Emotional Guidance and Leadership
When our marital relationship is experiencing emotional problems, someone has to initiate, lead, and oversee the inner work to be done. In an ideal situation both people have fairly even and sufficient emotional skills and are able to collaborate together in doing this work. But quite often , one person ends up being more responsible for the emotional condition and work of the relationship, willingly, or because he/she realizes the necessity of this matter and the fact that someone has to do and take the lead on it.
The "emotion leader" takes on an active role in addressing, and resolving the emotional and inner challenges of the relationship, so that it can untangle itself from current inner blocks and obstacles and move to forward to a better place, condition, and situation. Here's a list of things to do when you are seeking to provide emotional guidance and leadership in your relationship. But before we go into the list, let me add that it is important to do and be an "emotion leader", not just an "emotional supporter". While emotional support is important and positive and well recommended, "emotional leadership" is much more proactive and assertive in its strategies than "emotional support". So what we want is to provide emotional guidance and leadership, in a supportive way.
Determine The Emotional Work To Be Done
Ask yourself: How do I want to feel ? Then write a list of what you need to do to achieve this emotional goal. Ask the same question regarding your spouse and then write down what he/she needs to do to feel that way.
Communicate, Request, And Do The Emotional Work to Be Done
Have a discussion with your spouse about how he/she wants to feel and help and guide this person in setting emotional goals and also doing the work needed to achieve them.
Emphasize the Importance of Emotional Achievement
Tell your spouse that emotions, emotional progress, and well being are very important and a key to happiness and relationship success. Whether it is pride, self esteem, safety, calm, joy, togetherness, warmth, release, love, attachment, or peace of mind that we seek, they are all a kind of positive emotion. And whether it is depression, fear, rage, hate, incompetence, unimportance, weakness, stupidity, shallowness, or meaninglessness that we want to get rid of, they are all a kind of negative emotion.
Since seeking positive emotions and getting rid of negative emotions of one form or another constitute so much of life and our goals, it makes good sense to value feelings and make emotional progress a key goal. So it makes sense, that we, as emtions leader and guide (in the relationship) make our spouse aware of the importance of the role emotions and emotional progress play in our life.
Address emotional issues in a way that works best for your partner
People process emotions through different methods. Some people prefer to talk about how they feel while others do not like to and/or are unable to express their emotions through words. Some people prefer to keep their emotions private and hidden while others wear their emotions easily. Some people give emotional matters high priority
while others don't attach much importance to them. Some are quite emotionally fluid and aware while others are closed and carry a lot of pent up feelings. What is the emotional style and skills of your partner and how (also where and when) can you address the emotional issues of your relationship so that they can best be appreciated by your partner
Understand Your Spouse's Feelings
It is important that you seek to understand and feel your partner's emotions and emotional status and dilemmas. Many times people do not express their emotional
challenges but it is that very problem that is causing a sort of block in the relationship. Once the emotional problem is properly and sufficiently understood, you know what you are up against and what you can possibly do to improve the situation related to this issue.
Ask your spouse questions like: "How do you feel about this issue or idea ?" , "What bothers you about …. ?" "What makes you afraid about this ?" , "How can I help you feel better about this ?" , "How does ………… make you feel ?" , "What is your fear about ……?" , "What makes you angry about ….. ?" , "What feelings make you act this way (or say this) ? "
Find and Implement Creative Emotional Solutions
As the emotions leader and guide in the relationship, you'd do well, to actively seek new, positive, and effective ways to solve the emotional challenges that you and/or your spouse are experiencing.
As you seek, find, and implement these emotional solutions, your relationship will feel better and more positive.