Are You Emotionally Present In Your Relationships?

Emotional Presence

Emotions have always nudged me, enthused me and directed me more than analytical thinking. Intellect always takes a back seat when emotions become more powerful.

I have to be emotionally present whatever the work, the occasion or the situation.

I believe that all real relationships are based on emotions. A healthy and happy relationship values emotions more than any other aspect of life.

Emotions are ebullient and eloquent, they feel all important, and they always try to dominate. However hard do we try to harness them, they flow in their own direction. They know those channels of escape. They refuse to get enslaved; their wings are too tender to be clipped.

When we try to snub them, the expanse of consequences is much wider than we can imagine.

When a parent is emotionally absent:

The children yearn for his/her love, care and sensitivity, feel confused and slowly reconcile to the absence of that most important component of growing up.

They grow up into emotionally fragile individuals who don’t want to exhibit their emotions.

They can never feel connected with such a parent even when they know how to handle their emotions.

They fail to express their feelings effectively and their warmth remains suppressed. A peculiar dissonance flows in their relationships.

They may feel insecure and chaotic deep within but carry a brave exterior – a façade of authority.

How to be emotionally present when you interact with your children:

  1. Emotionally connected homes exude love and care.
  2. All the members of the family express themselves freely.
  3. They have a family time when they talk about their worries, concerns and aspirations.
  4. They have play time, fun time and music time, which they spend together, trying to know each other and learn fundamental values of life.
  5. They share their joys and sorrows and support each other despite differences.

“Let’s not forget”, says Vincent Van Gogh, “that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.”

When a spouse is emotionally absent:

Such a relationship never grows beyond a level, which is quite superficial.

Love is never expressed in words and the efforts of one partner who endeavors to build an emotional bridge are met with lies, excuses and ambivalence.

Whatever the reason of lack of emotional bonding, communication remains the most challenging aspect.

When the hearts do not respond to each other, rifts get wider without any discussion on the emotional level.

The chasms become so apparent that they create abysses for the development of children.

There is no doubt that such a couple may divorce when emotional starving becomes unbearable.

How to emotionally connect with your spouse:

  1. Emotionally connected couples are overtly communicative and discuss each and every topic that concerns them or their children.
  2. They pass on a healthy message through their attitudes, without laying any emphasis on the need to express their true feelings.
  3. Their feelings and emotions flow naturally into the lives of people around them, laying down a strong foundation of strong, happy and balanced personalities.
  4. They are never judgmental and accept their differences as a part of each other’s personality.

Lets not forget “You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.”- Barbara D. Angelis

When children are emotionally disconnected:

It is very agonizing when our own children choose to get disconnected. Probably the reason lies with us.

We may have hurt them grievously when they were growing up. Emotional chords snap off at those moments of hurt, which persists.

We could have been too controlling as a parent or emotionally absent when they needed us.

Emotionally Absent quoteThey could be the victims of soft, loving manipulations of their friends, girl friends/boy friends.

They could be feeling stressed due to the attitude of their partners, who could be responsible for distancing them.

Whatever the reason, emotionally absent sons or daughters cause irreparable hurt to their parents. It can never be fathomed.

Since they feel that they are now living an independent life, nothing can bring them back. It is better to detach from such relationships and find solace elsewhere.

Do you live at the mercy of your emotions?

Is detachment more agonizing than emotional absence?

Isn’t it passive abuse? I am waiting for your answers.

Let’s not make emotional disconnect our destiny. We can walk out without harming anybody.

We can emerge stronger if we let go, if we accept the harsh truths of life, if we realize that such people who choose to disconnect can never understand our emotions.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.



18 thoughts on “Are You Emotionally Present In Your Relationships?

  1. Thank you for this comprehensive and eloquent overview of emotionality in relationships Balroop. I have enjoyed reading your deep insights on the matter. Let me now offer a brief response to your three questions:

    ‘Do you live at the mercy of your emotions?’

    I think the phrase ‘at the mercy’ implies the introduction of a self-centred response to what are in fact, entirely natural and unavoidable phenomena. Emotions per se are not necessarily problematical even when they are deemed negative. They become problematical once the self-entity interjects with its responses. These generally issue as either forms of control, or as distraction/avoidance techniques. There has to be an entity which is ‘at the mercy’ of our nervous system’s issuances for the question to make sense. Ultimately, there is no such entity, and hence the question becomes superfluous.

    ‘Is detachment more agonizing than emotional absence?’

    Detachment is something of an artificial phenomenon. It is itself a response, and therefore is not uncoupled from that which it has responded to. It is an expedient which has efficacy up to a point, though is in fact quite fragile and should not be depended upon as a source of solace, or as a balm for the emotions. It also carries a heavy downside as you have illustrated in your article Balroop.

    ‘Isn’t it (detachment) passive abuse?’

    When practiced over any extended period of time, then yes, it is. It is not abusive when utilised in the service of avoiding immediate conflict or self-distress.

    With much gratitude and respect.


    1. Hi Hariod,

      Thanks for a philosophical interpretation of emotional responses. They resonate so well with a person who can understand and balance emotional responses.

      I consider myself to be an emotional fool who has been evolving slowly, trying to wriggle out of a life that centred around emotions of all genres. it is quite apparent that I have lived at their mercy, desperately trying to break free. I am completely bewildered by your logical explanation of this question and only those who are in full control of emotions can offer such analysis.

