How To Stop Negative Feelings From Wreaking Havoc On Your Relationship
In order to have a healthier love life, it's important to take a close look at your negative feelings — like irritation, disconnection, anger, sadness, resentment, guilt—especially if they keep showing up again and again.
Acknowledging that your feelings exist is the first step to harnessing their gifts. Yep, as crazy as it may seem, they really do have some good to offer! But feeling them isn't any fun. Not at all. I know how hard it is to be stalked by negativity about your relationship.
Maybe it is just occasionally that you feel bad about what’s happening in your love life, or maybe it’s like your full-time job. Either way, you hate those days when you seethe with resentment over the things your significant other does like:
being 10 minutes late
making a comment that ties your stomach in knots
not really hearing or caring about what you wanted to say
not paying you the attention he should or not showing he cares enough
not doing his part in keeping your household functioning smoothly
a thousand other things!
You smolder, ruminating on what happened over and over. Or you retaliate by snapping at your partner or withdrawing, and then stewing in the guilt that creates.
You fall back into that familiar sense of disappointment that this is all there is to your love life: this loneliness. This disconnection. This longing for something you can't seem to ever reach…
To make matters worse, you tell yourself that you are silly for feeling this way. That you shouldn’t be so darn sensitive. That things will never change.Your bad mood deepens and the hard feelings become a vortex of sadness, anger, anxiety, shame, which colors your whole day. It makes everything harder.
All of this is a recipe for creating distance, which I’m guessing is exactly the opposite of what you long for.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a way out of being buried by these feelings. In fact, your feelings can actually help you climb out of the hole and up to the top of the mountain, if you know how.
It’s Not Your Fault, But it is Your Opportunity
Feeling bad about our love lives is epidemic these days. The reason is that most of us were never taught how to manage our emotions or how to have healthy relationships. Instead we were taught algebra and how to diagram sentences.
If we were taught anything about emotions it was that challenging feelings were bad and had no purpose other than inconvenience and misery.
So it’s not your fault that you don’t know how to stop these feelings from creating heartache.
But, without understanding how your harder emotions serve your interests, you risk destroying the potential for a deeply satisfying love to exist in your relationship. If you have a family together this can be a tragedy for everyone, your kids included.
If you really want a more loving and supportive relationship, you need to start with learning to manage your emotions productively, instead of letting them manage you. Think of this an opportunity for making a big difference in all of your relationships
How Good It Could Be
Imagine how good it would be if :
you had access to a ton more clarity and wisdom about what you need, what your partner needs, and what would help your relationship
you could address within yourself or with your partner any issue that causes problems.
you could easily find a response that creates deeper connection with yourself and your significant other
your body was no longer tied up in knots, bracing against “negativity”.
you had much more energy, and much more time (because you are not wasting it all on bad moods and the lack of focus they create).
you felt a ton more confidence and self-respect because you could handle the hard things so easily.
your partner felt like your ally, instead of your adversary, so you felt super supported.
This is what can happen when you understand how to listen to what your challenging emotions really have to tell you.
Where there used to be anger, guilt, and distance, there is now room for harmony and closeness.
Imagine how healthy and vital you would feel. (Little known fact: having healthy relationships are at the top of the list of the most powerful factors in our physical health and longevity—above genetics, exercise, and diet habits!).
Imagine how this would alter your life and your children’s lives. They would see their parents being kind and respectful to each other. They would feel more secure. They would have an amazing model of healthy emotional responsibility, so that they would, in turn, find it easy to have deeply satisfying relationships.
If you were wrestling with whether to stay together or not, you would be much more clear on that. Either way, you would feel confident, peaceful, and respected. It would be easy to be kind and loving. You would feel more love than ever before.
This doesn’t mean painful emotions wouldn’t ever come up anymore. On the contrary, you might notice them more often at first, but they would only last a brief time and you would know how to mine them for their wisdom. This is when you know you are on the right track!
The Power of Emotions
Here is what usually happens when a bad emotion arises: we react against it or try to shut it down. This could look like slamming a door, saying something you later regret, or maybe trying make the other person involved do something to fix it.
