This continues my speaking to the distant or pulling away spouse or partner…
Often the distancing spouse is viewed as the “bad” person.
You are perhaps fearful that others look at you and see you as not “trying” to make the marriage or relationship work.
You may hear frequently from your spouse or s/he may imply that s/he is giving all the effort, is working on the relationship and you are not.
Labels may be attached to you: aloof, uncaring, insensitive, remote, angry, sullen, passive-aggressive, self-centered, and stubborn, to name a few.
Have you heard any of those terms or others cast in your direction?
In contrast, your partner may receive the sympathy and encouragement for trying to fix the relationship and make it better.
S/he may suggest marriage counseling, a marriage retreat, and time for just the two of you or other suggestions that focus on relationship development.
S/he may even have a cadre of others who support and pat him/her on the back.
Some need to see the world as either good or evil or bad or righteous.
It’s not that simple.
And, deep within you, you know it’s not that simple.
You are not trying to be bad, stubborn, passive or whatever.
You are merely trying to control your feelings and your thoughts. You are doing the best you can considering the coping mechanisms you bring, your situation and a number of other factors.
You don’t truly want to feel responsible for hurting someone. You don’t want pain. You don’t want to fight. You don’t want the distance.
And, you don’t want to be confronted with your feelings of inadequacy. You know them well enough without reminders.
Here’s a suggestion: Take time to identify what you are attempting to protect.
What would like to feel good about?
What would you truly like to say to him/her about yourself?
You don’t want to give your personal power away, and you tend to do that when you think of yourself as the bad person in the relationship, or allow others to put that tag on you.