start with the topic of needs would be: What are they? Some may say all we need is air, water, food and shelter. If we are merely talking about physical survival that is true. It starts to get a bit more complicated as we look at the deeper layers of what it means to be human. Research has shown that emotional and physical connection with others are as important to surviving and thriving as the basic life sustaining ingredients of air, water, food and shelter. So now the list of needs may read: air, water, food, shelter, emotional connection and physical connection with other human beings. The additions raise some questions. What kind of emotional and physical connection with human beings is necessary for survival? Prisoners in concentration camps had physical and emotional connections with human beings which resulted in death. No, those don’t count. We need certain kinds of connection with others. Connections that breathe life, hope, and healing into us. What does that look like for you?  Just as each of us is unique, so are our needs.  There may be some similarities from person to person, but there is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to needs.  What works for one person may not work for another.

I want to create a bridge here between needs based on mere survival to needs that enhance the quality of our lives and relationships.  The latter are the type of needs we will focus on for the remainder of this series of blogs on needs.  First we’ve established basic needs for survival.  Now we will look at how those needs manifest themselves in our relationships.  Although we can survive without some of our relational needs being met, we are not truly thriving or reaching our full potential.  I can live without touch in my marriage, but the quality of my connection with my husband plummets when a hug, handhold or some sort of body to body contact are non-existent.  There is something about this type of non-sexual physical connection through touch that increases the intimacy in our relationship.  On the opposite side, one of my daughters does not enjoy very much physical contact.  Hugs are seldom given or received.  She needs me to sit and connect with her verbally.  She wants me to listen to her, to interact with her through conversation.  That is how she experiences an increase in intimacy with people.

Mmmm…I’m hearing something about my use of intimacy.  I’m not using it with any sexual reference.  Intimacy in this case refers to deeply knowing and connecting with another person.  It’s the space in relationships where we let our guard down.  I feel safe with the other person and allow her in to the secret, well protected parts of my heart.  Because she is safe, I allow myself to be fully exposed in the relationship.  Typically this type of connection is two-way.

Now to you.  What are your needs in relationships?  What elements are necessary for you to connect and feel connected to another person?  Is it touch, verbal connection, spending time together?  There are many needs, not just the few I’ve pointed out.  Each of us also has more than one need in relationships. We’ll delve into our individual needs more in the next part but for now, begin to simmer in understanding what your needs are.

Categories: Boundaries, Relationships, Self-Help | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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