Emotions Matter

Why are your partner’s emotions important?

Here’s a great idea …

In her book, Hold Me Tight, Sue Johnson says, “Responsiveness…means tuning in to your partner and showing that his or her emotions…have an impact on you. It means accepting and placing a priority on the emotional signals your partner conveys and sending clear signals of comfort and caring when your partner needs them. Sensitive responsiveness always touches us emotionally and calms us on a physical level.” (p. 50)

In other words …

When our partner lashes out at us or withdraws from us, it may be mostly because they do not feel connected to us. We can avoid escalating many arguments if, instead of reacting negatively to our partner’s emotions, we take the time to connect with them. By showing our partners’ that their feelings and opinions matter and are important to us, we can help them feel secure again in our relationship.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life …

The next time your partner does or says something that is hurtful to you, resist your initial urge to respond with anger or to retaliate. Instead, seek to find out the cause of their hurt or fear. When you find out what their underlying feelings are, you can work to help alleviate the pain and fears your partner is experiencing.

To find out more…

about couple relationships, check out The Marriage Garden program at, follow us at contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read Johnson’s Hold Me Tight.

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