Taking time off from a relationship
March 3, 2013 4:40 PM Subscribe
My boyfriend and I have been dating for five months. After a big fight this weekend, we've decided to take a week off from seeing each other. Has this strategy EVER improved a relationship? &How do I best manage anxiety this week?
posted by anonymous to human relations (21 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
The main problems from my perspective have been my unpredictable moods: bursting into tears unexpectedly, being unable to explain what I'm upset about, sometimes blaming my upset on things in our relationship that wouldn't otherwise be problems. He's felt blindsided by sudden conflict in a relationship that he thought was going well and was comfortable in. At this point, we've had three "big" fights (fights where we've actively talked about whether or not the relationship is stable and whether or not we should continue it)--the most recent on Friday. His biggest concern is that such fights will continue. We both know that conflict is part of every relationship. I'm confident that, as my body adjusts to chemical/hormonal changes and I drag myself out this depressive episode (which I more or less have, at this point), I'll be better able to manage my emotions, resulting in less conflict. He's less confident.
After a long talk today, he admitted that he's been feeling down, too, and needs time to sort out how he feels about his own life and work (is dealing with a sick parent and low motivation regarding his work -- does not have a history of depression) -- and how he feels about the role of our relationship in his currently stressful life. We've agreed to go for a week without seeing each other so that we can both have some time to figure out where we stand and how we might want to move forward.
My partner is a great source of joy in my life. I genuinely hope that, at the end of this week, we're able to recalibrate and move forward. I know a favorite adage on the green is that "things should be easy." At the same time, I suffer from major depression, PTSD, general anxiety -- this is a lot for me to deal with, and for a partner to deal with -- I don't know how "easy" things will ever be for me. I have no intention of taking time off from dating or to waiting until I'm "better" to find love. I feel that I'm currently capable of giving, and deserving of receiving, love.
1. Has taking a short break ever helped you and your partner to gain perspective on a relationship and then move forward? Or are these types of breaks usually indicative that the relationship is already over?
2. If this type of break has worked for you, what has made it work? Have you gone no-contact, or checked in with a text every day? What have you done to think through the problems independently?
3. How have you dealt with the anxiety of not knowing what's to come, and of having a constant presence in your life dramatically scaled back?
For the record, am in therapy, am medicated, actively discuss my meds with my psychiatrist and believe they're where they should be. Already know the tricks of keep distracted, get exercise, etc.
TL;DR: Has taking time off from a relationship ever worked for you? How did you manage your emotions during the time off?