I frequently talk about how other people can’t make us feel a certain way. They can’t make you feel loved, valuable, angry, annoyed, certain, silly, unloved, or frustrated. It’s 100% ok if you disagree with me because there are times when I will argue with myself about this fact. Well, actually, when I think about it intellectually, I am well aware of the fact that my thinking about a person or a circumstance is what makes me feel a certain way, but when in the middle of an emotional experience, it is often easy to forget all logic, jump in the deep end of the pool and start fighting for our belief that if other people would behave differently, we could feel better. So today, I want to talk about how to own your emotions to see why your husband isn’t making you frustrated.
There are still times when Jeff does something, and off my brain goes, it forgets everything I know and does what I’ve taught it so well to do, which is to defend and protect myself. So what I do not want to do here is discourage you from digging into what I am going to talk about today because there is a significant difference between the result I get now and the result I used to get, so follow along.
This work that I share with you every week is work that evolves, and it’s work that you will never quit doing unless you want to quit growing and improving your relationship with yourself and your relationship with your partner. I say that to help you understand that old engrained thoughts will continue to pop up once in a while, expect them. Still, as you incorporate the practices I share with you each week, you’ll begin to recognize these thoughts as old, allowing you to let them go instead of reacting in ways that don’t serve you and your relationship.
Let’s first dig into the why behind the truth that your husband isn’t making you feel frustrated or any other emotion you might be feeling when you think about your partner and what they say or don’t say, do, or don’t do. To do this, I’d like you to think of someone besides your mate because we have higher expectations of how they should show up in our life when it comes to our mates. We expect them always to support us, always do what would feel good to us at the moment, and never do the childish things they do. So we have a higher set of standards for our partners, and it takes more laser focus to do this work on our closest relationships. So do the practice on less vulnerable relationships before digging in with your partner.
Let’s look at a girlfriend who has told you that she won’t have time to go on your yearly girl’s weekend because she will be spending it with her new boyfriend. You think you are frustrated and angry because of what she has told you, but the truth is that her words are not making you feel anything. How do I know that? I know that because she could say these same words to all of the other girls that go on your weekend trip and your husband, your mom, her mom, her boyfriend, and they would all have an array of different feelings. How can that be? The reason people feel different emotions around the same circumstance because they are all having different thoughts about the very same words.
It is our thoughts about someone’s words, lack of words, actions, or lack of actions that make us feel a certain way. For example, some women might have a girlfriend say the same words around their girl’s weekend and feel relief because they think that they don’t have it in them to organize girl’s weekend again this year. Another woman might feel sadness for the girl who chooses her new boyfriend over the girl’s weekend because she’s been there and done that, thinking that this might be a decision she will regret. Another girl might feel envy over this friend’s words because she is thinking how nice it would be to have a boyfriend that she would want to skip girl’s weekend over.
Get what I mean? Each of our emotions is generated by something we are thinking; sometimes, we don’t recognize a thought between the circumstance and the feeling because it is a practiced and quick response. We have practiced blaming others for how we feel; we don’t know how to own our feelings, recognize that we are creating them, and don’t see how disempowering it is to put our emotional health in the hands of others. The good news I have for you is that as you start practicing owning your emotions, you’ll get better at seeing the difference between the circumstances and the thoughts we think about them; that’s why I call this work a practice. As a gymnast, it’s the work of practicing, testing, practicing, testing, and never deciding to quit the practice, trusting that you will continue to grow and understand the more you practice.
Step one to owning your emotions
Start paying attention to when you feel any type of emotion, good or bad, and then see if you can describe how it feels in your body. Like when describing a headache or an upset stomach, describe how the emotion is showing up in your body. You can ask yourself questions like:
- Where is this emotion located in my body?
- Is it hot, or is it cold?
- Bright or dark?
- Fast or slow?
- Smooth or rough?
- Does it have a color?
- Is it pulling in or expanding outwards?
- Is it energetic or lazy?
These questions help you identify with what is happening in your body, and then you can ask yourself what this feeling is making you want to do? You can also ask why you are feeling this emotion and pay attention to how you respond. For example, are you blaming someone else by telling yourself that you feel this emotion because of what someone else said or did? If so, you know this is a lie. Then ask yourself what you think about what they said or did; this will clue you in to why you are feeling the way you are. You can also learn more about how to start feeling your emotions in this article I wrote: How To Start Feeling Your Emotions.
Step two to owning your emotions
The second step is simply noticing what is happening for you and why; it is about creating awareness in your body and in your mind. Your body is trying to tell you something, and instead of using your mind to retaliate and fix this circumstance, I want to recommend you tune into your body first. As you start to create awareness, you will notice that you will often still fall into the emotional trap of letting other people’s actions create how you feel; it’s ok. Remember what I said earlier? We have years of experience acting the way we have always acted; we have created automated responses. For me, I had fifty years of patterning to change, and that isn’t something that changes overnight. I like to think of this work just like all of the other work you have done in your life. As you start practicing and commit to the discipline of learning how to feel better and owning your emotions, you will notice a snowball effect; it will not take you an equal amount of time to change the patterning; our brains are smarter than that!
With time and consistency, though, like any good practice you have established in your life, it will become an automated process to where you don’t even notice that you are responding differently. With that said, there will still be times, after you have automated your practice, where old patterning shows up, a glitch in your brain’s neurotransmitter sequence that all of a sudden has you thinking old thoughts. I want to share that this isn’t something that should cause you to feel despair, though, because once you have started doing this work, you recognize the thought error and use your tools to change the sequence, again further ingraining your new thought sequence.
Step three to becoming the person who can let go of what other people do and decide on purpose how you want to feel
Discipline. You have to be committed to the discipline needed to create a life practice. To be willing to feel awful and know that through the awful is something better. The more you practice, the more you will notice how other people’s actions aren’t bothering you and how you can show up for them from a place of curiosity or compassion instead of judgment.
Every time you notice yourself feeling some emotion that has you withdrawing, holding in, acting out, or any other way that doesn’t serve your best interest in the relationship, you know that you will get through this and have the tools to work through the emotion. You have learned how to be aware of the emotion, feel the emotion and understand why it is there, allowing you to decide what you want to do with it.
The next best step to take in this process is having a coach help you do this work. I know for certain that I could never be where I am without the help of my coach; she helps me see what it is that is going on inside of me, what is blocking me from moving forward so that I can get a clearer vision and make a choice that better serves me.
If you are struggling with your marital relationship and can’t quite grasp how to let go of the emotions you think your partner is creating in you; I want to encourage you to schedule a consult call so you can talk about it with someone who knows how to help you move forward. Staying stuck in a place where you can’t see how to change how you feel about what your husband does or doesn’t do to make you feel better is not a fun place. But, I promise that through this place where you are right now is something much better in your marriage. On the other side of this is a marriage that feels better than you have ever felt in your romantic relationship, not a place where you and he expect each other to fill your needs and desires but a place where you want to.
My story might be different from yours, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I know how to help you navigate to the place you want to get to in your marriage. I, too, was in a place where I thought the only way to have a better relationship was to find someone different; many of you think the same way. When you can experience how powerful you actually are in creating a marriage that you love, that’s when your life begins. Are you ready to start living your best life? Let’s do this!
I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.