Are You Dealing With Emotional Withdrawal In Your Relationship?

Mark and Sharon used to seem like an ideal couple. They were madly in love and it seemed they would never have trouble communicating their feelings for one another. But then it happened: they hit a rough patch and it now seems that it will take nothing short of a miracle for them to get back on track and for things to go back to normal.
She feels he is distancing himself from her and becoming emotionally withdrawn, which is making her confused and causing her a great deal of emotional pain. All in all, it feels like they’re stuck at the point of no return, with a separation being the only viable option. Sharon recommended attending a couple relationship management workshop but Mark refused. She feels neglected and fears abandonment is what happens next.
What went wrong and who or what is to blame for the emotional intimacy issues? And is it possible for a couple in this situation to overcome emotional withdrawal and withholding?

What Is Emotional WithdrawalWhat Is Emotional Withdrawal?

Being emotionally withdrawn basically means keeping your emotions bottled up. This can naturally take a toll on any relationship, especially a romantic one. Emotional withdrawal is typical of the avoidant attachment style.
Your childhood experiences can affect your adult relationships. Being raised by emotionally distant or neglectful parents or caregivers can lead you to develop survival patterns you rely on to navigate emotional pain in adulthood. And when both you and your partner start to fall back on your own survival patterns, this can put a great deal of stress on the relationship.

What Is Emotional Withholding In Relationships?

Emotional withholding is a situation when a person uses their love and affection, praise or even their presence against their partner. It could be their way of staying in charge, avoiding humiliation or even hurting their partner, deliberately or not. It is important to understand that emotional withholding represents a type of emotional abuse that must be dealt with.

How To Deal With Emotional Withholding

Emotional withholding is a form of passive-aggressive behavior which qualifies as emotional abuse. Partners often resort to withholding affection as a form of punishing the other person even if they might not realize it. Giving someone the silent treatment or the cold shoulder, if you will, can cause a communication breakdown and irreparable damage to the relationship unless both partners are willing to work on resolving the underlying issues. As hackneyed as it may sound: communication is key.

How To Deal With The Silent Treatment

Most of us have been there: you desperately want to have a heart-to-heart with your partner but they just give you the silent treatment. You’re banging your head against the wall trying to understand whether you did anything wrong. You are also willing to do everything in your power to resolve the issue but you feel you’re the only one who wants to work towards a resolution.
This can only be dealt with if both partners are willing to communicate. And that’s the thing: neither partner is supposed to be a mind reader. It is impossible for one partner to figure out what’s wrong unless they can establish communication.

How Do You Fix A Broken Relationship?

How Do You Fix A Broken Relationship
One way to facilitate this is to constantly seek alternative ways of working on their relationship. Partners can learn about themselves, about each other and ultimately build trust in a relationship intensive workshop, such as the ones we have at The Glass House.
Aside from attending our 5-day workshop, you can also work with a PIVOT advocate separately or as a couple to help you heal. All of our programs are designed to accommodate the specific needs of every individual and guide them toward building intimacy in a relationship and developing healthy relationship patterns and coping skills.

How To Break Pursuer-Distancer Cycle

Back to Mark and Sharon and what they’re going through. Try this on for size.
Sharon: What’s wrong?
Mark: Nothing.
Sharon: Then why are you being like this?
Mark: Like what?
Sharon: You’re ignoring me all the time.
Mark: I’m not.
Sharon: You are and you know it. You’re doing it right now.
Mark: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Sharon: Oh, I bet you don’t!
Mark: You’re overreacting.
Sharon: I’m so not!
Mark: I really can’t get into this right now.
Are you the pursuer or the distancer? In other words, are you Sharon or Mark? And how do you break the vicious circle?
When two people in a romantic relationship are having a hard time seeing eye to eye, they tend to misinterpret everything that the other person means to say, which could then push them further apart.
The pursuer is seen as needy and nagging, an impression made all the worse because of their growing frustration and uncontrollable tendency to criticize. They can’t help it because they are unable to shift perspectives. The distancer is seen as emotionally unavailable, cold and distanced, whereas, in reality, they are vulnerable and feel they are being treated in a way that is unfair.

