Blog 61. Relationship Realities: Do You Know How To Deal With Emotional Inconsistencies Within Your Relationship?
No one is constantly happy or constantly sad. We all have bad days and we all have good days, no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in.
In other words, every day we all experience our own emotional roller coaster rides.
However, when we share our lives with others, they too may have their own emotional roller coaster rides – and this may not always tally with our own.
When we are happy, our partners may be sad and visa versa. However, the duration of this emotional inconsistency can create friction within relationships.
Emotional inconsistencies between two people can become uncomfortable especially if there is an expectation that a partner should feel and behave in the same way as we expect them to.
Unfortunately, expecting a partner to either share our emotional roller coaster ride, or to be in constant sync with our own lives, can lead to disappointment, sadness and even anger.
And if the inconsistencies are extreme, if one person’s manic high differs from the partner’s depressed low, then sustaining a long-term relationship can become very onerous and demanding.
Therefore, if we intend to share our lives with others, we need to learn to control the extremities of our roller coaster rides, so that we don’t land up alienating ourselves from others.
Emotional highs and lows can occur as a result of past traumas and it is up to each individual to try to find ways of managing their emotional roller coaster rides, depending of course on their life’s goals.
However, not every couple has to experience extreme emotional behaviour in order to feel out of sync with one another.
As a result of the busy lives we now lead, people don’t always have the time to explain their inner worlds to each other. Consequently, many start feeling their lives beginning to drift apart.
Recognising this moment is crucial.
Instead of allowing a partner to drift away – it is beneficial to communicate that a problem has arisen. Sometimes a partner is just not aware and until you explain what irks you, they may never know or understand your unhappiness – until it is too late.
However, the need of the individual to develop outside of the relationship, as well as in it, can create many tensions, as the couple tries to create a good enough relationship that honours each person’s independence within the relationship.
And yet, within each relationship, the acceptance that each individual is autonomous but that their partner also shares ‘their world’, can be a life long struggle.
Jean-Paul Sartre often wrote about the existential understanding that no matter whom we are with, we are always alone.
In his book, ‘Nausea’, he wrote, “I am alone in the midst of these happy, reasonable voices. All these creatures spend their time explaining, realising happily that they agree with each other. In Heaven’s name, why is it so important to think the same things all together. ”
And finding independence within the context of a relationship as well as getting our emotional needs met – often depends on the relationship we had with our mothers and our families.
Very early on we learn that ‘intimacy implies abandonment’. In other words, we learn that from the moment we leave the womb, no one, not even mummy, can be there for us 24/7. How we learn to manage this reality determines how we will manage our adult relationships.
How we therefore learn to manage our own internal worlds will depend on our early childhood experiences – and if someone is emotionally needy, then allowing a partner their independence could be very difficult.
Emotional neediness equates to having a low self-esteem.
Consequently, allowing a partner their freedom may feel very threatening especially to someone who has abandonment issues. They may find it very hard when their partner behaves differently to what they feel or know as safe behaviour. A partner’s need for freedom may then feel like abandonment even though it may actually seem irrational.
Relationships are therefore a fine balancing act between our past experiences, our inner emotional needs, our expectations and whether we are able to allow a partner their independence without feeling threatened.
However, we all need to be careful that we don’t create what we fear. By being overly possessive, you may actually land up pushing your partner away and this may leave you feeling rejected, abandoned, sad and very lonely.
It is therefore wise to remember that we are all responsible for our own emotions.
When you find yourself becoming needy, ask yourself why and try to understand where that feeling might be coming from.
Projecting your needs onto your partner or expecting them to give to you what you didn’t get from your parents – isn’t their problem.
And relationships are also not a form of therapy.
This is why it is crucial that you get to know yourself, what your knee-jerk reactions are and why you behave and feel as you do. This will allow you to make better choices to suit your life goals and this way you will be less needy of your partner and you will have developed an independent sense of self.
And most people find this very attractive.
© 2017 Information Copyright Deidré Wallace
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