When your husband is emotionally unavailable
How To Deal With An Emotionally Unavailable Husband: Signs, Reasons, And Advice
The emotional distance between you and your husband may affect your relationship, leading to many issues. Not opening up completely, expressing their affection, and supporting you when needed can all be signs of an emotionally unavailable husband. Your relationship can thrive when both are emotionally available for each other.
In most cases, men feel they are not supposed to show any emotions as they think it is a sign of weakness. This can affect the whole framework of the relationship and make the woman feels lonely and dependent. Here, we discuss some signs of an emotionally unavailable husband and how to deal with the situation. Keep reading.
In This Article
Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Husband
1. He Does Not Show Vulnerability
Picture this – you are trying to have a heart-to-heart with your partner. You’re talking about your feelings, maybe you are crying or showing some other emotion. On the other hand, your partner is very stoic and refusing to discuss their feelings on the subject.
Emotionally distant partners tend to stay away from vulnerability. They often seem aloof, steering clear of showcasing their emotions. They either remain silent, change the subject, or become angry when forced to open up.
2. He Avoids Confrontation
If your husband avoids confrontation to the point of blindly agreeing with you, it is an issue. They may also get up and leave in the middle of the conversation. In some cases, they might become angry and even abusive.
Eventually, you stop bringing up topics that might aggravate your husband. And while the relationship may be working for him, you will always feel neglected. Thus, the relationship will suffer.
3. He Shuts Down
You may notice that at times your husband seems very happy and talkative, but other times he suddenly shuts off. This inconsistency in feelings may be a sign of an emotionally distant partner. While you think the relationship is going great, he may throw a curveball at you, giving you the feeling that he isn’t happy in the relationship.
This may be his way of coping with issues that he should be speaking out about, but does not. It normally requires couple’s therapy to resolve an issue like this.
Do you ever try to have a serious conversation with your husband, but it is only one-sided? Any time you ask him questions, he responds with more questions without giving you a straight answer. He might even crack a joke or two instead of giving you a straight answer.
This happens because he may feel it’s easier to deflect the question rather than deal with the pain that comes with facing your emotions and problems. When your husband does this, it’s important to remember that deflection does not stem from insensitivity. He has probably grown up with deflection as a coping mechanism to steer clear of expressing their feelings and confrontation.
5. Lack Of Emotional Support
If your husband becomes quiet instead of acknowledging your feelings when having an argument, it is a sign of emotional unavailability. He may use logical reasoning to disregard the gravity of your feelings or simply ask you to calm down.
This does not mean that he does not want to emotionally support you. It may mean that he does not know how to offer such support.
6. He Is Evasive
If your husband does not answer your questions directly, it is a sign of emotional unavailability. Imagine you send your husband many texts a day, but he only responds to one without acknowledging any of the other texts.
They may also never directly shoulder responsibility when it comes to dealing with problems in the relationship. They respond to things they like but refuse to directly talk about serious issues in the relationship. Another evasive maneuver is, they will make you feel like you made the mistake.
While this may seem like a way to shrug off responsibility in the relationship, for the evasive partner, it might be their genuine way of looking at things. They are not trying to hide anything but simply don’t know how to acknowledge serious problems.
7. He Is Inconsistent
In some aspects of your marriage, you may feel like your husband is always there for you. But when push comes to shove, he’s absent. He may not always tell you where he is and often does not have an issue with spending time by himself without you.
In some serious cases, the husband might even go off on his own for a few days and return with little to no information about where he has been and what he has been doing.
8. One Man Army
Does your husband often prefer doing things by himself? Does he seem secretive about many things, to the point of not sharing his opinions on certain issues? This is a clear sign of an emotionally distant partner.
They often keep to themselves. And when asked about their plans or their opinions, they become defensive. They view sharing their opinions as an obstruction to their privacy.
9. You Keep Pursuing Him
Are you the one initiating all the serious conversations in the marriage? Are you always the one making the big gestures? Are you the only one verbalizing your feelings in the marriage?
