Breaking up and getting back together again? And again? And again? Ever wonder why some couples keep leaving each other only to shortly return to each other’s arms? Let’s take a look at this pattern.
All of us in relationships have thought about breaking up with our partner at some time or another. In fact maybe many of us have done it at least once. It is very common for couples to feel so hurt and misunderstood that they have to end things in order to feel better.
This is really human nature. When we are upset, most of us close up and can’t really communicate about what happened to us. And in some cases people are in such pain that the only way they can see their way through to feeling better is to cut off the offender so that can have some relief.
Why Do Couples Break Up and Get Back Together?
We all do some sort of this. Some of us yell because we are upset when we are hurt. Some just hold their feelings inside and wait for everything to calm down before trying to communicate again.
And there are those who are in such distress that their only recourse is to end things in the moment with finality. “I can’t do this anymore. I am done.” There were some words like this and maybe some curse words too.
This way of handling our upsets is very painful. We can see that it is hard for the person doing the break up, but it is also very hard for the person that gets broken up with.
What Does Breaking Up and Getting Back Together Mean for You As a Couple?
Let’s take a look. We know that the person who ends a relationship is just at their end. They can’t take another minute of the hurt that’s inside them. The partner looking to leave feels very misunderstood—but misunderstood is really a tame word for what might be happening. They probably feel dismissed, unimportant to their partner, and not even recognized. It could be even worse than that; they might feel rejected and unloved. These are only some of the feelings that can drive us to end our relationship.
Somehow we think it will never get better. We might think, “I will always feel this terrible feeling and I just can’t stand it.” It’s like the person is at the end of their rope, the end of the line and they just can’t go on.
So you can see how much pain this person is in. But let’s not forget what the partner is going through. The mate does not live in their partner’s body, cannot feel the amount of distress occurring, and is probably unaware of the severity of the situation as well. So when their beloved gives up, it could even be a surprise to them. They might not even know what they have done to cause such a reaction. So the partner who receives the breakup suffers too. They are just left not knowing what happened.
How Breaking Up with Your Partner Makes Them Feel
And their feelings can cascade as well. They might feel terrible about themselves and like they’re not good enough, or even flawed. They might be turning themselves inside out trying to figure out why this happened. But most of all they feel rejected in the biggest way possible.
The person they loved just kicked them out. And now they have to go. If you have felt this you know how awful it feels. No reason, no understanding, you are just told you are “bad” and you don’t have a chance to recover.
Learning to Recognize When You’re Temporarily Overwhelmed and STAY Helps You Hurt Each Other Less
Now, isn’t this a mess? Yes. It is true that people get their feelings hurt. It is true that couples often misunderstand each other. But one of the biggest lessons I learned in couples counseling before I was a counselor is that no matter how hard it gets was this: I had to learn to stay.
And that’s the best thing I have ever done: stayed. Find your way to stay. Learn how to see through your pain. It gets better. I promise.
Tired of Breaking Up and Getting Back Together?
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to break the pattern of breaking up and getting back together, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you improve your communication, reducing the frequency of conflict and making it easier to deal with when it comes up. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.