Relationship Burnout: How To Recognize & Overcome It

What is your idea of a happy marriage or a long-term committed relationship? You’ll probably have an image of a couple that ticks all the boxes, with romantic feelings fading into the background, being replaced with a sense of certainty, security, and trust. However, as with many other things in life, there’s usually a challenge for the married couple that can lead them to question their feelings at some point. 

Have you experienced periods when you felt the need to back off or just wanted to give up? One way to approach such situations is to work on your relationship building skills by attending professionally-led workshops, and learning how to strengthen your bond and your individual potential. If you’re afraid that you’ve reached a point where you need to withdraw or take a break from your marital commitment, keep reading.

What Is Marriage Burnout?

In a very similar fashion to career burnout, marital or marriage burnout manifests as a period of intense psychological and physical draining and exhaustion. It is oftentimes the result of one of the partners providing love, care, and support, whereas not receiving the same amount of attention in return. It can also be an outcome of bitter conflicts and heated arguments between spouses, and general disappointment with how their relationship changed. It can be seen as a moment in your relationship when the excitement and jubilance of romantic love fade away, leaving room for feelings of resentment. It can also arise after a very stressful period 

Is Burnout In A Relationship Normal?

If you’re in a committed relationship that lasts a decade or longer, or you’ve gone through a stressful period with many changes, you’re likely to experience burnout at some point. It can be a perfectly normal reaction to an overwhelming situation. And, of course, it doesn’t mean that you need to split up and start living separate lives. If you do feel guilty for being exhausted or detached, it’s probably time to pose some questions. 

It could also serve as a wake-up call: a reminder to allocate time to care for your own needs, have an honest conversation with each other, listen carefully, spend some quality time together, and relieve yourself of the constant tension. However, you may need to discern whether you’re going through a passing phase or you’re becoming emotionally distant and neglectful

How Do You Know If You’re Emotionally Exhausted?

How Do You Know If You're Emotionally Exhausted?

When you’re going through a rough period as a couple, you can start feeling like you’re on the end of your wits. Although the symptoms may vary from one person to another, these are some of the signs of emotional exhaustion: 

  1. Loss of hope. You can feel hopeless about the future of your relationship, or have a general feeling of despair and uncertainty. 
  2. Lack of motivation. You may struggle to get into the mood to work, socialize, spend time together with your partner, do chores, and engage in hobbies.
  3. Sleeping problems. Some people experience the inability to fall asleep, others tend to wake up too early, which is a clear sign of stress and lingering worries. 
  4. General irritability. Although you could say that you feel fine, you can come across as nervous and on edge when approached by your partner or other people.
  5. Headaches. Sometimes, prolonged stress leads to painful physical symptoms, and you might develop chronic headaches, dizziness, or migraines. 
  6. Fatigue and lack of energy. Being emotionally exhausted means that you’ll feel physically drained as well. This will reflect in lowered energy levels and sleepiness
  7. Apathy. When you’ve invested your energy and emotions into your relationship, and were met with invalidation or neglect, you’re likely to act and feel apathetic and cynical.
  8. Absent-mindedness. You’ll probably have moments when your mind just wanders and you’re unable to focus or follow through with a conversation. 

Can I Feel Emotional Burnout After A Relationship Ends? 

If you went through a complicated and unexpected breakup, divorce, or separation, you can also experience burnout. You might be trying to cope with the effects of emotional trauma, and you need time to recover. The signs can include the following: 

  • You’re ambivalent or cynical about dating a significant amount of time after your breakup
  • You find little or no enjoyment in meeting potential romantic partners
  • You tend to have bad recollections of your former relationship or see it as meaningless, painful, or a waste of time.  

What Causes Relationship Burnout?

In terms of emotional investment, you can understand the burnout situation as an imbalance between what you’re giving and what you receive in return. There are, of course, other factors that can contribute to the feeling of emotional exhaustion: 

  • A failed expectation that your relationship will give a more profound meaning to your life
  • Unclear boundaries, lack of personal space or time for self-care
  • Cycles of repeated fighting, misunderstandings, and tension
  • Periods of work or family-related stress, and lack of support between partners
  • Boring or exhausting daily routines and incomplete assignments
  • Certain patterns of relationship addiction lead to outbursts of jealousy, resentment, and helplessness, burdening your partner, and it may cause you both to feel emotionally drained.

How Do You Fix Burnout In A Relationship?

How Do You Fix Burnout In A Relationship?

When you’re willing to work and salvage your marriage after an emotionally tense and exhausting period, you may first consider evaluating the issue. Look closely at how you feel and how long it has been bothering you. Whether you’re recovering from a period of intense fighting or trying to rekindle your marriage after a period of separation, these tips might be useful: 

Take Care Of Yourself

Be careful and mindful of your resources, of your physical and mental health, and devote time to work on your strengths and potential. By doing this, you’ll be more likely to build resilience to future challenges. 

Don’t Forget To Talk

Communication is key to resolving any difficult situation. Open and honest conversation, without putting blame on the other person, will shed some light on what path to take as a couple. This way you’ll be able to recognize where you are in your relationship, whether you’re bonding over trauma, and how to move forward. 

Practice Active Listening

Surely, you will be there to listen to what your partner has to say. However, don’t suppose that you understand everything and that you mean the exact same things. Try to carefully paraphrase what they said and openly ask “Have I understood you correctly?”. 

Confide In Each Other

Intimacy and confidentiality are some of the most important tenets of married life.  Some people tend to seek support from friends, family members, and their children when feeling emotionally drained. While it might be perfectly okay to have some type of support outside of your marriage, keeping your secrets from your significant other can create an atmosphere of mistrust. 

