Not so fast...don't give up, let's get to work!
All relationships go through bumps and bruises. These bumps are opportunities to deepen ourselves in relationship. They are a necessity. What I see are couples not being able to stay in there...wanting to break free - too quickly. I want to say....STOP !!!! Slow down and let's see where you came off the track and how to get back on track. It is bound to happen - getting off track. This is life and ending a relationship because of feeling alone is an opportunity to deepen. So...don't run away.
We are influenced by all kinds of things at any given moment. In our love relationship if we are not feeling close to our partner, we start drifting towards other things (our kids, online shopping, alcohol, drugs, other potential suiters). Some of these distractions are not so bad in moderation (others are...) but the point here is the feeling of emptiness and wanting to be close to someone is missing. This is natural, we are human, and as humans we need closeness and love.
Couples sometimes call for help at the beginning of this separateness period, but mostly, I see couples who have endured separateness for a V E R Y L O N G T I M E. How is it that they have stayed together all of this time? Well, they are committed to each other, they may have kids and don't want to disturb the 'family sense' at home, or they may have dug their heels in so deep (into the ground) that they can't see what is in front of them. I call this condition, Ice.
The Ice-man or woman has become frozen in the relationship. Unable to feel their own needs or their partners' needs. Yes, frozen in the relationship, they are too lonely to reach out and they are dying, silently and slowly. Usually, they have one or two areas in life that feed them - their kids or other distractions like being an active member in their social group (kids' schools/sports teams, host of parties, etc.). The other partner has pulled away and may put their energy into work, their own independent interests, it doesn't matter what it is, the result is the same - a lonely partnership.
Typically, these relationships have foundations of GOLD. Where they now appear dead to each other, they were once lively, social, and most important - playful and interested in each other. What happened? Nothing happened. Really. Nothing. Happened. They forgot to tend to the fire. They carefully built this beautiful fire (sturdy, strong, hot, crackling) but forgot to tend it.
These relationships are repairable. These relationships want to draw the flame back. These relationships need tending. Learning to voice vulnerable, heartbreaking moments you have had with your partner that have impacted they way you see yourself. These hurts can be communicated in therapy. These conversations are hard to have. They are deeply buried wounds and festering but unless they are voiced they are burning embers of hurt and even self hate. As odd as it may seem, this is not the end of the relationship. It doesn't have to be. These are normal ruptures in relatonships. Let's work together to voice our true feelings about ourselves and in partnership with the loves of our lives. Don't miss the opportunity to repair what you have built. Don't give up, not so fast....