Want a happy marriage? Learn to Recognize and Process Your Negative Emotions.

emotional health and processing negative emotions by life coach maggie reyes

First of all let me start by saying this is the un-sexiest post ever. However, if you read and do the things I am about to write about, you will actually be helping to improve your sex life more than you can currently imagine.

And not only your sex life, but your Life life.

You will not only improve your marriage, but your life overall which will have the side-effect of boosting all the other areas of your life…which makes me a feel a little bit like Estee Lauder’s “free gift with purchase” at Macy’s!

Buy the perfume! Get the lipstick!

I am totally digressing but you get the idea.

Anyway, this post came about because the last couple weeks have been a bit hellish in MaggieLand.

If you have been reading the blog for a while, you know I like to keep it real.

Good things and bad things, happen all together in life. And when we pretend only good things – which happens so much online, we start thinking there is something wrong with us when bad things happen.

So we beat ourselves up EVEN MORE. When in reality life is happening just as it always does, with the good and the bad mixed up all together in a bowl of experiences for us to live through, and learn from. Sometimes we celebrate, sometimes we accept, sometimes we let go. Sometimes we take deep breaths and make it to tomorrow.

All of it is part of life and the number one point I want to get across today is that while we all know that all of what we experience in life isn’t rainbows and Kit Kat bars, we can get into major emotional pain when we think it should be.

Only rainbows.

Always chocolate.

That’s just not the way life works. But you know that already right?

I want you to know that it’s okay to be mad, sad, disappointed.

It’s totally normal for something awesome to happen and something bad to happen and something totally unimportant to happen all at the same time.

I don’t want you to think of life like one big facebook feed. What really matters in life happens IN BETWEEN. In between facebook updates and tweets. In between major milestones – as in, the wedding was awesome, but the marriage is better. In between enrollment and graduation – you get an education. In between ordering dinner and having the best meal of your life – lots of chopping and sautéing and mixing and cooking happens.


So in between the heightened moments of happy – let’s just acknowledge that there is also crappy. It happens to all of us and it’s NORMAL.

Nothing is wrong with you.

You might be feeling overwhelmed – in which case read this: 5 Things You Should Never Do When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed.

But otherwise, life is just happening – the good, the bad and the truly annoying all rolled up into one big beautiful experience with tons of highs, lows and in-betweens.

Now for my in-between, here is a little story about the last few weeks…

So for a blogger, the biggest thing that can happen in your blogging career is to have your blogs read by lots people. Just like for singers it’s to be on the radio, for bloggers, it’s to be read, shared, liked, clicked.

(Thank you by the way, for reading, sharing, liking and clicking. Totally rocks. So grateful. I would hug you if I could, but I can’t, so I write for you. LOVE.)

As I was saying – I always get excited when ONE person – yes, like YOU right now, reads anything I wrote.

Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my brain around thousands of people. I get super psyched of course, but I don’t think my brain can truly compute thousands.

Anyway, just wanted you to know how big a deal it was that one of my posts, (this one about what makes husbands happy in marriage) was top 5 on the Brides.com entire website while one of my other posts (The 7 Habits of Highly Happy Marriages) was named top 10 on the #1 marriage blog in the world. You can check out the list of top 10 marriage posts of all time at the Happy Wives Club blog here.

Big Blogging Deal. Waves of Nirvana washing over me….WHILE AT THE SAME TIME –

I sprained my ankle. (Yes I wore a brace for a week and it is fine now).

I got bursitis in my arm. (Lots of Advil and odd sleeping positions later, it’s healed).

I had the worst jet lag ever – waking up at all hours of the day and night while still having to work, sound professional, avoid yawning in the middle of meetings, etc.

And I got a cold. The kind where your nose looks like you belong in the circus because it’s so red.

So while my online life was totally unicorns, rainbows, Kits Kats and maximum clickage, my actual Life life was all runny noses, Kleenex and my biggest goal in life was for my head to meet my pillow.

While all this was happening, someone I deeply trusted did some things that freaked me out.

I got really mad. Like really really mad. Like if my blood could boil it would be a volcano mad.

Due to my natural enthusiasm and zest for life. I do not like getting mad.

That made me madder.


So what does a Life Coach do? I started using all my coaching tools on myself to help myself think more clearly and try to find another way to feel.

The thing is, I wanted to jump from being like –

Volcano levels of Anger to The Sweetest Chocolate of Mental Glee.

If you are wondering how that worked out for me – let’s just say it didn’t.

I went through a mental rollercoaster that was something like –

I don’t want to feel this way.

I want to feel something else.

This sucks.


I am not my circumstances. My circumstances will not define me.


What if this was happening to bless me?

Hmm, every other time I have been this angry in life, I have used that anger as fuel to create something awesome.

Maybe this really is happening to bless me?

In the meantime, let’s beat up a pillow.