This is another sign that your husband may be emotionally unavailable. This will make you feel that your husband has little to no investment in the marriage while you are constantly pursuing him. While it may seem like a power move, often it stems from his inability to verbalize his feelings.
It is important to remember that many men are not emotionally unavailable by choice. They just may not have learned how to be in touch with and express their feelings. Learn more about the reasons for emotional unavailability below.
Reasons For Emotional Unavailability
- The most common factor among emotionally distant men is that they have been raised with the thinking that men should not show emotional vulnerability. They look at it as a sign of weakness. Generations of men believe that talking about their emotions is more of a feminine quality while men grit their teeth and bear everything.
- l Your partner may have undergone some trauma, and being emotionally unavailable is his coping mechanism. This is the case when men don’t want to deal with the pain that comes with the trauma. This spills over into other areas of their life that may give them the same feeling as the trauma did.
- l Some men don’t know how to express themselves properly, which leaves them emotionally distant. This may be because, in the past, people did not react to their issues the way they wanted them to.
- l Some men simply think that the issues they are facing are temporary and, therefore, do not need not be talked about or resolved.
- l Most men just need their personal space to deal with emotional issues. They don’t know how to work on their issues with another person, and it is easier for them to deal with them on their own.
Now, let’s talk about how to deal with an emotionally unavailable partner.
Dealing With An Emotionally Unavailable Partner
- Be open and straightforward with your partner. Let them know how you feel. If you are not happy or emotionally satisfied, it’s important that you verbalize it to them.
- Let them know what you expect from them. Understand that being emotionally vulnerable is important in the relationship. So, make sure you let them know that’s what you expect from them.
- Talk to them about going to therapy. If your partner wants to make you happy and make the relationship work, they will be open to seeking help. This may be difficult for them as they find it hard to open up but stick to your guns.
- Understand that even if your partner is seeking help, things will not improve in a day, or week, or even a month. It is going to take a lot of time and constant work. You will need to be patient with your partner.
- Try to get to the root cause of your husband’s invulnerability. Oftentimes, it is simply because men have been raised to keep their emotions to themselves. Let them know that them being emotional is absolutely normal.
- Create an open space for him to discuss his issues. For example, if you notice that your husband is angry at you, take time to sit with them and ask them what is wrong. Make sure their emotions are acknowledged. They might not open up immediately at first, but as they realize it helps to talk about their emotions, they will start expressing themselves.
- Don’t beat around the bush. It’s always better to be upfront with your man. If you notice any inconsistencies in his behavior, call him out on it.
- Don’t be aggressive with him. Try your best to be patient and calm with him. Try looking for a solution to the problem together.
- Do not force them to change. Most women believe that they can “fix” the emotional issues in their partner. This leads to a lot of issues. Your partner may start feeling insecure because of the change you are forcing. Also, if the change does not occur, it will leave you disappointed.
- Do not gang up on your partner with other friends or family. Sit down and talk to them one-on-one. If you feel that you need help, talk to a professional therapist. Ganging up on your partner may cause them to close up even more.
- Sometimes, all your husband needs is some space. Just let him be and do his own thing. Once they resolve the issue, they’ll come back. Then you can talk to them about it so they know how it affects you.
If your husband is resistant to change despite your best effort, it might be time to end the marriage. Check out the next section to find out how to end a marriage with an emotionally unavailable husband.
How To End A Marriage With An Unavailable Husband
1. Let Go: When you make the decision to divorce your partner, it comes with a lot of complications. Friends and family might try to convince you to live with your husband’s emotional unavailability. Society may question your decision to divorce your partner. You may have a weak moment and want to go back, only to find yourself back to square one. You need to stick to your guns. Remember everything about your relationship and how it affected you.
2. Be Certain: Make sure that you really do want a divorce. Do not try to use this as a tactic to get your husband to show some emotion. It will backfire. Also, figure out if separation or divorce would be better for you and your partner. You can start off with separation and see how it goes from there. But if you are certain that nothing can improve your marriage, getting a divorce might be the best option.
