Psychotherapy  & Naturopathic Services in Etobicoke

Does Your Partner Have Difficulty Expressing Emotions?

When partners aren’t able to express their emotions, it can unfortunately cause stress and tension in the relationship. The key to understanding our partner’s feelings, needs, and desires are emotions. Having a strong emotional connection means enhanced trust, security, and intimacy in a relationship.

If a partner isn’t communicating when their partner upsets them, this usually means they tend to avoid conflict. This can lead to resentment overtime and unexpected outbursts or explosions in the future as a buildup. We need to remember that individuals displaying emotions or expressing our feelings is not a sign of weakness or submission. In fact, we gain more self-control and balance in a relationship by doing so.

When someone isn’t used to showing their feelings, and they finally do, it can be overwhelming. You may worry about being vulnerable and exposing aspects of yourself that you do not normally share. Your partner is the person you should feel most comfortable with and with whom you should not feel ashamed. It is important to deal with emotions as they come, and not to suppress feelings or concerns. Emotions are meant to be experienced in waves, not to be obstructed or built up and then released all at once. It is much more harmful to the relationship to have this explosion of harnessed emotions than to deal with them one by one.

Understanding and communicating emotions in a straightforward manner is difficult for most people, especially at times of major anger or sadness. Emotions provide valuable information and lead to that desire we all have for our partner to just ‘get’ us.

So what can you do to help your partner express their emotions? The only way that your partner will want to share their emotions with you is if you create a nonjudgmental and supportive space for them to feel comfortable doing so. If it is difficult for your partner to initiate conversations like this, then it may be helpful for you to ask them how they are feeling. Part of creating a welcoming space for partners is not judging their feelings when they finally express them. Avoid making statements like “How could you be sad about that?” or “You shouldn’t feel that way!” Judging your partner’s emotions will only make them defensive and on guard.

Finally, pay attention to your reactions to your partner’s attempts to share their feelings with you. Like judging your partner’s emotions, your other reactions may shut down the conversation. If you find yourself getting defensive, angry or upset, acknowledging it to your partner can help.

Think about situations in which you have expressed your emotions and the gains you made in the interaction. Although many emotions may rise from initiating a discussion like this, you will only learn more about you partner and build a stronger connection.

Some couples may find it difficult to communicate emotions on their own. For more information on relationship counselling or couples counselling, please view: , email, or call 647-961-9669.