Living with a mate who doesn’t express emotions can be one of the most difficult challenges of your life. No matter how much you try to speak to your mate, it’s like you’re speaking to a wall. As one mate said, “Living with my unemotional husband is like living in two different worlds.” Another said, “It’s worse than living in a prison or taking care of another child.” If you wonder why you live with someone who does not fulfill your emotional needs or you work so hard to make the relationship work with little to show for it, here are some characteristics of people like you.
Since you grew up in a home where you did not experience trusting, close relationships with one or both of your caregivers, you struggle with developing and maintaining trusting, close relationships with others.
The greatest influence to your feeling loved was through the quality of relationships you witnessed and experienced with the people that mattered the most in your childhood and teen years. As you grew up in a home without experiencing emotionally close relationships, you were accustomed to lack of love and lack of attention. This sets the stage for the type of relationship you would be accustomed to living throughout your life. In addition, you have great difficulty (although you may not think so) with trusting others and maintaining long-term close relationships. People who struggle with getting close build walls to keep people at a safe distance.
You are willing to work harder, wait longer, and do whatever it takes in order to receive love and attention from your unemotional mate.
As a child you would desire a loving, caring, close relationship with your parents. However, if your parents were emotionally or physically unavailable, you may have taken on the responsibility to establish the emotional connection that your parents should have initiated. If the situation did not change, your innocent mind would take the blame for the relationship failure, which would motivate you to work harder to receive the love you wanted. As you establish relationships in adulthood the same dilemma would happen by unknowingly finding a mate that is emotionally or physically unavailable. Since you would not want your relationship to end as another failure, you would again fall into the same situation, believing you need to work harder to fix the relationship. Since you have worked to fix relationships all your life, working harder, waiting longer, and doing whatever it takes to make the relationship work becomes a normal pattern of life.
Since you did not receive affection growing up, you have a greater chance of becoming uncomfortable with affection when you receive it in adulthood.
If you grew up in a home where one or both caregivers did not provide affection (frequent hugs, kisses, tender touches, words of love and praise), you do not know what a heartfelt, tender affection looks or feels like. As a result, you may be more accustomed to a relationship based on surface love, such as being a good provider of your material, social, and financial needs. You are more accustomed to the absence of affection in a relationship than you are with receiving affection.