Or, we withdraw. This shows up as giving the cold shoulder, not making eye contact with your partner, and feeling a dull yuck on the inside that you try to ignore. But ultimately you can’t.
If any of this sounds familiar, here’s the truth that you are missing: these uncomfortable feelings are not enemies to be resisted. In fact, they are good friends and guides that come bearing great gifts, if only you would stop judging and resisting them long enough to listen to what they have to tell you.
This emotional discomfort is, in fact, your inner GPS, guiding you back to happier terrain, if you let it. To learn a process that will walk you through the beginning stages of managing your emotions and harnessing their power, Dig into The 3 Essential Steps. (If you don't have your own copy yet, get it here).
An Example From My Life:
I know because I have an amazingly supportive, deeply loving relationship with my man, and I still feel anger, sadness, and fear regularly. But I don’t get stuck in it and
drag it through my whole day. Instead, I let it indicate what needs attention in my life.
For example, the other night the kids were finally in bed and the kitchen was clean. We usually take at least 5 minutes alone together just to connect.
But that evening he never came out to the porch where I waited. I started to feel antsy, then irritated, then angry. Normally, I will simply remind him I’d like to hang
out, but this time something deeper was going on. I sensed I needed to inspect what my anger was trying to illuminate.
I looked at what was truly bothering me. Only then did I decide it was time to act. I called him and and told him how angry I was. It turns out, below the obvious, I had been feeling “dismissed” and “unimportant” lately. (Learn this process yourself in my guide The Essential Steps To A More Loving Relationship).
This is an old pattern of mine, and as I owned it as mine, and explained (tactfully) how sad I felt, and what I actually wanted (without complaining), we both softened and even shared some laughter.
He shared that this was a good reminder of what is important, and re-committed to the importance of our evening check-in time. We both came away from the experience feeling close, light, connected, and even passionate.
It wasn’t always like this for me. Most of my early life I saw painful emotions wreak havoc on the love in my family. My father went through 5 wives before finally seeming to learn (somewhat) how to handle relationships and his negativity.
Because of this, and the pain that some of my own relationships created, including my first marriage, I was compelled to heal my emotional challenges. I read books, went to trainings, worked on myself in big ways and, eventually, started teaching about emotions, sensitivity, stress, compassion and love.
As I learned how to harness my emotions to be my helpers instead of my enemies, I transformed my love life into the joy filled thing I always believed it could be. You can, too!
Your Feelings Are On Your Team
Once you’ve learned those steps you’ll see that it’s not only your “positive” emotions are wonderful, but your more challenging feelings are pretty good, too: they want you to feel more happiness, love and joy! But they want it to be authentic, and they want it to be deep. So they make you dig and find the bigger truths.
They ask you to become more conscious so you can live a truly satisfying life, with a deep sense of belonging and deliciously connected loving relationships.
The process might take a little getting used to, but by practicing the steps somewhat formally they become second nature soon enough.
Oh, Those Obstacles!
As you learn to harness the gifts of your harder emotions, you might come across some bumps in the road.
This often happens when your nervous system is chronically in overdrive (so common in our go-go-go culture, especially in more sensitive women), which throws brain chemistry out of whack and makes your negative emotions harder to decipher. It can be harder to hear their message and take appropriate action in this state.
Or, you don’t know how to choose to think better-feeling thoughts. So your mind keeps spinning negative stories around, which then feed more negative emotions, which then contribute to more negative thoughts, and stress your nervous system…on and on it can go.
Or your grievances feel just too big to handle on your own.
Before you know it, having the relationship you long for seems, again, totally out of reach.
If you find this is happening for you, or you could use more support, I can help. You are not helpless to create the loving relationship you long for! Especially with some more guidance and support.
That’s why I offer a variety of ways to get support that actually makes a difference. I am passionate about helping women like you have the close, peaceful, loving relationship you’ve always wanted with your partner— no matter what.
Even if things have been hard between you for a long while now, there is so much hope! I’ve helped many women turn their relationships into the tender, affectionate, supportive one the’ve always wanted. You can, too.
Here's how I can help you feel so much more fulfilled when it comes to love.