Be Honest About Your Needs

Try to be frank with yourself and your partner when talking about your needs, whether it’s more personal space, more quality time together, or whether you need more support in terms of sharing household and parental duties.  

Show Appreciation 

You may try to show that you appreciate your partner, not only in words. Showing that you truly care about each other despite the hurdles can help you overcome burnout and recharge your batteries. This way, if you reciprocate, you’ll show that you’re not taking each other for granted. 

Introduce Variety In Your Marital Life

If you’re feeling fed up and frustrated with some of your rituals, talk to your spouse and try to do something new and exciting, start a new hobby, find a new favorite place, try new food, break the routine, and surprise your spouse. 

Balance Excitement And Trust

To recover and rekindle your relationship after burnout, it’s best to find a fine balance between passion and excitement on one hand and trust, security, and commitment on the other. 

Who Offers Beneficial Couple Relationship Management Workshops For Married Couples And Individuals? 

When you’re ready to work on your relationship or marriage and PIVOT from your current situation, we can help you with our team of trained and dedicated relationship advocates. You can count on us to ensure you manage your separation or divorce anxiety and work on your personal growth or provide you with helpful tools to revive and put your relationship on a path of recovery. Whatever you choose, we’re here to provide supportive and experience-based coaching and retreat. 

How To Deal With Emotional Neglect In Marriage

Being in a relationship means taking on many commitments. Whether you’re happily engaged, married, or just started dating, you have the feeling that you’re doing things for each other effortlessly. You’ll probably go through this phase without having to give it too much thought.

However, what if you start feeling a sense of loneliness in your marriage? Although you feel that you respect, love, and cherish your significant other, it can come to a situation where you feel like something is missing. This can be a sense of longing or the mere realization that you’re no longer spending enough time together. This may mean that your partner has become emotionally detached.  

These may all be valid doubts, and many people turn to couple workshops for deepening relationships in order to find the answers to pressing issues. Read on to learn more about emotional neglect in long-term relationships and how to overcome it. 

Why Do I Feel Lonely In My Marriage?

Why Do I Feel Lonely In My Marriage?

While you might be familiar with the feeling of anxiety and loneliness among people in general, such feelings seem to be a bit out-of-place in a committed, romantic relationship. There can be several reasons why you or your spouse may feel neglected or forgotten by the other person: 

  • Childhood emotional neglect: This can be a traumatic experience that may follow you well into adulthood and can have severe effects on how you relate with other people and how you build relationships. Some adults who were emotionally neglected or deprived in childhood tend to seek partners who are to some degree emotionally detached or neglectful as well. 
  • Insecure attachment pattern: It usually involves having poor boundaries, unrealistic expectations, love addiction, and persistent fear of separation and abandonment. This can also be a result of earlier trauma and experiences in previous relationships. 
  • A recent traumatic experience: Trauma can create distance between you and your spouse, and open a number of unresolved questions. Psychological wounds need time and processing to fully heal, and this sometimes causes deeper bonding after the traumatic event, and sometimes shows us as withdrawal from your partner
  • You or your partner are trying to cope with emotional burnout: You can’t devote enough energy and time like before, despite the best intentions. This can be a way to recharge, so it’s probably best to talk it out and remain patient. 
  • Your partner is consciously or unconsciously ignoring your needs: They may be disregarding them as silly, immature, or “just too much”. If that is the case, you’re most likely dealing with emotional neglect. 

What Does Emotional Neglect Do To A Person?

Emotional neglect can be roughly defined as a situation in which the emotional needs of an individual are invalidated, overlooked, or disregarded by their significant other or parent. While verbal and physical abuse can be more or less obivous, emotional neglect is often not easy to identify and recognize. It doesn’t leave any visible bruises, at least not at first glance. 

It revolves around the absence of doing what is necessary and beneficial for the significant other, and it can reflect through: 

  • The feeling of low self-worth or poor self-esteem
  • Persistent feelings of emptiness
  • Disconnection from others
  • Guilt for not being able to trust other people

How Does Emotional Neglect Affect Attachment Relationships?

How Does Emotional Neglect Affect Attachment Relationships?

Relationships rely greatly on validation and support from each of the partners. If there’s emotional neglect in your marriage or long-term relationship, you are likely to have the following experiences:

  • You might feel abandoned by your partner
  • Your partner can seem absent-minded or shut down when you talk
  • You’re not socializing together anymore
  • You seek emotional support from your friends
  • You tend to consistently suppress your emotions
  • You don’t trust your significant other anymore
  • You have a tendency to procrastinate with big decisions in life
  • You have stopped being physically intimate as you used to

Can A Marriage Survive Emotional Detachment?

Sudden and unexpected emotional detachment can have harmful effects on your marriage. However, it all depends on other factors as well. Keep in mind that temporary emotional detachment is, in some cases, a way to overcome traumatic and stressful events in life. This withdrawal equips the person with more time and ability to process and give meaning to these events, allowing them to continue working on their relationship.

However, if the detachment carries on for too long and is combined with active avoidance, persistent invalidation of your emotional needs, or deliberate belittling of your attempts to discuss and approach your partner, you may have lesser chances to recuperate your marriage. Of course, you may try with the awareness that it might lead to a break-up, separation, or divorce

How To Cope With Emotional Neglect? 

When you’re completely sure that you’re having issues with emotional neglect in your long-term relationship or marriage, you may try to go step by step. Remember to take care of yourself, see what can be done about your relationship, and try some of the following tips: 

Be Patient

This is something that may be helpful as a reminder: getting your marriage back on track requires hard work, time, and patience. Before entering the whole process, remember that emotional neglect is a pattern that took years to develop, and can’t be resolved promptly. 