3. Communicate: Let your partner know that this is it for you. Your husband needs to know that you have had it with his emotional unavailability. Let him know how it has affected you and stifled the relationship. He needs to know that you are done and that this is not a ploy to get him to show any emotion.
4. Create Space: Once you realize that your marriage is over, create some space between you and your partner so that you don’t blur any lines. If you can move out to your own place, go for it.
5. Love Yourself: During this time, you will feel hurt. Your friends, family, and even your partner may label you as the villain for wanting to end your marriage. It is very important to love yourself. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Learn to appreciate your point of view over what others think of you.
6. Move On: Eventually, you will need to move on. That does not mean you have to move on to another person, but that you just have to move on from your husband. If you still have feelings for your partner, you may feel the urge to go back to him. It is important that you resist that urge.
It can be heartbreaking to be trapped in a marriage with an emotionally unavailable husband. They do not share their vulnerabilities with you and evade any confrontation or deep conversation. It leads to a feeling of abandonment as you get no emotional support from them. The best way to deal with this issue is to understand the root of this emotional apathy. For instance, their parents could have raised them with a mindset that men shouldn’t be emotional. In addition, they may have gone through some trauma or struggled with emotional expression, among other things. The best way to deal with an emotionally unavailable husband is to be open about your concerns, encourage them to share their feelings, and don’t be impatient or aggressive.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when you ignore an emotionally unavailable man?
An emotionally unavailable man can react in many ways to being ignored. Yes, they might miss you and realize you want attention and a response from them, and go the distance. However, they may also take this negatively and ghost you or wait until you speak to them. Instead of ignoring your partner, just talk it out with them.
Is he emotionally unavailable or a narcissist?
An emotionally unavailable man might be unable to show or talk about how he feels. A narcissist always believes they are right, better than everyone else, and will manipulate you to get what they want.
Can you love an emotionally unavailable man?
It can be hard to love an emotionally unavailable man as they keep their feelings to themselves. But, remember, their unavailability stems from a bigger reason. Follow the tips mentioned in the article to deal with it effectively.
What are good questions to ask an emotionally unavailable man?
Ask questions about how he is feeling, commitment, any issues or problems they are facing (work, personal, or family), and if there is anything they would like to share. Ask about their personal preferences and whether they are open to hearing you out.
How do I stop chasing emotionally unavailable men?
Before falling head over heels for someone, get to know if they are willing to talk about their feelings and open up. If they are not, don’t proceed any further. You might think of giving them a chance, but that will draw you in deeper, and there is no guarantee that they will open up.
- Most men grow emotionally distant because they are raised to not show their emotions.
- An emotionally unavailable husband usually avoids confrontation and does not show vulnerability.
- Being straightforward and talking it out is the best way to deal with an emotionally distant partner.
- However, sometimes your partner might not want to change, which can cause a strain on the relationship and lead to separation.
- 25 Red Flags In A Relationship You Should Look Out For
- I Hate My Husband: How To Save Your Marriage If You Feel This Way
- 15 Signs Of An Emotionally Connected Relationship
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10 Agonizing Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Husband
An emotionally unavailable partner may take you for granted and hamper your mental peace.
It’s not easy to understand the signs of an emotionally unavailable husband. Although they seem normal from the outside, they are unwilling to share their genuine feelings with anyone. If you are unable to have deep, serious conversations with your husband and feel like he doesn’t express his love or emotions properly, he could be emotionally unavailable. When you feel low and need someone to be there for you, it’s hard to accept that you are all by yourself even though you have a family. Although you know he cares about you, somehow, he fails to show it through actions. He might not initiate sharing anything from his side, nor does he acknowledge your emotions. You may also notice your husband disinterested in showing love and affection or having a hearty chat with you. But this is not how married life can continue, and some changes are required from both ends to make it better. So, here we are to tell you how to identify signs of emotional unavailability and deal with them. You can also figure out if you are emotionally unavailable as well.
Type Of Unavailability
There are two types of unavailability: temporary and chronic.
