Emotional health is vital to not only personal wellbeing, but to healthy relationships–especially marriages. That’s why it’s important for you and your spouse to communicate openly and often about how you’re really doing, emotionally.
Let’s look at a few ways you can work together to maintain self-awareness and open communications so you can effectively process your emotions.
1. Have regular check-ins with your spouse.
Emotional health is something we should monitor within ourselves, but that isn’t always easy to do. Self-awareness takes practice, and the noise of a busy day-to-day life can easily push it to the bottom of the priority list. We often don’t know how much trouble we’re in, emotionally speaking, until we’re completely overwhelmed.
Having someone to hold you accountable for your self-awareness and emotional help goes a long way toward taking better care of yourself. One way to hold one another accountable in marriage is to have regular emotional health check-ins with your spouse. It doesn’t matter how you go about doing this, as long as you’re communicating.
When you check in with your spouse, ask questions and be prepared to listen. Ask them how they’re doing, how they’re feeling, and whether there’s anything you can do to lend extra support. And don’t be afraid to be honest with your spouse about how you’re doing. After all, these check-ins are for both of you so that you can each process your feelings and support each other, too.
2. Give your spouse room to hurt and to be vulnerable.
Communicating openly about emotional health will sometimes be painful. When you love your spouse, you’d do anything to help them or to take their pain away. Unfortunately, many of us tend to be “fixers”, too, and we can’t always fix the situations that arise in our lives. This is also true if your spouse is dealing with emotional pain.
Support your spouse and let them know you’re there for them. Give them time to process their pain and to be vulnerable with you…but remember that it might not be appropriate for you to try to jump in and fix things for them. Each situation will be different, so sort things out on a case by case basis.
3. Create habits to help you each process difficult emotions and express gratitude for blessings.
Emotions must be processed, but each person processes their emotions differently. Exchange ideas for different ways the two of you can work to promote better emotional health. Establishing habits that help you process your emotions more effectively will ultimately nurture your emotional health as individuals.
Some of the emotional health habits you could consider include:
- Physical activity, such as exercise
- Talking it out with one another
- Talk therapy with a counselor
5. Get professional help if you need it.
Some emotional health issues are complex, and some may even indicate a mental health concern. Life circumstances, tragedies, and challenging seasons can contribute to poor emotional wellbeing, particularly if they’ve gone on for a long time. But, sometimes we find ourselves struggling even when things seem to be going well.
If you or your spouse are struggling with sadness that prevents you from engaging in your everyday lives, or if you’ve lost interest in activities you used to enjoy, see a professional therapist to get the support you need.
How do you and your spouse support one another when processing difficult emotions? Let us know in the comments section.
To learn more about nurturing your emotional health, check out Healthy Me, Healthy Us. Emotional, spiritual, and psychological health are the essential components of not only a healthy individual, but a healthy relationship. It’s a great step toward strengthening the health of your marriage long-term.