Do you sometimes feel unable to relate with the person you love? Perhaps you find that an old incident continues to be a recurrent theme in arguments with your partner. A reason could be when our “withholds” occur where we project old thoughts and feelings onto current reality and act as if they’re real but fail to reveal how we really feel to our partners.
Joy Hosey a relationship coach suggests that in order to keep a long-term intimacy couples need to learn to stay current and transparent with their emotions. This means finding honorable ways of confiding our inner reality to our mate, including the petty stuff. Sharing withholds is an intimacy practice where both partners agree to share their inner terrain while taking full responsibility for their thoughts and feelings, instead of defending them. When done successfully, blame and shame take a back seat to self- acceptance and empathy.
Below is a four step guide to help you be more honest with your emotions:
- Talk about the triggering moment as if describing as snapshot.
- Name the bodily sensations that occurred.
- Claim any feelings (usually it’s some version of sad, mad, afraid).
- Take ownership of any thoughts, stories, imaginings, or memories that were evoked. (are you offended because the situation reminds you of your childhood etc)
This practice is not for the faint of hearts. It requires both partners’ agreement to let go of their defensive postures (or at least take full responsibility for them).