Feeling Disconnected From Your Partner?

By

Feeling Disconnected From Your Partner?
Do you often feel disconnected from your partner? Discover why - how to re-connect.

"We can't seem to connect anymore."

This is one of the most common complaints I hear in my counseling practice.

We all know that it is generally easy to connect at the beginning of a relationship - before all the protections and defenses come up. But what do you do to reconnect once you feel disconnected from each other?

In order to answer this, let's first look at what creates disconnection.

Emotional Disconnection

Emotional disconnection occurs when one or both partners have closed their hearts. We emotionally connect with each other from our hearts - not our heads. We can connect intellectually from our heads, but when people complain that they can't connect, they are generally talking about emotional disconnection.

When your heart is closed, you have disconnected from yourself. The heart is the channel through which you can feel your feelings, so if there are feelings you don't want to feel, you close your heart in order to not feel them.

What are the feelings you don’t want to feel?

It took me a long time to understand why I would close my heart. I had been closing off from some very painful feelings for so long that I didn't even know what the feelings were. Upon exploration, I thought that I might be closing myself to avoid feelings of anxiety, fear, hurt, guilt, shame or anger. But with deeper work, I discovered that it was actually my disconnection from myself - my closed heart - that was causing my anxiety, hurt, guilt, shame and anger. So, if I was causing these feelings by closing my heart and staying in my head, and by judging myself or by turning to various addictions, why was I closing my heart in the first place? What was I avoiding feeling?

It took me years of inner inquiry to discover the deeper feelings that my closed heart was protecting me from feeling. These were the feelings of intense loneliness I had experienced as an only child, with distant parents and no siblings to play with. These were the feelings of heartbreak when my mother screamed at me daily, blaming me for her misery, and the heartbreak of my father's attempts to have sex with me. These were the feelings of helplessness over their disconnection from me and over not being able to ever get them to see me. These were the feelings of grief at having my beloved pets suddenly disappear because my mother didn't like them.

I could not handle any of these feelings, so I learned to disconnect from my heart and stay in my head. I learned to turn to various addictions rather than feel these feelings. I learned to be a very good girl, to try to get the love that I had not received, and didn't know how to give to myself.

When two people do this in a relationship - each partner protecting against feeling their deeper core feelings with each other - the feelings that are there when there is anger, blaming, judgment, withdrawal or contempt - they feel emotionally disconnected from each other.

Emotional Connection

This article was originally published at Inner Bonding . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

If You're Always Getting Overlooked, You May Be To Blame

By

It feels terrible to be constantly overlooked. This is the situation that Melanie is struggling with: "Even when I think I am fitting in to a group and talking to everybody okay, I always seem to be overlooked when it comes to invitations etc. and then I feel completely invisible, as if they either don't remember that I exist or they are ... Read more

Do You Remember What You Say When You Are Enraged?

By

"Rage can…shut off the hippocampus [linked to memory], and people with out-of-control anger may not be lying when they say they don't recall what they said or did in that altered state of mind." Mindsight, P.155 Daniel Siegel, M.D. Have you had the experience of someone being enraged at you, and then when you try to talk about it after ... Read more

You Have To Love Yourself Before You Can Love Another

By

Antonio consulted with me because of problems he was having in his marriage. He was very distressed that his wife, Cynthia, never wanted to have sex with him. In the course of our work, it became apparent that Antonio was very judgmental of himself. Throughout a day he was constantly telling himself how inadequate he was. "You certainly messed that ... Read more

See More

PARTNER POSTS