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Breaking an emotional connection

Updated on March 7, 2012

Relationships change. We need relationships in order for us to grow and learn. Usually a relationship fulfils some kind of need, be it physical, emotional, material, financial. When your needs are being fulfilled you develop some kind of an attachment to the person or thing that is fulfilling that need. When we outgrow the need, the relationship changes. We tend to attract those who in some way resonate with our emotional patterns, even as we feel attracted to those whose emotional patterns touch or trigger something or some response within us.

An emotional attachment to a person or thing would mean that the relationship was fulfilling an emotional need within you. You use that person or object as a means to connect to some emotion or belief you feel or have inside you. Read that over again and realize that the emotion arises from within you. Be it the emotion of being loved or abused, feeling secure or insecure, free or not free, tied down, happy or sad, criticized or cherished, victimised, controlled, cheated, betrayed whatever. Realise that no matter what you feel, the emotion is yours and that you have chosen to feel it. The person or relationship is a means for you to connect with your own self.

When you lose the person or the thing that fulfilled the emotional need within you, you feel the pain of disconnect and it throws you off balance. This is true even in a victim-abuser relationship. The victim needs the abuser to validate their sense of anger and pain. Very often the emotional relationship becomes a co-dependent relationship be it being abused or loved and protected to the point of suffocation. Emotional connectors often like the drama or melodrama that is created by emotion.

How to identify the emotional connection:

To break the emotional connection, you would ideally need to change the pattern or behaviour and the underlying belief you hold. Our emotions are connected to our beliefs. You would need to identify what emotional need that person or relationship fulfilled within you.

Try completing the sentence in as many ways as possible:

I feel hurt because______________________________


I feel hurt because I do not feel loved, or I feel hurt because I no longer feel insecure, or secure, or I feel hurt because there is nobody to pay me compliments, or I no longer have anything to complain about.


You can ask yourself some questions like these:

  • Did you feel loved and cherished?
  • Did you feel secure, if yes, in what way? or did you always feel fear that you would lose this?
  • Did you feel angry most of the time or did you feel peaceful?
  • Did you feel controlled or did you feel like you could be yourself?
  • Did that relationship satisfy a need for complaining or criticizing – so that the absence of that person led to a situation where you had no reason to whine about something?
  • Did you need the relationship to end abruptly so that you would feel abandoned? (This would be because you have a belief that everyone you love abandons you)
  • Did that relationship satisfy a need for you to be needed?
  • Did you feel betrayed?
  • Did that relationship make you feel intelligent or totally dumb?


As the answers come up, accept and feel the emotions that come up with them and let the emotions go.

Once you have identified that connection, then you can set about changing it or breaking it.

In other words, you need to connect with your own emotions; the emotions and needs that underlie the pain or the hurt or the sense of loss.

When you have identified that emotion, for example let’s say you felt loved, so the person or relationship was your connection to love; and with the absence of that relationship you feel disconnected from love, and that you need to find another connection to love. You then start to reach out to people in order for you to get over your pain. You can instead reach into yourself to connect with your love. Instead of showering that love upon someone else, shower it upon yourself and let your pain heal itself.


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    • profile image

      4 years ago

      what about need for sex practice ? how to tackle that need ?

    • profile image

      ranbir 4 years ago

      very nice article too easy to understand good work man

    • profile image

      Domingo 6 years ago

      In January my girl friend broke up with me it crushed my heart. Tithe reason she gave me was that she had a problem with trust.

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 6 years ago from India

      Hi Zerami,

      I'm glad this helped you. Once you start on the journey to healing, you will find all the tools and information you need.

      God Bless!

      Hi Eliminate Cancer

      Thank you for your feedback!

      have a great day.

      Love Vibhavari.

    • profile image

      Zerami 6 years ago

      This is a great article. i ma going through a tough time emotionally with my past and these questions are just what I need to start the healing process. I really appreciate it!!!!!

    • Eliminate Cancer profile image

      Eliminate Cancer 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great tools for looking at a relationship objectively - thank you!!

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 6 years ago from India

      Hi Jckid

      Thank you so much for your feedback.

    • profile image

      Jckid  6 years ago

      EXcellent in every sense of the word!

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

      Hi Carl,

      I am happy this hub helped you.

