3. Lacking Friendship:
Love, trust, and intimacy are built on the foundation of a couple’s friendship. When the friendship starts slipping away, emotional disconnection is sure to follow.
4. Pretend Everything’s Okay:
If your partner asks you what is going on, you say “nothing.” The truth is you do not feel entitled to your complaints about the relationship. This stems from the belief that there is something wrong with you feeling this way, so you don’t feel right about complaining.
Lack of Soothing Each Other:
When you are stressed, your partner makes little attempt to soothe you, and vice versa.
You feel alone in your relationship.
These are important signs.
In fact, the California Divorce Mediation Project reported that 80% of the time couples divorced were due to partners slowly growing apart and losing the sense of closeness that left them feeling unloved and unappreciated.
How To End Emotional Disengagement?
Partners in this situation have to confront the emotional distance spanning between them in order to end their withdrawal from one another.
Healthy and happy relationships recognize that good feelings are a byproduct of getting the other stuff right. You have to be willing to make the relationship more important than good feelings because all healthy relationships must tolerate some level of discomfort for growth and emotional connection.
Typically this discomfort requires us to expose our deeper emotions and to be truly vulnerable with the one we love. If we are unwilling to do this, we seek emotional connection outside of our relationship instead.
Looking to know more about how you can resolve conflicts? Read Resolving Conflicts: The ABCs of Escalating Conflict and 7 Tips To Prevent Them
The Infidelity of Emotional Disconnection
One of the biggest reasons partners cheats on each other because they find the connection their relationship has been lacking elsewhere.
This happens over compounding micro-experiences of disconnection from our partners and connection with another. Then suddenly cheating, something we never thought of doing, becomes engraved in the resume of our relationship history.
The entire cheating experience often comes as a surprise. And while we can sit here and blame the non-cheating partners for neglecting the cheater emotionally, we cannot neglect the cheater’s responsibility as well. The cheater could have used those moments before cheating on their partner to repair the relationship, rather than disengage.
The Choice to Connect When Disconnected
Maybe it was the opportunity to realize how much I enjoyed talking with Suzie at the office, and how the excitement Suzie is giving me makes me realize that I feel disconnected from my partner.
So when I go home that night, I will inevitably experience what is called a choice point when my partner asks, “how was your day?” I can either respond:
- “It was good.” This is an attempt to keep the good feelings in my relationship and protect my partner from realizing that I feel disconnected from her. But as I do this, I create a secret that will deteriorate the house of my relationship like termites. As I begin to enjoy the connection with the other person, I will shut my partner out from experiencing a connection with me. Or
- “It was good. I had a really good talk with a coworker and it made me realize how much I miss talking to you. Do you have time tonight to sit and chat?” Thus addressing the disconnection in the relationship, and takes steps to reconnect with my partner.
While choice two may seem easy on paper, for some of us, such a request feels like peeling our Adam’s apple. Rather than opening up, we attack our partners or behave in ways to create more emotional space.
Becoming emotionally cold towards our partners is the oozing of our emotional wounds that have not been properly addressed.