I fell in love with my partner even more this week.
I want to tell you what he did because I know this is something that causes HUGE tension for other couples. Actually, it’s caused huge tension for us in the past too, but this week my love got it spot on.
What my partner did was simple, but so powerful it brought tears to my eyes.
My partner is incredibly wise and perceptive.
I know that he wants the very best for me and really tries to help me in every way he can.
But here’s the thing: I don’t always want his help.
I know that seems crazy – especially to you guys.
This is something that I see a lot of other couples get tripped up on. Let me explain a little more.
Sometimes I want my partner to know how I’m feeling. I want to feel like he understands my feelings, even if it seems completely illogical and irrational that I would be feeling that way.
By sharing what’s going on for me, I feel close and connected to him.
It somehow helps me to ‘get it out’, to share about it. It’s as if the emotional energy I’m feeling can move through me instead of getting stuck and bottled up inside which usually doesn’t end well for anyone.
Feeling emotions (even the so-called negative ones) is not something I see as a bad thing. I know my emotions are illogical and irrational, that’s the nature of emotions.
I also know that they’ll pass.
What I really want is to feel understood.
My partner though, in his love and care for me, really wants to make me feel better.
So he does what good men do.
He tries to fix it.
He shares his wisdom or advice. Or starts formulating an action plan.
Things usually don’t go well from there.
Even if his advice is good (and usually it is), I end up feeling like he hasn’t really listened to me. I feel like my emotions are something I should be ashamed of. I feel like he doesn’t understand me.
I know from my work as a Relationship Therapist that many other couples get stuck in this too.
So what is it that my partner did this week that made me fall even more in love with him?
I know right, crazy?!
On Monday we were sitting together talking as we waited for flights – his to Tokyo, mine back to Sydney.
I was tired, I was hungry (never a good thing), I was sad that we were flying to different parts of the world. I was also feeling angry about something he said.
I told him some of what I was feeling.
He started to say something and then… he STOPPED.
He sat back in his chair and looked at me with the most incredible love in his eyes.
In the silence I shared more of what was happening for me. And then more.
As I shared my emotions more came to the surface. I told him everything.
He said nothing, but I felt him right there with me, listening the whole time. When he could feel that I was finished speaking, he nodded and told me that he understood.
That was it. And it was perfect.
I felt heard. I felt understood. I felt held.
I was so grateful and so connected to him that tears rolled down my face.
And then, as suddenly as it began, it was over. In being able to speak my emotions and have them heard, they could move through me. I felt different. Not angry, not sad, not afraid. Just Love actually.
My partner just listening to me and hearing me was the greatest gift he could have given me in that moment, and I fell even more in love with him.
Sometimes being there for the people we love requires less doing and more just being than we might imagine.
Is this something you can relate to in your own relationships?