When did you realize he was behaving emotionally unavailable?
Would you like to know from the start if your chosen one grew up with a lack of emotional response?
I always imagine how my life would have been if someone had sent me a disclaimer, some timely information; some deep and true revelation about the quality of interpersonal connection primed on him.
Kind of: "Watch out, because he can't connect emotionally with anybody!" That would have been a lifesaver for me!
One crucial conversation in which the emotionally deprived person reveals and opens up about his own disability and allows the other side to make an informed decision about marriage, would save the female partner some ten-twenty years of grief and hurt...I know, because women write to me in "ASKNORA", and they share that they have spent most of their married lives deciphering this terrible dilemma: what's wrong with him, that can't respond to my love?
I'm sure you want it too...Even retroactively, let's imagine that in honor of truth and love, we had this interchange between this wonderful man you are dating with serious intentions of spending the rest of your life with him and your younger self:
It would go like this:
"Tell me more about how things were when you were growing up...when did you learn that silence is better?
“You know, I grew up with a mother that was not interested in me; she never allowed emotions between us and so I never felt truly accepted, loved, and supported by her. Basically, if not really, she abandoned me very early. I grew up trying to find what was wrong in me, but never discovered what I could do to make her love me.
My childhood has left me without the skill to feel love, to share love, and to know how and why other people connect through love…I don’t know it, and basically I’m scared of it. My usual defense is to act cold, detached, and aloof. Now, when you say that you love me, I don’t believe it completely because I don’t know what is to be loved…. probably will answer giving you a long silence.
I don’t know what to say, or what to do, so I resort to silence. I would prefer that you don’t insist on us sharing feelings, because it makes me angrier... and this is the truth under my silent treatment. Is this what you want? Because this is what you will get from me…”
If you had this disclosure before getting married, you would be in a better position to know what big aspect of the relationship will be missing, how emotional damage happened to him, and also that there is little you can be guilty of.
When he goes into his usual building a wall of silence around him, your first reaction would not be asking yourself: “what did I do wrong?” but: “Here he is, responding as he was responding when he was five years old…such a pity we can’t have an adult conversation about our reciprocal needs…Here I am, feeling lonely as a single person, but in a marriage, what kind of a deal is this?”
The point here is to help you clarify a basic aspect of this uneven communication process: You are NOT guilty of his lack of emotional skills now necessary to build a healthy relationship. If you, acting as you usually do, burden yourself with the total responsibility of having nurturing and supportive conversations with him that would help each other grow, you are taking upon yourself an impossible burden.
You can’t be in charge of making this man happy… for you, is like hitting in the dark, never knowing what works.
Of course, there are resources to help him overcome the scars of an insecure attachment in his childhood…and those resources are professionals (psychotherapists; coaches, etc.) who know how to help people grow emotionally into adulthood.
It is NEVER your job to make him grow up, and we should instead be discussing the early signs of emotional deprivation, so you can do the detective work and identify the guys who will not be able to correspond to your love...It's not that they don't need your love, they need it desperately, but you will receive little crumbs of love in return.
When you never had such disclosure as the one we have shown above, you could believe the emotional disconnection is your fault or your work to do, and he could keep blaming you or your actions for the silent treatment he dishes on you frequently. And the loneliness that his lack of emotional connection piles on you can have a permanent impact on your health.
To get a more objective view of his general responses, you can go to our Passive Aggressive Test,
If you think this message carefully, even allowing yourself to be compassionate towards him, it means finally that you can stop blaming yourself, see where the problem really is and recover your self-esteem. Feeling a little better now? Perhaps you would like to explore better options?
Of course, any better options have to leave you off the hook! He has to sign up for a program as I offer here: “MY HEALTHIER MARRIAGE COACHING PROGRAM," I just designed for men like your husband. So, you know you have resources...
To your happiness!