Fear of Separation & Loss: When Ending a Long Term Relationship.

Fear of Separation & Loss: When Ending a Long Term Relationship.

If you have ever experienced fear and anxiousness over terminating a relationship or when a relationship has been terminated, you are human.

If you’ve also then experienced, what behavioral therapist refer to as “action urges”, desires to return to, avoid termination, repair and continue within the relationship then, you are also again, human.

We are born with an innate neuropsychological system, called the attachment system, this system works to help us navigate surviving in the world we’re born into. We experience emotions, those emotions lead to urges, and we act or retreat for the ultimate outcome of surviving and thriving throughout life.

When it comes to relationships, our attachment system works in ways to increase our survival rates through driving us to gain and maintain interpersonal connections.

When a relationship is threatened by loss of termination, separation, divorce or breaking up, our attachment system is then activated. Emotionally we are driven to survive and we survive more effectively when we are in safe, secure and healthy relationships. We are not meant to survive alone and in fact we are naturally dependent on other’s for an increase in longevity, life and survival.

What if Terminating is Logical yet, Emotionally Complicated and Difficult? 

However, sometimes our natural instincts to repair, return and reconnect with our loved ones, can be logically at our own detriment and may actually increase our risk of harm, injury, or even death. Long term, our relationships, health and wellness are inadvertently threatened. Especially within relationships that have been historically unhealthy, toxic or abusive relationship.

It’s natural to experience fear, when ending a relationship, it’s also natural to experience an increase in desire to repair and reconnect – to do all that can be done to avoid termination – being single and alone goes against biological human attachment systems. Fear of being alone, is meant to keep us connected. It makes logical and emotional sense.

Yet, what if the attachment system is naturally driving us to return to a relationship that we logically know is unhealthy and/or threatens our health and wellness long term simply by staying within the relationship. Going against our natural human instincts is not an easy thing to do.

This is where therapy can be helpful. Specifically Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. DBT helps to teach skills to process emotions and logical in order to make cohesive informed decisions, at the same time acknowledging and processing the painful, difficult and confusing emotions that arise when making a decision to terminate a relationship.

If you or someone you know find the above relatable and would like to learn more. Asking your therapist about attachments and how it may be playing a role in your experience can assist with getting support. Our therapist at The Center of Life Counseling, in Orlando and Longwood, Florida focus on anxiety, attachment and relationship traumas. Call us to learn more or to schedule an appointment 407-476-1432

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