Posted January 12th, 2018 | Michelle Hollomon
Sometimes partners in a long term relationships end up feeling distant and cold toward one another. This could be because of their demanding professions, busy schedules, or children’s many activities, but more often than not, marital distance stems from a fear of real intimacy.
When couples get close to the vulnerable edge of intimacy, they often become afraid and defensive. True intimacy requires that each person share their weaknesses, fears, and failures. Emotionally distant couples take turns fending off getting too close, too vulnerable, and too exposed. Partners can often feel inadequate when their partner expresses emotion or asks for more heartfelt communication. Not knowing what to do, how to connect, or how to make their partner’s tears stop, they can mistakenly react in anger or withdrawal. This can shut down intimacy all together.
If you’re in an emotionally distant relationship, you will feel…
- Hopeless. Sometimes you feel like you are trying to draw water from an empty well.
- Dismissed. You feel unimportant and not taken seriously.
- Unloved. You take your partner’s emotional withdrawal as silent disapproval, rejection, or disinterest.
- Anxious. Because they keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves, you constantly wonder how they truly feel about you.
- Self-doubt. Because your emotional needs so often go unrecognized in your relationship, you wonder if you’re just too needy or if he’s just too immature.
- Desperately Alone. Oftentimes a person feels they are lonelier in their unhappy relationship than they would be as a single person in no relationship.
- Abandoned. You feel like the person who is supposed to love you the most rejects you at your core. You feel like your partner is either unable or unwilling to love you the way you need to be loved, and that you must do what it takes to just survive.
- Frustrated. You both use sarcasm, joking and passive aggression to communicate, but just skim the surface of what’s truly important. This repetitive dysfunctional cycle results in unresolved issues and broken communication.
Want to know more about this, and how to feel more like romantic partners than roommates? Click here to take a short relationship quiz, and get tips for improving emotional intimacy.