Relationship break conversations come up in many relationships, even when the two of you really love each other. There are many issues than can lead to a relationship break, and it’s important to realize that sometimes, a break is a good idea. It doesn’t mean that you’ll actually break up. In fact, a break can end up strengthening your relationship – it all depends on what you do when you take a break. By reading up on the benefits of a relationship break, you can see why it might be a healthy option for you.
When Should We Take a Break?
Ask yourself, “Am I feeling overwhelmed and anxious when I’m in the company of my partner?” If you do feel that way, you are in a claustrophobic relationship. Recently, I had a client who was going through a rough time with work and family issues. She was a single parent with three children. She was working on her relationship, but found it was nearly impossible for her to make time for him. And when she did, the time was unbalanced and usually ended in disappointment. They either had an argument, felt like things were strained, or had to cut their time together short.
Reassess Yourself and Your Feelings
In her reading I touched on taking some time off. I suggested she take a couple of weeks to reassess herself and her feelings. It is not uncommon for people to subconsciously sabotage the areas in their lives they know need attention or adjustment. My client was able to see the times she’d created disruptive events in order to have more time to herself, though she wasn’t aware of her behavior at the time.
Introducing the idea of a relationship time-out can be awkward. How do you tell your partner you’re taking time out for yourself without sounding as if you’re trying to end the relationship? When a person is able to detach mentally, emotionally and physically from a relationship for the purpose of prioritizing their personal obligations, this is often called “compartmentalization.” Men are usually much more able to do relationship time-outs than women.
Trust Your Feelings
Trust your feelings and understand what they are trying to tell you. Perhaps your career is going into high gear and you just don’t have the energy to give to your relationship at this time. Maybe a family event has thrown you a curveball and you’ve got to put your total attention on it to see it through. Perhaps a child needs extended personal attention from you.
How to Tell Your Partner You Need a Break
Tell them about what is going on in your life that makes it necessary for the request of a time-out. Be very descriptive. Tell them how it is affecting you and what you know you’ll gain once you get through this phase. Let them know nothing that they’ve done has contributed to this situation. Let them voice any concerns and listen to what their ideas may be. Be ready to compromise. You may feel you need to have your weekday evenings freed up, but your partner may only be able to see you on weeknights. Find a day that can work for the both of you. If your partner has abandonment issues, reassure them that this is not a repeat of their painful past. Let them weigh in on what their fears may be. It may be a time for them to start releasing some of their old fears. The Universe has a way of getting lessons across! Maybe this break and reconnect is just what Ol’ Doc Universe ordered for your partner to evolve from an abandonment issue that’s plagued them.
Choose a Length of Time
As you begin this process, make sure that you have decided the length of time this will go on. Put a date on the calendar to remind yourself and let your sweetie know the break ends on that date. Remind them that this break is not a breakup. Check in with your partner via text, email, Skype and voice mail, as time permits, to let them know you haven’t forgotten them. Update them on your progress and share details with them. The more they’re included, the easier it will be for the both of you. If you must travel abroad, send pictures of sights and places you’ve seen and been. Tell them regularly that your love is still with them.
Now, back to my client. When they were able to reconnect after a two month pause, their bond was stronger and suffered no ill effects! They are still together today and I foresee wedding bells in their not-so-distant future!