Temporary emotional unavailability happens when a person is unable to open up due to a reason that holds him back. For instance, people who are highly ambitious and want to achieve a certain rank or position. They may not be willing to commit until they achieve their dreams. Then, there are people who are emotionally scarred following a divorce or a bad relationship. It can be the case that they have been hurt by a parent when they were a child, therefore, committing to another person or relationship becomes extremely difficult for them. All of this makes it difficult to gauge if the problem is just a passing phase or a chronic one.
There could be a few signs that you could look out for. Read on to understand those signs!
Signs That You Are In An Emotionally Unavailable Relationship
If you have felt that something is amiss in your relationship, then it can probably be an emotional disconnect from either side. Here are some ways to determine if your partner is EU or not.
1. Prefers to do things alone:
If your partner never includes you in any of his vacation plans or other leisure activities, it is possible that he is an EU person. Such people always want to keep their distance and do not try hard to get to know their partner. They are evasive or unable to provide a good reason for not wanting to do things with you. Some use criticism or aggression to keep you at a distance.
2. Shows no emotion:
Never saw a man crying? It is a popular notion amongst women that men are emotionless. However, it is not. Men may hide their emotions but not always and not entirely. However, if your spouse conceals all of his emotions or does not occasionally shower you with love and affection, it means that he is not connected with you on an emotional level. A man’s gesture speaks a lot about him.
3. Says something but does something else:
When your partner says one thing and does just the opposite, it creates a sense of insecurity and mistrust in your mind. He may make big plans for you and promise lots of love, making you hopeful of having a fruitful relationship, but when it comes to actions, he does not fulfill them. In fact, do not be surprised if such a man goes missing during your testing times.
4. Vague and inconsistent:
Initially, your relationship will be hot, with him giving you lots of attention and being too involved in your life but a few months later it all fizzles out. He may then start showing interest in just the physical aspect of your relationship and may withdraw from any other kind of emotional involvement. Or may do the exact opposite, i.e., he may speak of great love and affection but may not get physically intimate with you. Such men are not ideal for long-term commitment. He can only offer you insecurity and stress and no emotional attachment of any kind.
5. The mother-in-law treatment:
A mother-in-law is known to be the harshest critic of her son’s wife. However, in your case, if it is your husband taking that place and is being overly critical of everything you do then there must be something wrong. He dislikes the way you dress, the food you make, the way you laugh, your profession, and just about everything that concerns you. This only boils down to his strong detachment from you.
6. Shirks responsibility:
Not only does he do nothing to maintain your relationship, but also avoids taking on any responsibility. He pushes you off the limit and then blames you for any conflict that arises. He totally ignores his role in the relationship and keeps reminding you of how you failed him on numerous occasions. A partner who shirks responsibility is someone to be steered clear of at all costs.
7. Does not contribute to the relationship:
A man who is not emotionally invested in a relationship will do nothing to maintain it. He never initiates conversations, always talks about himself, and shows no interest in knowing about your life. He tends to forget dates or events important to you. A partner who adamantly refuses to contribute towards developing a relationship will always be emotionally unavailable to you. Beware of sexual cues: too flattering, charmers, initially good at intimacy, but once the things get real, they may even avoid sex to sabotage the relationship.
8. Compulsive liar:
A man would blatantly lie in two situations: to save a relationship and to avoid any confrontation. If a man feels no sting while lying to you, it means that he barely respects you and will constantly lie to avoid your probing. He may pretend to love you, but in your absence, he will only be seeking new company. He will lie just to keep a lid on his secrets.
9. Always behind his walls:
Some men suffer from low confidence and are not comfortable showing their true selves. They always hide behind a wall that they create for themselves and rarely divulge anything that will make you think low of them. For a woman, it is exasperating to break a man’s wall to see the true person behind it. However, you must understand that in this case, it isn’t always the lack of connection that is building the wall. A man may feel vulnerable and fear that if you come to know his weaknesses, you may not like him at all. Hence he will never want to share his deepest, darkest secrets with you.
