One of the most challenging aspects of life, is one of separation. Separation in the family and intimate relationships can be a devastating and debilitating experience for all concerned, but it does not have to be, it all comes down to choice. How you choose to react is very important, most people going through a separation not only just feel the loss of a loved one through grief, but they can face abandonment, guilt and rejection which all fuel anger that determines our response to the one we are separated from.
Let’s look at a relationship breakdown. Most breakdowns occur because one partner feels that their needs are not been met, so they seek this out in other areas of their life, affairs, gambling, drinking etc and the separation in the relationship begins to unfold. The interesting part of this is, the emotions each partner has being feeling started before all of this began manifesting into reality, but they never communicated this, so resentment, guilt, anger and blame start to fuel, opening the door for separation even wider, until it is too late and the relationship has ended. In other areas of relationship breakdowns, you come face to face with your partner just not being in-love with you, and their desire to connect with another person begins to create separation, again fueling emotions that play a large part in our reactions to the situation.
What makes these experiences more devastating is when children are involved in a relationship breakdown and then the parents/partners feel that as they have lost control of the relationship, they can manipulate response through the children. As much as we would like the father or the mother of the child to be someone different when going through a separation, it is not going to change and regardless of what your partner may or may not have done to you, you have to accept who they are and who they represent to the child. In some cases this is not possible but for most relationship breakdowns, when we stop trying to control how another should feel, think or act, then we naturally respond to the separation instead of reacting to it.
When you stop trying to make your partner suffer, then you will stop the suffering within yourself.
Try this little exercise; next time you have to communicate with your partner, just for a moment think about your approach, and then place yourself in your partner’s shoes and say, if he or she approached me in the same way I am about to approach this situation, how would I respond. Then if you feel that you are going to become defensive to the communication, you need to change the delivery. We complain that our partner does not listen, or understand how we feel, but you must first listen to yourself and understand what you are truly feeling before your partner can. When you stop being a victim to your own emotions, then you’ll stop trying to take advantage of how your partner should and shouldn’t feel.
Communicating how you feel is a key to coming face to face with the places that scare you in any relationship breakdown, and if you feel that this is not something you can effectively do on your own, then seek professional assistance to help mediate the relationship back to a harmonious balance.
One of the most important aspects of healing in any separation is to look at the lessons you need to learn, and the part you played in creating it in the first place.