Examine Your Feelings And The Causes Of Their Behavior

Identifying the cause of the issue can help you receive some level of clarity and understanding. This will also help you to make constructive changes and plan out your next step. It might be useful to determine:

  • Whether your partner was neglectful from the beginning.
  • Whether they became neglectful after a while.
  • Whether their emotional investment in you was changing constantly, or abruptly.

Avoid Playing The Victim Card

Putting all the blame on the neglectful partner can seem appealing since the hurt is coming from their end. However, it’s a very unlikely way to resolve the issue. On the contrary, it will probably worsen the situation and push your partner even further away from you. Of course, it might be useful to talk openly about your feelings. However, don’t repeat that in each conversation. If you want to focus on fixing the problem and recuperating your relationship, it may be best to have constructive discussions. 

Stay Proactive 

Mirroring the detachment of your partner is probably not going to help. Also, keep in mind that some people don’t have good insight into their own patterns of behavior. This low self-awareness can furthermore lead them to further withdrawal, without realizing that they are hurting you in the process. If you know how to approach them without playing the guilt game, you’ll probably be able to make progress.

Discuss The Issue Constructively

Allocate time and energy for discussion and avoid situations when you feel irritable, tired, hungry, or generally unprepared. Despite the level of emotional hurt, it’s important to remain respectful towards each other and to avoid playing the blame game. Try to make it as constructive and solution-focused as possible. 

Be Gentle To Yourself

It may be useful to try to find ways and time to comfort yourself. This might be through relaxing activities, meditation, taking up new hobbies, and most importantly – fostering a positive self-image. While it may not bring you closer to your partner, it could provide you with more resources to recover from an emotionally stressful period or prepare you for single life, if it doesn’t work out in the end. 

Arrange For Quality Time Together

While your emotionally detached spouse might seem disinterested in spending any time with you, sometimes you need to check whether it’s actually everyday stress that’s giving them a hard time. Although it’s seemingly unfair, their detachment can serve as a well-established coping mechanism that helps them go through stress. If you pick an adequate context, you might find a way to rekindle the flame of your relationship and salvage it. 

Seek Professional Assistance

In the end, if you feel like you’ve depleted all your energy and tried all strategies, maybe it’s time to seek professional help. Of course, given that every relationship is different, you can expect different outcomes. It may help you get a better insight into your attachment pattern, identify underlying causes, and develop new ways to relate to your spouse. 

Where Can We Find A Beneficial Couple Workshop For Deepening Relationships?

When you aim to help your relationship survive a period of emotional neglect, go through various stages of separation, or PIVOT from your own insecurities and low self-worth, you can find a helping hand in our relationship advocates.  Whether you’re seeking to find common ground with your spouse and revive emotions in your marriage through our couple retreat or overcome the toll of ongoing relationship challenges in an individual setting, you can put your trust in our experienced coaching team. We have ample experience working with addictive relationships, so give us a call today!

Trauma Bonding: Causes & Effects

Have you ever felt that your relationship is somehow taking a toll on your emotional wellbeing? Have you noticed the negative effects on your life outside of the relationship? And yet, you’re unable to leave despite the pain? You may have mixed feelings about each other, or have difficulties putting it into words. Sometimes, you may be overwhelmed with negativity and guilt, and yet, there may be days that feel like honeymoons. 

It’s possible that you’re dealing with trauma bonding, which is a very real phenomenon. Still, how do you tell if it’s true for you or just a red flag? It may be a sign that you need to seek professional help and learn how to build intimacy in a relationship in a healthy way. Read on to learn more!

What Is Trauma Bonding In A Relationship?

What Is Trauma Bonding In A Relationship?

Trauma bonding is a type of attachment that can form between two people who have gone through a traumatic experience together. Or, more likely, you may share a compatible attachment pattern that stems from childhood emotional trauma. This bond is characterized by feelings of dependency, neediness, and fear. The connection can be very strong, it can feel genuine, and it can make it difficult for the people involved to leave the relationship, even if it is harmful.

The trauma bond is formed as a result of regular cycles of emotional or physical abuse, depreciation, and periodic positive reinforcement. For example, your partner may constantly put you down and then apologize and buy you flowers after a big argument. Over time, you start to believe that you need your partner in order to feel good about yourself. This is an unhealthy attachment that can be very difficult to break free from. 

If you find yourself in a cycle of abuse with someone, it may be that you are trauma bonded to them. This can happen in both romantic and non-romantic relationships. If you think you might be trauma bonded, it is important to seek help from a professional who can support you in breaking free from this unhealthy attachment.

What Are The Signs Of Trauma Bonding?

Childhood trauma bonds are characterized by an imbalance of power between the parent and child, with the parent providing both positive and negative attention. This can be confusing for the child, who may feel both grateful for the parent’s positive attention and responsible for the parent’s outbursts of negativity. As a result, a child’s self-esteem becomes shaped by their perceptions of their parent’s opinions and regard, and this can become a very unstable and self-deprecating base for their adult emotional life. 

There are several stages that are common in trauma bonds in attachment relationships:

  • Love bombing. This is when your partner showers you with attention and gifts at the beginning of the relationship in order to win you over and then stops abruptly.
  • Frequent mood swings. Then your partner may be loving and attentive for a minute, and then cruel and abusive the next. This inconsistency keeps you on your toes and creates an emotional rollercoaster that is hard to adjust to.
  • Trust and dependency.  Because your partner is often so unpredictable, you may start to depend on them for your emotional needs. This can make it very hard to leave the relationship.
  • Low self-esteem. The constant put-downs and criticism can cause you to doubt yourself and your abilities. You may start to believe that you deserve the abuse.
  • Criticism.  Your partner may find ways to criticize you, even if it’s something small. They may also try to control your behavior and tell you what you can and can’t do.
  • Manipulation. Your partner may use manipulation tactics to get you to do what they want. For example, they may guilt you into staying in the relationship or threaten to hurt themselves if you leave.
  • Giving up control. In order to please your partner, you may start to give up control of your life. You may do things you don’t want to do, or put their needs above your own.
  • Losing yourself. It’s common for people in trauma bonds to lose themselves in the relationship. You may find that you no longer have hobbies or interests outside of your partner. Your sense of self may become wrapped up in their approval or disapproval.
  • Addiction to the cycle. Even though the abuse is painful, you may find yourself addicted to the cycle of abuse. The highs and lows can become addicting, and you may start to feel like you need your partner in your life in order to just feel okay.

