Dissociation and its impact on relationships: Therapist explains - Hindustan Times

Dissociation and its impact on relationships: Therapist explains

By, Delhi
Jan 27, 2024 10:57 AM IST

From physical intimacy issues to difficulty in connecting emotionally, here are a few ways that dissociation can affect relationships.

Dissociation refers to the feeling of being disconnected from the situation, or a person, or from the present. It can be a trauma response. Sometimes, when we are brought up in dysfunctional families and carry the burden of childhood trauma, when we face traumatic experiences, our body and mind may dissociate as a way of protecting ourselves from difficult emotions. Dissociation can happen in relationships as well. It can feel like a temporary disconnect from the partner. Dissociation can also feel like observing intimate moments with the partner from a distance. Therapist Benjamin Ekorhi addressed dissociation and noted down its effects on intimacy and relationships.

Dissociation and its impact on relationships: Therapist explains(Unsplash)
Dissociation and its impact on relationships: Therapist explains(Unsplash)

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Difficulty in connecting emotionally: Dissociation can make us feel that we are not able to connect emotionally with our partner. Not being in sync and not being able to relate to the partner's emotions can bring challenges in the relationship. This can further affect emotional intimacy in the relationship and make the partner feel detached.

Physical intimacy issues: Not being able to connect with the partner emotionally can also affect physical intimacy. Dissociation can also make us feel detached from our own body and not allow us to be present completely in the moment. This can further bring frustration in the relationship.

Communication struggles: Dissociation can also affect communication in the relationship. When we feel detached emotionally and physically, we also have challenges in communicating and letting the partner know about our emotions. Articulating and representing our feelings becomes extremely difficult.

Tips to improve intimacy despite dissociation:

Grounding techniques: Deep breathing and meditation can help us to connect with our mind and body and bring us back to the present.

Being honest with the partner: When we feel dissociated, instead of escaping the feeling, we should bring it up with the partner and let them know what we are facing.

Make quality time: In spite of feeling dissociated, we should make conscious efforts to spend more time together to connect with the partner emotionally.

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    Tapatrisha is Content Producer with Hindustan Times. She covers stories related to health, relationships, and fashion.

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