To anyone living with a partner that is emotional available the experience can be extremely difficult and even painful.
As a therapist I have heard many a wife or husband express their frustrations over not feeling emotionally connected to their partner. When it comes to intimate relationships ‘feeling connected or close’ is often a make it or break it situation. Certainly there are personality traits that easily present emotional availability, while others seem to be stuck in the maze of rational or busyness.
When we speak of emotional availability we are referring to individuals that have learned to emotionally detach from their own emotional world, or cut off from others around them. Often emotional cut-offs can seem as cold and isolating as the Great Wall of China. Often these walls have been unconsciously created by past losses or trauma . . . emotionally, relationally or spiritually.
We are complex creatures. As humans our emotions play a huge role in how we attach, bond and love. On first blush maintaining emotional closeness with someone we love might seem like a breeze. In contrast emotional connectedness and availability is hard vulnerable work.
Perhaps you had a distant father or a non-nurturing mother that did not equip you to attach and be available to others. When someone is emotionally available we in essence provide him or her the use of your emotions to reflect back to us human responses with empathy or concern. In contrast when someone is not available or is cut off from themselves or others they feel they have been abandoned and left blowing in the wind. In contrast it is often a surprise for the detached individual; to hear that their partner is feeling cut off and lonely and perhaps even unloved.
It is important developmental work for each of us to pay attention to our emotional world as well as others. If you are in a relationship with a partner who is emotionally unavailable, please know that there is much that can be done. There are skills that can be learned that can evolve into wonderful, extravagant exchanges of our emotional selves. This is what ‘soul mates’ experience. This is definitely worth your time! The safe and confidential relationship of trust with your therapist will allow you to explore your emotional self at your own pace.