Being in a relationship with someone is both rewarding and frightening. There have been times during my 9-month-old relationship that I wonder how he is able to handle the intensity of my emotions.
I remember one night, after we took our night walk, I was sitting in McDonalds and I started to sob uncontrollably. He didn’t seem fazed at all, he just held me as my sobs racked my frame.
And then there are other times when I share my emotions and somehow, the way that I share my emotions comes across as being too negative and he reacts because he feels like he is the bad person.
In those times, in the heat of the moment, he says that my emotions seem ridiculous. When someone rejects your feelings, it’s very difficult not to feel dismissed. It feels as though he has rejected me, when actually he has issue with my emotions.
I was thinking about whether there is any way out of such situations and I can only think of one that is within my control.
I do hope that he will learn to value the expressions of my emotions more as time goes by (9 months is not a very long relationship if you consider the fact that we come from very different backgrounds and we have not been in a real relationship for many years so we are used to having our own way).
However, in the meantime, I need to realise something very important.
My emotions are not me.
Previously, I had realized that my emotions are not me when it came to how I see myself. I had some success in getting things done despite how I feel. And although I felt lousy about myself, I did not treat myself in a lousy manner.
But now, when I am in a relationship and someone else is in contact with my emotions, I have to learn this lesson even more – to manage my emotions and not let my emotions manage me.
I am learning to have some distance between how I feel and who I am. To differentiate between how he reacts to my feelings and how he sees me as a person. There are no shortcuts in this journey – and I must say it is a very painful one sometimes.
One thing that helps is to make sure that I am well rested and that I have support from other quarters. When that happens, I am not so wrapped up in my emotions and I can see beyond the pain/anger/frustration/____(fill in the blank)____.
I used to think that the victory is won when I am not dictated by my emotions. Now I am beginning to see that in a relationship, the victory is won when we are both not dictated by emotions.