Many spouses are emotionally unavailable to their partner (this was me!) and not only are they unaware of it, but they do not realize the catastrophic effects it has on their intimacy and connection. Today, we look at the 5 signs of emotional unavailability and the effect they have on a marriage.
Let’s break down what being emotionally unavailable looks like and how to develop being emotionally available!
Over a decade ago in my marriage, I thought I was pretty emotionally available to my husband. It turns out that I had no idea that I actually wasn’t. Being emotionally available is what helps us connect and I was greatly adding to our disconnection.
According to PsychCentral, these are 5 signs that someone is emotionally unavailable:
1. Avoids Intimacy
Intimacy happens through vulnerability. Vulnerability is not sharing details of what happened or the other person’s offenses. Vulnerability is the willingness to be honest with one’s self and share the feelings, the hurts, and what’s wanted and what’s needed.
2. Avoids Commitment
For many of you reading this, you are probably married and committed to each other, however, are you withholding parts of yourself? Are you not playing “all in”?
3. Gets Defensive Easily
If someone says anything negative, do you start defending yourself or belittling the person who said it (this was me!)?
4. Aren’t available
This can look like making yourself scarce when someone wants to talk, changing the subject when someone begins to have an emotional conversation, or this can also look like running to anything that can keep us distracted and away from our partner.
Addictions are the places we go when we don’t want to be available. I was a workaholic and still can be at times. I easily escape to achieving or trying to make something work when I want to avoid or become unavailable.
5. Exhibit Low Empathy
An emotionally unavailable person can exhibit the inability to understand or share someone else’s feelings. It doesn’t mean they don’t care, but they have trouble identifying and honoring another’s needs.
I could see this in myself, however, I had a hard time admitting it. I wanted to empathize with others, but I just struggled at times.
Do any of these sound like you? As humans, we often hear terms like Emotionally Unavailable, and quickly look for how it doesn’t apply and then decide we are not that.
However, what could be available if you let yourself sit with the possibility?
Rather than I am or I am not – where might I be?
We all have ways of self-protecting or coping mechanisms we learned when little that we don’t even realize we have. If we stay unaware of them, we allow them to continue to block us from connecting with our spouse in the ways we want to.
We can’t transform what we can’t see.
If you can discover the ways you disengage or withdraw emotionally, you can actually change it.
When I started taking personal responsibility for becoming the person I wanted to be, it started with learning how to understand my emotions.
I used to deny and hold in my emotions and finally, I would explode like a volcano. This would happen about every 2-3 weeks.
However, I began to become aware of my emotions and get in touch with them and this resulted in a huge shift in me and impacted my husband in a hugely positive way.
If you want to hear how I did this, check out my latest YouTube video where I share the steps that I took that gave room for deeper connection with my spouse.
Does any of this resonate with you? Head over to my YouTube channel and I would love to hear from you in the comments!
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