      To me, emotional detachment is a spiritual journey. We have to take it at some point of time, however agonising it may seem. Its efficacy and solace may be limited but I agree with you here, it is quite fragile. It becomes self-deterrent and may exacerbate healing.

      Thanks dear friend for starting such a meaningful discussion.

  2. Often, it is discussions such as these that need to be had with oneself in an open and honest way in order to mend the relationships outside ourselves. This brilliant post has opened my eyes to observations and truths that have remained hidden for far too long. Thank you Balroop for a tremendously motivating post and best wishes for an inspired day!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Dave. I agree with you, if we pay some honest attention to our relationships, this world would be a happier place. Most of the persons dear to our heart expect care and affection and nothing more! I appreciate your insights and wish you a blessed day too.

  3. This is something we take for granted and you’ve so beautifully explained how important it really is. Emotional distance defined my 18 year marriage. I wear my heart on my sleeve so it would be no surprise to know that I left the marriage. I was so lonely. In answer to one of your questions “Is detachment more agonizing than emotional absence?” NO. It is healthier to detach from those who cannot understand or share emotion in a relationship. It kills the heart to continue to look for something we can never get from that relationship, be it a relative, a spouse, or a friend. Thanks, Balroop for another wonderful post!!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      When we start taking our most dear relationships for granted, only then do we become emotionally absent and it is at such a time that we feel adrift and alone despite having all of them around us.

      Detachment is agonising only when we feel attached. If we have borne loneliness and emotional absence for a long time, then we are happy to get our freedom. I can understand what you must have gone through and leaving such a long relationship is quite heartbreaking but it is better to quit when there is no warmth left.

      Thanks for adding so much value to this discussion with your personal experience. Love your honest approach to life.

  4. My parents have made an art out of detachment. I can’t recall hugs past age five or so, and to say “I love you” is just not something that occurs. Yet, they are generally kind and caring all things considered. Emotional reservation can be so difficult to understand though. It made me determined to marry someone that would never be a problem with, and when issues have arisen, I make a point to tackle things head on because my parents’ example taught me how not to handle things.

    1. Hi Jeri,

      Interesting! You can call detachment an art! probably it would become worthy of appreciation!
      Sadly, I belong to the same category – could never feel emotional presence of anybody since childhood but that didn’t mean they didn’t love me…it could reach me through their anger, their eyes and voice. Strange? Isn’t it? I too could never express my love in words, with tender feelings due to those emotional reservations. The emotional chords need to be nurtured from a very young age, to breathe life into them.

  5. “They are never judgmental and accept their differences as a part of each other’s personality.” This has been so important in my relationships. Acceptance of everything. When I accept completely, then I ceased to be bothered by it anymore. And I can focus on the love. Lovely post, Balroop!

    1. Hi Jodi,

      That explains why you believe in healing, how you can do it so well. When we learn to accept, we know the way, we can steer through all kinds of challenges because our positive mind gets a natural training to focus on what is more important.
      Thanks for liking this post and taking out some time to add your view to the discussion.

  6. Hi Balroop, you’ve written another powerful post about something applicable to us all. I was nodding my head in agreement with you through it all until I got to this about our kids: “Since they feel that they are now living an independent life, nothing can bring them back. It is better to detach from such relationships and find solace elsewhere.”
    While I can understand the inclination to back away because it is hurtful when our kids are this way, I disagree with this solution. I believe we must go back to what you said earlier -which is their behavior is likely because of us. Therefore, it is our duty to repair what we have caused. We must not abandon them on top of everything else. I believe we must never stop trying to connect with them -in small ways if that is all they will allow -until the layers begin to heal and they start to reciprocate. They will behave how we teach them. If we teach them to leave when we experience pain, they will do the same rather than work through it.
    I always appreciate how much your posts make me think, and revisit what I believe.

    1. Hi Denise,

      I am glad that you liked this post and differ from me where children detach from us. I appreciate your perspective and there is no doubt all parents who have nurtured their relationships do their best to stay connected.

      It is, however, a two way process. If the grown up children choose to be emotionally disconnected or feel more connected with their own family, we must give them their space. it may be hurtful for us but it could be their own wish to stay emotionally aloof. The time for teaching would be over by the time this stage comes. Probably you will realise when you reach this phase of your life.

      Thanks for your insight, it is greatly valued.

  7. These are very good insights, Balroop. Being emotionally present adds depth to any relationship, whether it is with a family member or friend. Your post holds good reminders for people to reconnect with others, if they are willing to try. Hugs.

    1. Hi Christy,

      Thanks for the kind words. I agree with you, even friendships need emotional connections and such friends are always more dearer than those who don’t invest any emotions in a relationship.

  8. Hi Balroop!. Thanks for sharing this interesting post… I share most of your insights over here regarding relationships… I agree with you went you state that “Intellect always takes a back seat when emotions become more powerful”. And that: “All real relationships are based on emotions”.
    I can feel the struggle between my mind and my emotions in several occasions (particularly when it comes to arguments)… Sometimes I find hard to overcome my feelings …. And by that I mean That my Intellect sets back somehow… Once again, the key is balance… even when in highly emotional situations it might be hard to find it!… Sending you all my best wishes, Aquileana 😀

  9. ((((Emotional Detachment))))
    I’ve seen this so often w/people. You know, not really there, or caring, or listening.
    I’m beginning to skim them out of my life.
    Great post, as usual. xx

  10. I am much more emotional than analytical. (Is that even a word? WordPress tells me no!) I think you’re right, real relationship are based on emotion.

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