One of the most damaging emotions in a relationship is rage, especially when it is combined with shame. I think this is responsible for the downfall of most failed marriages and relationships.

 

Why? Well, when your partner does something that triggers you to feel hurt, and you react with anger and shaming him/her, all you end up accomplishing is pushing them away, and feeling even more alone and hurt. I do think that the rage and shaming position is a form of self-love, but a misguided one at best, and often a very destructive one at that.

The inability to sit with our hurt, and the shame we often connect with our hurt typically stems from having early caretakers whom couldn’t be present for our vulnerability because they were never taught to make their own hurt matter.  Until you separate the shame from your hurt, and take a stand for your partner to see and feel this part of you without blame, you will always feel alone and unseen in your marriage.

The reality is that there is no course in school about how to be emotionally intimate, and very few of us had perfect examples in our caretakers growing up. In my approach to couples counseling, I teach a couple to become clear in their emotional fields, and to love all parts of themselves. This clarity can then lead to a quality of relationship never before experienced.