When couples fight, the feelings that arise when the conflict is unresolved can feel very painful. It is common to react to that pain. One of the reactions is to try and rush the make-up so as to avoid suffering. However, when we approach resolution this way, there is an agenda. It is not coming from a genuine place of goodwill and often things go south.
We can develop the capacity to have space for our feelings to move through us when we aren't scared by them. Understanding the transitory nature of thought and feelings along with the innate design for us to stabilize is reassuring. Knowing that all feelings are healthy and normal is beneficial too. We can also get better at relating to ourselves in loving and kind ways while we are experiencing emotional intensity. Rather than beating ourselves up when we are down, we can treat ourselves the way we would treat a good friend.
One of the main challenges with allowing emotions to move through us is feeding the narrative that creates the suffering. Rohini shares an example of how she didn't feed that narrative around her physical pain. It works the same way with emotional suffering too. Holding space for feelings, relaxing into them while not engaging with the story about them is healing and liberating.
When practiced, it helps to avoid premature make-up gestures that can fall flat and reignite the conflict all over again. Believe us, we have learned through experience, and are still learning.
Angus & Rohini Ross are “The Rewilders.” Listen to their podcast Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. Many couples don’t know how to navigate low moods, conflict, and emotional reactivity. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini love working with couples and helping them to reduce conflict and discord in their relationships by pointing them to their innate wisdom and wellbeing. They work with couples who are struggling and couples who would like to deepen the love and intimacy they already have. They co-facilitate private couples' intensives that rewild relationships back to their natural state of love.