Other people don't cause our feelings.
Our feelings are an embodied response that speaks of a deep need not being met.
Many times, when couples are in conflict, they try and come up with strategies to fix the problem.
But if the strategy doesn't meet both of the partners needs then it is no good.
We have to learn how our body experiences feelings.
And then we have to learn how to communicate those needs to our partner during conflict.
When one partner throws out a judgement they are actually wanting a need met. If we switch our focus from the judgement to the underlying need then the conflict disappears and now we're tackling it as a team. The partner being "attacked" needs to dig under the judgements and anger to find out what the present need is...in this moment.
We need to get curious about our partner.
The interesting thing is...we often express our deep needs in an opposite way.
So if your partner says, "you never do the dishes." they might really have a need for appreciation.
Or if your partner says, "don't touch me." they might really have a need for affection or closeness.
Sometimes we will tell our partner exactly what we need, but sometimes we mask it in a judgement, an attack or anger. These needs are "forbidden needs". They are the needs that have been deemed as forbidden throughout our life and so we have a hard time communicating them. This is why they end up coming out as an opposite judgement and create conflict. In relationship we continue to act as if these needs are forbidden even though we truly desire to meet them.
MOVING FROM CONFLICT TO CONNECTION:
-We have to enter conflict without labeling what the other person is doing as "right or wrong".
-Instead, we're searching for the hidden needs with curiosity, kindness and non-judgement.
-We're open to discovering our own needs as well as the others instead of continuing to be in attack mode. We are committed to working together to discover the hidden needs.
-It should be our joy to meet the others needs. So this is an incredible opportunity for both partners to give and receive. Many times the need is what the other person desperately wants to give.
-This creates safety and goes beyond "solving the problem".
-This beneficial cycle is reinforced when one partner checks in with themselves, finds the hidden feelings and shares them.
-The other person can respond with love and understanding and now feels safe to explore their own needs.
-In order to discover the hidden needs we have to get out of our head and into our body. We need to get out of the past and future and into the present moment, present needs. We have to breathe and ask ourselves what physical/emotional feelings are happening within us. This is a physical thing. We all know what it feels like to be excited or sad. Those are the sensations you are tapping into. After you've sat with that you can attempt to label them and communicate them with one another.
-The best way to avoid resenting your partner is to speak your needs often.