It comes as no surprise—sharing your feelings with your partner is key to a lasting relationship.
But you’re tired of hearing how important it is—how do you go about it? How can you make sure that the person you’re sharing with actually hears what you are saying without feeling like they’re being attacked?
If you’ve tried to share your feelings before and found yourself frustrated and hurt, then you might need a new approach.
Applying the following skills will allow you to have deeper conversations. In turn, you’ll enjoy a happier and more intimate connection with your partner.
The Importance of Sharing Feelings In a Relationship
Communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. You’ve probably heard this before, but we can’t say it enough.
If you want to strengthen your relationship, then it’s important for both of you to feel safe and comfortable sharing what’s happening in your world.
From the day-to-day thoughts and feelings to the big things like your hopes and dreams.
Here’s why: Sharing your feelings with your partner is what deepens your connection and allows you to achieve greater intimacy.
The Risks of Not Sharing Your Feelings in a Relationship
When you aren’t communicating your feelings and needs, you can begin to feel misunderstood. You may start to feel isolated and resentful. Sound familiar?
Your partner can also become frustrated, confused, and unsure of how to support you.
On the other hand—when you can share your feelings, you’re brought closer together.
But, do you find it easier to share when times are good? Sometimes expressing your feelings about everyday things comes much easier than confronting your partner about more serious concerns.
You might even find yourself biting your tongue to avoid a confrontation, or worrying that they won’t understand what you’re saying.
If you find it challenging to express yourself when it comes to more serious conversations, there are ways to make it easier for you to open up.
Here’s our guide on how to talk about your feelings with your partner.
When you have conversations about your feelings matters. If you’re both tired or tensions are already high, then it may not be the optimal time to have a difficult conversation.
It may be best to wait until you’re both in a calm and rested state so you’re ready to have a constructive discussion.
At the same time—don’t wait too long to address something that’s bothering you. Waiting too long to express your feelings can also lead you to feel resentful and can create distance in the relationship.
If too much time goes by, you may find starting the conversation to be even more difficult than before. Something that seemed like a small issue may have morphed into a much bigger problem now.
Focus On Your Feelings, Not Their Actions
You may be at your wits’ end about something your partner does. But resist the urge to point fingers and begin the conversation with blame.
Rather than pointing out the things you feel your partner is doing wrong, keep the focus on your emotions. Emphasize what it is you’re feeling and needing from the relationship that you’re not getting.
Do use: “I feel….”
Avoid: “You make me…!”
When you focus on your feelings, you’re just sharing what’s been going on with you. And you’ll be more likely to get the support and understanding that you need from your partner.
Tell, Don’t Assume
Don’t be afraid to tell your partner what you need from them. You could be setting yourself up for a misunderstanding if you assume they know what you want.
Clarify what you need in the moment:
- Do you need someone to vent to?
- Are you looking for advice?
- Do you want them to help you problem-solve?
Your partner may be eager to help when you approach them. But, they won’t know what you need until you tell them how they can help you.
Ask For Their Perspective and Listen
Once you share your feelings, the next step is to ask for their perspective and listen to them without judgment. At this stage, remember that it isn’t about you—it’s about them and what they’re feeling.
Instead of worrying about how you will react, just focus on hearing what they’re saying. A helpful communication tool is to paraphrase what they say back to them. This does three things:
- Shows your partner you were listening to them
- Confirms you understand what they said
- Demonstrates you care for your partner’s feelings
Communication doesn’t go one way. Sharing your feelings with your partner means that you have to expect them to have feelings as well.
Not that it always comes easy. Sharing and listening can be hard—especially if one partner feels like the other doesn’t care or is giving them the silent treatment.
But by working together, taking turns talking, and following the tips above, you can open up more deeply about your feelings. And you’ll learn how to share in a way that leaves you both feeling heard.
Sharing your feelings with your partner is not a one-time-only deal. But that doesn’t mean you need to have intense, serious conversations every single day.
A healthy relationship involves regular conversations about what’s going on with you. And not just the negative! Maintaining regular check-ins will allow you to share in a way that feels natural and comfortable.
It will also help prevent you from bottling up emotions for days or weeks, only to have a big blow-up.
Sharing Feelings In Couples Therapy
If you’ve tried some of these strategies and are thinking “these have never worked for us,” you wouldn’t be the first to feel that way!
But you might also be surprised to find that with the right help, you can learn how to talk about your feelings in a way that leaves you feeling closer.
A trained couples therapist can help guide you as you grow your skills in effectively expressing your feelings. With a little support, you’ll see your communication completely transform from a place of hesitation and anxiety to deeper and more fulfilling conversation.
Are you ready for a happier, more fulfilling relationship?
Contact us today to speak with one of our therapists.