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  • Writer's pictureEmily Piette

Reflection: Talking about feelings in our relationships

For the past two weeks, my partner and I drove out to the East Coast (and back), for a two week vacation. The drive out was broken up over 4 days- with many stops and rests to explore. The drive back.... we did it in 2 days.


Despite the amount of driving, we were spending every minute of each day together.

That is not of the norm for many... and it is not for us. We tend to have weekends together to do errands and visits with family/friends, but to be together alone, doesn't happen often.


Typically, we have a good understanding and awareness of our stress and moods, to know when we need space for each other. We couldn't do that with this trip.

So, we had to rely heavily on communication.


I am still learning and growing into feeling comfortable to talk about feelings in my relationship. You could say I am more... anxious-avoidant.

This was harder task for me, I feel, than him.



Being cooped up together for so long, hitting construction zones, Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal traffic jams, and the stress of driving Quebec roads, we inevitably became irritable, tired, and annoyed. There were times he would get snappy with me- the annoyed tone, the short answers (many times the answer is just a shrug). I went into anxiety and fear. Why did I go into this stress?

I grew up as a "mood-reader", and I am working through my fears and anxieties of upsetting him (or anyone else I love). In my head and body, upsetting someone= I am a bad person. Someone is unhappy with me= I don't deserve someone to treat me well, with respect and kindness. Tones, words, changes of body and facial expressions, sighs... I can sense and read it all. It is a blessing and a curse.


So, what would I do with this stress?

I would focus on my breathing. Focusing on regulating my own feelings. I can honestly say, he has no idea that this is my internal world and workings. In a span of 90-seconds, I was able to come to a balanced state, to calm and talk myself through my own feelings and triggers.


I would regulate and say to myself "Speak up if you are bothered". So I would. I would tell him (sometimes with edge in my voice) that I didn't like it. He would take a moment to think, and then apologize. We would open up to each other, talk it out for a few minutes, and explore what we needed to feel better.


This is a normal, healthy interaction in relationships. Communication and safety to talk about our vulnerabilities in our relationships, can help us heal our inner wounds.

Professionally, I know this is a healthy interaction. Personally, I am still growing in confidence and self-regulation to have these conversations.



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