Think back to the last argument you had with your partner. Did you feel intense emotional pain afterward? That’s likely due to the fact you experienced a rupture in connection during and after the argument.
When you feel disconnected from your partner, feelings like anxiety and fear of abandonment are often activated. These feelings can cause emotional pain that may even evolve into physical symptoms, such as headaches, back pain, and digestive issues.
The roots of these feelings run very deep, way back into infancy. When you were in the womb, every one of your needs was met by your mother. You were connected to her through your umbilical cord, kept safe and warm inside her womb.
When you were born, the cord was cut, and your needs were no longer met right away. You cried when you were hungry, tired, or wet because if your needs were not met, your survival was under threat.
As an infant, a pattern of thought began recurring in your brain. The basic thought pattern was something like, “If no one cares for me, I die!”
When you were new to this world, that thought pattern was deeply embedded in your subconscious mind. If your needs were further neglected in later childhood years, the thought pattern is even more significant.
That pattern still operates in your subconscious mind when you feel a threat to your relationship connection.
After a difficult argument, somewhere the old pattern fires: “If no one cares for me, I die!” Deep inside, you may feel abandoned, neglected, and alone.
If you don’t repair the rupture, secondary pain from fears of abandonment and neglect will have long term, negative effects on your relationship.
Steps to take after the Relationship Rupture
If you feel stuck in your marriage problems, you need help with the repair process. The words “I’m sorry” might work for small ruptures.
But for large ruptures, you need intensive healing and possibly professional help from an experienced marriage coach.
Repairing a rupture requires:
Owning your part of the problem
Modifying your behavior that contributed to the problem
Letting go of your need to be right
Respecting your partner’s position
Listening to your partner’s feelings
Showing compassion for your partner
A healing statement may look something like this:
“I want to take responsibility for hurting you with criticism. When I criticized you, I think you may have felt unloved and unimportant. I’m sorry I hurt you, and I will work harder to think before I speak. I know that my behavior has caused a rupture in our relationship, and I want to repair it. I’m open to hearing what you have to say so I can make things better.”
After you speak, it’s crucial to actively listen to your partner’s response and take their words to heart. When your partner feels valued and heard, you will regain their affection and trust over time.
By applying this method after every relationship rupture, big or small, you will build a bridge of connection back to your spouse.
This blog post was written by Norene Gonsiewski, LCSW.
Norene has been a Relationship Coach, Counselor, Author and Educator since 1980. She offers the tools to eliminate conflict, create a vision of a passionate marriage, and overcome the obstacles to success. She has helped thousands of couples fix failing relationships and restore the love and passion in their lives.
Norene has co-authored two books, Rock Solid Relationship: Seven Keys to Restore Your Connection and Make Your Love Last with her colleague Tim Higdon, and It’s Your Mind: Own It! A Manual for Every Teen with Nicole Jon Sievers.
Check out her website too!