Romantic relationships can be triggering as f*ck. We might find ourselves getting dysregulated and blaming our partner’s behavior for it. But what if we told you that there’s a powerful way to grow together, rather than apart?
Don’t Focus Solely on Your Partner’s Behavior
Instead of solely focusing on your partner’s behavior, try focusing on what that behavior triggered inside of you first. When we get curious about our reaction to someone’s behavior, we can find so much healing of our own past trauma and our present-day triggers.
As you start to work through these triggers, a whole world will open up and you will uncover so much of the healing work you need. Yes, it’s hard work, but let it be messy. It was for us!
Communicate From a Settled Space
After we process all of the emotions that come up for us as a result, we can communicate with the person about the behavior and what didn’t work for us. However, when we come to someone charged and dysregulated, the conversation won’t be very productive. That’s why it’s important to learn to express your needs from a settled, untriggered space within you.
Set Boundaries and Work as a Team
As you work through this, you’ll be able to start setting boundaries and actually share your needs with your partner in a peaceful way. You will begin to share any issues you might have with your partner as a challenge that you two can work on as a team, rather than something they need to fix about themselves.
From there, your partner is much more likely to join you on the journey of growth and discovery. Their resistance to you will go down once you learn to express your needs from a settled, untriggered space within you.
Personal Story: Healing Through Triggered Reactions
When we moved to Costa Rica, I blamed all my dysregulation on my partner’s slightly more charged way of speaking. Yes, I wanted him to be calmer. But noticing my intense response to it (many hours of freeze, feeling unsafe and stuck and scared) gave me an opportunity to do my own healing.
I’ve truly seen some insanely deep healing by allowing myself to focus on this part, and it has been life-changing. By working on our own triggers and sharing our needs in a peaceful way, we can grow together and create a stronger, healthier relationship.
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