It can be challenging to recognise when a partner is struggling with emotional wounds or traumas that require healing. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs that your partner needs emotional healing to support their journey towards self-improvement and strengthen your relationship. Here are some signs to look out for and some steps you can take to help them through:

Avoidance of Emotional Intimacy

If your partner struggles to open up and share their emotions with you, they may have emotional wounds that need healing. They may be avoiding emotional intimacy to protect themselves from getting hurt or retraumatised. If your partner is avoiding emotional intimacy, it can be challenging and frustrating. There are a few steps you can take to address the issue:

Communicate openly: It’s essential to communicate your feelings and concerns with your partner. For example, express your desire for emotional intimacy and ask your partner why they may be avoiding it.

Listen to your partner: It’s important to listen to your partner’s perspective and try to understand their reasons for avoiding emotional intimacy. For example, they may have past traumas or fears that must be addressed.

Seek therapy: Couples therapy can be a great way to work through issues related to emotional intimacy. A therapist can help you and your partner identify the root of the problem and find ways to improve the emotional bond between you two.

Be patient: Changing behaviour takes time; your partner may need time to work through their issues. Be patient and understanding, but also communicate your needs and boundaries.

Take care of yourself: If your partner is unwilling or unable to work on emotional intimacy, it’s important to take care of yourself. Seek support from friends and family, engage in self-care activities, and consider whether the relationship meets your needs.

women comforting each other
Good communication is important to any relationship

Inability to Communicate Effectively

If your partner has trouble expressing their feelings or thoughts, it could be a sign that they are struggling with emotional healing. They may not know how to articulate their emotions and may feel overwhelmed. If your partner cannot communicate effectively, navigating can be frustrating and challenging. Here are some tips to help you address the issue:

Encourage open communication: It’s important to encourage your partner to express themselves openly and honestly. Let them know that you value their thoughts and feelings and that you are willing to listen.

Practice active listening: When your partner is speaking, make sure to actively listen and try to understand their perspective. Paraphrase what they say to ensure you understand correctly, and ask questions to clarify anything that is unclear.

Be patient and understanding: Communication issues can be challenging to overcome, so be patient and understanding with your partner. It may take time for them to feel comfortable communicating effectively.

Seek professional help: If communication issues don’t seem to disappear, consider seeking professional help. A couples therapist can help you and your partner identify the problem and devise better communication strategies.

mother comforting daughter
psychological trauma can be a trigger

Set boundaries: If your partner’s inability to communicate is causing significant problems in the relationship, it’s important to set boundaries. Let your partner know that effective communication is essential to the relationship and that you are willing to work together to address the issue.

Difficulty with Trust

If your partner has difficulty trusting you or others, it may indicate that they have unresolved emotional wounds. They may have been hurt in the past and are hesitant to open up to avoid being hurt again. Building and maintaining a healthy relationship can be difficult if your partner has trust issues. You can help your partner by taking the following steps:

Understand the root of the trust issues: Understanding why your partner has trust issues is important. For example, they may have past experiences that have led to their mistrust, or they may have anxiety or attachment issues. Understanding the root cause can help you develop strategies to address the issue. 

Build trust through consistent behaviour: Consistent behaviour can help your partner feel more secure and build trust over time. So follow through on your commitments and be reliable and consistent in your actions.

Be open and honest: Transparency can help build trust. Be open and honest with your partner about your actions and intentions. Avoid keeping secrets or hiding things from your partner, which can damage trust.

Give your partner space: If your partner needs space to work through their trust issues, give it to them. Respect their boundaries and give them the time to process their feelings.

Consider counselling: If the trust issues aren’t going away, consider counselling. A therapist can help you and your partner identify the root of the problem and develop strategies to build trust and improve communication. For example, some men have mommy issues from an insecure and unhealthy relationship with their mothers. This hampers their ability to form and maintain healthy adult relationships. If you see signs of mommy issues in a man, help them by taking professional counselling.

woman struggling with low self esteem issues
The healing process can take time

Struggles With Self-esteem

If your partner has low self-esteem or constantly criticises themselves, they may need emotional healing. They may be carrying emotional wounds from past experiences. If your partner struggles with self-esteem, it can be challenging to support them. Here are some steps to help your partner:

Encourage positive self-talk: Encourage your partner to practice positive self-talk. Remind them of their strengths and positive qualities and encourage them to focus on their successes.