What Happens When You Are Trauma Bonded?

You may feel like you’re inseparable from the other person. It is usually considered a type of love addiction and the cycle is somewhat similar to substance abuse. Likewise, you’ll most likely go through the following stages you’ll in this type of relationship:

  1. The first stage is when you develop a strong attachment to someone who is abusive, or you become deeply involved in an abusive situation. 
  2. Over time, you start to believe that you deserve the abuse, or that you are responsible for it. This can happen because the abuser tells you that you deserve the abuse, or because you start to believe that you are responsible for the abuser’s bad behavior. 
  3. Next, you start to feel like you need the abuser in your life, even though they are abusive. This happens because the abuser has become a source of both positive and negative attention, and you have started to rely on them for both emotional and practical support. 
  4. In the final stage, you become so invested in the relationship that you are willing to tolerate any abuse in order to stay in it. This happens because the abuser has become the most important person in your life, and you cannot imagine living without them. And, your efforts to fix them override your own self-care and growth.

How To Know If It’s Love Or Trauma Bonding?

While every relationship is different and can be fraught with various patterns of behavior and emotional exchange at different stages, there are some clues that can help you discern between healthy love and a trauma bond: 

  • Love is built on trust, respect, and equality, while a trauma bond is more likely to be based on power imbalance, control, and fear. 
  • Love is voluntary and empowering. Trauma bonding is often coerced or forced, and you may feel trapped, stuck, or powerless to leave.
  • Love is selfless and supportive. Trauma bonding is often selfish, destructive, and disruptive. 
  • Love is positive and stable. Trauma bonding dwells on the negative and thrives on instability. 

How Do You Fix A Trauma Bond Relationship?

How Do You Fix A Trauma Bond Relationship?

While the trauma bond is often “mistaken for love”, you may still wonder if there are ways to fix the relationship and if there are enough healthy reasons to preserve it. The pain, emotional trauma, neglect, and the cycle of abuse may be subtle and not easily recognized for what they truly are. You may be so deeply invested in your relationship that you’d be prone to downplay the harm it causes. And, you may be in a relationship that is familier to the unhealthy family of origin household you grew up in.  However, the question of whether separating from your spouse is the only way to go is a valid one, and it begs many considerations.

If you finally do acknowledge the fact that you’re rooting against yourself, try to follow these steps to break the bond: 

Desist With The Self-Blame

The first step is to make a conscious decision to break the cycle of self-blame. You need to accept that you are not responsible for the abuser’s behavior.

Practice Reality Checks

The second step is to start practicing reality checks. This means that you need to start questioning the abuser’s version of events and start looking at the situation objectively. This can be difficult. However, it’s important to start seeing things as they really are.

Be Inquisitive

This means that you need to start questioning the actions and motives of your partner. Why do they do the things they do? What do they hope to gain from their behavior? Asking questions can help you to see their behavior for what it really is.

Switch Your Outlook

This means that you may need to start thinking about yourself first. What do you want? What do you need? What is best for you? Putting yourself first will help you to see your partner and your relationship more clearly.

Focus On Your Emotions

This means that you need to start paying attention to your own emotions and needs.  Paying attention to your own emotions will help you to see your relationship more clearly.

Stop Playing 

This means that you need to stop reacting to their behavior in the way they want you to. If they are trying to control you, resist their attempts to control you. This will help you to see that you are not powerless. 

Consider The Bigger Picture

This means that you need to start thinking about your life outside of your relationship. Consider what other people and things are important to you and what you want to do with your life. Focusing on something bigger than your relationship can help you to see it in a new light.

If you are in a relationship and you are not sure if it is love or trauma bonding, it is important to reach out to a professional for help. They can assess the situation and provide you with guidance on how to proceed.

Where Can I Find An Insightful Relationship Coaching Retreat For Individuals?

Overcoming a breakup or separation with your life partner is usually easier said than done. Although you’re likely to remember the times when you felt emotionally neglected or abandoned by them, or that you suddenly became unable to invest energy in your intimate relationship like you used to, it can still feel like unfinished business. This is why seeking professional help might lead you to some valuable insights you didn’t realize you needed.Whether you’ve decided to attend couple-based workshops to deepen the intimacy in your relationship, or you’re looking for individual sessions to improve your emotional wellbeing, you can count on PIVOT relationship advocates to provide you with the necessary guidance and support. Get the much-needed retreat and resources with us by contacting us today!

How To Cope With Marital Separation

There is no type of human relationship that doesn’t go through periods of crisis at a certain point. Marriages make no exception and when problems arise, some couples find a way to overcome difficulties, while others split up. Separation is one of the ways couples use to sort out the difficulties and differences they experienced. 

Many individuals and couples turn to professionals seeking advice on how to improve intimacy in their relationship. By the same token, you may seek support during the time you’re separated from your significant other. You may feel insecure and anxious when going through this stage of your relationship. Luckily, there are ways to make a positive change during your separation.

How To Deal With Separation?

