Lorraine in London writes:
Tell me how do I go about creating an emotional connection with a significant other? My husband and daughter are very much alike and when they are together their connection is evident. When I converse with them the exchange feels strained to me. What am I doing wrong?
The father-daughter relationship is a very unique one. Your husband and daughter are very much alike, and those mirroring qualities do enhance the connection they share. Because you feel awkward and strained when talking with them, what they share seems even more amplified through your eyes.
Even though things may feel strained and awkward to you, if you were to involve yourself more in conversation with them, some of your unease will fade away. Just be yourself, and let them know who you really are, what you are feeling. The fear of being hurt or rejected does seem to create a block within you, so please try and keep in mind that your family really does love you.
Everyone bonds differently, and expresses themselves differently. What you need to keep your focus on, is that you are a very different person than your husband or your daughter, and you aren’t going to be like them – so your emotional connections are very different. While you can’t have the “same” bond that they share, you can deepen the bonds and connections you have with them.
I would like to encourage you all to participate in some family counseling, but I’m not seeing any follow-through with that suggestion. You could always talk to someone about this on your own. By honing your own ability to be intimate, you can then extend it to your husband and daughter. Your family doesn’t know how alienated you feel, and they aren’t going to know, unless you tell them.