In his article “Lonely Planet: isolation increases in us,” Johannah Cornblatt states: “There are more than 300 million of us in the United States, and sometimes it seems like we’re all friends on Facebook. But the sad truth is that Americans are lonelier than ever.”
Mother Teresa said that “loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty” and “the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love.”
Dr. Sue Johnson, the founder of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, in her article “What You Need to Know about Love,” explains “what love is about and how it works.” She wrote that “the need we have as children to be able to call to a special one and know that this person will respond with reassurance and comfort never goes away. To know that we are loved is the safe haven we all long for. The longing for this is wired into our brains from the cradle to the grave.”
Need for emotional connection – knowing that your loved one will be here for you in times of hardships – is the most basic longing. Oftentimes, couples struggle to communicate their attachment needs for love, appreciation and support.
It is difficult to express our heartfelt feelings when we feel vulnerable, especially when our vulnerabilities trigger fear of rejection, mistrust or fears that we are unlovable. When these fears get triggered, couples feel terrified.
These fears prevent partners from getting in touch with their soft feelings of hurt and sadness. Instead they revert to anger and lash out or shut down and come across as emotionally unavailable to another partner.
Couples find themselves feeling confused and stuck in a negative cycle of communication. As a result, emotional connection that couples are longing for is broken, and they get stuck in disconnection. The couples often feel alone, unappreciated and unloved.
What couples want is closeness, but their communication gets distorted, and they do not hear each other. They want to say to their partner – I miss you. I want to spend more time with you. I need reassurance that you miss me too and want to spend time with me. Instead, they get caught up in a negative cycle of blaming and withdrawing, and they are both hurting.
It is important to send clear signals to a partner by talking about your needs and soft feelings. Instead of getting angry on numbing your feelings, share with your partner your vulnerabilities, talk about what you need, talk about your feelings underneath anger.
Emotional openness, softness and responsiveness build trust, safety and emotional connection between partners. Positive conversations will help you reconnect with your partner on a deep emotional level, rebuild the bond that brings heaven to earth.