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What now?

What do you do when it’s all going wrong?

You are married or in a committed relationship but facing separation or divorce, in fact perhaps you’ve already been “replaced” in his or her affections. What do you do?

The natural human tendency is to kick and scream; your security is threatened, you might have a child, the last thing you want is to face a future without your partner.

You ask him or her why, you remind them their responsibility, their vows, the children you share. Nothing seems to work. In fact he or she seems to be moving further away.

Think for a moment about the person who is “doing the thing”, that thing you don’t like, the thing that is threatening to split you, divide you and your family up into little pieces, the relationship becomes nothing more than a financial arrangement. How does he or she feel I wonder? Do they feel good about their decision, are you constantly reminding them of what they’ve done wrong?

Without stopping this round robin of table tennis and who did what to whom, you’re still on that losing streak that you’re wanting to turn around. The only thing you can do is STOP. Look around, try and put yourself in the others’ shoes, and start to believe that it’s not just you who is hurting. Hard to believe perhaps . Nothing happens in a vacuum. Is there something innate in the other person that they feel unable to show you their vulnerability, to ask for what they need whilst you are fighting yet simultaneously pushing them away through the pain that you’re feeling?

Gosh, it can be so hard. When we are hurting to not want to hurt the person we love the most who is in turn hurting us. We want to lash out, and tell them how hurt they are making us, and they, conversely, are frightened and want to run away. Without facing each other, listening and reflecting to each other, there is no forwards movement – or if there is, it is a movement with bitterness that can remain for a long time until one or other of you simply “lets go”. Remember that you are both feeling the pain but in different ways.

What would it be worth to you to resurrect peaceful communication with your partner?

It isn’t necessarily easy but it will require hard work. And a letting go of the anger.

Write down your list today of at least 15 things you admire about your partner; recollect the happy times, when you first met, what you enjoyed in each other. And agree with your spouse that no action take place for at least eight weeks whilst you work on what you do have together.
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