It has been months since I’ve talked to my friend Amira, and I was embarrassed that we were talking about me and my unhappy moments. She said it was okay, of course, because we were friends since I don’t know when. But later as she shared her experience with her husband with me, I realized how intently I was listening to her because I knew my husband and I had to work on our mental and emotional health.
It has only been three weeks since we started going to our therapist for marriage counseling. An article from BetterHelp encouraged me to give counseling a try. Mike and I have been having silent misunderstandings lately, and I have been hiding so much hurt and bitterness inside me that I couldn’t open up to him anymore. And he said he was doing the same thing as well. The counseling has helped us open up to each other slowly, encouraging us to share our pains and our feelings, and it felt really good.
Amira had also been struggling to keep her marriage work, and after a year of therapy and effort from her and her husband, she said they were finally mentally and emotionally healthy, and very much in love. She gave me a few tips that they did to make their marriage work.
Emotional Health as a Couple
- Understand each other’s personalities. Sometimes you need to give up what you love doing on your pastime, like reading a book in the afternoons, and accompany your husband who usually takes a walk. It wouldn’t hurt to go with him once in a while, maybe gives you time to talk about the kids – and about each other.
- Learn to help each other manage stress. It’s always easier to tackle life when someone’s there to help, especially with reducing stress. You can talk with your kids together about concerns in school or with their friends. Share the chores in the house. My husband now shares how his day went in his office, and I do the same.
- Express your emotions appropriately. We’ve also gone through fights where the neighbors would hear us and the kids would see us, and it wasn’t healthy for both of us, for our family. When I get mad or angry, I have learned from therapy to express to my husband how I truly feel by telling him in a controlled and civil tone – a tone that wants to be heard but still loves.
- Balance work and play. We work hard to live a good life. We’ve been working hard for quite some time but didn’t have ways to unwind in a healthy way. We then began our journey to physical and mental health when we decided to do yoga and meditation together. We slowly created a balance between work, fitness and whole lot of fun and laughter with family. The kids would sometimes join us for a run or walk in the park.
- Give each other space. You have your own set of friends to spend time with and work related issues to take care of. More importantly, each of you needs time for yourselves – a little time apart – because you are your own person.
- Have a positive outlook. Life doesn’t always come in reds and pinks, but also comes in greys and blacks. When you’re together, you can weather the storms and stay positive amidst the not-so-good circumstances. Be positive and be healthy – mentally, physically, and emotionally.