10. Does not reciprocate:
Be it love, care or appreciation, you may feel like giving them all to your spouse in abundance. But in a relationship, if you are the only person giving all the time while your partner never reciprocates, then you must know that it isn’t right. Love does follow the barter system, so you cannot expect only one-sided trade. In this case, you must be more than just aware of how EU your partner actually is.
How To Deal With An Emotionally Unavailable Partner
As mentioned earlier, it is difficult to identify an EU person, which is why many women find themselves stuck with partners that they never seem to understand. In case your partner is EU, and you want to save your relationship then here are some ways to deal with a partner who is emotionally unavailable to you.
1. Be upfront early on:
If you have just started seeing a man and have noticed that he is always guarded when it comes to expressing his emotions, then let him know how you feel about it. From the very start be clear of what you expect and what you want from him. If he is willing to be truthful and open with you, then take the relationship forward. But if he refuses to divulge more about himself then take the hint and leave before you get seriously involved with him. Pay attention to the facts, otherwise you will be left with nothing but pain.
2. Identify the reason:
If you know that your partner loves you but seems withdrawn for some reason unknown to you then try to find out what it is. Some men build walls around themselves to hide their weaknesses. They do that to maintain a good image for you and make you love them. They protect themselves by showing only their tough (often perceived as masculine) side to you to gain your trust. In such a case, you need to show him that you love him and accept him with his flaws. He needs to know that it is OK to have weaknesses and that you will support him and his choices in any situation. But keep in mind that you will not be the solution for him, for a real change he may need therapy and chances are that he may be aggressive towards you and threatening to leave the relationship rather than accepting help.
3. Ask him directly:
If you feel that, your partner was not always emotionally so distant and that it has been happening recently, then talk it out with him. Ask him what’s troubling him and the reason for his changed behavior. Tell him how you feel about this sudden change and that you are prepared to hear even something unpleasant from him. If he does open up and say something that you may not like to hear then do not be harsh with him. Reacting angrily will make him recoil in a shell, and he may never be open about things with you. Always listen to him patiently. Sit together and see how you can overcome the problem together. But you need to protect yourself, do not accept abusive behavior.
4. Shift your focus:
If talking to him does not work then try to give him some space. We often need time to think over things and consider our choices. Give him time, he will be back once he has resolved the issue and will appreciate you for being so considerate. Do not prod him excessively to speak up. Instead, shift the focus to yourself. Get involved with things that interest you and be busy with them. This will help you grow as a person and will make your relationship stronger.
5. Do not try to fix him:
Most women have a tendency to try and change men hoping to make them better individuals. But they do not realize that we cannot really change a person. If you do not like something about him, ask yourself the reason for it. Try to see if you can ignore it or get used to it. Attempting to change a man will only earn you his contempt, not love.
How To End A Relationship With An Emotionally Unavailable Partner
Despite all your efforts, if your partner continues to be emotionally aloof then it may be time you re-evaluate your relationship. If going on with it becomes difficult then here are some ways to end a relationship with an EU partner.
1. Ask yourself:
We know that breaking a relationship abruptly is not an ideal suggestion. It takes time to accept the harsh truth and do something concrete about it. It often happens that even after breaking up with a partner, women find themselves going back to them in their moments of weakness. So before you break up, ask yourself if you have done enough to understand the reason behind your partner’s indifference. Evaluate yourself and see if it’s you who has been EU or your partner. Once you have your honest answers, you will know what to do next.
2. Create the gap:
When you are sure that you have done enough and cannot save the relationship alone, then the only option is for you to break free. If he has been unwilling and un-cooperative then it’s time you start doing the same. Make it clear that you can no longer be the only one contributing and that he either be more involved in the relationship or let go off you. He must understand that he cannot take you for granted anymore.
3. No more loving gestures:
If you have been the only person doing all the household chores without any help from his side, then stop being the free maid to him. Ask him to cook occasionally. Share chores with him. Tell him the ways by which he can contribute to the relationship. Do not be soft and give in to his reluctance. Be firm and see if he obliges your request to share work or continues to take your favors.
