How does ENC affect your relationships?
It is virtually impossible to know about your spouse's Emotional Neglect from Childhood before you are mutually exclusive for two main reasons:
1. The ENC person can't tell you about it as they are not aware of their own "emotional wall".
2. You can't feel or experience it until you are emotionally vulnerable to each other by becoming mutually exclusive.
Therefore, it is only after you are in a relationship that the effects of the "emotional wall" of ENC are experienced, either slightly or severely. It is important to know that the behaviors of the ENC person may seem strange, confusing and even hurtful to an unaware spouse. These behaviors are unintentional and created by underlying feelings of anger, shame, self-blame and resentment in someone suffering from ENC. Therefore, it is crucial for the spouse of an ENC person to always remember that it is not in any way their spouse's fault for having ENC. The way of success is by educating themselves on ENC with a knowledgeable counselor. As well as being a tolerant, patient and supportive spouse while the ENC person works to break down the wall that their emotions are buried behind, by building emotion skills and self-awareness.
The ENC person is not in touch with their feelings due to not having their emotions attended to for many years. They are not always aware of why they behave the way they do, and sadly the ENC person can often make poor choices which are not good for them. They are not accurate in reading their own feelings and also inaccurate at reading the feelings of others.
The ENC person never received the correct education and skills from their parents in how to identify, name, sort, process, accept and express their emotions. This means that most of the things the ENC person feels will never be heard or known by anyone. The ENC person is also not capable of attending to someone else's emotions effectively, because they were never given the emotion skills.
The ENC person often has challenges in communicating, unable to get their message across, and often assumes rather than asking. Overall, the ENC person is not accustomed to expressing their feelings. Asking for help is also a big challenge for the ENC person.
Self knowledge & self care
The ENC person is very busy caring about everyone else while neglecting their own needs and feelings. They notice more about what others are doing or what they might be thinking while not being aware of what they themselves are feeling or needing. It is common for the ENC person to put others before their spouse at times. This leaves the ENC person open to be taken advantage of, abused, or manipulated.
An ENC person and often the spouse, may experience physical symptoms from the ongoing emotional disconnection, similar to that of depression. These may include digestive issues, headaches, back pain, nausea and physical exhaustion / tiredness.