We all know that it takes effort to maintain our health. We have to eat good food, exercise, try to limit stress. The same is true for our marriages. It's easy to take our partners for granted but doing so too easily leads to stagnation. Worse, we start to feel disconnected from the person we once felt closer to than anyone in the world. How does that happen, and more important, how can we prevent it?
Many people struggle with feelings which are overwhelming and sometimes cause them to react impulsively. Others react by withdrawing or shutting down. This reactivity can lead to problems worse than the original cause. People often seek professional help when they come to recognize that their method for managing their emotional life isn’t working. At that point they want to know, how can I do this differently?
Learning to tolerate powerful emotion without acting on it is a skill that can be learned. It almost always requires work and regular practice, but the effort is necessary for gaining true wisdom and deep joy. I liken it to exercise, particularly good strength training.