4. Show him that you are done:
Get on with your life. Once you have separated, it is likely that he may try to hold you back. It most probably will be less out of love and more out of habit. He must have grown accustomed to having you around, and your absence is sure to shake him. So, he may text you, call you, mail you but you should ignore any kind of communication with him. This is the time you show your resolve and not fall prey to his attempts at getting back together. Emotionally unavailable men are not the ideal choice for commitment. He will want you back only to use you and not to work on your relationship.
5. Love yourself:
It is natural for women to lose themselves in a relationship and focus solely on the men they love. But when you know that you will get nothing out of a relationship where the man refuses to be open to you then there is no point in dedicating yourself to him. Live for yourself. Stop doing things to impress him. Do things that you enjoy doing and not those that please him. Let him see that you are good even without him and are not emotionally dependent on him. Have a life of your own. Get serious about your career and focus more on it. Do stuff that will help you grow and keep you happy.
6. Finally, let go:
You may feel tempted to be friends with your ex but before you decide to keep in touch ensure that you have gotten rid of the romantic feelings you had for him. It will not be easy at all, but it has to be done. Believe in the fact that some people are not meant for each other. Some people are good individually but not as partners. Some couples just cannot connect with each other the way other couples do. Accept the truth and move on without any hard feelings for him. Make friends with him only if you are sure that you do not harbor any kind of feelings.
Mind you, all of this should be done only when you know for a fact that your partner is EU and not you! While you may think that your partner is neglecting you, think hard before your jump the gun! Could you be EU too?
Signs That You Are An Emotionally Unavailable Wife
Women often complain of men being EU. But rarely do they realize that they too can be EU. Take a look at these signs that indicate you are an EU wife.
1. Less communication:
You talk less when your husband is around. You do not react much to what he says and keep mum most of the time. Lack of communication with your spouse is the first sign of being EU.
2. No grooming:
Women generally want to look their best when going out with their spouse. They take great pains to ensure that their husbands are happy with the way they look. If you do not feel motivated to look good for your husband, it clearly shows your disinterest in the relationship.
3. Frequent arguments:
Fighting way too often with your husband? And for no apparent reason? This could mean that there is hardly any love in your relationship. Frequent fights are obvious signs of a discord between two people.
4. Friends are priority:
When you are in a relationship, it is very important that you manage your time with friends and family. If you prefer being out with your friends or when at home, you are always on your phone chatting with your friends then you clearly are spending more time with them than your spouse. This shows that you are EU to your spouse.
5. Disinterest in partner’s activities:
Your partner is a passionate gamer and often invites you to try playing a game with him, but you don’t have any interest to oblige him. You make no efforts in sharing common interests with him. It is evident that you are not emotionally available to him.
6. Lack of intimacy:
Do you despise the idea of getting physically close to your partner? Do you discourage any attempt at getting intimate? If yes, then do not overlook this glaring sign of being not just emotionally but also physically unavailable.
If you show all or even most of the signs mentioned above it signifies that you are an emotionally distant wife.
1. What is emotional neglect in a marriage?
When one partner fails to provide for the emotional needs of the other, emotional neglect creeps in. Feeling dismissed, ignored, inclination to spend time alone, and lack of physical intimacy are some significant contributors to emotional neglect in a marriage.
2. Can a marriage survive emotional detachment?
The emotional attachment between partners is the foundation on which the edifice of marriage stands. It is not impossible but indeed difficult for a marriage to survive emotional detachment. It can lead to fading romance, depressing thoughts, and emptiness, ultimately affecting married life.
Dealing with an emotionally unavailable woman or man is not an easy task. Do not blame yourself for a relationship that failed because of a person was who unwillingly to invest more of himself in it. Being able to love unconditionally and openly is a sign of strength and not weakness. Just because you fell in love with the wrong person does not mean that you will never find the right person. At the same time, also check if your behavior caused the mess in any way. Be sure that you are not the one who was emotionally detached from your partner. Evaluate your behavior with your partner and work on anything you feel you should change about yourself. Individual or couples therapy/ counseling is always a good option, since it can change the dynamics and help you to have a pleasant and reliable relationship.
