Listening to an adult’s tears helps them to release stress and connect

I am feeling so grateful to my husband for listening to me yesterday morning as I talked and had a big cry. I had been waking in the middle of the night with some feelings the last few nights, and struggling to distract myself from them enough to fall back to sleep. Then yesterday I woke early again, before my son was awake, and hubby was willing to listen. I started off complaining about a few things, not yet feeling safe to share the deeper feelings that had been bubbling for me. Then, being aware of this, I shared with hubby my apprehension, that he might judge, lecture or argue with me if I shared this other thing. He reassured me that he would try his best to listen and then I felt safe to open up.

Sometimes, my husband has expressed concern over offering me “listening time” without giving his advice or opinion, fearing that unless he offers these alternative viewpoints, I will get stuck in my story or biased way of seeing things. But this time he found a way to just listen. He is learning to trust the process. And so he stayed with me, physically and emotionally, while I expressed in waves all the thoughts and feelings that were there, going into some big heavy sobbing at times. He stayed with me, he didn’t say much, but I knew he was listening. And once I’d exhausted that topic, I went onto a range of other somewhat related, but less intense, pieces that I was also wanting to share.

When I’d finished, he said, “It’s hard to reflect all that!”. And I told him that I understood and agreed that it would be hard, and that I didn’t expect that. I told him I was so grateful for him having been able to listen. And he told me that he was so grateful that I’d shared what I had, that he hadn’t realised all that was on my mind, and that he felt closer, trusted and safer for my having shared these deep feelings with him. For the rest of the day, I felt supported and so connected to him. I also felt him more present and attuned with me and our son. And I slept through the night last night for the first time in a while! So grateful to be starting off our holidays on this note!

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Image courtesy of Valeria_Aksakova / Freepik.

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