Emotions, especially intense feelings, make us uncomfortable. Robert Ogner tells how he and wife overheard a man yelling at his wife that it was time to stop talking about feelings and start being rational. Discomfort with strong emotion isn’t recent. It’s been around for a long, long, long time. And people have disagreed how to handle strong emotions for a long, long time also. Already in 300 BC Aristotle argued that a person ought to be in control of their emotions. Other long-ago philosophers recommended that we disconnect from our feelings and our bodies.
Emotions Cannot Be Disregarded especially in Couple relationships
Unfortunately we can’t disregard emotion, especially in couple relationships. The gentleman shouting at his wife may have wanted to disregard feelings, yet in his very communication about that desire he was being very emotional! And his emotions were likely not pulling his partner into a closer and more intimate relationship.
Couples therapists, especially emotionally focused couples therapists (EFT), understand that strong feelings like anger are a normal part of couple distress. EFT for couples can help couples discover that strong feelings such as anger are actually feelings that come up when partners are feeling disconnected and distant. EFT counsellors help partners slow down and explore the emotional terrain underneath anger to find tenderness, fear and loneliness. When partners share those kind of emotions with each other, couples become more connected. And that’s what people long for in their partnerships!
Read Robert Ogner’s article here: Your Emotional Life