Managing Emotions and Maintaining Control

You do have choices. You decide what you will make of each situation in your marriage. You decide whether you’ll break or resist, whether you’ll choose acceptance or rejection. No one can force you to believe that a situation is hopeless or impossible to improve. Your perceptions are entirely under your control. While you can’t control everything, you can control your perceptions and reactions as partners.

Relational struggles make us emotional, but the only way to survive or overcome them is by keeping those emotions in check. If you can remain steady, no matter what happens, you will navigate the situation and your partner’s reactions more effectively. Becoming too emotional can cloud your judgment and disrupt your focus. Your best responses and actions come from pausing and preparing yourself and getting to a place of calm.

You will eventually find what works best for you as a couple. Many strategies can help you manage emotions better and respond calmly. Let your partner know when you are not in a place to engage calmly, go exercise, unplug and relax, go for a walk, or meditate. It’s not simply a matter of wanting to be calm and present; you must work at it. Catch your mind when it wanders and is “making movies.” Don’t let your mind get away from you. Have the courage to communicate with your partner and clarify facts instead of reacting. Discard distracting thoughts and take the time to calm down, no matter how much you feel like reacting.

A couples therapist can help you strengthen your relationship and ensure you are on the path to a healthy and fulfilling partnership.

Adapted from a book of Ryan Holiday

Dr.Baya Mebarek, Psy.D.,LMFT