So that’s what I did. I went to my bedroom, picked the fluffiest pillow on our very pillow-fied bed. And had a whack at it.

It was the safest way I could find to let it all out.

I realized that as many of us often do, I wanted to jump from point A (A for anger! Haha) to point Z for total bliss and joy, without actually processing how I was feeling.

It was only by pausing and practicing my life coaching tools (breathing, noticing my thoughts, etc) that I realized that I needed to let myself feel the full emotion I was feeling.

Instead of running away from it. Trying to change it. Trying to minimize it. Trying to make lemonade out of it. I just felt it. Fully. For like a minute or two.

And then it went away.

On its own. Just like that.

You know how kids are crying like banshees one minute and then smiling like they won the lottery the next?

We are born knowing how to fully feel our emotions.

Then we are “socialized” we become polite. We learn to pretend. Or stuff down or smile while we are really dying inside because someone we loved did something we think is crappy.

We collectively need to re-learn how to feel our feelings.

So they don’t overtake us. So they don’t overwhelm us. So we can feel the good ones, the bad ones and the really ugly ones and know they are all part of the recipe that makes us us.

I know this is a long post – thanks for sticking with me!

So why did I tell you this super long story?

First, in the interest of keeping it real I want to make it super clear that my life is not perfect.

Yes I do have a very positive mindset and it takes earthquake levels of emotional craptitude to shake me. But I still get shaken. And I still have to actually USE the tools I teach and learn on myself.

I love using these coaching tools with my readers too – if you are curious about coaching – click here.

Second, I want you to learn from my pain.

So when it happens to you, and it will, you are prepared.

The most essential thing to remember when you are feeling anything other than your Super Fabulous Self – is that it’s normal, it’s okay and it will pass.

The second most essential thing to remember is that if you are feeling anxiety, anger or emotional pain – the worst thing you can do is pretend it’s not there and the best thing you can do is beat up a pillow.

Not literally beat up a pillow – but whatever it is that lets you completely feel that feeling – just let it wash over you completely so it can go away on its own – like the rise and tide of the ocean.

Now how does this affect your sex life? Remember five years ago when this post started I mentioned that if you learned to process your negative emotions your sex life would improve?

Well that’s easy – sex is really connecting. It’s being open to give and receive touch and joy and pleasure.

You totally cannot deeply feel all your good, happy, sexy emotions if you are not feeling your ugly, annoying bad ones.

You can’t turn the switch only one way.

So if you are feeling disconnected in any way from your spouse. That person that you truly in your heart want to love the best you can, then search for clues in your life about emotions you are not feeling, pretending aren’t there or unwilling to look at in the mirror and say, “Hey! You! I don’t like you, but I know you are here, and I want to say good bye, so come closer.”

I want to say goodbye, so come closer.

So totally and completely counterintuitive and yet so totally and completely true.

Avoiding how we feel or living in shades of camel-beige-emotion-neutral is just not emotionally healthy.

As usual, don’t believe me. Try it.

First – feel something good fully – the love for your hubby. The passion for that perfect sunset. How much the people you love fill your heart.

Close your eyes and feel that fully, let it wash over you like a wave.

Then see how even a good feeling can totally wash over you.

You don’t have to hold on to it. You can bring it back whenever you want. You can also let it go.

Hopefully this will empower you to realize you can do the same with a negative feeling.

That thing you have been avoiding FOREVER.

Take a minute, close your eyes and just feel it. Loud, ugly, pimply, totally nasty-alien-like.

Just let yourself feel it.

And let it wash over you. You can let it go. Like a wave.

Don’t jump to replace it with something nice and shiny and good.

Just be with the idea that you can experience the good and the bad – fully and completely.

You are capable.

You are strong.

You can do hard things.

You can also do easy things and the harder things get easier with practice.

If you want to go deeper into this idea of fully feeling your feelings, check out this video from one of my mentors and the founder of the Life Coach School I trained at, Brooke Castillo: http://youtu.be/gUDvKciPAYM?list=UUnjI8tPpOfTqdIXFGQI72AQ

This was a super deep dive all the way kind of post. It was partially inspired by my coach and mentor Susan Hyatt’s Deep End Manifesto – she issued a challenge for all of us to not only find our deep end but live there. So this is me. Going Deep. Did it help?

If you were inspired by this post, please Share it. Like it! Pin It! or Tweet it! Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO


  1. says

    How true! How true!!! life is not always happy and great. Sometimes because we share the happy parts online, people think the sad parts don’t exist. They do, but perhaps it’s better not to dwell on them, just deal with them and move on.
    Thanks for sharing this reminder that no one’s life is happy all the time, so we might as well just enjoy the life we live instead of longing for someone else’s life.

  2. says

    Thank you.
    I’m new to the blog but this could have been written for me. Hubby is going through burnout/mid life crisis while on assignment abroad possibly for 3 years. It’s not sustainable & I’m struggling. So your practical, warm, funny post has helped enormously.


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