How To Deal With Separation?

Going through a separation is usually very challenging and the fact that it isn’t final, unlike divorce, could make it even more complex to cope with. You could be dealing with a variety of mixed feelings, including anger, loneliness, and uncertainty on the one hand, as well as relief, excitement, and hope on the other. 

Regardless of the desired outcome, in order to use and understand your separation as a chance to grow and learn something new about yourself, it may be useful to practice the following tips: 

Embrace the fact that you may feel differently

Although you have shared a good deal of interests and experiences, you have to start by trying to appreciate your differences. This is especially important if your partner is going through a relationship burnout or you’re feeling like you’re becoming emotionally detached. Sometimes, a bit of distancing can make you make a better evaluation of your bond and your goals as a couple. 

Take a break

You need time to recover, think, and get a better grasp of your situation. You might try to seek distractions that will stop you from thinking about your relationship, or look for a new partner as soon as possible. While the relationship’s “on hold”, it’s probably best to take a step back and allow yourself to see a clearer picture. Then you’ll be able to answer the questions about the nature of your relationship.

Take care of yourself

Ensure that you have enough time to take care of your physical and mental health. This might mean finding time to commit to your hobbies or interests or spending more time with your friends, and family, or exploring your options. 

Avoid power struggles

It’s tempting to enter into bickering when you’re feeling neglected. However, this may only add fuel to the fire. It’s best if both parties avoid competition with one another and instead focus on themselves individually. Don’t try winning over the support of your mutual friends and family members, it will make things go easier in your relationship overall. And, if children are involved, dragging them into the power struggle will leave them with complexities that they will take into their relationships as they get older.  

Explore your interests

Your interests and hobbies matter. If there was something you liked doing before your marriage or relationship, and you forgot about it, returning to it may be worthwhile. You might be able to take a measure of how much you changed. 

Think in a constructive way

Try to stay focused on the solutions and the areas where you can make improvements. Rather than dwell on the bad or idealizing your relationship, it’s advisable to think about what you can do to heal your marriage, fulfill your needs, make a new beginning, or accept the fact that you need to move on in separate directions. This is how you’ll pave the way to positive change.

Learn to be patient  

Most significant changes don’t happen overnight. Sometimes, you need to wait them out. While you work on yourself, you can’t control whether your partner will work in the same direction as you. Although you may try to renew your communication, it may be better to practice patience and focus on yourself. This way, you’ll probably learn something about yourself, your wants, and your needs. 

Can A Marriage Be Saved After Separation?

For some people, this may sound overly optimistic. You might worry that getting back together might not alleviate the issues if your bond was based on an unhealthy attachment style. However, in many cases, separation can be a very feasible way to salvage a relationship. Reconciliation can become possible under the condition that you and your spouse go through a process that enables you to be accountable for your part and begin to see how you can contribute to repairing the challenges. 

In fact, there seems to be some scientific evidence to support the fact that separation can bring a meaningful and positive change in your marriage. Approximately 50 – 60% of separated couples get back together after this break. It’s also noted that separation is harder on the person breaking up, due to the uncertainty that lingers in the decision. 

How can you achieve this and how do you know if you’re heading in the right direction? If you’re separating for the right reasons and with clear boundaries, you can gain new insights and make your relationship stronger. 

How To Rebuild Your Marriage During A Separation?

How To Rebuild Your Marriage During A Separation?

Rebuilding your marriage can seem difficult. However, it is possible depending on how much effort you put into your own self-development. If you manage to overcome feelings of anger, prevent playing the blame game, and approach each other with honesty and a newfound appreciation of each other, you may be able to establish a new connection.

Of course, it’s advisable to negotiate your new boundaries with clarity, acknowledge your flaws, limitations, and responsibility, and open up. Once you have everything cleared up, ensure that you work together on the root cause that got you separated in the first place. By maintaining a positive outlook and mutual respect, you could be on the brink of a fresh new start. 

What Are The Signs That My Partner Wants To Reconcile?

Whether you’re the one that initiated the separation, or the one that was, in a way, left behind, you might foster a hope that you’ll get back together. Although this is normal, you might be wondering if you are clinging to hope in vain. Fortunately, there are ways to tell if there’s some hope left for your relationship and if there are chances that you’ll get back together. 

What Are Some Positive Signs That You Could Reconcile? 

You Continued Communicating

If you haven’t severed the ties and continued to communicate, and even improved your communication, this may be a positive sign that you could get back together. Even if you don’t hear from each other on a regular basis, another sign that you may be looking forward to reconciling is that your spouse is following you on social networks. 

You Have Recognized & Resolved The Main Issue

You have used your time away from each other to face the main issue and mitigate the problem. For example, you may have better control of your emotions, perhaps you have adopted a more honest and open way to talk to each other, learned to listen to your spouse actively, and have taken responsibility for your actions in the past.  

You Have Exchanges About Good Times In Your Marriage

If you have fond recollections of your time together, not just during the honeymoon phase, you’re likely to be back on track. If you make exchanges about these memories in a flirtatious manner, you have good reasons to be optimistic. 

You Dealt With Unmet Expectations

You’ve made a clear distinction between the expectations that were realistic and those that couldn’t be met by anyone. 

You Miss Each Other

If you stop for a moment and you recognize that you’re thinking of your partner more often than you had in a long time, you’re most likely missing them. If you actively seek their support and this is mutual, you’re probably ready to get back together. 

How Do You Rekindle A Relationship After Separation?

Once you get back together after a separation, you could still have a feeling that something is missing, that you don’t entirely trust each other, and that you need some more time. This may all be perfectly fine, as a sign that you need to take things one step at a time.

