Emotional availability involves being in touch with and able to share your feelings. This requires self-awareness and the ability to read emotions in others. Lacking these skills can lead to isolation and an inability to nurture trust in relationships. Fortunately, emotional availability can be developed.

An Exercise for Emotional Awareness

  1. Track Your Emotions: Throughout the day, note any emotions you feel. Keep it simple with categories like “glad,” “sad,” “mad,” or “bad.”
  2. Record Details: Note the time, the emotion, and the circumstances.
  3. Share: Discuss your list with a partner, friend, or therapist. Identify the events that triggered emotions, understand why, and describe how these emotions felt in your body.
  4. Reflect: Discuss how it feels to share your emotions with another person.

Overcoming Emotional Barriers in Marriage

In addition to understanding your emotions, three key elements support emotional availability:

  1. Good Self-Esteem: Positive messages during childhood foster self-regard and confidence, enabling healthy reciprocal relationships. Valuing oneself allows for valuing others, making emotional sharing possible.
  2. Healthy Boundaries: Respecting individuality and personal space, developed in childhood, is crucial. Poor boundaries lead to intrusive behaviors, while strong boundaries help maintain a clear sense of self, essential for emotional availability.
  3. The Ability to Trust: Trust is foundational, developed from a sense of safety in childhood. Trust issues can lead to emotional unavailability. Building trust often requires professional help and a commitment to openness in relationships.

By fostering these elements, individuals can make themselves emotionally available, respecting and nurturing the bonds with their partners.

Dr.Baya Mebarek, Psy.D.,LMFT