Here are some ideas about emotions you might want to consider. There are about 8 primary or basic emotions. These include anger, sorrow, joy, surprise, fear, disgust, guilt/shame, and interest. People seem to be born with the potential or readiness for these emotions. Other types of emotions are learned and are usually some combination of these basic emotions. Some emotional experiences are a reaction to events in your environment, for example becoming angry when someone criticizes you or feeling happy that a loved one is coming to visit you. Other emotional experiences are primarily reactions to one’s own thoughts, actions, and feelings. For example guilt at feeling angry, shame at not doing well on a task, or pride at some achievement or reaching some milestone in life. Emotions come and go like the waves in the sea. Most emotions only last from seconds to minutes. Emotions are self-perpetuating. Once it starts, it keeps restarting itself. When an emotion seems to stay around, it is called a “mood.” Emotions can be useful or destructive. They are rarely neutral. If you are in need of some counseling or know someone who does, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
How often have you been in a situation where later you wished you had said something differently? Maybe you regretted what you said or you just didn’t speak up when you should have. Relationships that are neglected can create an enormous amount of stress. This stress then increases emotional vulnerability and the relationship can quickly go downhill from there. The longer a relationship remains neglected, the harder it is to repair. The ability to repair a “rupture” in a relationship is of primary importance. The key is to balance priorities versus demands in life and relationships. Priorities are those things important to you, things you want to do or get done. Demands are those things other people want you to do, things other people want done. Most troubles with priorities and demands are due to your own priorities conflicting with other people’s priorities. Thus you need good interpersonal skills to maintain your own priorities and/or negotiate compromises. If you are in need of some counseling or know someone who does, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
Develop a lifestyle of participating with awareness. A lifestyle without awareness is a characteristic of impulsive (doing things without considering the consequences) and mood dependent behaviors. Mindfulness skills such as Western contemplative prayer or Eastern meditation practices can dramatically help balance the emotional and reasonable parts of the mind. This could be said to be called a “wise mind” where there is a balance between emotional experiencing and logical analysis. If you learn to play a musical instrument you must pay close attention to a lot of things such as hand position, musical notation, and the rhythm. As the skill of playing an instrument improves things such as observing and describing begin to fade in to the background. Learning to drive a stick-shift car is another example of having to pay close attention to what you are doing at first. Learn first to just notice the moment and to experience it with awareness in whatever is happening. Don’t leave the situation or try to terminate an emotion. If you are in need of some counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
The key to making changes in a marriage is to see your spouse as God’s son or daughter. Your spouse and you are someone Jesus Christ died for and thus you both are part of God’s flock, a part of His handiwork in the Kingdom. Your spouse is worthy of your respect at all times. Spouses can work through each other to accomplish God’s work. Spouses can influence each other to the good. If you want to influence someone to be more Christ-like then you need to become more Christ-like yourself. A spouse’s behavior should be exemplified by a single word: grace. Grace heals. The hallmark of grace is forgiveness, and one aspect of forgiveness is the attitude of “I am giving up my right to retaliation, my right to hurt you back.” If your spouse has given you every reason for withdrawing, pursuing, or fighting, forgiveness means just letting it go. You are going to cancel the debt. However cancelling a debt is just part of forgiveness. The other part is establishing an appropriate relationship. That means not being foolish or inviting more hurt but having enough courage to take risks and to be vulnerable. Share those parts of yourself you have been keeping locked away…secret feelings, risky opinions, times when you risk rejection but share an idea anyway. If you are in need of marriage counseling or need some counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
One of the things that we typically do in a marital relationship is to constantly scan for faults in our spouse. Maybe they are going to let us down and not be there for us in some way. If we do find evidence that indicates that our spouse just really doesn’t care such as not listening or not being considerate, we will complain bitterly, criticize their intentions, and maybe even go on the attack. Our “radar system” has been penetrated and we counterattack. Or we may simply withdraw. If you have an avoidant attachment style where “relational” warmth (things like “touch-feely” talks, a warm hand on the shoulder, or dinner by candlelight) feels really uncomfortable then you may constantly have your radar up for any behavior that will confirm your spouse’s unreliability. You just might become either defensive or very busy. Those with an ambivalent attachment style will scan the horizon looking for proof that their spouse will abandon them and they will be left alone. Those with an ambivalent attachment style look for evidence that these wedges already exist by saying things to themselves like, “He doesn’t call on time” or “She talks with friends more than she talks to me.” Shut down your radar. Pull the plug. Back off. Quiet your heart. Allow your intellect to override your instincts. If you are avoidant, accept the incoming “warm and fuzzy” moment. If you are ambivalent and sense abandonment on the way, do the opposite; move in and be the mate your mate wants you to be. Assume the best and react to it positively. If you are in need of marriage counseling or need some counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
Fostering a closer connection in marriage may involve being the first to change. Husbands and/or wives often say, “Why should I change first? I am tired of giving and never getting anything back.” These words are often the words heard when this course of action is first suggested in counseling. With this change might come vulnerability and vulnerability means risk. And taking a risk is what got a spouse hurt in the first place. You either don’t want to be criticized again or you don’t trust that your spouse will be there for you and listen to what you have to say. Old relational wounds may open up again and you would rather just keep your distance or not even bother bringing it up again. So why should you change? Because you are the only one you have control over and you cannot simply abandon a relationship because it gets uncomfortable. Pride, resentfulness, and fear should not prevent you from fulfilling your marital vows. You must make every reasonable effort to fulfill those vows. Couples either grow closer together or they grow apart and that is not good for your emotional health. What are you doing right now to grow closer to your spouse? How are you changing? Where are you stretching yourself? What quality in yourself do you want to work and improve on? Oddly enough if you take the initial step to change it usually does work. If you are in need of marriage counseling or need some counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
Your job as a married partner is to consider your spouse in a way that brings understanding and healing to your relationship. This means you listen to stories that under girds their hurts and pains. This means you listen attentively and with sensitivity. When you provide acceptance and empathy, there is safety and your spouse can more aptly correct the misconceptions built into their attachment (and relational) patterns that produce their fears. God wants to work through spouses so they can help each other become more like Him! This is a big role with a lot of responsibility. Understanding and caring bring about security, safety, and stability. Couples can experience emotionally corrective experiences and learn to trust and love in a more meaningful way. If you are in need of counseling or know someone who does, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.