Suppressed emotions

VERY often, we do not want to talk about something that might upset the one we love. Consequently, we remain quiet but bothered. Later on, we run the risk of the situation boiling over and causing damage that could have very well been prevented if only we had initiated a dialogue.

Perhaps the one you love has a habit that irritates you or might even be a threat to your love. Maybe he drinks too much but you are hesitant to talk about it for fear of losing him. This happens all too often, especially in the early part of a relationship when the bonds of love are not yet that strong.

Failure to address the issue puts more stress and strain on the couple. Frustration builds as the partner wants to talk, but somehow cannot bring herself about to do so. When she does bring up the issue, there will most likely be more emotion and that can mean trouble.

I remember a woman who was getting very irritated because her boyfriend was almost always late. Worse, he would not call to advise her that he would be delayed. For quite a while, she said nothing and pretended not to be bothered when she really was. Finally, she could no longer handle her feelings and lashed out at him with a fury. The guy was shocked and could not understand why so much anger when he was just late by a few minutes. Actually, her outburst was more about an accumulation of many late dates she had never talked to him about. This latest incident was simply the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Or, you might be upset because your partner is continuously picking on one of your weaknesses, but you remain quiet in order not to start a fight. The day comes, however, when you can no longer contain your disappointment and irritation and you lash out at him. He cannot understand why you waited so long to tell him about how you felt.

This reminds me of my own lack of communication. Years ago, I handled a group of men. One of them had the habit of coming to the dinner table dressed only in basketball shorts. For weeks, I didn’t say a word for fear of offending him. Finally, I could no longer handle it and asked him to put on a shirt. When I told him he offended me with his lack of respect, he was deeply apologetic. He went and put on a shirt and that was the end of the matter. I could have saved myself a whole lot of stress and pain if only I had told him much earlier.

I think this happens to most of us. We want to be kind and decent. We hate to offend and make enemies, so we remain quiet as we continue to heat up inside. It would be a lot better if we would move early on and speak up in a calm and controlled voice.



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