“Emotionally unavailable partner”

I see many couples where one person has become emotionally unavailable in the relationship. The effects are incredibly damaging to the relationship as every day that passes creates more distance and damage.

So many people come to me asking “how to deal with someone who is emotionally unavailable.”

Couples that end up in this pattern try to live in this distortion but it’s like a ticking bomb waiting to wreak havoc on their lives in the form of either affairs or separation and divorce.

Below are a few different examples of how emotionally unavailable relationships are created.

The emotionally unavailable men and women that I see usually have deep-rooted fears they are trying to avoid many have no idea this is happening to them.

One lady I was seeing was so emotionally unavailable to her husband he ended up using pornography and eventually escorts because he felt so unloved. Upon discovering his infidelity, she took the higher ground, unaware she was part of the problem.

She was unaware that an abusive parent was at the root of her inability to love. Loving and giving meant vulnerability and she wasn’t going there again, but this killed her feelings and so she functioned practically but was emotionally dead.

He lived in a marriage without love.

Another man was totally unaware he was fearful of committed relationships, but he wanted love.

The pattern he was in enabled him to marry, but the moment they were married, he withdrew and became the passive partner who secretly resented his partner.

The pattern he was in created a need to search for everything that was wrong. What the pattern was really trying to avoid was the fear he wasn’t enough.

The pattern made him not enough for himself because he took such a weak role; he was always lacking in confidence, and that grew until he couldn’t bear himself so much he had to leave her.

He thought he had left her because she made him feel awful. The reality was he made himself this way.

Other people become emotionally unavailable because they simply don’t know what they are doing.

One gentleman had put so much focus on his work and providing the money he had neglected his marriage.

This is a common problem where these men think women think and feel the same as them. Many women would in a heartbeat trade emotional connection and emotional security for the money the man thinks is everything.

Many couples come in with this problem.

One man has spent his life creating a beautiful home just for her. Financially she wanted for nothing. She left him because he was never around.

Many men see womens’ emotions as ridiculous. What this tells me is they don’t understand them.

So do people become emotionally unavailable due to learnt patterns? Do they become emotionally unavailable due to fears or do they simply have no clue of how to show up emotionally in their relationship?

All the above is true.

I also see many cases where women in the early years of their relationship feel their partner has created the behaviours that for her equal the emotional connection she craves.

She is totally unaware that he was doing everything he can to make her happy and randomly some of what he did worked.

She then wrongly assumes he knows her, but as time passes, he stops connecting.

The reality is he is worn out, he had hoped she would stop being so emotional. Once he sees that she continues to be overly emotional he can feel either he’s a failure or she’s impossible to please.

Many men in this place don’t leave, they stay with her but in a more detached state.

I remember one couple attended an Initial Consultation with me; this is where I assess the couple to see firstly what their problem is and share with them how I’ll help them solve it. She felt emotionally abandoned, and he refused to see it.

In floods of tears, she desperately wanted me to help them reconnect, but he thought that she was being ridiculous. He had worked hard for years to give them an amazing life; she was ungrateful and childish.

On paper, their life was amazing, but he did not see the problem. In essence, if he didn’t see the problem, there wasn’t one so they didn’t do the program.

This perspective was a massive mistake he was going to regret for the rest of his life.

Two years later, I spoke with her. I could hear in her voice had changed her emotional distress had been replaced with a quiet confidence.

She was now emotionally detached and emotionally unavailable to him. Years of realising that her feeling never mattered to him helped her to get stronger.

She was now planning their divorce and wondered if I could help soften the impact on their children and help her make sure she didn’t choose this type of man again.

So many couples are finding ways to make their distortion work unaware it’s highly likely to end badly for them.

Relationships are like just like the rest of life. If it’s not looked after in the way it needs, it will die.

If a partner becomes emotionally unavailable you must not ignore it because either they are not understanding what this means or they are in a learnt or fear-based pattern.

An emotionally unavailable partner is a sign that something needs to change so please don’t ignore it.



About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.