Would you like to draw closer to your partner? Here is an exercise you can do with your spouse that can help you disclose feelings you might have kept hidden or unrevealed. Today you are going to improve your Relationship Quotient by expressing your feelings openly, honestly and maturely.
Author Gary Smalley explains that people with high RQs feel comfortable expressing their feelings frequently, in a climate of trust and acceptance.
Those with average RQs are somewhat lacking of passion. The lack of passion is proportional to the lack of confrontation. The couple is together in spirit, but not in soul. Think of Ward and June Cleaver from the television show “Leave it to Beaver” (1957-1963). There were very few personal crises or epiphanies that surfaced in their relationship. Although the couple appeared compatible, their relationship seemed bland.
Those with low RQs are at war with each other and their emotions. The classic television couple Edith and Archie Bunker (All in the Family, 1971-1979) were always at odds; she was flustered, frequently whined and ran out of the room in the heat of an argument or during any conversation with her husband, while Archie grimaced, grunted, bellowed and ridiculed.
You don’t want to be like most television couples. Situations are concocted for comedy, shock value or ratings. They are often so far removed from reality and emotional health that we cannot garner too many positive examples from television couples.
As you work on improving your “Relationship Quotient,” I want you to begin by being aware of your feelings. Get comfortable with them, accept them and express them in ways your partner can appreciate, understand and support. Don’t be overly cautious about expressing your feelings, but be careful of spewing your emotions without consideration of your partner’s frame of mind.
For example, if your spouse walks in the door from a stressful day at work, take a few moments to let him or her unwind before sharing your concern(s). Share your feelings at the right time, when your partner is ready to listen and respond.
Sometimes we want solutions and advice; many times we just want to be free to be who we are, without judgment or criticism.
JUST FOR TODAY, THINK OF FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS THAT YOU’VE WANTED TO REVEAL OR EXPRESS AND TAKE A RISK BY SHARING THEM.
If you do not receive support or understanding for your feelings, do not make demands or initiate an argument. Instead, understand that your partner is unable or unwilling to be a good listener AT THIS TIME. “At this time” is temporary. You are only responsible for bringing up your feelings at an appropriate moment, and you cannot expect a particular reaction from your spouse. Accept it for what it is and remember that you cannot control his or her response.
The success of this exercise does not depend upon your spouse’s response, but on your ability and willingness to express your feelings.
Many of us are familiar with a few key primary emotions: anger, joy, fear, sadness, love. Try to be aware of what specific feelings arise. There could be a combination, and some might be more dominant than others. This could give you a clue as to what you might need to overcome or manage.
Today you will be expressing feelings, whether they are good or not so good in an effort to raise your Relationship Quotient.
“What you don’t say to each other will eventually find a route of expression.” -Gary Smalley