Good Afternoon Friends,
It happened. I wasn’t sure when it would happen, or even how it would happen but I knew that it would. My Daddy heard me cry for the first time. Hormones and emotions can rear up like a rogue wave at times, crashing over us, when all we want to do is hold it together. But the truth was, in that moment, I needed him. I needed to hear his voice. I needed to grip onto him just as much as he needed to grip onto me. We were both having long days. Things were getting in the way of our time. Stress was mounting. Time was limited. And I, being the sensitive soul that I am, needed a good belly cry. I knew my Daddy was going to call in a few minutes, so I thought I would be “proactive” and get all of my tears out before I picked up the phone.
I began to pray. And cry. And pray some more.
Mid-prayer the phone rang. I wiped my eyes quickly trying to pull myself together. But the truth was, I couldn’t. And I didn’t need to. What I needed to do, was exactly what unfolded. I needed my Daddy. I needed to belly cry. He needed to vent. We needed to lean on each other. So, despite it being an emotional conversation, it was so positive. We gripped onto each other. I released the dam of tears and feelings for him to see. He ranted and raved about all the stress in his day. At the end of the conversation, nothing was left but love and each other. It felt good. It was another milestone reached for us.
Today we’re going to talk about raw processing and why it’s an important step to take as a couple. Are you ready? Then let’s dive in.
I. Zeroing in on What’s Really Bothering You:
It can be easy to get caught up in trying to “sugarcoat” things to our partner. As a society, we’re trained from an early age to “use your nice words”. And while it is important to have tact, there is also an equal importance on speaking authentically without holding anything back. You want to be real with your partner. They need to know what the root issue is when you’re speaking about intense feelings. This is why I would encourage you to zero in on what’s really bothering you. Take time away for self-reflection before you open up to your partner. Once upon a time I used to be the person who thought I could just “process” everything by talking it out. But often times we need silence and meditation, alone, to really dig deep within ourselves. There might be a laundry list of things that are bothering us. But it’s important to ask ourselves: why am I really upset here? What is it that’s truly bothering me the most?
By focusing on the root issue and articulating that with your partner, then they can assist you in helping to correct the issues at hand. You’ll also feel better that you understand your emotions more clearly.
II. Be Clear With Your Intentions:
Thankfully, my Daddy and I are both the type of people who detest “sugarcoating”, hate small talk, and prefer to keep our talk open and transparent. One thing that we established from the beginning was that “lies of omission” are a deal-breaker for the both of us. Just put your feelings out there, and then we will deal with it together. It’s as simple as that. By having clear cut, respectful boundaries, I never have to worry if he is holding back something on his mind. No, I always know that if he needs to tell me something, he will. Whether we text, call, email, etc. somehow we will contact each other and put everything out there in a clear way.
I remember when I was younger I fell into a bad habit that many young people do, which is playing mind games. I wasn’t intentionally trying to do it. But I didn’t have the communication skills that I have today at 34. I used to think: “well, you’re my partner! So clearly you should know how I’m feeling without me saying it!”, or “I don’t want to have to tell you everything on my mind. Just… figure it out!”, or the worst one was “If I tell you what to do, then it doesn’t mean that you actually want to help me. I want you to simply know that I need your help. Only then is your help genuine”. WHAT?! Was I nuts??? Well, yes and no. I was immature back then, and I didn’t understand how healthy relationship dynamics worked. I didn’t practice sitting down and clearly stating what I’m feeling and why. I didn’t want to put in the work to make the relationship going. And guess what? The relationship didn’t go. It failed!
So I learned several valuable life lessons over those years:
- No one is a mind reader. Be willing to open up your feelings and thoughts with your partner because they need to know exactly where you stand.
- Your partner having a lack of knowledge about your feelings isn’t their fault. Open your mouth. Sit down and communicate your feelings. Only you can control how you feel and act. Chances are, they want to know what you’re thinking or feeling even if they don’t ask.
- Stop being self-absorbed. I was so self-absorbed back in my early 20’s. And I cringe when I think of how I used to be. But if you want your relationship to last, you have to put your partner’s needs first, and let them do the same for you. That way you’re taking care of each other.
III. Using Respectful Lingo:
It’s difficult to choose your words carefully when things are heated. We’re all guilty of losing our temper. But it’s important to be careful of what words we use in a disagreement because words can hurt, a lot. Here are a few helpful tips I would encourage you and your partner to review and see if they can be helpful for your relationship:
- Never cuss or call names at your partner. It’s just plain disrespectful.
- Try not to shout. Raising your voice only amplifies fear, anger, and frustration.
- If you need to, say that you need a few minutes to calm down. Then walk away, calm down, and come back to talk things out in a mature way.
- Try to compromise. Think about how your partner is feeling and try to see things from their perspective. When you do, you’ll be able to speak more kindly towards each other.
- Try using “I feel…” statements instead of “you should…” statements. You want to keep your words, thoughts, and feelings focused on yourself. Likewise, your partner should discuss how they are feeling. Pointing “the finger” or placing blame on your partner never really helps.
- Never, ever fight in front of children, family, friends, etc. It can have damaging results and make people feel incredibly awkward. Take your heated discussions to a private place where you both can be alone and sort things out.
Alright my friends, that’s it from me for this post! I hope you all enjoyed it. If you did, hit that like button and let me know. I hope you all have a wonderful, Saturday, and I will see you here for the next topic!