      Thank you for your feedback, and have a lovely day!

    • profile image

      Carl 7 years ago

      This was very helpful. I have codependant tendancies and its hard not to seek relief from the one who pushed away why do I keep putting may hand in the fire knowing I will not get the response I want to feel want and loved

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

      Hi stricktlydating:

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving your feedback. What you say - out of sight out of mind, works but - you have to identify what it was that you wanted to break away from and change your basic Vibration there, if you have not cleared that up, you might find yourself in a similar situation time and again. Simply speaking, some people are addicted to the "pain of breaking up" and so they are always breaking up in order to experience it.

      @ sharing the sky : Hi, Thank you for stopping by and leaving your feedback. When we learn to observe and understand our emotions, we realize there are other dimensions to life. When you learn to observe an emotion and how it is affecting you, it starts to lose its power over you.

      There comes a subtle realization that there is the thinker part of you and then there is a "you" that is on a higher plane who is the observer. The observer helps you to stop identifying your thoughts or emotions as who you are.

      Like Ekhart Tolle says:

      "You'll soon realize: there is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind."

      - Eckhart Tolle, "The Power of Now"

    • sharing the sky profile image

      sharing the sky 7 years ago from United States

      Hi Vibhavari, this was definitely an interesting read. I liked how you pointed out so simply that emotional attachments form when our emotional needs are fulfilled. I can certainly see how this may be the case also for those dealing with maladaptive behaviors such as smoking, drug abuse, emotional eating etc. I think understanding one's emotions is paramount to healing or overcoming personal challenges.

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 7 years ago from Australia

      Great advice. I find it's also useful to avoid the person I'm trying to break the emotional connection with, for example if it's an ex boyfriend I will delete his phone number from my mobile phone, delete him (and his friends) from my Facebook Friends list, and not frequent places I know he'll be. That way I don't get emotionally 'teased' by seeing him or by finding out details of what he's been up to, and so the feelings fade out over time because of 'out of mind out of sight' type thing.

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

      Hi tinaweha,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback! :D

      Have a lovely day.

    • tinaweha profile image

      Tina Boomerina 7 years ago from Seattle (and the world)

      So much good advice. I'm just out and about sending holiday cheer to any chick who has gone through a divorce and breakup. Moneyback guarantee if you don't love these breakup songs. They are my favorites.

      Merry Christmas

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

      Hi Brenda, thank you for your feedback. Emotions are good, they are a powerful learning tool that help us to discover who we are, or think we are. :)

    • profile image

      Brenda Freeman 7 years ago

      Loved this. Emotions can be one of the most destructive or instructive things we experience as humans.

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 8 years ago from India

      Hi Gracie Sophia,

      Thank you for stopping by. Emotions play an important role in our "growing" process.

    • profile image

      Gracie Sophia 8 years ago

      Emotions are part of the hardware that comes with being a human. The world would be a calmer place if we all learned emotions management. Thanks for this information.

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 8 years ago from India

      Thank you RecoverToday.

      And I'm glad to be following you, I read a couple of your hubs and found many helpful insights myself.

    • RecoverToday profile image

      RecoverToday 8 years ago from United States

      Important information and advice here that can help many people. Exactly what I have been trying to stress for a long time. You made it easily understood. Thank you!

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 8 years ago from India

      Thanks Lynn Kelly.

    • Lynn Kelly profile image

      Lynn Kelly 8 years ago from Florida

      Wow. What an awesome hub! Well said. I like the perspective you put it in.

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 8 years ago from India

      Hi ris8994,

      Thank you.I'm glad this was of help to you.

      god bless!

    • rls8994 profile image

      rls8994 8 years ago from Mississippi

      This was really good. This is just what I needed to hear. You explained it so well.

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 8 years ago from India

      Hi donotfear, thank u for stopping by, and I'm off to read your hub on closures.

    • donotfear profile image

      donotfear 8 years ago from The Boondocks

      Wow! Absolutely the best description I've read on the subject. Completely & totally honest, as well as deep. Goes hand in hand with my hub "Closure". You have the perfect insight into emotional connections.

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 8 years ago from India

      Hi pankajrc , Thank you for stopping by, I'm glad you found this useful.

    • pankajrc profile image

      pankajrc 8 years ago

      Very good hub.


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