How Do You Overcome Emotional Distance In A Relationship?

The pursuer-distancer cycle that is left unresolved turns into a pattern that the person is likely to repeat in every new relationship. But how do you bridge emotional distance? Here are some ideas you can use to resolve the situation:

  • Learn to recognize recurring patterns that lead to conflict.
  • Set up and stick to a conflict resolution plan.
  • Stick to a single topic until it is resolved.
  • Focus on togetherness and the ‘We’: We need to work this out.
  • Get to know your own communication style and learn to tweak it.
  • Learn to manage your emotions and not let negative emotions wash over you.
  • Create an atmosphere of safety, trust and understanding.
  • Find optimal ways to communicate: write each other letters if you have to.

Our Emotional Intimacy Coaching Can Help You Get Back On Track

How Do You Overcome Emotional Distance In A Relationship
Are you giving your partner the silent treatment? Or are you on the receiving end? Do you feel that you are responsible to smooth things over whenever someone is upset with you or is it your partner who is a people pleaser? So what can you do?
Taking simple steps like joining a relationship building skills workshop could ultimately be good for your own emotional development and for your relationship. It could help you learn how to shift perspectives and truly understand where the other person – in this case, your partner – is coming from. Call today and let us know what’s troubling you!

Think You Might Be A People Pleaser? Here’s How To Stop

Many of us find it hard to find a balance between being nice and putting our feelings aside to make the people around us feel good. While it may not seem like such a big deal, being a people pleaser can cause a series of issues in your interpersonal relationships and other areas of your life.
If you keep accommodating other people’s needs without fulfilling your own, you may start to harbor resentment, anger, and hurt towards the ones you love the most. In many cases, these unresolved inner conflicts result in emotional withdrawal and unhealthy relationships that may benefit from individual relationship counseling and other forms of treatment.
Read on to find out about the dangers of being a people pleaser and learn how to stop.

Are You A People Pleaser?

If you’re unsure if you’re simply a nice person or a people pleaser, you should take a look at how you tend to interact with other people. If you feel like you have to say yes to every favor that’s asked of you, you may be leading towards the latter option. Either way, the best way to determine whether you are in fact a people pleaser is to understand how this pattern came about.

Why Do Some People Become People Pleasers?

As with most unhealthy patterns, people-pleasing starts in childhood. Some children learn very early on that the only way to earn love and acceptance from their parents is to be good and ready to please.
If your caregivers convinced you, consciously or unconsciously, that you had to do things for them and fulfill their wishes in order to be considered valuable and “good”, it’s no wonder that you’re struggling with creating healthy boundaries and saying no in your adult life.

Signs of People-Pleasing 

The first step towards breaking your people-pleasing habit is to recognize how it manifests. Here are some of the most common signs that you may be a people-pleaser:

  • You think you’re responsible for other people’s feelings and try hard to make them happy with your actions.
  • You say sorry all the time and blame yourself for everything that goes wrong in your life, even if there’s no reason to believe that’s the case.
  • You avoid conflict at all costs and can’t stand when someone is angry or displeased with you or your actions.
  • You feel uncomfortable saying no and accept favors and arrangements even if you would rather not go through with them.
  • You crave validation from people to feel good and tend to base your self-worth on the opinions of others.

Is People Pleasing And Codependency The Same?

Many people are confused by the differences between codependency and people-pleasing. While these two dynamics can overlap, they are different in some key respects. The main distinction has to do with the relationship between codependency and childhood trauma, specifically the role a person assumed in their family as a child.
For instance, a codependent may have had to act as the responsible adult to an addicted family member and, in turn, developed an attraction to addiction-prone and abusive partners. By contrast, people-pleasers tend to come from a family that neglected them or taught them they had to earn their love and attention by being good and willing to help.

