All of us feel like leaving when we get mad. It’s just something that happens to us when we are in relationships with others. We get our feelings hurt and we have to get away as soon as possible. We can’t help it. Getting away is just the quickest way to end our suffering, or is it?
I know the times I have grabbed my dog and headed out the door to get some relief from an argument I had with my boyfriend I was just protecting myself from further pain. I had to go. I had to go cool off and figure out what just happened.
It’s Hard to Separate Your Feelings From What Happened, and What You Need to Do to Fix It
I used to stay in the part of what happened by thinking about what was done to me. He did this and this and that is why I got so mad and had to leave. But the longer I stayed in the relationship and the more I worked on what I was feeling to understand myself better, the more I learned to see that what I was feeling belonged to me, not someone else.
But this is something that all couples are not able to figure out easily. I know, because now as a couple’s counselor, I try and help people to stay in the relationship when their feelings get hurt and to understand how to heal after that happens.
This is not instant. No, this takes time and experience and practice, lots of practice. No one is great at this when they start. Most of us are pretty good at leaving. We are probably so good at it we can do it with very little words at this point. But leaving is the worst thing we can do if we are a couple.
Storming Out to Take Some “Me Time” Can Send the Wrong Message
I know it helps to get away from the pain and difficulty as soon as possible, but we tell the person we are leaving that they are now dead to us. Yes, they and the relationship have just died. Only we aren’t thinking that part. We are just interested in protecting our own wound.
This action of leaving is good, if you want to stay single. It’s perfect if you want to leave your mate and start over. But if you love your person and want to make the relationship work, then you have to learn to STAY!
Yeah, you have to do the opposite of what every cell in your body is screaming at you to do, which is to leave. So how do we learn to stay? We do it in stages. No one goes from leaving to staying just because you read these words. We learn how to do it one experience at a time.
Reassure Your Partner That Things Will Be Okay, Before You Leave to Calm Down
So, the next time you have a disagreement with your partner and you are the one who leaves, try adding something before you do. Just say some words to the person you are leaving with something like this, “I have to go, and I will be back.”
This tells the person that they are still alive to you, and you haven’t killed the relationship permanently. It also gives them the reassurance that you will figure out what happened to you and you are going to return after you do. This gives them hope.
Now if you want to try this, you can’t say these words in your mad voice. You have to say them well: with a feather, not a hammer.
Small Steps Can Carry You to Big Changes
It may seem like a small movement, but this is a way to start staying. If you try it, you might even feel a lift inside you, which will motivate you to continue to work on it, like I have.
I don’t have to leave anymore. Sometimes I have to go into another room for a few minutes, but I always come back with something I have learned. That’s the way I do it. Find your way. Find the way that works for you and your beloved. It’s worth it. Now that, I can guarantee.
Manage Irritation in Your Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to firmly, but gently establish your boundaries and irritate each other less, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It may help you feel closer and happier, helping you best share the experiences you can. It may also help you let your partner down gently, when you can’t share their enthusiasm. 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.