Have you ever heard someone say, “I never saw it coming” when referring to a dismissal, break up or divorce? It might not always seem plausible but it is definitely possible. It is often easy to miss the subtle clues and cues when a relationship is over emotionally for the other person.
To protect yourself you need to develop an “early warning system.” It is very important to catch on right away. The longer it continues, the harder it will be to reverse it. If the situation continues, without a change, for a while, it will be too late.
Some early warning signs are; when the other person no longer wants to discuss what is bothering them about you and your behavior, when they no longer tell you when you have hurt them in some way, when they won’t discuss or argue or complain, when they no longer want you to change, when they no longer want to participate in joint activities, when they withdraw and stop being involved, caring or committed to you.
These behaviors indicate that they have given up on you. They no longer have the energy or desire to invest in you or the relationship. It’s over. They have lost faith in you. They have lost hope that you will get it or understand so they don’t bother anymore.
These behaviors are frustrating and hurtful. They generate feelings of confusion and anger. It is upsetting and annoying to be dismissed without being given a chance to make things better. It feels like an insult. In a way, you are being discounted. You are being judged and found unworthy of their effort.
As soon as you notice any signs of disengagement take action. Set aside your anger and defensiveness. Ask what you can do to make it better. Don’t attack. Listen. Remind the other person of your love and the love you share. Tell them you know that you can work it out together.
Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864, Psychotherapy.firstname.lastname@example.org