How Our Habits Crush Our Connections

How our developmental habits get in the way of our romantic connection, depicted by a couple closed off from one another.

All of us in a relationship savor when we get along with our mates. We love the times when we are connected and when nothing pulls us away from that connection.

But when our feelings get hurt… well, that is usually another story altogether. We often just stew in our own discomfort and stay isolated from the one we love. This is very common with couples. I have even experienced it in my own relationship.

We Process Our Feelings and Hurt in Different Ways

When we're upset, we process our feelings in different ways. Some people disengage and go for a run with their dog, like the woman pictured.

Usually in a couple there is one person who reveals how they are feeling and another person who is silent or less open about what is happening to them. But here is the thing, when people get their feelings hurt, the partner can feel the disconnection almost instantly.

That’s because you and your beloved are connected in ways that are beyond words. And that is why you instantly feel when they get hurt or the mood changes.

We might even wish that they could be loving to us again and we might struggle to get them back on board, or we might have tried so many times we just give up out of frustration.

Habits That Protected Us in Childhood Can Work Against Us in Relationships

Things we did to protect ourselves as children, like this little girl covering her ears, may not work so well in adult relationships.

But I want to help you see this another way. All of us have habits that we have carried in us for a long time. If you grew up getting your feelings hurt and then yelling about it, (like I did), then you will probably use this habit on your mate.

If you grew up swallowing your feelings and not saying anything then this is what you use with your partner in your relationship.

Both of these habits do one thing for the individual, they leave the person isolated and alone. Both of these habits are protections or defenses against getting hurt again.

Withdrawing Makes Our Partners Feel Isolated

Withdrawing can make our partner feel isolated and sad, like the sad woman pictured.

Your habits aren’t meant to hurt the other, but that is exactly what they do. They originated to help you survive your upbringing. But now in an adult relationship they cause difficulty for everyone.

If you find yourself cut off from your mate when your feelings get hurt and you can see this, that is your awareness working and this is a great sign that you are ready for something that will work better for you.

Open Your Heart: They Want to Help You Be Happy

Your partner ultimately wants you to be happy. This happy, senior couple sharing wine illustrates that..

Your partner does not want to hurt you. They love you. But I bet sometimes they don’t know how to make you happy and what they witness is your unhappiness instead. This I promise you is a hardship for them to see.

All people who love each other want to see their mates happy. Most often they don’t know what to do when there is pain. The healing is when you can understand what happened to you and can explain it to your person without blaming them for what they did.

If you can say this from an open heart you will feel something so amazing you will never look back. I promise this as well. It happened to me and led me to a great life.

Connect with Your Partner

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Learn how to more effectively communicate with your partner, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might help both of you feel happier, more loved, and even more connected. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

One thought on “How Our Habits Crush Our Connections

  1. My nephews mother (my sister-in-law) has cut off him and his family including his wife’s family because she doesn’t like his wife. They are all Christian belonging to the same denomination (seventh Day Adventist). His mother blames them for hurting her emotionally and won’t accept their asking for forgiveness. This happened 5 years ago. When I learned about it I said that is an “emotional cutoff” and dysfunctional. She cut me off after that. She has convinced the third brothers family to cut off her son and me. The son would like to see a therapist with her but she refuses because “she has done nothing wrong”. There is a misunderstanding that you express your vulnerable feeling and blame the other person for them and cut them off to protect yourself. They are all well educated functional people, stuck in this situation, unable to resolve it.

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