  • Work on your intimacy. Both emotional and physical. Try to find new ways to be together and have fun, inside and outside the bedroom. Talk about what you’re feeling, share your fantasies, and experiment a little. 
  • Show curiosity. When you’re in a long-term relationship with your partner, it’s easy to stop being curious about them. You think you know everything there is to know. However, over time, people change and grow, so it’s important to keep up and understand your partner on a deeper level.
  • Be creative and show effort. It may be easy to get stuck in a rut, doing the same things over and over. If you want to keep the spark alive in your relationship, it’s important to try new things and put some effort into keeping things fresh.
  • Learn how to defuse conflict with fun. If you have a habit of getting into arguments with your partner, try to find some humor in the situation. This can help diffuse the tension and make it easier to resolve the issue.
  • Turn your differences into something positive. It’s easy to focus on the ways you and your partner are different. However, if you can learn to accept and even appreciate each other’s differences, it can make your relationship stronger.
  • Navigate your emotions. After a separation, it’s common to have mixed feelings about your partner. You may still love them while being angry and hurt at the same time. It’s important to work through these emotions if you are wanting to rebuild trust.
  • Seek professional help. When you feel that you have the opportunity to rebuild your relationship and rekindle your passion, it may be helpful to seek professional assistance and work your way through with a coach. 

Where Can I Find Useful Private Couple Retreats For Reconnection After A Separation?

When you’re struggling as a couple to find a common ground and recuperate your marriage, we have a team of relationship advocates that can assist you in a number of ways. You can work on your personal growth in an eye-to-eye context, or take advantage of our couple retreat and PIVOT through the difficult times together. 

With our support, you’ll learn how to overcome the ongoing effects of emotional trauma in a constructive way, identify your relationship patterns, how to improve intimacy in your relationship, have a better grasp of your emotions, and find ways to lead a meaningful life. Feel free to contact us today and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced coaches.

Understanding Relationship Separation

There are numerous reasons why becoming separated from your partner and dissolving your marriage or your relationship is stressful and emotionally draining. Relationship separation seems like the end, and that’s exactly what makes it so difficult to deal with. It’s not easy arriving at the end of the road with your partner. 

From there, you’ll have to deal with uncertainty about your future, as well as potential emotional intimacy issues in your future relationships if the separation remains permanent. And, these are just some of the hard-to-withstand emotions that stem from the point of separation. 

Even if you’re the one pushing for separation, you could still be grieving the breakdown of your relationship and feeling apprehensive about the future. Often the person who decides to leave the relatioship is thought of as not having any grief or sadness.  When a relatioshipi is unhealthy and someone needs to separate, it is not easy being the one who finally makes the decision to choose to go. 

However, relationships can often be salvageable. If you and your partner are willing to work through your separation at a couples relationship intensive, you might be able to resolve your differences and get back on the right path. If not, there are healthy ways to move on. 

What Does Separation Mean In A Relationship?

What Does Separation Mean In A Relationship?

In a relationship, separation means that you’re taking a break, which may lead to a reconciliation or to a full-on breakup. It means that you and your partner aren’t currently involved romantically or physically, and that you’re taking the time to sort your own stuff out and think about your relationship. 

Either you, or your partner, or both of you are unable to remain fully committed to the current state of your relationship and you’re looking for a way to distance yourself from the situation you’re in. 

Separation in relationships may not be final. However, it may be a step toward a breakup or divorce. 

Becoming separated can be just as emotionally draining and damaging as breaking up with your partner or getting a divorce from your spouse. This is often a very difficult time for both partners. It doesn’t matter if you or your partner is the one who suggested you go down this road, the consequences can be severe either way. However, it can also be a form of emotional respite, which will give you a fresh perspective on your relationship. 

What Are The Things To Consider Before Separating?

Sometimes, only one person wants to separate. It can be as simple as your partner telling you they wish to consider other options. Or they may want a longer break from the emotional turmoil that has become your relationship. 

You may be the one who’d like to take a break from the relationship. Maybe you’re tired of being in charge of keeping your deteriorating relationship together and want to get some distance. If you’re thinking about separating from your partner, consider your options before you make a decision. 

6 Things To Consider Before Separation

Relationship separation is not a small step. In fact, even if you think it’s the best thing for your mental health, know that there are going to be emotional consequences and that you’re going to have to deal with a lot after you decide to get separated from your partner. 

Its important to make certain considerations before you actually say you want to separate.  Look at it as creating an emotional perseverance mechanism that will protect both you and your partner during this difficult time.

Understand Why You’re Going 

OK, you’ve had enough and you can’t take it anymore. Or you simply want something in your relationship to change and give both yourself and your partner some time to work things out and find a better way to show your affection. 

Whatever your reason for wanting a separation, you have to be honest about it, first with yourself, and then with your partner. Knowing the reason why will make it easier for you to put things into perspective, and doing the same for your partner will help them make peace with your decision. 

Know Where You’re Going

Knowing why you want to separate and what your plan is for after the separation helps a lot. This is particularly essential if you’ve been living with your partner since your routine will change. 

Are you going to move out or is your partner? If you’re moving out, where are you going to go? Do you have a friend or a relative who can take you in until you sort things out, or have you already planned your new residence? As pragmatic as it seems and perhaps detached from emotions, you need a roof over your head and that’s something youneed to prepare for. 

Talk Everything Through

It all boils down to this, doesn’t it? No matter what the situation in your relationship and no matter what problems you have, it’s best to actually sit down and explain your decision to separate. 

Imagine being in your partner’s shoes. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the reasons for such a decision are? Being honest is good, and telling your partner exactly why you don’t want to be in the relationship for the time being can help both you and them start the next chapter in your lives on the right foot. 

