When Your Afraid Your Partner Might Leave, Let Go

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Occasionally, I see couples at the end of the marital rope. One person is seriously considering ending the relationship and their partner goes into an emotional tailspin. The person with one foot out the door finally gets the courage to say so and with that they begin to focus on themselves with much less consideration for their partner. They may begin to do things that are very uncomfortable, even unacceptable to their partner. Things like partying all night, staying out too late, being away from home more often, taking out of town trips without their partner or children. They are establishing their own sense of freedom but have not yet made a final decision to divorce.

Meanwhile, the other partner is shocked and hurt. Because of the new behaviors they begin to get suspicious and fearful that their partner is leaving them. They begin to be demanding of explanations and demanding and angry about the partners behaviors. Unfortunately, this only pushes the other spouse even further away. These dynamics will almost guarantee the end of the marriage.

Naturally, I would recommend getting counseling long before you consider ending a marriage but certainly if you consider ending your marriage. But, if these dynamics have begun for you, there is still hope. I call the technique “letting go”. I give the analogy that the more tightly you hang on to a person the greater need they have to break free. Letting go is a difficult thing to do, it’s counter intuitive. It means not demanding explanations, not getting angry about decisions and behaviors that may be unhealthy for the relationship or the individual. In order to this it helps tremendously to turn the situation over to a higher power and trust that God will bring you to a better place through this. You must also remember that arguing and holding on too tightly will only make the situation worse. Most importantly, if the pain becomes too great you have the right to end the relationship at any time.

I would never suggest letting go long term. If you are able to let go and be at peace temporarily (one to six months), what can happen is that the spouse who is breaking away will have time to decide if that freedom is really what they want and may be able to return to the relationship. At that point it is critical to talk about the new expectations and boundaries in the relationship. You will also need to reestablish the commitment to the relationship and fix whatever issues lead to the person needing to break free. This is a difficult situation to recover from but with time, patience and help, your relationship can get to a better place than it has ever been. Call Now! (817) 909-1820

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