Emotional Deprivation and Its Effect on Marriage Relationship

Individuals with a history of emotional deprivation want to tolerate their feelings of deprivation by having high expectations in their marital relationships. They act with the belief that they have to meet the emotional needs of the people in front of them because of their intense feelings of deprivation. Therefore, they expect intense attention and care from their spouses. No matter how much attention they receive, they feel that their needs are not fully met. They get angry easily if they don’t get the level of attention they expect. In such situations, they tend to personalize their partner’s behavior. They are easily susceptible and reactive. Their emotional stamina is weak. Sometimes they do not express their wants and needs, but they expect their spouses to understand these unexpressed wants and needs. This is how they implicitly express the anger of deprivation from the past.

Observe your feelings of deprivation in your marital relationship. Develop awareness of what you need emotionally. Instead of blaming your spouse, express what feelings you lack. Base your relationship on “empathy”, not “complaint”. Prefer to be more specific about what you want. Do you want to be understood or create emotional tension? Uncertainties bother your partner as much as you do. Therefore, raise your level of awareness of your own emotions. What am I missing right now? Could it be because of my past unmet emotional needs that make me feel so angry? Could such a high expectation be tiring for my wife as well? Do my spouse and family think I am emotionally demanding? Could it be the deprived child in me that owns my high expectations? Is the healing of the deprived child in me just a matter of my partner’s treatment of me?

The answers to these questions are very important for your repair process. On the other hand, it is also necessary to be able to recognize repetitive patterns. You were not understood enough in your childhood, you could not provide emotional satisfaction in the family, and therefore you experienced a serious emotional gap in your adult life. You got married, the emptiness inside you was so deep that you increased your emotional demands to fill it. You are not satisfied with your spouse’s attention and affection. You always wanted your spouse to be more caring and attentive. This time, you faced the bored attitude of your spouse and you were disappointed. In this way, you unwittingly laid the groundwork for the repetitive pattern of deprivation. If you want to avoid this repetitive pattern, first try to stay away from the overly demanding attitude. Do not position your spouse as a “band-aid” in your mind. Remember that she too has an emotional stamina and can get tired of being in a demanding position all the time. Do not insist on having your emotional needs met. If you allow some space, you will realize that your partner offers you the attention and affection you need.

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