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How to Deal with an Emotionally Unavailable Partner

by | September 9, 2019
2 min read

If you’re dealing with an emotionally unavailable partner, you’re not alone. Emotional unavailability is actually pretty common in relationships. But it’s something you can address in a healthy, positive and effective way.

What’s an Emotionally Unavailable Partner?

An emotionally unavailable man (or woman) is one who has closed off their heart. They’re shut down. Distant. Detached. Trying to truly connect with them is similar to trying to connect with something like a brick wall.

It’s About Them, Not You

Contrary to what you may think, the person’s emotional detachment may have nothing at all to do with you. It could have to do with stress, which drives us into fear mode where we close off our hearts to protect ourselves. The unavailable man could be plagued with:

·       Work stress

·       Money worries

·       A life challenge

·       A lack of emotional intelligence that’s stuck with them for years

In most cases, emotional unavailability is a chronic, low-grade thing you’ve somehow started to tolerate. But you just can’t any longer.

Dealing with an Emotionally Unavailable Partner

A number of steps can help you deal.

Relax: If you bring emotional, clingy energy to someone who is emotionally unavailable, they’re just going to put their wall up even more.

Deal with your own feelings: Process your own feelings of insecurity, fear and abandonment by working with a coach or therapist.

Communicate: Approach your unavailable partner without blame. Try to see them and why they are the way they are. Go to them with compassion and understanding.

Your end of the conversation can go something like this:

·       I know you’re dealing with a lot.

·       I see you in a bad place, in a funk, depressed.

·       Is that true?

·       I get it. I know why you’re that way.

·       But I think you’re less powerful that way, closed off, guarded and in fear.

·       I remember you when you were in your heart more. You are so amazing when you aren’t closed off.

·       I’m invested in you getting your power back.

·       How would that feel, to get your power back?

·       Do you want me to support you? Tell me what I can do.

Make the conversation all about them and their life. Later you can work on how the unavailability affects the relationship, but keep it about them for starters. As their availability grows, so can your relationship.


 

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash