You are a product of your childhood and how you were treated. If you felt abandoned as a child, most likely, you may suffer from emotional abandonment. This is a term used to describe the emotional state of feeling undesired, insecure and discarded. Someone who suffers from emotional abandonment may feel a sense of loss, withdrawal, and cannot connect to another. When things begin to get too serious in a relationship, the emotionally abandoned person will hide their emotions.
Here are 10 signs that your partner is hiding their emotions:
1. You are experiencing long periods of silence.
One of the hardest things to deal with in a relationship is the silence between two people who once shared deeply with each other. If your partner isn’t speaking for long periods of time, he/she might be experiencing depression, isolation, or simply trying to disengage from the intensity of the relationship. They might feel comfortable withdrawing, but it’s no picnic for the other person in the partnership. You may be walking on eggshells all the time, not knowing if he/she will explode. This may also be a sign that your partner is getting emotional support from someone else outside of the relationship.
2. You are having one-side conversations.
You find that you are the only one speaking in the relationship. You are the one always asking the simple questions, “How was your day? What’s going on? Let’s talk….” It might just be a red flag that your relationship is in trouble. Emotionally disconnected individuals tend to shut down quickly. They don’t partake in small talk. They say what needs to be said and then it’s done. But, this doesn’t make a healthy relationship.
3. You are witnessing a self-absorbed behavior.
If your partner is emotionally withdrawn, he/she might not even tap into your emotions. An emotionally abandoned individual doesn’t understand what is truly bothering him/her. They struggle with just making it through one conversation. They become self-centered and self-absorbed. These emotions can be the left-overs from past relationships, fears of abandonment from childhood, or abuse. They just don’t have the capacity to psychologically open up. These type of folks could truly benefit from therapy. But, most of the time they don’t see they have a problem.
4. You are in denial and so is your partner.
If you are making excuses for your partner emotionally withdrawing, then perhaps you are in denial. These psychological patterns might not have been noticed in the beginning of the relationship or you may not have wanted to accept them. So here you are dealing with the silence, anger, and isolation of a relationship that feels broken. Your partner might also be in denial of what is really the underlying issue in the relationship. Seek help!
5. Your partner has a difficult time dealing with his/her parents.
Dr. Elliot D. Cohen, shares on Psychology Today that: “Emotional neglect involves failing to provide emotional support that one should provide, given one’s relationship to the other. Thus it is thought that a parent emotionally neglects a child when the parent fails to show the child the level of affection or attention that, as a parent, she should (even when she may be providing for the physical needs of the child such as food, health care, clothing, and shelter).”
Your partner may still be suffering from the effects of a neglected and abandoning childhood, and doesn’t know how to display the nurturing part of love in your relationship.
6. You are experiencing physical or emotional abuse.
When you are a child, you are depending on others to provide the safety in your surroundings and environment. However, if you grew up with abuse, the world is an unsafe place, and therefore you will continue to play out the same emotional and physical abuse that you learned as a child. You might not even recognize it. Usually the things we fear and dislike in others are the ones that are very prominent in ourselves. For example, a child who had alcoholic friends hated the circumstances and, yet, grows up following the same behaviors. Emotional and physical abuse are deeper signs of something that has not been addressed: repressed anger, fear, loss, abandonment, and insecurity. Are you willing to continue putting yourself through this, and to what cost?
7. Your partner is showing signs of addiction
Lance Dodes, M.D. is a former professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He shares his research on addiction as:
“I have found that virtually all addictive acts have this form. This psychology that drives addictions can be summarized in three elements:
I. Every addictive act is preceded by a feeling of helplessness or powerlessness. Addictive behavior functions to repair this underlying feeling of helplessness.
II. States of overwhelming helplessness, such as the feelings that precipitate addictive acts, produce a feeling of rage. This rage is actually a normal response to the serious emotional injury of losing a sense that one is in control over oneself and one’s life.
III. In addiction, the rage at helplessness is always expressed via a substitute behavior (a displacement). If this feeling were expressed directly, there would be no addiction. If drinking were the way a man regularly dealt with states of overwhelming helplessness then he would have a repetitive, intensely driven, apparently irrational drive to drink. We call such compulsive behavior an addiction.”
8. Your partner isn’t taking care of his/her body.
If you find that your partner isn’t on top of his/her hygiene, or appearance, as once before, this is a sign of emotional withdrawing and neglect. The underlying cause can be sadness, anger, fear, anxiety or other emotional turmoil. He/she may not be able to understand the behavior. You may address it in a loving manner, but it might not get well received as such.
9. Your partner doesn’t touch you.
When someone is emotionally withdrawn they also become physically withdrawn. There might just be another person in the picture. Or, the stress of the hidden emotions is overwhelming. If you can’t discuss the reason for the lack of touch, and anger rises, then it’s time to truly get help. No one wants to be in a relationship with emotional and physical neglect.