Set The Rules

Setting the rules and boundaries during your relationship separation is very important. This way, both you and your partner will know how you can behave and what your separation will look like. This way, you’ll give yourself the time to distance yourself from your partner and actually figure out what you want to do from there. The same goes for your significant other, as they’ll also get a chance to see what they want from the relationship and if they want something at all. So, set the rules, set the boundaries, and understand it’s for the benefit of the both of you. 

Be Gentle

If you’re the one instigating the separation, remember to be gentle, especially if your partner is trying their best and they haven’t been abusive or violent. Going through a separation is hard for you, and just imagine how it’s going to be for your unsuspecting partner. So remember to be kind and gentle and to put your thoughts and feelings across mildly. There’s no reason to make it more difficult for anyone. 

Be Open To All Emotions

Even if you’re the one deciding to initiate the separation process in your relationship, you’ll still likely go through emotional turmoil. Even if this is something you wanted to do, it’s expected to feel negative emotions as well. 

Open yourself to all of your emotions and they’ll show you the way. Who knows, maybe you’ll start missing your partner and start the process of reconciliation, or you’ll realize what else you want from life and go down that road. Acknowledge your feelings and let them guide you.

What Are The Emotional Stages Of Separation?

What Are The Emotional Stages Of Separation?

On the other hand, if your partner starts talking about a separation, prepare for an onslaught of all the different kinds of emotions. At first, it’s easy to get completely overwhelmed with the situation and to fall into a downward spiral. You’ll probably experience separation anxiety and a whole range of negative emotions before you find your feet again. 

However, there are healthy ways to deal with the news. You can accept this as another opportunity for growth and a chance to see your relationship with fresh eyes.

7 Stages Of Separation

Although our emotional reactions are highly individual, there are some stages that most individuals go through after their unwilling and unexpected relationship separation. All in all, there are seven stages of separation: 


When a relationship steps into separation, it’s easy to feel denial in the beginning. After all, your relationship as you know it is ending which is highly unpleasant, and you may not want it to be true. 


Once you do realize that you’re actually going to become separated from your partner, it’s usually time to start experiencing anger. Anger because of the situation, because of your partner abandoning you, or because of any other reason you find important. 


Once anger subsides, you’ll likely calm down and start thinking about all the things you might have done wrong and begin feeling guilty for the separation. Know that there are two people in your relationship and that in most cases, both people contribute to the challenges. 


The deeper your realization of your separation sinks in, the more afraid you might become of being alone and perhaps being unable to find a partner again if your separation becomes permanent. Face your fears, understand that separation is not the end, and even if it is, it’s not the end of your happiness. 


As the separation continues, you’ll likely become sad and overwhelmed by the entire situation. This is perfectly normal. However, know that you’re nearing the end of your separation period and that brighter days are ahead of you. 


This is the point when you’re starting to think more clearly and when you’re actually starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. After walking through the valley of uncertainty and fear, you’re finally opening your eyes to the possibilities surrounding you. 


Finally, there comes a time when you accept your situation, pick yourself up, hold your head up high and move on with your life. For some, acceptance may come sooner, for others it may come later. The important thing is that it will come, just you wait for it. 

PIVOT’s Here To Help You Understand Relationship Separation & Emotional Stages Of Separation

Separation hurts, even if the relationship or the marriage was not emotionally fulfilling. First, any kind of separation causes a whirlwind of various emotions that you first have to deal with before learning how to actually cope with your separation and finding ways to recover from all the separation-induced resentment

Long story short, breaking up is rarely a pretty sight and an easy endeavor, and separating from your partner will take a toll on your life. However, what’s important to know is that it’s not the end and that you’ll start feeling satisfied again. If you notice you’re struggling to get there, you can rely on the professionals at PIVOT for assistance. 

We have assembled a team of caring, empathetic, and experienced relationship advocates who can help you deal with the aftermath of your separation at our individual workshops or maybe help you and your partner find common ground again at our couple retreat. Whatever your choice is, know that we’ll do everything in our power to help you. 

Emotional Trauma: How You Can Cope

Trauma often refers to an overwhelming experience or an emotionally draining event, one that leaves a lasting impression on a person. There are different types of trauma a person can experience, including childhood, developmental, bonding, emotional, and many others. The one thing that connects them all is the feelings they plant deep within us. 

Trauma, no matter its type, can cause intense anxiety and stress and it can leave a long-term substantial impact on our wellbeing and our quality of life. This makes it essential to understand what trauma is, what causes it, where and when it originates, and, most importantly, what you can do to heal and overcome it. 

What’s more, not talking about and seeking help for your trauma can lead to developing varied emotional intimacy issues later on in your life, such as avoidance and insecurity, making it even more important to understand what trauma is and to do your best to resolve them. 

What Is Emotional Trauma?

What Is Emotional Trauma?

Psychological and emotional trauma is the result of experiences or events that leave us with the feelings leading to a deep lack of safety, protection, and often helplessness. This kind of trauma can shatter your sense of security leaving you unable to successfully cope with the turmoil that ensues. 

Another aspect of emotional trauma is the repetitive nature of the events that caused it. The memories can replay over and over again, causing feelings of numbness, disconnection, anxiety, as well as the potential for trust issues toward other people. 

And, the old trauma wound can get activated when you experience a situation that brings about the same feelings that were planted deep within us.

Physical symptoms often accompany psychological ones after sustaining trauma. Individuals can experience nightmares, chronic insomnia, general physical unease, as well as an array of other unique symptoms. Emotional trauma creates an all-encompassing problem that can alter an individual’s entire outlook on life for very long periods of time if left untreated. 

What Causes Trauma?