The Danger Of Being A People Pleaser

Being a people-pleaser can have severe consequences for your overall well-being. Here are the main dangers of pleasing others to an excessive degree:

  • Resentment and bitterness
  • Losing one’s identity
  • Being taken advantage of
  • Lack of respect from others
  • Extreme jealousy
  • Unstable relationships
  • Addiction to affection and love

How To Stop Being A People Pleaser (But Still Be Nice)

If you’ve realized that you have people-pleasing tendencies, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it. Here are some useful tips:

  • Practice internal validation by building up self-worth. Focus on your own qualities and participate in activities that make you feel good about yourself.
  • Take small steps and give yourself time. Instead of rushing and saying no to everything straight away, try starting with small no’s and go from that.
  • Set healthy boundaries. Start showing people how you feel about certain situations and choose to spend your time with individuals who make you feel at ease.
  • Practice self-care. Make sure to spend quality time with yourself every day doing what you enjoy the most, without pressure and feelings of guilt.

Learn How To Put Your Own Needs First With PIVOT 

With over 10 years of success, the PIVOT process is a great way to start changing your life for the better. Whether you’re looking for effective individual coaching or want to attend a relationship therapy workshop, look no further. What’s more, we also offer five-day retreats at Glass House, a residential facility where you can transform your life through the PIVOT process.
Start working on your well-being today!

Are You In A Codependent Relationship?

Do you feel like you must prove you are good enough to be loved by your partner? Or maybe you do everything for your partner, but you get little in return?
Or are you always busy and over-committing yourself? Maybe you always say yes to your partner.
If this one-sided pattern reflects your relationship, then you may be in a codependent relationship. Luckily, codependency recovery is perfectly possible, as there are numerous intensive codependency workshops that may give you the tools and resources you need to overcome your struggles and start building healthier relationships.

What Is Codependency?

Are you codependent? Codependency Retreat
It’s where you become excessively reliant on others for approval, identity, and feelings of self-worth.
Being codependent often stems from our childhood and the way we were raised. Consider if any of this relates to you:

  • Did you have your basic needs met?
  • Were there financial issues in the family?
  • Were you neglected?
  • Were your parents workaholics? Were you neglected or abandoned?
  • Did they get a divorce? And if so, how did that impact you?
  • Did you feel safe as a child? Or were you abused?

What Is The Root Cause Of Codependency?

Codependent traits are typically rooted in our childhood experiences and traumas. Children who experience emotional neglect or abandonment by their parents or caregivers early on in life tend to develop insecure attachments that carry on in their adulthood.

Codependency And Childhood Trauma

As children, we are vulnerable and completely dependent on our parents and caregivers for food, safety, and boundaries. However, if you’ve suffered feelings of abandonment, then you can easily take on the role of caretaker.
In other words, you’ve put your parent’s needs first, above your own.
What’s more, childhood trauma can create your belief systems, mindsets, and limiting beliefs; which can lead to repeating the same behavior in adult relationships. It can create who you are relationally as adults and determine how you feel about yourself.
If you didn’t get your needs met in childhood, then you may find you put others’ needs before your own, give of yourself to others and compromise your ability to care for yourself.
Unfortunately, dysfunctional families don’t acknowledge that a problem exists, which means the family members repress emotions and disregard their own needs.
And so, this becomes a pattern of survival. And often, family legacy.
If this is you, then you may also experience emotions of anger, guilt, grief, fear, and shame, due to feeling powerless to change or help another person.
If you suspect that you may be a codependent partner, consider attending a codependency intensive retreat as it may help you understand your own survival patterns and motivate you to work on creating healthier attachments.

What Are The Signs Of A Codependent Person?

If you’re wondering if you or a loved one has codependency issues, here are the most common signs to look for:
Most Common Signs Of Codependency:

  • Feel most comfortable when they are giving
  • Try to please others instead of themselves
  • Have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility
  • Feel anxiety, pity, and guilt when other people have a problem
  • Try to be all things to all people all the time
  • Unable to say “no”
  • Seek out chaos and then complain about it
  • Get angry when somebody refuses their help
  • A tendency to have self-esteem connected to “doing”
  • Try to prove they are good enough to be loved
  • Try to be perfect, and expect others to be perfect
  • Have self-blame and put themselves down
  • Feel victimized by the “selfishness” of others

Impact Of A Codependent Relationship

Giving up your needs and identity to meet the needs of a partner has unhealthy short-term and long-term consequences.
You can become anxious, exhausted, and begin to neglect other important relationships. What’s more, you may feel victimized by the “selfishness” of others.
Being in a codependent relationship can stop you from healing your past wounds.

