You might not have heard the term “emotional abandonment” before, but you may be all too familiar with how it feels. It happens when your spouse is too passively-aggressively busy watching sports on TV or playing video games to listen to you. Maybe you have tried to talk to them over and over about something that bothers you, with no success. They don’t pay attention to you. It’s like you’re not there.
You walk away dejected and miserable. You feel so alone and alienated. What initially drew the two of you together seems to have disappeared completely.
This is the essence of emotional abandonment. According to one professional, it “refers to feelings of neglect, being left out, and not being heard in a marriage.” The result can be very damaging or ruinous to the relationship, even bringing couples to the point of divorce.
Emotional abandonment can wreck your marriage
When one spouse practices emotional abandonment, the other spouse – typically the woman – runs after them, trying to find out what is wrong so it can be rectified. This habit does not generally heal anything and the unhappiness of both people in the marriage just ramps up.
How emotional abandonment manifests
There are unmistakable glimmers of emotional abandonment, such as these:
- You don’t do things as a couple anymore.
- You feel like you are unfairly held responsible when anything goes wrong.
- You have to “walk on eggshells” so you don’t inadvertently antagonize your partner.
- Your spouse freezes you out most of the time.
- You tried everything to correct this marital rupture but your spouse is disinterested in change
Few people could tolerate being with someone who routinely keeps them at bay emotionally. If you have had enough and the situation is not improving, divorce may be your best choice.