Stuff it or talk it through?

My husband and I have different responses to feeling bad. I tend to talk about it, he distracts himself until he feels better. We are both equally successful in our strategies, and exasperate one another equally as well.

Of course I like it when research confirms the wisdom that reappraising negative emotions is often a better mental health strategy than suppressing them. But I wonder if reappraising has to be verbal, and whether sometimes talking is a way to suppress emotion. And when I'm tempted to tell my husband that my way is better I remind myself that our kids (a boy and a girl) get to see us model both ends of the spectrum and might develop their own unique quiver of tools..


  1. We too hve different ways of dealing with "feeling bad" about the eating disorder, etc. I tend to talk about it, and my wife internalizes and works herself through it. Finally, sometimes, we talk together. What works for us is a matter of recognizing that we are different and respect for one another is critical as we search for ways to support our daughter in her recovery.


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