i'm not allowed to be upset in my relationship

I’m Not Allowed to be Upset in My Relationship – 8 Ways to Fix This

It can be challenging to comprehend and manage emotions in a relationship. When they are sad, especially, many people suffer with the notion that they can’t express their emotions. This article delves into the complexities of emotions in relationships, explains why expressing anger can be challenging, and provides helpful advice for improved emotional health and communication.


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The article talks about why some people have trouble showing up when they’re upset in their relationship. There are eight main reasons for this, like expecting perfection in relationships, fearing fights, valuing peace over honesty, cultural norms, lacking role models for expressing emotions, unequal power, personal doubts, and not understanding emotional boundaries. The article shows how society and past experiences lead to holding back emotions. It gives advice on changing this by looking at the past, building emotional strength, and finding good ways to express upset feelings. It also says it’s important to support each other and get help if needed, and mentions the bad things that can happen from keeping quiet, like growing apart, anger, and misunderstanding. The article ends by saying that for a strong and happy relationship, it’s crucial to talk openly and truthfully.

Top Questions

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Yes, it’s natural to feel upset in relationships. Expressing emotions, including being upset, is healthy for open communication and understanding between partners.
This feeling might stem from fear of conflict escalation or cultural norms. Overcoming these barriers encourages acknowledging and discussing your emotions, including anger.
Fear of disrupting harmony, power imbalances, and personal insecurities can inhibit emotional expression. Open dialogue and understanding your emotions can help overcome these obstacles.

8 Reasons Why You’re Not Allowed to Be Upset in Your Relationship

8 Reasons Why You're Not Allowed to Be Upset in Your Relationship

  • Unrealistic Expectations: Expecting flawless relationships suppresses upset feelings.
  • Fear of Conflict Escalation: Fear of arguments stifles expressing negative emotions.
  • Prioritizing Harmony Over Authenticity: Valuing harmony over real emotions leads to suppressing upset feelings.
  • Cultural and Gender Norms: Societal norms repress upset emotions, especially in men.
  • Lack of Emotional Expression Role Models: The absence of models makes handling negative emotions tough.
  • Power Imbalance in the Relationship: Imbalance prevents expressing upset feelings due to fear.
  • Personal Insecurities: Low self-esteem downplays expressing upset emotions.
  • Misunderstanding Emotional Boundaries: Ignoring emotional boundaries hinders expressing upset feelings.

1. Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic Expectations in relationships

People often start relationships thinking everything should be perfect and without any problems. This wrong idea can make them hide their bad feelings, like being upset, because they feel like those feelings mean the relationship is failing.

2. Fear of Conflict Escalation

Fear of Conflict Escalation in relationship

When someone shows negative feelings, like being upset, they might worry it will turn into a big fight. So, they might avoid showing their feelings to prevent a big argument.

3. Prioritizing Harmony Over Authenticity

Prioritizing Harmony Over Authenticity

Some people go to great lengths to maintain the peace, even if it means suppressing their true emotions. They don’t express their anger because they’re afraid of upsetting the balance and making things unpleasant.

4. Cultural and Gender Norms

Cultural and Gender Norms in relationships

Different cultures and what’s expected from men and women can control how people show emotions. In some cultures, guys might not want to show up when they’re vulnerable or upset. This can make them hide their feelings.

5. Lack of Emotional Expression Role Models

Lack of Emotional Expression Role Models

It’s challenging for someone to express their emotions in a relationship if they weren’t taught how to do so when they were young. If they didn’t have excellent examples, they could believe that expressing anger is inappropriate.

6. Power Imbalance in the Relationship

Power Imbalance in the Relationship

One individual may hold more influence in some partnerships than the other. Because they are worried about what might occur or because they don’t want to exacerbate the disparity, the person in a position of less authority might not want to express their outrage.

7. Personal Insecurities

Personal Insecurities

People may believe they shouldn’t express their emotions when they feel bad or dissatisfied with themselves. They may conceal their emotions because they think they don’t matter.