How Do You Deal With A Codependent Relationship?

Signs Of A Codependent Person - Codependency Intensive
If you believe that you may be codependent, the best way to facilitate change is to take responsibility for that part of yourself that is no longer needed to provide survival. This means, releasing the survival pattern from childhood by exploring childhood issues.
If you can’t get to the root of the issue on your own, then a carefully designed codependent relationship retreat may be the best solution. A trained professional would discuss your childhood wounds with you and help you find balance in your relationships by teaching you effective overcoming codependency exercises.

How To Overcome Codependency

Sometimes it’s easier to want to change and take responsibility once you link your behavior to your childhood. I witnessed this when I worked with a woman who was in a relationship with a much older man. It started when they had an affair, and she left her husband for him.
In the beginning, he was strong, intelligent and very kind to her. It felt like the relationship she had always craved, even as a child, especially as she had experienced abandonment by her father during her childhood years.
However, after a year together, she began to feel completely lost as he became more controlling. She panicked and felt she couldn’t leave the relationship, as this started to activate her feelings of childhood abandonment.
What’s more, she carried a tremendous amount of guilt because she left her husband to be with this man. She felt she had to make this relationship work.
While working with her, it became clear that the connection she had with this man was related to sex. She was trading sex for feeling loved.
One day, she decided to leave him. As she told him, he said they should still have sex, even if they were not in a relationship. She told herself, “sure, I can just have sex with him. It’s not love. Just sex.”
The truth was that sex with this man was an unhealthy pattern connected to an untreated attachment wound from her childhood. Once she understood this, then she saw herself standing over her child self, the same little girl who had experienced the devastation of her father’s abandonment.
When she imagined sending that little girl into the room to have sex with the man, guess what happened? She never had sex with him again.
She realized she was only with him because she longed for a false connection through sex, which was hurting her because she hadn’t healed her deep-rooted feelings of hurt, loss, and anger from past wounds.

The Next Steps: Codependent Relationship Retreat

We recommend that you seek support from individual relationship coaching professionals and talk about the pain that’s inside of you. Remember, you are worthy of happiness and love and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom.Root Cause Of Codependency - Seek Codependency Workshop
We provide support and healing for these individuals at the codependent relationship intensive workshops we offer at The Glass House. Our Repair & Restore Retreat will help you begin a new chapter of your life where you will learn to no longer suffer from unhealthy relationships. We help codependents by focusing on creating healthy boundaries, building self-esteem, learning how to say “no” without guilt, cultivating deep self-care, and you will learn to define and understand your attachment style.
Our clients include family members, spouses, and individuals who struggle in the workplace or in the home with codependency. In addition, we offer intensive programs designed to repair and restore relational challenges. Learn more about our Programs. We’re here to help.

What Is Love Addiction?

I used to be labeled a “love addict.” That’s why I focused my early behavioral health career on love addiction… to deeply understand it.
However, after working alongside my gifted staff of therapists and healers at Five Sisters Ranch, I learned the truth. Love itself is not addictive.
In fact, naming a condition “love addiction” is counterintuitive and shameful.
If you’re told you’re a love addict, and you’ve experienced abandonment wounds from your childhood, then you may be craving love. And that unmet longing is driving every single relationship.
However, with this label, you don’t feel like you can show up healthy in any relationship because you go into every relationship wounded.
Why? Because, if you love too much, you feel like “there’s the example of my love addiction.”
I remember when I was thirty-nine, I was in a therapist’s office, broken-hearted over another relationship that had fallen apart.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to go on.
That was when I was labeled as a love addict. Someone not capable of giving or receiving love.
However, that definition didn’t make sense to me. Although my relationship didn’t feel loving, what I felt was a constant and intense longing to be loved.
In fact, I was chasing relationships with the hopes of finally experiencing a sense of belonging. This translated to me being a “stage five cling-on.” I couldn’t be alone. I always had to be in a relationship.
So, when I was told I was a love addict, it confused me because the “cure” I was given was to not draw attention to myself, stay out of relationships for one year and attend a “love addicts” group to listen to others share their stories of abuse.
The “prescription” seemed totally counterintuitive as I felt more abandoned, and alone. What I always wanted was to love and be loved, and now I couldn’t because I was addicted to love. I had to stay away from love, which made me feel like I didn’t deserve to be loved.
It made no sense.
After all, how could I be addicted to something that I had never experienced? What I was addicted to was chasing unavailable people.

