Emotional distance between partners can cause each partner to feel isolated and alone in the relationship, rather than supported and encouraged by a significant other. There are as many reasons for emotional distance as there are unique relationships, and the important next step is to find the root cause and address the problem together.
Broach the subject with your partner. Sometimes one partner may feel that the relationship is not close enough, while the other partner might not see it that way, note relationship advisers at TwoOfUs.org. Your partner may not be as verbal as you are, or he might see the “distance” as a comfortable one borne out of settling in to the relationship. Perhaps, though, he will agree with you that there is an emotional distance between you. Explain how you feel and ask him to work on it with you.
Make time to connect with each other. Many people fall into a pattern of working often and late, so that they end up neglecting their relationships because of the energy spent on daily routines. Emotional disconnection often results from social isolation, which can reinforce negative self-perceptions and erode relationships. Set up a weekly date, or plan to eat dinner together more often. Start slow by talking to each other about the little things, before working your way up to deep issues.
Learn the origins of your isolation and emotional disconnection, recommend therapists at GoodTherapy.org. Causes might include infidelity, addiction, or other negative behaviors that lead to mistrust and a breakdown in communication. Try to talk to your partner about why the disconnection has occurred. Work on forgiveness and moving past the source of your pain.
Avoid the touchy issues and let go of your own baggage. You may need to talk about the origins of your emotional disconnection, but after forgiveness and a mutual pact to move on, you shouldn’t keep harping on the issue. Don’t push your partner’s buttons or ask for constant reassurance about your own insecurities. Try to keep conversations with your partner positive, to encourage repeated close interaction.
Make an appointment with a therapist. If you and your partner have been emotionally distant for quite a long time, or your emotional distance springs from a traumatic root event, a therapist can help you get past this.
Emma Wells has been writing professionally since 2004. She is also a writing instructor, editor and former elementary school teacher. She has a Master's degree in writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology. Her creative work has been published in several small literary magazines.
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