Sunday, June 10, 2012

Feelings: Mine or the Other?

I've been counseling couples who are having marital problems because of "feelings" as a major bottleneck. I suppose no one can claim to be an "expert" on this, including myself. I too am growing and learning.

But, I've seen significant changes with those I work with. I'm grateful for that. And it's not because I have a degree or a masteral or doctoral thesis on "feelings." A part of the reason is, I feel too. I can relate from my own "experienced reality." It's not impersonal or mechanized therapy.

 Commonly, in spite of hours and hours of talking, hurting couples talk past each other. Blaming. Justifying actions. Nagging about the way the other partner is and about the way he or she should be. Neither is really communicating one's own "feelings" (e.g. "I feel sad, lonely."). It's all "I feel that YOU ....", which is not actually taking responsibility for the "feelings" one experiences.

I've realized that, personally and professionally, not dealing with "feelings" and taking responsibility for them can kill a relationship. There's no "bad boy" or "bad girl" in such situations. We all have needs. Problems arise when one makes the other person responsible for his or her own needs and "feelings."

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