Are you living with an emotionally disconnected husband or wife? Have they always been this way? My practice is filled with emotionally detached individuals and their angry spouses. The spouses crave emotional intimacy, connection, and attachment, but can’t get their partners to change. So what causes someone to be an emotional flatliner? Maybe they perceive emotional expression as a weakness and have learned to “suck it up.” Some individuals never saw anything good come from emotion and therefore intellectualize or compartmentalize all emotion. Many of my patients detached from emotion early on in life as a means of avoiding pain related to abuse or neglect. In some cases, they focused their energy on intellectual development rather than emotional development. In fact, plenty of my patients are intellectually overdeveloped and emotionally undeveloped. Through the therapy process we can unpack the boxes of emotions that people have stored up and free them of their emotional burdens. This enables them to approach emotion with less fear/insecurity and greater confidence in their ability to cope. Couples often complain about their partner being void of emotion which makes it very difficult to get close to each other. My belief is that emotions connect people. In fact, suppressing negative emotions often results in muting positive emotions. In order to experience joy and excitement more fully we must experience/express sadness and hurt. So how do you get your partner to be more emotionally connected? Read the blog next week for suggestions and solutions, but don’t give up on them. We can raise our emotional intelligence (EQ) through increased awareness and changing our attitude and actions.
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