Emotions in Relationships-November 2014


Can run high!  It’s possible to feel all sorts of feelings-excited, nervous, joyous, fearful, proud, sadness, comfort, jealousy, ecstasy-and sometimes many of those all at the same time!  Sometimes it’s hard to know what feelings are “normal” or how to handle our emotions if they feel out of control.  Other times, messages of what emotions are “good,” “bad” or only experienced by certain genders can make what we think we are feeling confusing.  In addition, sometimes our disability affects how we perceive our own emotions, the emotions of others, communicating and perceptions.

Positive Emotions

Usually feel great!  It can feel exciting to have positive feelings about another person and have another person have positive feelings about you!  They can be the “high” that can accompany new relationships or more steady feelings of loyalty and shared experiences.  Sometimes positive feelings can be confusing if partners have differing experiences or expectations of what “happy” means, as someone might interpret “happiness” in relationships as control over another person, while another person might experience their “happiness” as freedom.  Pity is usually not considered a positive emotion, and it may be important to remind yourself of your worth, and perhaps leave a relationship if the only positive emotion you are getting from the relationship is pity.

Negative Emotions

Negative emotions aren’t necessarily bad things.  They can help inform us when we need to exit a situation or relationship and provide us information when we are hurt or things aren’t going well.  Negative emotions, such as hurt or jealousy, can help us discover new realizations about ourselves and our partners, as well as help open up avenues of communication for change.  Sometimes there is pain and hurt that cannot be fixed with communication, and we may need assistance to get out of these situations before we are hurt further.

Confusing Emotions

Sometimes things are going well but we still feel sad.  Sometimes we try to be nice, but our words come out cruel.  Sometimes our attractions or needs change, and communicating changes we are experiencing for the first time can be difficult.  Sometimes we experience feelings we’ve never had before, or in situations that are unexpected.

In any circumstance, trying to be honest with yourself about the feelings you are experiencing and examining where that emotion is coming from can be important.  There is help on campus at DRES, the Counseling Center, McKinley, the Women’s Resource Center and the LGBT Resource Center if you’d like help figuring out your emotions or if you are having difficulties in relationships.  Here’s to feelings!