What Is Love Addiction Really?

“Love addiction” is painful, because at the core – it is filling a void caused by a lack of nurturing and attention at a young age.
It’s an unhealthy attachment to people, romance or sex to heal past trauma, get unmet needs fulfilled, avoid fear or emotional pain, fill our loneliness and maintain balance.

Addiction To Affection

Love addiction develops from experiencing an avoidant bond in childhood. This could be from a parent who was gone all the time, or couldn’t connect with you, or had their own wound and couldn’t nurture you.
This then leads to craving love.

Understanding Relationship Addiction

Unfortunately, “love addicts” usually pick a love avoider to partner with, which triggers the unhealthy cycle for the love addict, because the love avoider is terrified of anyone get too close, so they push you away. – And, that type of person is familiar.
“Love addicts” live in a chaotic world. They are fearful of being alone or rejected, so they endlessly search for that special someone to make them feel whole.
They become attracted to the intense experience of “falling in love” instead of wanting the peaceful intimacy of healthy relationships.
This leads them to spending their time hunting for “the one.” Their life choices become focused on the search for this perfect relationship – from wardrobe choices to hours at the gym, to doing hobbies that may not interest them.
They live for the hope of finding the one person who will fill their void.

How Does Love Addiction Start?

Early childhood relationship patterns are the first place to look when working to break the bonds of love addiction.
Working with clients, I see that issues in adult relationships relate to childhood experiences. You’re drawn to what’s familiar, regardless of how good it is for you. It is what you know.
Addiction or attachment disorder becomes a survival pattern. They happen because you are trying to fill the hole of an abandonment wound from childhood.
If you’ve experienced any of the following and have not taken the time to heal your wounds, then you are likely to be susceptible to “love addiction”:

  • Your parents got divorced
  • One or both of your parents were alcoholic
  • You were adopted
  • You lost a sibling or parent at a young age
  • You were abused
  • Your parents were emotionally unavailable
  • You were neglected
  • You were afraid of being abandoned
  • You didn’t get validation from your parents

When a child grows up and watches their parents go through a bad divorce, their experience complicates their view of attachment in relationships, creating an attachment disorder.
This drives us to either want overly dramatic and intense emotions in relationships (“love addiction”) or to detach completely for fear of neglect and abandonment (“love avoidance”).
In either case, the result is a disconnected and unhealthy relationship.

Facing Love Addiction

If you have an attachment disorder or you are a “love addict,” it doesn’t mean you are stuck with this forever.
When I was told I had a love addiction, I dug deeper. I wanted to find out where the pain was coming from. What I discovered was that I felt abandoned and I didn’t know how to be alone.
I realized that my love addiction was based on getting validation that I’m lovable and a worthy human, which was denied in childhood. Unfortunately, the pattern is to choose the same kind of person as the parent who was unable to give the genuine love, caring and emotional support.
This leads to a cycle, or addiction.
However, just because you come from a dysfunctional family doesn’t mean you can’t create secure attachments and healthy relationships.

Love Addiction Intensive Workshop: Break The Pattern Of Love Addiction

If you are committed to change, then you’re not stuck with this forever. Instead, be open to change and find a therapist to talk about the relationship and the pain that’s inside of you.
Remember you are worthy of happiness and love, and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom.
If you are ready to create meaningful connections and overcome addictive relationships, then contact PIVOT. Apart from individual and personalized coaching, we also provide 5 day relationship workshops at our love addiction retreat, The Glass House. We’re here to help.