Distance is a Way to Cope

This continues my speaking to the distant or pulling away spouse or partner…

The intent of your pulling away or distancing is not malicious or evil.

Your tendency to back away is merely a way for you to cope with a situation that has you confused, hurt, puzzled, fearful or a combination of other feelings that now grip you tightly.

We all have patterns we employ to cope with difficult situations. Your spouse has his/her pattern. Most likely, his/her pattern compliments your pattern.

Your way of coping is to back away. S/he may cope by becoming aggressive.

Neither is wrong. Neither is correct.

Ways of coping just are!

A long time ago, you learned to manage your hurt and fears by adopting a particular pattern.

You felt hurt, afraid, and alone or a variety of other human feelings we all feel growing up and you discovered that a predictable way of coping seemed to fit best.

Perhaps your preferred coping strategy was to withdraw, to go to your room, or tree house, or back yard; someplace that offered solace and distance from the hurtful situation.

Thinks of others in your world and how they cope.

Can you think of someone who copes by being submissive, by accommodating others, sometimes by relishing the victim role?

Can you think of someone who waltzes through life being seductive or charming as a way to get what s/he wants?

Or some who cope with the inner anxiety and fears by controlling his/her world and others?

Or, the typical type A personality who aggressively runs over others, getting in the first punch, so to speak?

Or, someone who becomes a bristling porcupine, using criticism, saracasm and bouts of explosive anger to protect and defend?

Or, someone who is always calm, cool and collected and exudes confidence, although seldom has the capacity to be empathetic or enter another’s internal world?

Or, someone who is “in his/her own world” and others seldom have an idea of the nature of that world?

These are some major coping patterns, common to the human condition.

You automatically and unconsciously call upon YOUR coping pattern when life gets emotionally rough. That’s where you go. That’s what you do.

And, long, long ago, it worked. Your pattern seemed to you way back then the best way for you to cope, considering a number of factors about you, your family and your world.

Your coping pattern is your default coping mode.

You use it time and time again.

UNLESS, you become aware of it and a part of you decides you want to try something different.

You can thank that coping pattern for protecting you, as best as it could, in your past, but you are now an adult and can choose and experiment with other ways.

I want you merely to observe and be aware, first, of your pattern. Smile at it. Treat it with kindness, since at some level it merely wanted to care for you.

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