People differ in how they want to be supported and problems arise when one partner does not meet the needs or expectations of the other. For example, a partner more in tune with feelings may share emotions when looking for support; however, if the other partner is not as emotional, he/she may respond in a way that feels unsupportive, invalidating, or dismissive.
Do you and your partner have difficulties because one or both of you feel emotionally unsupported? Or do one of you struggle with “being there” for your partner when he/she is upset or feeling down? If so, read below to learn more about these cycles and how you can lessen the impact they have on your relationship.
These issues often create the following cycles: I Am Not Overreacting!
In this cycle, partners may differ on emotional expressiveness, reactivity, or sensitivity. One partner may feel unsupported when he/she seeks emotional support and the other partner responds in a way that feels invalidating such as by saying, “oh, that’s not a big deal” or by refusing to talk to the partner until he/she “calms down”. This can cause a lot of hurt, sadness, and resentment.
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