A Look At The Role of Emotions In Relationships
People fall in love and usually think that the “touchy-feely” emotional high of the in-love experience will last forever. Only to discover after a few months or years in the marriage that simple things like hairs on the sink, white spots in the mirror, floating socks, unwashed dishes etc. can kick the feeling away into the wind like it never existed.
It’s a fact that, after a couple settles down, the emotional high is unable to fuel the rest of the journey. It gradually dies down, and unmet expectations become huge areas of resistance. In such moments, it seems so difficult to love. The truth however is that, love was not understood in the first place. It was wrongly assumed that love was the “head in the rainbows, butterflies in the stomach” feelings at the start of the relationship journey.
The high rush of emotions usually arises out of our physical attraction to someone and our idealization of our partners. It usually fails to recognize their imperfections and totally disregards those as needing any attention. It keeps a person in a state of illusion until reality knocks him or her back into consciousness.
Love, on the other hand, rises above the illusion of the in-love experience. It is an act of the will that requires effort, discipline and focus. It is conscious and not just emotionally driven. That is to say, it unites both reason and emotion in perfect harmony. When partners are truly loving, they recognize imperfections and are not intimidated by them. Neither do they get bitter because of them. They however make every effort to grow together, appreciate the good in each other, accept each other for who they are, and to make provisions for improving their attitudes towards each other, IN SPITE OF THEIR KNOWN IMPERFECTIONS.
Are emotions therefore unnecessary in our marriages? If emotions don’t fuel our relationships then why talk about it?
Well, emotions are not totally irrelevant in a relationship. In fact, they play a very important role in preserving it. Yes, you don’t go around telling the world your partner is flawless based on an emotion. Neither do you call it quits on a relationship because of a negative emotion. They exist for a reason. EMOTIONS ARE INDICATORS OF REALITY. Great partners don’t run their relationships with emotions; they run it with love through emotions.
The emotions partners feel about certain things in the marriage are indicators of what is going right or wrong at a given time. If they feel happy and bubbly, that signifies that something being done in the relationship should be encouraged to continue. If they feel bad, angry or sad, then it indicates that a behavior, an activity or a word came out wrongly. The couple should immediately see it as a signal to identify the problem and get to work on improving themselves.
The appearance of wrong emotions does not automatically mean that the couple is incompatible or do not love themselves anymore. Far from that! It’s just a red flag pointing to an issue that needs addressing. Couples who genuinely love each other are humble and submit themselves one to another. They are willing to learn what excites each other and what does not. They do well to dwell on the positives and to pull on the strings that stir up the good emotions of their partners.
Great partners don’t run their relationships with emotions; they run it with love through emotions.
Is it not interesting to note that after a couple make the effort to deal with the problem that raised the emotional red flag, all the touchy-feely feelings seem to rush back in? The relationship experiences a renewal and partners feel like day old lovers. All the excitement and great feelings for our partners seem to have been reborn.
Emotions, after all, are not irrelevant in the course of the relationship journey. They play a very important role of serving as a guide to help the captain of the ship sail in the right direction. Emotions enable love to fully express itself; to reach out to the greatness residing in our partners in spite of their temporary failures and imperfections. Let us learn to become excellent at deciphering the emotional code and committing to making our relationships work, because they can.
Prince A. Poku. © June 2019