What Is Emotional Unavailability?
Emotional unavailability is the inability to form or maintain close emotional bond in a relationship.
It can manifest as emotional or physical distance, lack of support and interest in your emotions, thoughts, and life in general, lack of commitment, etc.
Being married to a man who is emotionally unavailable and distant can leave you feeling unfulfilled.
Emotionally Unavailable Husband Quiz
If you feel your husband is distant, the following quiz can confirm your concern:
#1. Is your husband inexpressive emotionally, be it when it comes to revealing his own emotions or when it comes to displaying affection?
#2. Does he seem uncomfortable with your own emotions, unable to empathize with you or doesn’t care much about what you might be going through?
#3. Does he spend most of his free time doing things alone (e.g., playing video games, watching TV by himself, and making plans that don’t involve you)?
#4. Does he often avoid deep conversations that relates to how you feel or think about things?
#5. Is he rarely emotionally supportive when it comes to things that matter to you the most or show little interest in your life?
#6. Does he often blame you for things you have no control over?
#7. Do you often feel like you can never reach him, even physically sometimes?
Note: This test is not meant to act as a substitute for proper assessment.
The questions above represent common signs of emotional unavailability. If you answered yes to most of these questions, then your husband might be emotionally unavailable.
Related: What Is Emotional Intimacy? (And How To Increase Emotional Intimacy In A Relationship?)
Do Emotionally Unavailable Men Change?
But like any personal change, they need to be willing to work on it.
That means you can’t make an emotionally unavailable man more available unless they want it for themselves.
How To Deal With An Emotionally Unavailable Husband?
#1. Let Them Know Your Concerns
This might sound counterintuitive.
After all, the reason for your concerns might be that he’s showing little interest in discussing feelings.
But if he wants to maintain a healthy relationship, he will have to listen and make an effort to deal with whatever issues that might be preventing him from being available.
#2. Identify The Underlying Issue
Although this is not your responsibility, it can be helpful to assist him here.
Let him know about the different ways you think he had changed and how you feel about the sudden change.
Ask him if anything could have happened that triggered this change and listen to him.
There are many reasons why someone can be unavailable emotionally:
1. Avoidant attachment style
People with avoidant attachment style avoid emotional intimacy and may not be open to express their emotions.
Related: How To Overcome Avoidant Attachment Style?
Alexithymia refers to difficulty identifying and expressing emotions.
This is not a mental health disorder. People with alexithymia may have problems maintaining relationships and being emotionally intimate.
Related: How To Sit With Painful Emotions? (Top 9 Difficult Emotions)
3. Coping Mechanism
People who don’t know how to solve their issues in an assertive way or feel unable to because their partner is not receptive, can instead choose to withdraw and distance themselves emotionally, and even physically.
It’s their way to cope with issues within the relationship that they’re unable to resolve.
Related: Inner Teenager Healing: 14 Proven Exercises to Heal Your Inner Teenager
4. An Extramarital Affair
An affair can also cause someone to become distant.
Related: How To Repair A Marriage After Infidelity? Best 8-Step Guide to Build Trust Again
#3. Consider Therapy
Therapy can be a safe space for him to open up and learn more about himself.
The goal here is not to fix him or force him to change. No one can help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
Even forcing him to go to therapy won’t work unless he’s willing to work on this.
Psychologist Locator and the National Register are two websites for locating psychologists in USA.
Online therapy is also an option. It can be much more affordable than in-person therapy, but can be equally effective. (source)
- Emotionally Unavailable: Meaning, Signs, and FAQs (healthline.com)
- 5 Signs of Emotional Unavailability (psychcentral.com)
- Emotionally Unavailable: What It Means & 15 Signs To Look For | mindbodygreen
- 8 Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Partner (brides.com)
- 13 Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Partner And What To Do (womenshealthmag.com)