The best way to provide support to your partner that has experienced emotional neglect

The thing about humans is that we all come with a history.  A history full of experiences, lessons, gained wisdom, scars, and perspectives. With that in mind, we all have different experiences with our previous relationship- both intimate and not intimate in nature. Some of us have had great experiences in our relationships. We can look back on our experiences and acknowledge what went well for us. We can reflect on what we learned, what we gained, and how our life has been impacted.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone.

A girl lays in bed feeling overwhelmed. This demonstrates concepts of childhood emotional neglect in Colorado Springs, CO. Our therapists can help with anxiety, depression, and trauma.

Some of us have had relationships where our needs have not been met. This goes much farther than not being able to pick the restaurant for dinner or tv show to watch. These are the individuals that have not had their basic needs met in the relationships they’ve had.  This can, and often does, start in childhood. Thinking farther ahead, this pattern often continues through adulthood and shows up in intimate relationships. We often refer to this as emotional neglect.

There’s a good chance that a few of reading this are in a relationship with someone who’s experienced emotional neglect.

It’s okay to say it. Sometimes, it’s hard. Sometimes, it feels like you’re trying to do everything you possibly could for them. But, you feel like you haven’t even scratched the surface. At times, you feel confused. Other times, you feel frustrated. You’re trying to be a supportive partner, but feel like you’re not doing it well. However, that’s not entirely the case. Every person needs to be supported in different ways. Many things influence this, including not having the support you needed during childhood. 

With this in mind, you’re probably wondering how you should provide support to your partner that’s experienced emotional neglect.

Which is fair! You want to do the best thing for your partner. They’re likely a big part of your life, and you want them to feel how important they are to you. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to supporting your partner. Emotional neglect can have an array of effects on individuals that experience it. And, will make different decisions with their life moving forward. With that in mind, our therapists have a few suggestions to keep in mind when providing support to your partner if they’ve experienced emotional neglect.

Tip #1: Be aware of what they’re saying and what they’re not saying.

A couple sits together. This relates to concepts of childhood emotional neglect in Colorado Springs, CO. We offer counseling in Colorado Springs, CO to many individuals.

Communication is everything. We’ve heard that 1,000 times, right? But, there’s some truth to that. Communciation is verbal and non-verbal. Verbal communication is what our partners are saying, and non-verbal communication is what our partner is showing us. Be aware of both of these. On top of that, listen for what your partner isn’t saying. Notice any discrepancies between what they’re saying and what they’re showing. If something isn’t adding up, ask about it! No, this does not mean you’re “calling your partner out.” Instead, our therapists recommend addressing the situation in a way that shows that you and you’re curious. If someone’s experienced emotional neglect, there’s a chance that they have had many people address with curiosity in a caring way.

Tip #2: Don’t be afraid to ask what they need from you.

We know there’s an expectation that we should be able to read our partner’s mind. And, that we should be able to just tell what they need from us. However, that’s just not the case. As odd as it may feel, it can be incredibly beneficial to ask your partner what they need from you. This can look a lot of different ways. For some, this looks like asking, “what can I do for you that will help you feel supported?” Or, it could be, “I can tell that you’re having a hard time, and I want to know how I can help.” You can even make it more simple with: “what do you need from me?”

Asking your partner these questions shows that you care enough to want to do something to help them. And, that you want to do something that will be helpful for them. On top of that, this can likely limit the possibility of you doing something that isn’t helpful for them. So, take the guessing out of the equation and just ask!

Tip #3: Be patient.

A couple is in the street. This relates to concepts of childhood emotional neglect in Colorado Springs, CO. Our therapists in Colorado Springs, CO are happy to help you improve your mental health and live your best life.

Think about a time you’ve been extremely cold. We’re not talking about having some goosebumps. We mean like a bone-chilling cold. Then, if you decided to take a scalding hot shower. You probably couldn’t handle it, right? The hot water was probably extremely overwhelming that you had to get away from it. There’s a good chance that your partner experiences the same thing when you try to support them in a way that’s not helpful for them. It can be overwhelming for them. And, they might have a hard time responding. So, with that in mind, be patient with them.  Give them time to adjust to the temperature of your water. If they’ve experienced emotional neglect, they’re probably used to much colder water.

We’re here to help you through this!

We know that navigating emotional neglect can be really tough. Especially if you’re navigating an intimate relationship. Our therapists are here to help. Through counseling for emotional neglect, we can provide the support needed to navigate the hurdles. In addition, we’re also able to offer individual therapy for anyone navigating stressful experiences that are being thrown at them. When you’re ready to begin working with our therapists in Colorado Springs, CO, follow these steps:

  1. Get to know our team of counselors.
  2. Adjust the temperature of your water.

Other Counseling Services

Counseling for Emotional Neglect
Individual Therapy
Marriage Counseling
Online therapy in Colorado
PTSD Treatment 
Grief Counseling
Therapy for Men
Anxiety Treatment 
Depression Counseling

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300 Garden of the Gods Rd, Ste 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
(719) 428-2952

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