Relationships are full of surprises and how to save your relationship is a question often asked. First we need to understand a problem from our partner's perspective so we are properly informed and can work together to solve it. Secondly, we need to be calm and manage our temper so we don't keep triggering each other into arguments.
A man experiencing sex problems such as ejaculating early or having problems getting or maintaining a hard erection feels totally humiliated during sex. Due to his ongoing feeling of failure he withdraws from initiating sex and frequently withdraws emotionally from the relationship as he struggles to mentally come to terms with how to deal with his problem.
On the other hand, his partner may be struggling to understand what (she’s) done wrong. She may misconstrue the reason behind a lack of an erection, believing that her partner is no longer interested in her or attracted to her. She may fear the relationship is failing – and that it might be her fault.
The other side of this scenario for a woman, is believing that she understands his problem. But in her misguided effort to support him and save him from embarrassment, she starts refraining from initiating sex.
All this achieves is to pile on the performance anxiety. Now he feels like he has to be the one who initiates sex – but he hesitates to do so because she doesn’t seem to want it and he’s also afraid of his ability to perform. His anxiety becomes compounded by the growing belief that maybe his partner has lost interest in him and in their relationship.
In life and especially in our relationships we frequently find ourselves dealing with the negative consequences and repercussions of becoming emotionally triggered.
There are usually many factors which contribute to an issue and too many times we blunder along, assuming a partner’s perspective is the same as our own. Then we get upset, frustrated or annoyed when they reject our offer of support. The thing is, if our support isn’t relative to their perspective then it’s not being helpful at all. While we may be feeling flat, rejected and unappreciated, our partner is frustrated that we still don’t understand their need.
Most men struggle to provide emotional fulfillment to their partner when they are feeling sexually unfulfilled, while most women require an emotional connection to retain a healthy libido as well as interest in having sex with their partner. And so the cycle of frustration and disconnection continues.
Considering there are many aspects which factor into sex, life and relationship problems, it can be of great benefit to either or both partners to seek professional help to solve and end the problems.
When we are emotionally triggered we disconnect at our core, and are therefore out of alignment with who we want to be, and how we want to feel. All our actions from this disconnected state tend to be destructive. Our words become demanding, blaming or hyper critical; and clear, loving communication becomes impossible until we reset ourselves to a calm emotional state.
In contrast, when we communicate from a calm and empowered emotional state, we are able to ensure that our words and actions are in alignment with who we really are and how we want to be and feel. This results in both partners feeling supported, heard and understood.
Staying angry doesn’t get us what we ultimately want in our relationship which is the feeling of mutual love, respect, appreciation and connection. As soon as we start analyzing why we think we are angry it’s going to lead to more trouble because our thoughts continue to retrigger us into further emotional reactions. Trying to override our body’s natural stress response keeps us in our mind and is the very action which continues to make us feel separate.
With our biology in fight/flight or freeze/shutdown mode, we want to get out of tense situations as fast as possible, so we launch into a verbal tirade to quickly offload our frustration and related annoyances. However, instead of making us feel connected, this triggers our partner into feeling hurt, defensive and questioning why they are still in a relationship with us.
As soon as we become emotionally triggered, stress hormones take over, we cannot think clearly and our words and actions become destructive. This is exacerbated because when we are triggered we are focused on who we don’t want to be, what we don’t want to experience, and how we don’t want to feel!
Our nervous system has more recently evolved to allow us to first engage through our eyes, facial expression, hand gestures, and tone of voice to resolve a tense situation.
However, we more often than not override this newer social engagement system and default to our ancient survival mechanism of fight/flight or freeze/shutdown. In a relationship, we may perceive this (or be perceived by our partner) as being aggressive or passive-aggressive.
These triggered emotional states make clear communication impossible. With eyes bulging, body tense, and our voice sounding terse we appear to be threatening. Or our withdrawn, disconnected expression makes us look like our partner is the last person we want to be in the vicinity of.
Either expression can result in triggering our partner, and when we are having discussions on sensitive, important topics, our biology can continue to retrigger each other so the related issues are never fully resolved.
In addition to this, when we are emotionally triggered, our prefrontal cortex shuts down to the degree that we cannot think clearly or assimilate new information. This is why in an argument, both partners will resort to bringing up past situations that were similar, as they desperately try to provide context to the current situation.
Known as “dredging”, this tends to make your partner feel blamed and accused – and is ineffective because your memories of that past situation were clouded by your own perception at the time which was limited because you were emotionally triggered. As was theirs.
When you are emotionally triggered, you only perceive (and therefore remember) a small percentage of what actually happened.
It’s important to make sure you are communicating from an emotionally empowered state so you don’t inadvertently trigger your partner, retrigger yourself, or forget what you need to say.
This is why the first step in controlling your anger and saving your relationship is to take charge of your biology; your autonomic nervous system’s fight/flight and freeze/shutdown response and the stress hormones which trigger unwanted emotional reactions.
When we communicate from a calm and empowered emotional state, we are able to ensure that our words and actions are in alignment with who we really are and how we want to be and feel. This results in both partners feeling supported, heard and understood.
Feeling aligned with ourselves can naturally raise our levels of happy hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins which also help us feel more connected. Actions initiated from this emotionally empowered state have a positive rather than negative influence on others.
Follow these essential steps to be calm and manage your temper, control anger in your relationship, significantly reduce arguments and enhance your overall sense of connection:
Restore your emotions to a place of calm.
Get clear on how you want to feel.
Stay focused on what you want to create.
Understand what is important to your partner.
Step up your “A” Game to Attract your partner.
It is only after restoring yourself to an emotionally empowered state that you are able to get clear on how you want to be and feel so you can stay focused on creating your ideal relationship. This makes it much easier to communicate with your partner and understand what is important to them as well as you.
By understanding your partner’s needs and then sharing the vision of what you want to create together, you can both now step up your “A” game and make required adjustments to your own actions and behaviors. This will reduce emotional triggering, enhance attraction in your relationship and help restore a mutually satisfying connection.
It's time to align your mind and emotions to empower your relationships and your life.
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