Do’s and Dont’s after a marriage walk out.
The pain has gotten too much, your partner has finally walked out and you’re not sure what to do next. After a marriage walk out, you start to panic, your anxiety kicks in and you fear the worst – they’re gone and they’re never coming back.
What DO I do now?
The first step: try not to panic (easier said than done I know), don’t go into meltdown mode and make matters worse. Concentrate on reducing your anxiety and bringing your stress levels down. When you’re in that headspace you’re normally at a heightened state of arousal, with adrenalin and cortisol flowing through your system. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to make any logical or rational decisions at this time.
Take yourself out of the immediate environment, go for a walk, engage with your surroundings, practise mindfulness, seek comfort (not advice) from a family member or good friend. If you’ve already coped with the initial marriage walk out and now you’re faced with ‘what do I do now’, this information is for you.
What NOT to do.
“If you want to go then go” – this rarely works. This type of reaction is a recipe for disaster, it comes from a place of ‘payback’. I feel hurt so I’m going to hurt you back. You may feel it’s justified because of the circumstances but our defensive behaviour normally ends up doing more long term harm than good. The initial high you get from feeling in control by appearing as if you don’t care soon fades away and when you’re in a calmer more thoughtful place, regret sets in.
30 day no contact rule.
This is an absolute certainty to increase the distance between the two of you in this already fragile relationship. The longer you and your partner are apart, the harder it will be to become re-connected. If you have a chance to start working on your relationship then don’t delay. If your partner has moved out, use this time for self-reflection, ask yourself, ‘where can I step up,’ or ‘how can I get through this’ and ‘how determined am I?’
The big relationship talk.
Pressure! It’s a natural reaction to want to talk about the relationship with your partner and what went wrong. How I can make things different and how I let things get out of hand and now it’s gone too far. This feels like pressure to your spouse and will make them want to distance even further. Of course, you would like some clarity on the situation but very rarely do you get it. ‘How long are you going for, when are you coming back?’ ‘Do you still love me?’ Genuine questions at this time but highly unlikely you’ll get the response you’re after. Leave this one until things are in a calmer place and you’re able to think more rationally and calmly.
Consult family or friends for advice.
Although well meaning unless they’ve had professional training in relationship work it’s better to have no advice than wrong advice from them. On many an occasion, I have known family members or friends to do more harm than good either by taking sides or offering ill-informed information.
Retribution – Telling the world how you’ve been wronged. Phoning those close to you and telling them what’s happened even before the dust has started to settle is a no, no. This includes informing social media, work friends and social circles. Letting the world know that it was your partner that is to blame and you’re the innocent party. Playing the blame game isn’t going to help long term and it actually is counterproductive. What you’re really after is confirmation bias. I know I’m right and I’m seeking others opinions to confirm my bias.
What can I do to make them experience the same amount of pain I’m in? How hurtful can I be?
If you have any hope of trying to get the marriage back on track, then avoid trying any of the above.
Keep connection with your spouse if at all possible, even if you have decided you want some time apart. This still can work if you follow some basic guidelines. If he/she has said “don’t call me”, don’t call, you can still text or email. If your partner says “don’t contact me” that’s fine, leave it for a while then find a legitimate excuse, but only when you’re in calmer place.
Are you willing to give it another try?
There are a number of things which need to be discussed before you even contemplate trying again. If you decide to give it another go, caution! Change has to happen first or you’ll be in a far worse place than before. Give it some time, iron out some of your differences so you don’t end up making the same mistakes again. And in a far worse place.
It’s vitally important that if you decide to give it another go and reconcile your differences, there has to be a difference. If nothing has changed, nothing will change. If you’re using the same mindset which got you here in the first place, you’re simply wasting your time.
To find out how to change and make it long lasting, give me a call now before it really is too late. Dave Crispin