The first thing that’s important to note is that any experience or event that causes intense or extreme negative emotions can lead to a complex trauma developing. There’s no prerequisite that a person has to be involved in the event themselves. Merely witnessing, hearing, or watching a disturbing event can trigger emotional trauma. 

Traumatic events are entirely based around your subjective emotional reaction to a distressing experience. There’s no single definition of which events can and which ones cannot lead to its development. That’s what makes it very difficult to name all the different causes for it. 

3 Causes Of Trauma

Even if it’s extremely difficult to precisely determine and list all the potential causes, looking into some of the most common ones can speed up healing and help in overcoming traumatic experiences. There are three main triggers: 

One-Time Events

This category of trauma triggers refers to typically events that happen only once and left significant emotional scarring. What they have in common is that they cause a strong emotional response. Some of such events are: 

  • Violent attacks
  • Serious injuries
  • Severe accidents
  • Natural disasters

Relentless Stress

Ongoing and severe stress you experience on a daily basis can easily cause trauma. However, it can be easy to confuse constant stress with stress all of us feel at one point or another in our lives, mostly due to a tough day at the office or an unexpected change of plans. Constant stress, however, stems from events such as: 

  • Living in a neighborhood ridden with crime
  • Battling an illness threatening to take your life
  • Experiencing long-time traumatic events such as childhood neglect, abandonment, domestic violence, or bullying

Overlooked Causes

There are also some causes that people often ignore. However, this doesn’t diminish their significance or potential for emotional turmoil. They’re just as serious as one-time traumatic events and relentless stress, causing equally serious consequences. This refers to: 

  • Surgery
  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Dissolution of a marriage or relationship
  • Deeply humiliating and disappointing experience

What Are The Symptoms Of Emotional Trauma?

What Are The Symptoms Of Emotional Trauma?

Many people experience both strong emotional and physical reactions after going through a traumatic event. In the majority of cases, negative feelings slowly dissipate across the span of a few days or a week. However, you may continue experiencing adverse symptoms, which creates long-lasting difficulties. 

The symptoms are just as diverse as the causes, making it difficult to list all of the psychological and physical manifestations of traumatic events. However, it’s possible to name the most common ones that individuals have trouble with: 

  • Mood swings
  • Feeling confused and disoriented
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Having flashbacks to the traumatic event
  • Having nightmares
  • Thinking about the event all the time
  • Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Avoiding places and activities that trigger memories about the event

Some people’s reactions may be so severe that they start having panic attacks, intense bouts of anxiety, fits of anger, escape into addictions or self destructive behavior, episodes of deep depression and overwhelming fear.

What Are The Causes Of Childhood Trauma?

Traumatic events can happen to anyone at any age and at any time, making trauma a very common occurrence. However, a person is most likely to experience trauma as a grown up if they’ve also experienced traumatic events during their formative years. 

This is why it’s important to have a sense of understanding of what causes childhood trauma and attempt to detect whether an individual has sustained such an event in their early years. Most of the causes of childhood trauma are similar to causes of later-life trauma. However, there are some additional factors to consider as well, such as: 

  • Parental and emotional neglect
  • Domestic violence between the parents
  • Verbal, physical, and sexual abuse
  • Intrusive medical procedures at a young age
  • Serious illness
  • Parents’ divorce
  • Caregivers abandonment and/or death
  • Unsafe or unstable environment
  • War
  • Kidnapping

How To Recover From Emotional Trauma?

Overcoming, recovering from, and healing from emotional trauma can be very difficult. Also, it requires a conscious effort and a true desire to deal with the traumatic experience. The last point is crucial, as not everyone’s ready to go back to a traumatic point of their lives and face the very thing that’s caused them so many problems. 

4 Ways To Recover From Emotional Trauma

However, where there’s a desire to recover, there’s also a way to heal the wounds and get back on your feet again. However, remember that the road to recovery is long and hard and that it’ll probably take you through several steps, like: 

Support Acceptance

First and foremost, remember to admit your traumatic experiences and accept all the love and support your closest friends and family have for your and your situation. While you can choose to heal alone, you may find you need the emotional support of others, so embrace it. This can help you through the rough patches. Accept the help and love from those who care about you.

Finding Help

Not all methods work for all people, so it’s important to find the type of professional help that works for you. Some individuals attend group therapy, as it helps them to share their experiences and hear the experiences of others, while others prefer individual sessions with an experienced person. 


Try not to shy away from other people and retreat into yourself. Instead, when you think you’re strong enough, go out and connect with others. And you don’t even have to talk about your trauma, just talk to your friends and family and other people close to you. Shutting down is not helpful on a journey to healing. Use discernment on who is safe for you to be around.  Using the PIVOT circle boundaries is extremely helpful in this situation.

Taking Breaks

Finally, remember not to push yourself. If you get tired of trying to heal, take a break. Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t overwork yourself. Listen to your body, your heart, and your mind. If you notice you’re getting tired of your journey, take a break and focus on something else before returning to it. 

PIVOT Helps Detect, Resolve & Overcome Emotional And Childhood Traumas And Deal With Emotional Intimacy Issues

Dealing with emotional, childhood, and relationship trauma is incredibly hard and it’s one of life’s most difficult experiences, right alongside dealing with the burden of relationship or marriage separation and making the difficult decision to go through with your divorce. When love hits hard, it hits the hardest. 

However, where there are numerous ways to cope with your divorce and where there’s ample opportunity to recover from your relationship resentment, there’s also a way to deal with your emotional and childhood traumas successfully. All you might need is a gentle nudge in the right direction. 

This is what PIVOT can help you with. Our expert relationship advocates are here to assist you deal with the emotional turmoil with our individual workshops, or grant you another chance of delving deeper into joint emotions with your partner at our couple workshops. Reach out to us today and know that we’re here for you!