Marriage Counseling For Emotional Neglect
In marriage counseling, we often find that the root cause of emotional neglect within the relationship is the childhood emotional neglect experienced by one or both partners. Being emotionally neglected as a child typically results in “emotion blindness”, or an inability to connect with your own emotions, which often extends to your partner as well. You may struggle to notice and respond appropriately to their emotions, which makes them feel lonely and taken for granted.
It is critical to resist the urge to place blame for emotional neglect. Most parents don’t even realize that they are emotionally neglecting their children, and no child chooses to be neglected. But while we are not at fault for negative patterns we inherited, we are responsible for our own actions. Once you know that you are neglecting your partner’s (or child’s) emotional needs, you owe it to them to work on healing so that you can meet those needs.
Recognizing Emotional Neglect In Your Relationship
A few signs that emotional neglect is a problem in your relationship include:
- You and your partner misunderstand each other frequently.
- You feel more in opposition than a team.
- You feel lonely when you’re with your partner.
- Emotional bonding and positive emotions like love and warmth feel awkward or only happen during sex.
- You can’t seem to argue productively.
- You rarely, if ever, discuss your feelings.
- Your spouse is not the first person you want to tell when you get exciting or bad news.
- Your spouse often says the wrong thing when you seek comfort from them.
- You avoid difficult topics so as not to upset each other.
- You struggle to find something to talk with each other about.
If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, marriage counseling can help you learn how to address emotions, develop healthy communication and problem-solving strategies, and create a healthy attachment that helps to heal you both.
Emotional connections are the glue that holds families together, but they are not something you either have or don’t. They are things you *do*. You can start making more and better emotional connections with your partner and children right now. Ask them for emotional support, or to share in a happy, sad, or painful moment. Be mindful of their emotional states and look for times when they are requesting an emotional bond with you, then give it to them.
Family And Marriage Counseling At Take Charge, Inc.
Emotional neglect affects the entire family and is passed down generationally. One neglectful parent begets another because we learn how to care for our own children from our parents. Fortunately, this is a curse that can be broken. Both couples counseling and family therapy are extremely useful in healing and learning to provide the emotional care that our partners and children need.
For more information about marriage counseling and family therapy in Overland Park, KS, call Take Charge, Inc. at (913) 239-8255. To schedule an appointment, click here.
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