Role of Emotion in Relationships

Written by Tina & Michael LeBlanc

Written by Tina & Michael LeBlanc

Understanding and openly sharing emotions allow us to establish deeper connections in our relationships. 

About the Authors

Tina and Michael LeBlanc are, co-founders of Better Yourself 365, Licensed Counselling Therapists, Authors of relationship books, and a happily married couple. All of their services are tailored to busy, overstretched couples. Tina and Michael help couples work efficiently as a team by teaching them the essential habits to create a strong, loving connection.

At Better Yourself 365, we believe that emotions rule our relationships.

They play the key role in what gets couples stuck in their negative communication patterns. They are the guiding force in happy relationships, and we need to understand them better.

Core Emotions: The Underlying Currents of Connection

At the core of every individual, there are emotions that serve as the driving force behind our moods and physiological states. These emotions are often hidden beneath the surface, only emerging when we intentionally tune into them. They are the vulnerable, raw feelings that draw couples closer when they are shared. Some researchers believe these emotions encompass seven fundamental aspects: Sadness, Fear, Shame, Loneliness, Hurt or Pain, Surprise, and Joy.

In healthy relationships, partners can tap into and openly share these core emotions. The key is that their partners can receive them without judgment. This exchange of emotions fosters a deeper connection and brings more fulfilment. However, it’s not always easy, as some of these emotions are painful and challenging to confront. This is where secondary emotions come into play.

Secondary Emotions: Shields and Saboteurs

Secondary emotions are the immediate reactions to protect us from core emotions that may be uncomfortable or painful to experience. The problem with these secondary emotions is that they can inadvertently push our partner away, becoming a significant part of the negative interaction cycles within a relationship.
Examples of secondary emotions include anger, frustration, overwhelm, and jealousy. When these emotions are expressed, they can lead to painful arguments, causing a rift in the relationship. This can lead to us being stuck in a cycle of negative interactions.

Connection Styles and Embracing Vulnerability

Connection styles are preferences of how we connect with our partners. We often have preferred or ‘natural’ ways of connecting that feel more effortless, making us feel secure and fully engaged. Certain connection styles might align well with our partners, drawing us together initially. However, there are instances when these preferred connection styles don’t synchronize, leading to disconnection in the relationship.

They manifest in different ways—some prefer physical touch, finding comfort in proximity and intimacy. Others seek connection through deep, heartfelt conversations – connecting spiritually or emotionally. Others prefer to keep conversations lighter. And there are also those who prefer to ‘do’ things like go for a walk or play a sport.

It’s important for couples to be aware of their partner’s connection style and consider adjusting their own approach to accommodate their partner’s needs at times. Having these conversations about these preferences is part of being in a loving, healthy relationship.

We encourage you to reflect on your own connection style and create a list of activities or behaviors that make you feel particularly close to your partner. Engage in open conversations with your partner about what brings you a sense of relaxation and comfort.

During these discussions, it’s vital to approach each other’s preferences without judgment. There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ ‘better’ or ‘worse’ when it comes to connection styles. Discover where your commonalities lie and acknowledge the differences.

Commit to respecting and honouring your partner’s preferences, just as you’d ask them to respect yours. This mutual understanding and compromise play a significant role in nurturing a healthy and harmonious relationship.

Happy older couple on beach

Connection Styles and Embracing Vulnerability

Individuals have preferred ways of connecting with their partners, such as physical touch or deep conversations. We stress the importance of understanding and accommodating each other’s styles through open communication, fostering mutual respect and harmony.

Read More »

The Role of Adult Attachment Styles in Relationships

Attachment, a term often used by researchers to describe the emotional bonds we form with significant others, is the foundation for how relationships function. In this blog post, we explain the intricate dynamics of adult attachment styles, and how they shape the way we feel and act in our relationships.

Read More »