Why Couples Should Be Talking About Their Feelings

Couple talking in kitchen

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As a couple, you're constantly talking about what’s for dinner and plans with friends or family. The day-to-day running of your lives together, particularly if you have kids, is often the central focus of your conversations. Talking about these things is necessary, but the important piece that you should not gloss over is how you feel about what's going on in your life day-to-day.

Why Talking About Feelings Helps

These deeper conversations are necessary to make the glue that holds you together and creates the intimacy people desire in their marriage. It's critical that you talk about the highs and lows that have been sprinkled throughout your week. These topics may be from outside interactions with others or something specifically between you and your spouse.

Both women and men can struggle with sharing feelings, but men seem to have a much harder time. Female partners frequently complain about the “lack of intimacy” or “connection” with their male partners. And for women, intimacy and connection are what sparks sexual desire.

Benefits

This kind of heart-to-heart communication helps:

  • Keep fights from escalating
  • Prevent resentment
  • Partners feel empathy
  • Set off bonding hormones  
  • Create a deep and meaningful connection with your partner
  • Couples move beyond superficial discussions

How to Create Emotional Intimacy

Think about your last few days and ask yourself these questions. Then, sit down and discuss your responses with your partner.

  • Who or what has impacted you?
  • Who or what made you feel good?
  • Who or what disappointed you?
  • What did you learn that is new and what did you like about it?
  • Did you meet anyone new? What did you think about them?
  • Did anything happen that scared you, or disgusted you, or made you think in a different way?

Don’t just focus on the facts, but on how you feel about the answers to these questions. What comes up as you are talking about it with your spouse? Can you identify a particular feeling, such as surprise, joy, sadness, anger? How about the tougher ones like rejection, shame, or embarrassment?

If you are unsure, it’s okay to say that you are not sure how you feel. It’s okay to see if your partner, who may have more of a language for feelings, can help you out. You can feel confused or have mixed emotions too. Whatever it is, do your best to describe it.

If You Struggle With Deeper Topics

Some people really struggle to bring up the topics that impact their relationship. This is because it taps into our worst fears about being rejected, abandoned, or some other dreadful outcome. But, like the everyday life topics, it’s not enough to just talk about your thoughts and opinions on the tougher issues (parenting, sex, in-laws, finances and so on). You must also discuss how you feel about these topics.

When one partner is reactive or avoidant about broaching one of these subjects, it is often indicative of something deeper. Couples must cut through defensiveness, escalated anger or shutting down to discuss their underlying emotions.

The deeper emotions are what keeps a meaningful connection and romantic bond thriving. It also prevents ongoing negative patterns of communication. If you feel "I can never please my partner" or "I'm not important to them," this may set you off into reactivity over differing points of view on things like how to spend your money, frequency of sex, or the amount of time spent with the in-laws. 

A Word From Verywell

It is much more productive to express real feelings instead of giving the silent treatment, carrying a grudge, getting passive-aggressive, or yelling. Furthermore, it is much easier for your partner to respond to these core tender emotions. It is a win-win for you both. Long-term successful relationships are built on taking these risks with our partners.

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Article Sources
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