How Do I Break Down My Ex Boyfriend’s Emotional Wall?

Well, I’ve got bad news if you think you are going to break down anyone else’s emotional barriers. That kind of life change requires a willingness to change. And judging by the fact that he’s your ex makes me think that he’s probably not quite ready to make that leap.

Have you ever tried to tame a wild animal?

When I was little, my dad got me a pony.

No, I wasn’t some privileged brat. I just grew up on a farm in Texas.

Anyways, I have always been little. Even now I’m barely over five foot. All of our horses were waaaaay too big for me to ride. I mean, I was only about 7 or 8. So, my dad got a great deal on this little paint horse because she was completely wild and unbroken. She would get spooked so easily that, for the first month or two that we had her, she wouldn’t let anyone near her, let alone put a saddle on her.

But, because she was mine, it was my responsibility to figure it out. Now, I was pretty good with the bigger horses. They were used to me being around. They would let me bathe and brush them. They would even stand next to the gate so I could climb it and braid their manes. So, I was pretty frustrated that I couldn’t even get this pony to come when I called her. I would take a book out and sit by her feed trough every day for the first month that we had her. You have to realize for an impatient 7-year-old, a month is a ridiculously long time to wait.

So, there I was every day brushing the other horses, feeding them carrots, and leading them around the pasture to make sure they got enough exercise before I would sit down near the barn to read.One day, I had just sat down at the edge of the feed trough to read when I noticed that she was standing near me in the shade. It’s Texas it wasn’t unusual to see the horses go out of their way to find a shaded area. But she had never gotten so close. I mean, she was only like 10 feet away. That’s when I made my mistake. I stood up and tried to walk to her.

One day, I had just sat down at the edge of the feed trough to read when I noticed that she was standing near me in the shade. It’s Texas it wasn’t unusual to see the horses go out of their way to find a shaded area. But she had never gotten so close. I mean, she was only like 10 feet away.

That’s when I made my mistake. I stood up and held out one of the carrots I’d chopped for them. She flipped out and marched away. Everything in me made me want to follow her and make her let me feed her carrots. But I had watched my dad do this with the other horses a hundred times. If I tried to make her do what I wanted, she would be more afraid of me.

Instead, I sat back down and read a few chapters. Whatever I was reading must have been really good, because I didn’t even notice she’d come back till I felt her breath on my arm. It wasn’t just her. The other horses had come up to. They knew I had carrots for them.

I pretended I didn’t see them. It wasn’t until Gypsy, my mom’s horse who was about two feet taller than me, nipped my pocket and nearly tugged me off the fence that I even looked up. I took one of the carrot chunks out of my pocket and held it out in my palm with my hand flat like my dad had taught me when I was just a toddler so she wouldn’t accidentally get a finger instead of a carrot.

The whole time, my little paint was watching intently. I knew that if I waited she would come to me.I went back to reading. Sure enough, a few minutes later, I felt a

I went back to reading. Sure enough, a few minutes later, I felt a nose at my pocket. Horses are basically just really big dogs. They will do anything for a treat.

I held the carrot out just far enough so she would have to get closer. I did this without trying anything else every day for about a week.

One day, when she went to take the carrot, I reached out and pet her nose. She had grown to trust me.

It only took a few months for me to get her used to being around people. I could get her to wear a saddle and a bridle, but the biggest feat I didn’t have to put one on her. Before school, I would go out and feed them in my nightgown and a jacket and then ride her bareback around the pasture without reins, a saddle, or even shoes. She trusted me completely.

I used to be a personal assistant for a couple who had 6 dogs. I was with the dogs more than my bosses were. They had a second home in Belize. One of the dogs was a rescue from one of their vacations. He was homeless and was basically being beaten by the dock workers. My boss’ wife paid thousands of dollars to bring him back to the states.

He went through extensive abuse, but he was still so willing to be loved. Yet, he wouldn’t go down a dark hallway.

It was adorable. He would snuggle up with me on the couch for hours but when I went to my office he would sit right outside of the hallway right past where the shadow fell. He would move with the shadow. Oddly… his name was actually Shadow.

Strange right?

Anyways, people have similar animal instincts for self-preservation. We don’t trust just anyone. Especially, if we’ve experienced pain at someone else’s hand.

The Pleasure Principle

“The instinctual seeking of pleasure and avoiding of pain in order to satisfy biological and psychological needs.”

It is a natural instinct to protect yourself from feeling pain, both physical and emotional. Putting up emotional barriers does just that. You can’t force your ex to grow as a person, especially if you guys are already broken up.

