I will cut to the chase. The dirty word is space.
I wasn’t trying to rhyme, but space can be sublime.
(I couldn’t resist, it just came to me.)
Have you had the dreaded conversation?
“I think we need space.”
…sound the record screeching to a halt.
These are the five words that no one in a relationship wants to hear.
But I’m going to encourage you to say them. All the time in your relationship.
Because space is good.
And, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t mean you need to move out, start seeing other people, or even stop spending time together.
What I mean is that you need to make space, claim space and expand into space in your relationship. As individuals and as that third being that is your relationship.
Couples get into problems when there is constriction.
Destructive cycles of negative emotional escalation spin out and the more they spin, the more constricted they can get.
Brains then literally stop functioning effectively and cannot be open to other possibilities.
In other words, there’s no way that he will be able to hear what you’re really saying, or vice versa.
So take space.
Take a step backwards – away from the heat.
And give yourselves a break.
Give yourself a break. And give your partner a break.
Relationships can be difficult, and people try to make them work without even having an honest look at them or giving them what they need.
Make some room for your relationship in your life.
If that means taking space for yourself to get really clear on what your needs and desires are, so be it.
If that means scheduling a date night once a week, so be it.
Or if it means having a talk that you’d rather avoid, make sure it happens.
Whatever it means for you, take your relationship off the back burner and give it the space it deserves.
How are you going to take some space today?
I’m really curious to hear.
Cheers to a spacious relationship,
I love the article you’ve wrote here 🙂 I was just wondering if this is similar to me and my partner and wondered if you could give me some advice on the matter? One and half month ago I got back with my son’s mum, who is now 5 years old and in the past we had a very love and hate relationship and split for 4 years, but after sitting down with her and talking about how much we’ve missed each other and love each other, we decided to give it ago. Other the past month and a half, we had a really great 2 weeks into the relationship but then things got really bad, with her lies, going behind my back and talking to the ex. I can admit I’ve been bad as well along this relationship with throwing that stuff at her, the thing was with her ex, he is a very horrible person and set out to break us up, because he found out that me and her were going out again and he blackmailed her into doing things with him and she wanted to tell me, but she was scared to tell me. I know she doesn’t love him because I can tell when she’s lieing and I forgive her because I know how much she loves me and how much I love her, the problem now is she wants to step back or as she said space. She said she feels horrible for what she’s done and still wants me and our family and is committed to just me and not seeing anyone else just like I am, Im just wondering is there anything I can do to help her through this, instead of always arguing and fighting with her about it? If so it would be a great help to me, She feels as if she can’t handle what’s going on because of the arguing and is reminding her what he was like before. I have been like that for the past few weeks because of what happened and Im learning to trust her again and be me again and not this controlling freak I don’t want to be. Could you please give me some advice???
Jenev Caddell says
Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you have quite a complex and difficult situation. It makes sense to me why you would want to trust her but why you have such a hard time doing so! My honest advice in this situation would be to have a 3rd party professional facilitator help you both out and re-create and re-establish that trust, since this can be a tricky one with emotions running high and past wounds being so fresh. Additionally, a great book to read is called “Hold Me Tight, Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Dr. Sue Johnson, and I’m specifically thinking of Conversation Five in the book: “Forgiving Injuries” as something that could be helpful (but you’d have to read the first part to get the gist of it). Please check out the website http://www.iceeft.com and go to “find a therapist” to find a good couples counselor, potentially in your area (it’s a global community of excellent therapists trained in a form of couples work that helps 9 out of 10 couples make improvements in their relationships), to help you both out – and if you strike out there and would like to consult with me further, click the purple heart at the bottom of the screen for a complimentary consultation – I think speaking with you in person would be easier to help point you in the right direction than through this comment, but hopefully, this is helpful for what it is!
Best of luck to you both and thanks so much for reaching out. Do let me know if I can be of further assistance.
All my best,