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  • Writer's pictureGiovanna Capozza

Consequences of Emotionally Shutting Down In a Relationship

We have all been there before, either we have emotionally shut down and shut someone out, or we have been shut out ourselves by someone’s inability to deal with their emotions or emotional triggers. It’s easier to shut down and shut out, this way we don’t have to look at the shadow side coming up or the painful underpinnings of the current situation, which usually, have nothing to do with what is emotionally coming up at all. Our triggers are always parts of our past still left unhealed that are being brought back up to heal. If we ignore this opportunity will continually repeat it until we get it.

The pain, hurt or rejection coming up during this time is old, something from the past that this person who you love is triggering in you, reminding you of someone else or another situation where this “happened” to you before. Of course, it’s painful to look at, we don’t understand it and so we shut the other person out in essence avoiding and laying blame. The problem with this is that your partner can always sense at a deep, often imperceptible level when they are being shut out, when our partner is, in essence withholding his/her love. The consequences of this can be vast; you can intern shut down or often as it happens it can make us suddenly very insecure. We try to rationalize and fight this but we are ignoring the greater truth. Something is wrong with our partner, he or she is with holding love and of course this is scary, because it threatens the very health and longevity of the partnership. I can of course only speak as a woman here, but we can feel this. It triggers an avalanche of insecurities and fears; we can sense that our love is drifting further away and without knowing why we feel powerless to stop it. The consequences of either you or your partner shutting down means that love, truth and more importantly healing do not have a chance to flourish, you both become a reactive stick of dynamite ready to destroy at any moment.

As I have stated before, the purpose of a relationship is to grow us up and out of our stuck places, to help us heal the parts of ourselves that get triggered by the other and return to love, always back to a place where each of us is innocent. Places of insecurities, lack of love, trust or feeling respected, loss of control, fears, and of course the parts of our masculine and feminine energy that need healing. When we each take responsibility for our own triggers and “baggage” then we can keep an open dialogue. Then we don’t need to shut down. Sometimes what is required is that you speak openly and give the other person space to heal, but shutting someone you love out is not the answer. What we’re doing here is actually keeping ourselves from experiencing love, the punishment here is directed back to ourselves not the other. If we continually take this direction we risk repeating or attracting the same things over and over again in a partner until we learn what the trigger is showing us about ourselves.

When I had the experience of being “shut out”, I didn’t know I was being shut out because of a host of external circumstance and because, as it always does, it was happening subtly and the person involved was masking what was happening (presumably not even understanding what was happening themselves). This triggered a host of insecurities, as a woman who is very vibrational and in touch with the deep currents of her emotions I could sense that I was being shut out but I couldn’t articulate it well enough for my partner to understand. The consequences of this snowballed to the point that I blamed myself for my reactions and tried harder and harder to understand why I was feeling so badly. The truth was my antennae where picking up an all to familiar signal… someone is emotionally checking out. In a situation like this you are powerless and out of control to how that other person will deal with his/her emotional triggers or how or if they will take responsibility for what is happening in them and open up to you. We can feel this powerlessness come up as insecurity which can in itself add fuel to the simmering fire. The answer here is to go back to a place of surety in yourself, find that still place where you remember who you are, your worth, your value and lovingly invite you partner to share what is happening. If you are the one shutting down and you’re experiencing your partner’s reaction to you taking this approach the very worst thing you can do is blame them for what they are feeling. Understanding that there is always a dynamic at play, what your partner is feeling is also what you are feeling; we mirror to each other what we need to heal. Take a step back and look at yourself and how you are contributing… always returning to place of blamelessness.

If you or your partner still lack the tools or mentorship through this “shut down” and it’s effects to come back to a place of love then is may mean trouble ahead, and this is the unfortunate and biggest consequence of emotionally shutting down and shutting someone out.

What can you do if your partner is shutting you out? What is important here to remember is that your partner is in pain and in reality it has nothing to do with you, it is something being triggered within him or her that they, and only they are responsible for. As this shut down will likely trigger you as well what is important here is that you get the guidance through it so that you can take responsibility for what is coming up for you; fear of abandonment, anger, loss of control, insecurity, worthiness etc. Know that what is important here is for you to take your own responsibility for what his or her “shut down” is triggering in you. After all we are all teaching each other as we go along. Although this can be difficult because we often get caught up in blame and wanting to change external circumstances and others, in many cases if you can help yourself through this and return to a place of love and centeredness within yourself it can shift the energy immensely.  Release the outcome and have faith while you do your work, this can transform the relationship at the deepest level and ultimately strengthen your love and connection. However, I will stress here that it takes two, both you and your partner need to be committed to having a Spiritual Partnership and as such this is the work involved, however difficult it can have the most rewarding outcome if you both stay open to the experience.  Having a guide or mentor that understands this dynamic and has been trained in both personal and spiritual development can go a long way in assuring that you continue to learn and grow in love.

Remember, any relationship has the potential of working and “being the one” if we both commit to the big picture: blamelessness, forgiveness and LOVE. We are all just walking each other home after all.

Lots of love to you,


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