Partnership and Pregnancy. Pregnancy is a time of great changes. Your body, your emotions, and your relationships are in a state of flux. It is quite normal for both parents to experience a variety of emotions - positive and negative. The emotional state of you and your partner is already affecting the mental and physical health of your child. Therefore it is not only important that you eat well and exercise enough. See your pregnancy as an opportunity to heal old wounds and develop your communication skills.
Almost everyone who hears your news rejoices and assures how wonderful it is to have a child. If you have negative thoughts, you almost feel guilty. Shouldn't this gift keep you happy for nine months straight? Isn't every pregnant woman endlessly happy? No, it is normal for you to have doubts and fears. Gratitude and joy may be mixed with feelings of overtaxing, helplessness and anxiety about the future. Such ambivalent feelings are quite normal and make us human beings what we are.
Even the father can be hunted by money worries, the changed sex life, and his new role. Talk about your fears and negative thoughts. Unfortunately, it is still a taboo topic in our society to talk about pregnancy depression and the darker sides of this new phase of life. Your partner and you can walk this path together and support each other. Make it clear to each other that such thoughts do not make you a bad parent. Listen to each other and show understanding.
The better you can meet your needs, the better you feel. When it comes to needs in relationships, communication is the key to fulfilling them.
There is a very simple strategy to express clearly what you want. Whenever you find yourself in the situation where you feel anger rising, you feel misunderstood, or you do not feel taken seriously, ask yourself the following questions:
What triggers my emotions?
Frequently, current situations remind us of the circumstances of the past, which may not even have anything to do with the current situation or the person involved. These memories bring back emotions and feelings. Try to figure out why you are upset in the current situation, and whether an old, unrelated event is linked to it. It is very important to distinguish between observations and interpretations. Maybe your partner is not quite because he is angry, maybe he is just lost in thought. Once we assess the situation and then attack the other, we can not expect to receive a loving and understanding response. Before we respond, we could simply ask, "Honey, why are you so silent?".
What emotions arise in me?
Unfortunately, we do not learn how to express our feelings appropriately in school and later in life. We just do not know the words. When you feel an emotion rise, look closely and try to name the feeling as accurately as possible. Make sure that you don't flee into the victim role. For example, when you say: "I feel neglected, rejected, not valued, manipulated ..." you blame the other person for your feelings. Take responsibility for your emotions. Nobody likes to be accused of making the other person unhappy. Therefore, use words like "I feel anxious, jealous, irritated, tired, ...
Here some useful words: anxious, bitter, confused, disheartened, empty, frustrated, guilty, helpless, invisible, jealous, lonely, pessimistic, sorry, tired, angry, disgusted, stubborn, angry, upset, sad, restless, withdrawn.
What do I get if my needs are not met?
When we find ourselves in an emotionally charged situation, we usually find another conversation taking place on a deeper level. In shamanism, this level is called "shadow". This shadow can create strong emotions because our deeper needs are in conflict with the superficial needs. Perhaps our shadow is convinced that a good relationship needs conflict to be kept alive. Or maybe we create drama because there are not enough exciting moments in our lives. If you find yourself in conflict situations, again and again, ask yourself what you get out of these situations. Which need is fulfilled with the conflict? See if your relationship and conflict patterns move from one relationship to the next. Trying to figure out which deeper need lies beneath.
What am I really asking for?
The more clearly you formulate and express your need, the sooner it will be fulfilled. Explaining his needs clearly requires a willingness to be vulnerable. There is always the possibility to collect a "no". Before trying to make your partner understand, how you feel, just say, "Can you please hug me?" Before blaming your partner that he has no time for you, try: "Can we meet tomorrow for lunch? ". Clear statements improve your chances of getting what you want.
How can I deal with rage?
From my own experience, I can say that the best communication skills do not protect against rage. Even with a university degree in interpersonal communication, I find myself again and again in a situation where I feel the anger boiling up in me. It is quite normal for us humans to lose our cool from time to time and get annoyed. Simply swallowing the emotions and not digesting them would be as unhealthy as undigested and fermented food in our guts.
There are seven simple steps to dissolve these negative emotions and get rid of them.
1. Take responsibility: Do not blame someone else. When we are emotionally reacting to another person, it is mostly because that person shows us a part of ourselves, which we don't like. Instead of reacting, ask yourself, "What can I learn about myself from this experience?"
2. Name the emotion: Define the emotion as clearly as possible. The list above can help you with that.
3. Where do you feel the emotion: Emotions are feelings that trigger a physical reaction. Before you can dissolve the emotion, you need to find out where it has manifested in your body. We often feel anger in the stomach. Fear in the heart.
4. Define the emotion: Write down exactly how the emotion feels, whether it is related to old events and what need was not met. As an aid, you can use the five questions from above.
5. Get rid of the emotion: Since the emotion is physically fixed, physical exercise is the best way to let it flow out of the body. Dance, go for a walk, swim, do yoga ...
6. Share Your emotion: Tell the person who was involved in the outburst. Once you've worked through points 1-5, it's now possible to share your feelings and emotions without blaming others.
7. Reward: After freeing yourself from the emotion, reward yourself for the good work. Treat yourself with a massage, listen to music or eat fine food.
Of course, all of these techniques are not only helpful during pregnancy. They can be used in any life situation to improve communication and deal with strong emotions. I look forward to testimonials and suggestions!