The importance of emotions in a couple’s life
Emotions, we all know, are the bricks in a couple’s life. Yet, have you ever wondered what they really are and what they are for? And above all, have you ever thought that emotional awareness plays a fundamental role in a couple’s life and health?
I strongly believe this and being a psychologist, as well as an expert about couples and relationships, I would like to give you my point of view in this article. Knowing your emotions and how to manage them as an individual and as a couple is the first step towards the emotional well-being of your marriage.
What are emotions and what are they for?
Emotions have been extensively studied since the early days of psychology. Although there is no single definition, there is consensus among researchers and theorists who have worked on the subject to define emotion as a syndrome.
Simply put, emotion is considered a set of “symptoms” (psychological, physiological, expressive, behavioral) that are expressed as an involuntary and automatic response to a stimulus.
The stimulus that triggers a response in the individual can be both internal, such as a thought for example, and external, such as an event or the simple vision of something. Regardless of this, the response of the individual will always be an agitation, a shaking, a physical and mental vibration.
It is not by chance that the etymology of the word emotion is to be traced back to the Latin emovère (ex = out + movere = move) literally take out, move, in a broader sense, shake, stir
What are emotions for?
Emotions on an evolutionary level play a key role in protecting and defending us from danger. They activate the individual and prepare them – also physically – for action.
For this reason, all human beings, regardless of age, ethnic group and sociocultural development feel primary emotions in the same way. In fact, there is even a universal facial expression for primary emotions.
Primary emotions, are innate and are related to goals such as physical survival, personal relationships, and the ability to complete actions taken. Most academics believe there are 6 primary emotions: joy, sadness, fear, anger, awe, and disgust.
These basic emotions combine to generate more complex emotions, so-called secondary emotions, which then originate real feelings that can be of many emotional colors. This is also due to the intervention of thought in the emotional analysis.
Setting aside further theoretical aspects we return to the main question: what are emotions for besides protecting our survival?
They tell us how we are
It’s hard to say whether we feel joyful because our heart rate increases and so does our level of excitement and energy, or these physiological changes occur because we feel joyous.
It is difficult to determine which part of the mind and body feels the emotion. Because the relationship between the two is indivisible and the emotional vibration is closely intertwined with physiological vibration.
Therefore, understanding which emotion we feel provides us with a very important key to understanding how we are, both psychologically and physically.
Similarly, when an emotion is repressed somatization occurs. That is, the body experiences discomfort, real pain and “constraints” of the organism. It is precisely in those physical points that the body retains the unexpressed emotion.
They tell others how we feel
Now we’ll think about the importance of emotions in a couple’s life.
If the individual is capable of acknowledging and accepting their own emotions and expressing them freely, they are able to take an important step towards their partner. In fact it will be easier to communicate to the other what they feel, laying the foundations for a sound relationship of mutual sharing and growth.
However, acknowledging one’s own emotions is not always easy and straightforward. There are many factors that affect the free and conscious expression of emotions, such as family influences. Likewise, the individual is inclined not to acknowledge, more or less consciously, which emotions underlie the more complex feelings.
In this regard, my suggestion is to try to dig into one’s secondary emotions in search of the primary emotions that form them, in order to work on self and one’s emotional state awareness.
Only in this way, starting from oneself, can a clearer and more effective verbal and non-verbal communication that improves the relationship of the couple grow. This will promote the development of a fundamental skill for a couple: Emotional Intelligence.
Couples’ Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence (suggested by the American psychologists P. Salovey and John D. Mayer and later revised and extensively studied by D. Goleman.) can be described as an individual’s capability to acknowledge, understand and consciously use their own and others’ emotions.
This capability, developed in the couple, allows them to build positive feelings based on trust and communication. A couple with emotional intelligence will be able to limit or even prevent toxic feelings and crippling thoughts from taking over.
All emotions are valuable and essential
A very important consideration not to forget is that all emotions are useful. So, accept all primary emotions because they are healthy emotions.
Each of them serves a protective function and are necessary to face life events. For this reason, recognizing that you are afraid, or feel angry or sad is a human right, and also a couple’s right. But it is also a fundamental skill for health and emotional and psychological well-being!
In conclusion, in order to explore this topic, I would like to leave you this video in which Sadness comes to pass a difficult moment
Ph Credits: GAP Wedding