Be supportive and understanding: It’s important to be supportive and understanding of your partner’s feelings. Avoid being critical or dismissive of their concerns, and instead, offer empathy and encouragement.

Help your partner set realistic goals: Setting achievable goals can help build confidence and self-esteem. Encourage your partner to set small goals and celebrate their successes along the way.

Spend quality time together: Spending quality time together can help your partner feel valued and appreciated. Plan activities that you both enjoy and make time for regular date nights or outings.

Consider therapy: If self-esteem issues persist, consider seeking professional help. A therapist can help your partner work through their feelings and help to improve their self-esteem by showing you effective ways that you can take together.

couple arguing
Emotional energy can create mood swings in your partner’s behaviour

Emotional Outbursts

If your partner has sudden outbursts of anger, sadness, or other emotions, it could be a sign that they are struggling with emotional wounds. We’ve all had that one relationship where verbal abuse is not confined to a rough patch. But past traumas and unresolved emotions may trigger these outbursts. If your partner is having emotional outbursts, knowing how to support them can be challenging. Here are some steps you can take to help your partner:

Stay calm: It’s essential to remain calm and composed when your partner has an emotional outburst. This can help de-escalate the situation and prevent it from escalating further.

Validate their feelings: Let your partner know that their feelings are valid and that you understand why they are upset. Offer empathy and support, and avoid minimising or dismissing their feelings.

Encourage self-care: Emotional outbursts can be physically and emotionally draining, so encourage your partner to practice self-care. This may include taking a break, engaging in calming activities, or seeking professional help.

woman using alcohol as a comforter
Reliance on alcohol will not stop you feeling disconnected

Addictive Behaviours

If your partner has addictive behaviours, such as substance abuse, excessive gaming, or gambling, it may indicate they are trying to cope with emotional pain. They may be using these behaviours to numb themselves from their emotions or distract themselves from their problems. If your partner has addictive behaviours, knowing how to help them can be challenging. Here are some steps you can take to support your partner:

Encourage honesty: It’s essential to encourage your partner to be honest about their addictive behaviours. Let them know you are there to support them and will not judge or criticise them.

Learn about addiction: Educate yourself about addiction and how it affects the brain and behaviour. Understanding the nature of addiction can help you better support your partner.

Seek professional help: If you are still unable to get rid of your partner’s addictive behaviour, you can consider seeking professional help. A therapist or addiction specialist can help your partner develop strategies to manage their addiction and work towards recovery.

Withdrawal from Activities or Relationships

If your partner suddenly withdraws from activities or relationships that they once enjoyed, it could be a sign that they are struggling emotionally. If your partner is withdrawing from family and friends, it can be a challenging situation to navigate. Here are some steps you can take to help:

Talk to your partner: Create a safe space where your partner can share their feelings and concerns with you. Listen to them without judgment and tell them you are there to support them.

Show empathy: Try understanding your partner’s perspective and validating their emotions. Let them know that you understand what they are going through is difficult and that you are there to help.

Encourage professional help: If you feel that your partner’s withdrawal is a sign of a more serious issue, such as anxiety or depression, encourage them to seek professional help. You can offer to help them locate a therapist or mental health professional if they need it.

Offer support: Ask your partner what they need from you and offer to help in any way you can. It could be something as simple as accompanying them to social events or running errands for them.

Be patient: Change takes time, and your partner may not be ready to make significant changes right away. So be patient and supportive, and offer to help them in any way you can as they work through their challenges.

Final Thoughts

If you notice any of these signs in your partner, it’s important to approach the situation with empathy and understanding. Encourage them to seek professional help or support them in finding healthy coping mechanisms to deal with their emotional pain. Remember that healing is a journey, and it may take time for your partner to find the support they need to heal emotionally.