Marrying a therapist was not on my bucket list growing up.
But, relationships (and restaurants) often bring people with very different backgrounds together. Rachel and I for example – we both have very different life experiences which have shaped us in our own ways. While we have a lot in common, we have different backgrounds.
In a balanced relationship, both partners often share their experiences or education with each other, especially as time goes on. Sharing your knowledge in life with your partner can improve your connection and understanding of each other.
I happened to fall in love with a therapist, someone who has over 7 YEARS of training and education in a field that deals with emotions, feelings, understanding, and communication. I often get questioned on my sanity for sharing my life with someone trained so well in how to understand emotions and feelings – which always feels a little strange. Do the people questioning my decisions not like feeling connected to their partners? That question gets its own podcast episode I think…
Here is the thing though, I have and do learn a lot from Rachel about my feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Is it always good and easy? Hellllllll no. But, I always end up benefiting from a deeper understanding of myself and my partner. So here is what I’ve learned from marrying and sharing my life with a therapist. Suck it, nay-sayers.
TALKCommunication is the foundation of everything. We aren't psychic. We can't know what our partners are thinking all the time. We can guess, but that often goes poorly. - @thewrightkyle Click To Tweet
Talk. Share. Be open. The more we share with our partners, the better we understand each other. I know that sounds obvious, but often people struggle with this concept. That isn’t a judgment; it’s the truth! I still work on sharing my feelings all the time. I used to internalize when I feel stressed, which is an unhealthy habit. It was only with opening up to Rachel that I have been able to learn more about myself.
Plus, the more I share how I feel, the better understanding my partner has of me and the more she can be there for me in the ways that I need.
Hiding your feelings is a very human thing to do. It is also super counter-productive to your growth as a person and as a partner in a relationship.
They are called feelings, so I recommend you FEEL them. Share them. [SPOILER ALERT: The five things I am talking about in this blog all work best when used together.]
TELL your partner how you are FEEL-ing.
That way your partner doesn’t have to be psychic and can assist you in moving you away from negative feelings, or embracing positive ones. Also, marrying a therapist makes you realize that no one has it all together. Rachel has bad days too. It’s hard for her to feel her feelings sometimes too. Knowing that she had the same human struggles helped me be able to feel and share how I feel with her.
If you hide how you feel, nobody can understand you. Make sense?
If you don’t know how to tell your partner how you feel (or would like to be better at it), check out our WWC Communication Scripts.
“HUUUR DURRRR, Kyle – I already know I am supposed to share how I feel with my partner!” -Everyone reading this blog right now.
Do you do it though? Do you share the little things you experience that may change how your day went? Do you have the metaphorical stones to share when you have a shitty mental health day with your partner?
It can be harder than you think. If anyone reading this has trouble with sharing, (emotional sharing that is, I can’t teach you how to share-share if you missed that day of kindergarten) shoot me an email, and I will see if I can help!
The whole “sharing your experiences and life” stuff is a two-way street, in case that isn’t obvious by now.
If you want a relationship where your partner understands you and your actions, you better be prepared to reciprocate. In that way, good communication is like oral sex – if you want it you better be ready to give it.
The icing on the cake. The creme-de-la-creme. The way the cookie crumbles. Why are so many resolution-y phrases based on dessert?
LISTEN. LIST-EN. LISSSSTEN. Your partner says words. Those words mean something. Your partner is telling you something. What is the one thing you need to do?
Listening is a great first impression you can make on a date, and it will be the thing that keeps your relationship together over time. Everything I have said in this blog I learned from spending my life with a therapist, but listening is by far the most important.
Being able to listen without waiting to respond is THE MOST DIFFICULT thing for many people – myself included. We want to give an explanation, or reasoning for what we said, or defend our words, but just being able to shut the fuck up and listening to our partner is one of the healthiest relationship decisions you can make.
So, those are the five things I have learned on the road of marrying a therapist. I have learned MUCH more than this, but that is for another time, on another blog – maybe a podcast episode.
If you can practice one of these every week, I think you will feel a significant difference in your relationship. Why don’t you join us in our Facebook Group and tell me how your progress is going? I look forward to seeing you there.