Why it is Important to First Assess Why Your Relationship is Not Working Before you Separate
One of the biggest mistakes individuals make is deciding to separate without first assessing their real goals and purposes. They need first to figure out why their relationships are not working for them. One of the most common complaints I hear from an individual whose partner announces they want a divorce or separation is:
“You never told me you were so unhappy. You never gave me a chance to work on it!”
This may be especially true for those partners who deal with anger and conflict passively. It is important to do an assessment first so that even if you do decide to separate, you’ll be doing so with clarity and understanding on why and what your full range of options might be.
During conflicts and stuck periods in your relationship, your perception of your partner narrows. You may see your partner as over-controlling, critical, nagging, withholding, mean and angry, non-communicative, uncompromising, uncaring, a betrayer, mistrusting, asexual… you fill in the blank. In short, you no longer give your partner the benefit of the doubt. These perceptions then shape your behavior toward your partner and become the norm for how you relate. This becomes your truth about your partner. Without even realizing it, both partners often end up perpetuating the problem pattern and, regrettably, it becomes all too easy to forget what attracted you to your partner in the first place.
If this is the case, all you may be able to see is a person who grates on your nerves, pushes your buttons, or worse. In this situation, the negative way you begin to perceive and view your partner actually deprives you of the very thing you are hoping to get. Many will say, “my partner’s behavior made me become this way.” As you move through the Steps of Separation Management, you will begin to see what responsibility for your relationship is yours.
Taking Space – How to Use Separation to Explore the Future of Your Relationship
Available in paperback and ebook editions
Audio Course: How to Structure and Manage a Separation – Step 3: Purpose of Separation and Change
Available for download or in CDs
40 Page Workbook
Available for download or as a hard copy