Supporting Separating Couples
Exploration of the relationship includes looking to determine if the rupture can be repaired or if it is now beyond that. Sometimes it is as if you can’t live with each other and that you can’t live without each other. This uncertaintly is common and there may be changing thoughts and moods about what you do or do not want. In this instance separating may be about determining if feelings and mutual accord can be rekindled.
Have the bonds of attraction weakened to the extent the relationship has ended. Or is there an attraction that still pulls both partners toward each other. Does that space enable your growth and development to take place that might otherwise be inhibited. What is important to understand is that the old relationship has ended. Now the question is can a new healthy and supportive relationship can be created.
Sometimes it is about individual changing and developing at different rates. One person may be changing too much from the person they once were. Another may not changing when circumstances and events have moved on from how things were. This might lead to ‘You are no fun any more, you just moan and complain’, or ‘You just won’t grow up and take responsibility for anything’.
One person can be happy in the relationship and just want it to stay as it is. The other can feel desperate and trapped having lost their sense of self.
Testing the Bonds
Separation can be about pulling apart and then working on how a better fit can be made. Equally it may be about stepping back from each other to be able get a better perspective of self and the other. To have time and space in which think is important. This can help you understand better what is needed or missing from the relationship.
It is also possible that this is a phased approach to separating permanently. This may be too difficult to accept that the relationship is over to yourself or the other person.
The Future as an Individual
If the relationship has ended, then thoughts can turn to what will the future relationship look like being single again. This can be a time of trying to make sense of what has happened and regaining confidence.
There can be an extended period of vulnerability and anxiety. There can be an anger toward your ex for having been abandoned or deserted you. Equally there may be a fear of being on your own and thoughts of will you ever be in a loving relationship again, will anyone want you. When separating from a long term partner these feelings are normal. You can and will get through this. Counselling can help with this period of adjustment.
Beware of rushing into another relationship as this can be from a point of need where previous patterns of destructive behaviours can be repeated. It is better to examine where previous relationships broke down, how this came about and your part in that,
Recognising your skills, resources and abilities can help you to value yourself rebuilding your self-image and appreciation as an individual. Acclimatising to being single again can help enhance your confidence and resilience.
This can become an exciting time full of potential and new experiences without beholding to someone else. It can develop your self-reliance and awareness ultimately leading to new and healthier relationships.