“I married my wife three years ago but she has built so many emotional walls around her. She had a tough childhood with physical and verbal abuse and almost no love. I know that she loves me but she’s still distant. Can my love really fix her problems or is it impossible to break down some walls?”
I applaud your sensibility and appreciate how much you care for your wife. Having this kind of a disposition and temperament has already paved the way to begin the process of helping your wife heal.
Yes, your sincerity and care will make it possible for her to open up to you and accept your love.
You will need to ask your wife some straight questions: Do you want to change? Are you willing to do whatever it takes, counselling, reading, workshops, to heal yourself of the emotional damage from your childhood?
Strengthening of the relationship lies in her answers to the above questions. If she wants to heal herself and is willing to take the necessary action to do so, then you have a great opportunity.
A critical thing to do to help her heal would be to extend unconditional positive regard. This means that regardless of the mood, reaction and emotional state, you would extend unconditional love. Develop the patience and a keen sense of observation to catch the non-verbal cues that she might be demonstrating that indicate she is feeling unsafe. These steps will slowly help her understand and internalise the fact that she is in a safe environment now. Effective communication in your relationship and love from the extended family will help her boost her confidence and allow her the space to feel safe and whole again.
Have a talk with her, let her know you are there for her.
Suggest that she see a professional counsellor, she needs help in sorting her feelings, insecurities and perhaps any residual deep seated resentments carried over from her childhood experiences.
Wishing you your ‘happily ever after’.
Sasha Shruti Varma is one of the leading Psychotherapists in India. She is a licensed practitioner in India and the UK registered with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. As a practitioner of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, she likes to combine the principles of Yogic Philosophy in her psychotherapy work. Sasha is also a leading Trainer and Coach for Emotional Intelligence in the corporate world.
If you have a question for her please write to us on email@example.com.