However, what you can do is learn to be perceptive. You can’t push him to let you in, but you can pay attention to how he reacts to you when you feel yourself trying to get close. When you care about someone it’s natural to want to keep them close, create a bond. You want to know that he will never leave you and that you can trust him not to hurt you. Well, he’s doing the same thing by trying to keep you at arm’s length. That keeps him safe from being hurt, just like your desire to hold him close is meant to protect you.

Understanding that he most likely went through some serious emotional distress as a child or in other relationships if he’s protecting himself to the extent of avoiding making connections all-together is paramount. However, if he has no issues building new connections with new people, then it’s possible that he built that wall just for you. This leads me to wonder if there is possibly something unique to you that is making him see you as a threat. It doesn’t matter if you gave him cause or if it’s just in his head, you have to earn his trust. If you didn’t do anything to make him think this, then it’s possible that he’s just a jerk.

Trust me, I’ve dated my fair share of jerks. Letting someone get close doesn’t make him vulnerable it just makes you harder to get rid of. If you want to know what I’d do in that position, then I’ll tell you what I’ve done. I walked away. I would still walk away… every… single… time.


Well, there is no knocking down a wall that was built specifically to keep you out. At some point, you have to decide what you are willing to accept, especially if you want a future.

Getting Around the Wall

Let’s say that it’s not just you. Assuming he is having trouble connecting with everyone, there is still a course of action after you go through with No Contact, master texting, and land yourself a ticket back into the relationship ring.

Alter Your Response There is a generalization regarding women saying that we are prone to nagging. But, I’d be willing to bet that people, in general, are becoming more emotionally guarded with each passing generation. Although, if you are wanting him to let you past the walls he’s built, you are going to have to fight the urge to nag him about it.

When most women realize that their boyfriend is keeping them at bay, they generally go for the guilt approach. The “If you cared, you’d tell me how you feel,” approach.

Instead, fight the urge to pressure him at all. The better approach would be, “look, I know that you are dealing with something right now. You don’t have to talk to me about it, but I just want you to know that I’m here if you need anything.

Unconditional Love This means that you learn to overlook the wall and be there for him. If you love him no matter what, then that means even if he won’t let you love him the way you want to love him, by talking about your feelings.

Listen We he is finally ready to talk, I suggest you be ready to actually listen to what he has to say. Don’t read into what he says and hear what you want to hear.

Don’t Push He wasn’t going to let you get close before. Why would he start after some time apart? Even if he spent that entire time missing you and begging for you to come back, that isn’t going to rewire his brain even if you spent months apart. That kind of progress takes some serious growth and it will take more than a breakup to make that happen.

What now?

Basically, what I’m telling you is to be patient and give your ex some time to grow up and learn how to take down his own walls. But, what is important is that you set your limits. Know where your limits lie. Don’t just sit around and wait for his heart to grow three sizes. Know what you are and aren’t willing to accept.

Like I always say, take that time during No Contact and make yourself into the very best version of yourself. Set your life on the path to being what you need it to be to grow as a person. I think you will find that, once you do that, you won’t stand for anything less in a relationship than you deserve, even if you love him with every fiber of your being.

Self-respect goes a long way. In this case, it will save you years of wasted energy spent on someone who clearly doesn’t want you close enough to hurt him, then you can’t get close enough to get the love you want from him.

So, what you should do is work through the full program, then, once you get him back, be patient and understanding as long as you are willing to and no longer!

Along with every other woman who comes to us to help them get their ex back you deserve to be with someone who appreciates the love you have for them to its full extent.

As I said earlier, as a child I was smaller than everyone my age. Most of my friends were bigger than me. And me, being my feisty self, would play fight with those friends. Almost every time I would end up with their palm on my forehead as I would try desperately to hit them as they held me just out of reach.

That’s basically what people who are emotionally unavailable do to the people who want to be close to them. The only way to get out of that situation is to back up.

See what I’m getting at?

Free On Demand Coaching
Yes, please

Why Pulling Away Works

Don’t worry we’re not done yet.

The time during No Contact gives your ex an opportunity to miss you. When he reaches out and you don’t respond, he’ll wonder if you could possibly be doing something interesting without him or if you are seeing someone new. That curiosity is what you are going for. Don’t give in when he texts you. Let him wonder what it is that’s keeping you occupied.

In that time, you get the choice to make yourself and your life into whoever and whatever you want. take the chance to improve both since you can be sure that once you peaked his interest he hit up your Facebook and Instagram.

You take this step back and his curiosity will have him stepping up to get you back.

Once he steps up, you need to get him to invest in getting you back. Don’t just fall into his lap swooning or he won’t value having you back.

If you keep stepping back, making him step up, he’ll be more likely to let that wall fall down. Better yet, he might even start taking it down brick by brick with his own hands.

The more you make him step up, the more he’ll value your relationship once you get him back.

So, step back and let him come to you.	

Written by EBR Teamate

EBR Team Member: Ashley