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Ratika has experience writing in various fields including finance, education, lifestyle, and entertainment. After her masters degree in Commerce, she acquired a PG Diploma in Communication and Journalism from Mumbai University. She is inquisitive about human relationships and likes to study people and how they manage their relationships, during her freetime. At MomJunction, Ratika writes insightful and informative articles on...
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Dr. Lourdes Mantecón-Garza holds a postgradaution in Internal Medicine, a certification as sexuality counselor by AASECT, and Sexologist by the ACSI. She offers in-person and virtual private sessions from McAllen, Texas, on sex counseling and education for teenagers, their parents, individuals as well as couples. She specializes in addressing issues pertaining to painful sex, sexuality after cancer, and sexual dysfunction....
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7 signs of an emotionally unavailable partner
Let's start with the main thing: it is really difficult for an emotionally unavailable person to share his feelings and really get close to other people. As a rule, there is a crisis of trust and a fear of intimacy behind this - this causes him to be fickle and avoid relationships.
Usually the reasons for this are in a complex intricacies of personality traits and painful experiences (especially loss, rejection or abandonment). All this forms the style of behavior with others.
Such people are often called toxic or narcissistic traits are attributed to them. Sometimes this is true, but more often it is not. Early loss or the painful experience of rejection can indeed be difficult to bear. And the extreme degree of natural shyness makes a person close against his will.
It can be difficult for these people to give up their defenses, the prospect of intimacy with others scares them so much. What else makes them different?
1. They are afraid of deep conversations
It is not easy for them to plunge into the world of feelings and emotions - they are ready to listen to a partner, but only for the time being. At the moment when it becomes completely unbearable, they simply change the subject, and when they are required to make any commitments, they feel cornered.
2. Intimacy for them always coexists with fear
Love and close relationships always come with an “add-on weight” in the form of inevitable (as it seems to them) conflicts, life dramas or potential rejection - everything that happened to them before.
3. They have real trust problems
If a person has suffered a lot, it is difficult for him to enter into any relationship with an open heart - it is too scary to be vulnerable again and experience new pain.
4. They do not know how to express feelings
Often, emotionally unavailable people simply do not have the skill of expressing everything that is on their souls. This does not mean that experiences are alien to them, they just do not know how to share them.
5. Often they easily and quickly cut ties with people
Moreover, any ties, including family ones. Which, of course, brings a lot of suffering to others. But at the same time, the person himself is sure that it will be easier this way than painfully choosing words and explaining himself, risking offending another.
6. They often choose a relationship at a distance
Or they enter into a relationship with a person who is not free - it's easier to keep the distance they need and not take the “next step”.
7. They are interested in others, slowly opening up in response
Asking questions and listening to answers is easier for them than talking about themselves. And the interlocutor, as a rule, such attention and interest is extremely pleasant - until it becomes clear that he himself did not know anything about the partner.
What to do - run away?
First of all, you need to understand that not all emotionally unavailable people are toxic. Most are not to blame for the chosen style of behavior, moreover, they usually have good reasons. If you have patience and let the person begin to trust you, he can open up and become a great partner.
But the main thing is to understand how you yourself feel in these relationships. If it’s hard, if doubts gnaw and nothing changes over time, perhaps you should ask yourself the question: is it worth it? Your life and your happiness is above all.
Why do we choose emotionally unavailable partners
Man and woman
Attachment is like a big panic button in the brain. When life runs its course, there is no need for it. We make Easter cakes, collect bouquets of leaves, play catch-up. Or we meet with friends, make plans, go to work and enjoy every day.
But then something bad happens: we fall and break our knee. The school bully pushes us and we drop our lunch on the floor. The boss is threatening to fire you. These negative experiences generate worry and anxiety, and anxiety in turn activates our emergency button.
And she sends out a signal to seek proximity. We find those relationships that support us - or rather, what we think of ourselves. And this is the paradox: attachment, without which we would hardly have survived in childhood, begins to play a cruel joke with us. If we evaluate ourselves negatively, then we find comfort in relationships with those who evaluate us in the same way.
