We each come to our intimate couples relationship with our own patterns, formed from our past experiences, particularly our experiences when we were young. We take in what we see around us, this is how we learn. The culture of our family or origin, the way people related to each other and the couples relationships we lived with unconsciously as well as consciously form our view of what is normal and desirable.
As we develop new relationships, we naturally come to know more and more about our partner. However, we can not know everything, and where we are not sure, our natural tendance is to fill in the blanks, usually by assuming the other is like us. We tend to project on to them what it is we prefer and are used to.
When you get emotional, your partner is the closest person, and likely the person you look to to help you. However, not every couple has had conversations about what it is that is wanted in those moments. Comfort? Space? Suggested ways forwards? There are many things you may want, and not want, and you may or may not be fully aware of them.
If either of you getting emotional is a flashpoint for tensions in your relationship it is well worth sitting down and exploring together what it is you each need from the other when you are feeling emotional. Being clear can help you to meet the other where they are, rather than expecting them to come to where you are, or assuming they are someplace else and mis-attuning when they need you most.
Such a conversation is most impactful when its approached at a time without tension, and after consideration. It calls for self-awareness, and honesty. It might be a bit uncomfortable, and make one or both of you feel a little vulnerable. That said, it may also help you feel more deeply seen and understood, and it may mean you get just what you need next time life pushes your buttons.
So, what do you need from your partner when you get emotional? And when they are emotional, what do they need from you?