Hello God, it’s Margeret.
I can’t count on my hands the number of times my husband has dismissed my feelings and changed the subject. Hello, is anybody listening to my cries? At first, I couldn’t fully comprehend what he was doing; however, as time passed in our relationship, I realized that my husband’s emotional abandonment could no longer go on if this marriage was going to work.
What’s behind the emotional neglect
A few things come to mind with us not being able to step up to the relationship plate and fully support our spouses’ emotional needs. For starters, we mirror what we are taught, so if he/she did not grow up in a family environment that neglected one another’s needs, then we do what we are taught. The second thing is the lack of emotional awareness we have within ourselves. If we can’t figure out what’s happening inside our bodies through experiences, how can we help navigate and support our partner’s needs? The final thought could be you are dealing with a classic narcissist here. The definition of a narcissist is one who only thinks about themselves, lacks empathy, and what or how they can benefit from you — think leech.
The mirror has two faces
It’s an interesting song and dance for teaching your partner how emotionally unavailable they are. I can’t say how healthy this exercise is, but even after voicing my thoughts and vulnerability, my last resort was to mirror his behavior. This boundary lesson was about protecting my energy and sacred space. How can one partner give and give for the other partner to take? This was not a balanced, cohesive relationship. So a little mirror work it is, and lo and behold, little Johnny did not like not getting his way. Definite inner child wounds going on here.
Moving towards progress
We can’t mirror forever; it is an unhealthy approach long term. However, good therapy sessions and being patient during the growth process have helped tremendously. Communication — slowly expressing when your emotional needs are not acknowledged — is key. Also remember timing is everything; maybe conversations like these need to be done when you both have no distractions. Keep in mind that we all have shortcomings, nobody is perfect, and if your spouse or partner will work on this, that’s amazing progress already! Sister, they are men; handle with care.