Three Strategies in Relationships
The affection we felt for our mother in childhood dictates one of the three strategies in relationships.
Healthy strategy (secure attachment)
According to psychologists, no more than 50% use this strategy. Such people easily converge and communicate with others. They do not feel uncomfortable when someone depends on them, and they themselves are not afraid of losing their freedom. They perceive others and themselves positively. If something does not suit a partner in a relationship, they are always ready for a dialogue.
Manipulative strategy (anxious attachment)
These people are looking for maximum intimacy in a relationship. Their ideal is complete fusion. They often worry that their partner does not love them enough, they are afraid to be alone.
People of this type underestimate themselves and put others on a pedestal, do everything to justify the expectations of people significant to them. Unusually affectionate, constantly looking for external confirmation of their own value, because they themselves do not feel it.
Leave me alone! (avoidant type)
They feel uncomfortable in intimate relationships, do not like to depend on others and prefer not to be dependent on them either. Having learned from their own experience that intimacy brings only suffering, they strive for independence and self-sufficiency.
Such people perceive themselves super positively, and others negatively. They tend to use the insecurities of overly affectionate people to further strengthen their superiority.
Who chooses whom and why
If you carefully study these three strategies - as we once read the condition of the problem in school - it will become clear that all our further meetings and sufferings are already “set” in them.
People with the last two types of attachment are drawn to each other, although it is clear that their relationship is destined to be destructive. More importantly, they will reject a partner until he changes his positive attitude towards them to what they expect from him.
And what about people with the first type of attachment? They are looking for people with the same healthy, secure type of attachment.
It would seem, why can't the second or third type meet the first? Such meetings take place, but such people do not experience mutual attraction, interest that can keep them together.
What to do? First of all, understand what type of attachment you have. This is the key to finding and keeping relationships if you haven't been able to in the past. If you continue to date “the wrong ones”, the main reason is still in you.
So why do we fall in love with emotionally unavailable partners?
Emotionally unavailable people dominate the “dating market”
looking for his mate.
People with a secure type of attachment do not embark on a series of long meetings and searches. Feeling that very "chemistry", they decide that the partner suits them, and tune in to a long-term relationship. That's why they are the hardest to find - they rarely enter the dating market, and when they leave, they stay on it for a short time and immediately "settle" in a new relationship.
In addition, emotionally unavailable people almost never meet the same as themselves: none of them has a desire to emotionally invest in a relationship.
If you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, it turns out that the probability of meeting an emotionally unavailable partner is very high. However, they do not form relationships with each other because they need space and independence, they do not meet people with a healthy secure attachment, because such people do not stay in the market for a long time - so who do they attract? Alas, partners with an anxious type of attachment who crave extreme intimacy.
We find them very attractive.
We often don't realize that the partners we're obsessed with are the ones who can only increase our deep self-doubt. It is our notions of love that attract special partners to us.
At the early stage of a relationship, an "independent", emotionally unavailable partner sends mixed signals: calls, but not always, does not hide his sympathy, but at the same time makes it clear that he is still in search.
Emotionally accessible partners don't act tough. In their world, there are simply no mysterious omissions
This tactic is quite advantageous: by receiving a vague conflicting message, the “needy” partner with an anxious type of attachment becomes obsessed with the relationship. Friends, hobbies, interests and careers fade into the background.
We lack "fire" in emotionally accessible partners
Let's imagine that we were lucky and we met a person whose childhood was simple and calm, and whose view of the world is just as simple and open. Will we realize that we have won the lottery, or will we decide that something is missing in our relationship with such a person?
Emotionally accessible partners don't play impregnable or, on the contrary, don't throw everything at our feet in order to conquer us. In their world, there are simply no mysterious omissions and suspense, agonizing waiting.
We are calm next to such a person, and we do not believe that he is the only one, because “nothing is happening”, because our emotions are not inflated, which means that we are bored.