Hiding Emotions Can Ruin Your Relationship
We go through a number of emotions every day.
Keeping control of our emotions is a normal part of our day. Doing so makes our day much less chaotic and helps us function as a normal human being.
People who can keep it together seem cool, competent, and in control. We look to those people for guidance and leadership. On the other hand, we tend to avoid people who have frequent emotional outbursts.
To appear calm and collected on the surface, we generally employ a strategy known as emotional suppression – or hiding our feelings and emotions. While this may be a boon during traumatic situations and certain social settings, it’s less ideal in others.
One prime example comes from a recent study, which has found that hiding emotions can ruin your relationship.
Most research shows that habitually suppressing emotions has negative consequences in our social lives. But how does it affect our romantic relationships?
A team from the University of Genoa in Italy wanted to see how this can affect marital satisfaction for the couple and also on an individual level.
They took a look at over 200 different Italian couples and looked at their marital satisfaction levels as well as their levels of emotional suppression at two separate points in time. After 5 months of marriage and then again after 2 years.
How It Affects Your Relationship
The team ran some statistical analysis and the first thing their study found was that, individually, suppressing your emotions makes you less happy in your relationship. This held true for both husbands and wives.
So while you think that not saying – or showing – your true feelings might avoid potential problems, in the long run you’re actually doing yourself a disservice.
And how does suppression affect your spouse?
Researchers saw that husbands who suppressed their emotions lowered the marital satisfaction of their wives. However, wives suppression had no affect on the husband’s marital happiness.
Suppression Leads to Avoidance
After looking at the data a bit closer, they noticed that when suppression was exhibited by either person, it made both spouses more likely to avoid attachment. They also noticed that a husband’s relationship happiness was strongly impacted by their wife’s avoidant behavior.
The researchers believe that emotional suppression causes a negative feedback loop. Hiding emotions can cause a spouse to start distancing themselves, stop attempts at becoming close, and avoid their partner.
This, in turn, leads to even more emotional suppression. Inevitably it leads to lower happiness in the relationship for both people.
Here’s the thing about suppressing emotions. While we may need it in our day to day professional lives, this isn’t the case for those who are closest to us.
Expressing our emotions to our friends, family, and significant others helps build trust. Constantly trying to hide what your feeling actually erodes the foundation of close personal connections.
While it may be okay on occasion or maybe in more public settings, it’s definitely not something you want to do habitually to those who are close to you. Or those that you want to be close with.