8. Misunderstanding Emotional Boundaries

Misunderstanding Emotional Boundaries

Partners occasionally don’t fully understand one another’s emotions. It may be difficult for them to express their anger since they may unintentionally neglect or fail to comprehend each other’s feelings. This makes it difficult for individuals to express themselves honestly without nay emotional support.

6 Healthy Ways to Express Upset to Your Partner

6 Healthy Ways to Express Upset to Your Partner

1. Reflecting on past experiences

Taking a closer look at things that happened before can give us useful insights. When we think about these times, we can notice patterns and understand what made us keep our feelings inside. This helps us know ourselves better and learn how to stop doing that.

2. Building emotional resilience

Building emotional resilience

Getting better at handling emotions happens step by step and needs time and effort. Doing things like writing in a journal to share thoughts and feelings, or practicing mindfulness to stay focused, can really help. These activities don’t just help us understand our emotions better, they also make us stronger at managing tough feelings.

3. Choosing the right time and place

Choosing the right time and place

Selecting the perfect moment and creating a comfortable environment to start a conversation is really important. Picking the right time and a place where you both feel at ease can help you avoid unnecessary arguments. When you talk matters a lot, as it can change how the conversation goes and how the other person understands you.

4. Avoiding blame and criticism

Avoiding blame and criticism

When you want to talk about being upset, it’s best to focus on the specific issue instead of blaming your partner. Instead of being critical, try to address the situation or behavior. This approach helps create a friendly environment for working together to solve the problem. It also stops defensiveness and makes the conversation more helpful and peaceful.

5. Mutual Support

Mutual Support

It’s important to remember that both partners have a role in taking care of each other’s feelings. Creating an environment where you can freely talk about emotions builds trust and makes the relationship closer. Showing understanding and helping your partner when they share their feelings strengthens the relationship.

6. Seeking Professional Help

Seeking Professional Help

When dealing with difficult emotions in the relationship becomes a challenge, considering the option of getting help from a couples’ therapist is wise. These experts can provide valuable guidance and teach couples the skills they need to handle complex emotions and improve communication. The therapist’s support can lead to finding solutions and promoting lasting growth in the relationship.

The Consequences of Silent Suffering

Growing Apart Emotionally

Hiding negative feelings often leads to a bigger problem: partners becoming emotionally distant. When emotions are kept inside, an invisible wall forms between them, making it hard to truly connect. With time, this gap widens, making it difficult for both to really share deep feelings and connect emotionally.

Building Up Resentment and Confusion

Not talking about feelings has long-term effects, causing resentment to build up. If one partner can’t share their emotions, they might feel frustrated and angry over time, damaging the relationship. Also, hiding these feelings can cause misunderstandings, as unspoken emotions can be misunderstood. This can start a cycle of misunderstandings and more fights, making the problems worse.

Books to Read

Unrealistic expectations:

“The Myth of the Perfect Relationship” by Harriet Lerner: This book discusses how unrealistic expectations about relationships can lead to disappointment and frustration.

“Too Perfect: When Being in Love Means Never Having to Be Sad” by Wendy Behary: This book explores how the fear of conflict can lead to people suppressing their emotions.

Fear of conflict:

“Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Sue Johnson: This book discusses how to communicate effectively in relationships, even when there is conflict.

“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman: This book provides practical advice for improving communication and resolving conflict in relationships.


In a relationship, feeling upset is normal. If you hide these feelings, it can cause problems like not understanding each other, getting mad, and growing apart emotionally. But if you accept your feelings, talk openly, and question what society says, you can handle relationships better.

Remember, showing upset feelings doesn’t mean the relationship is bad. It shows you care about honesty, getting better, and understanding each other.


Q: When you’re not allowed to have feelings?

A: Feeling invalidated might arise from prioritizing harmony or lacking emotional role models. Remember, your emotions are valid, and addressing them is essential for relationship growth.

Q: It seems to me like I’m not allowed to have feelings in my relationship?

A: Such feelings might result from unrealistic expectations or misunderstanding emotional boundaries. Recognizing and addressing these factors can create a healthier emotional environment in your relationship.

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