So I use the word “Disconnection” to describe the first stage in the process of Divorce, this is your journey leading up to edge of the crater, you may have seen this coming or you may arrived at the precipice without even really being conscious of your journey there but in relationship terms this is where the relationship starts to suffer as a result of one or both of the partners not investing their emotional and/or physical energy into the relationship. So disconnection “the act of detaching one thing from another” is an act of separation of two people from each other.
For every couple, in fact in every relationship there are moments of connection and moments of disconnection, we go in and out of connection all the time with friends, family members and especially partners, we can wake up in the morning and feel incredibly connected to the person we’re lying next to only to find ourselves wishing we could stab them in the back three hours later.
We literally spend our time in a dance between connection and disconnection with the people in our lives and this is perfectly healthy and perfectly normal as for it to be otherwise would create a state of disconnection from our own selves.
We all need our own independent connection to whatever it is we need to keep us sane, without this time we would simply be existing for the benefits of others.
For me I spend a lot of time alone thinking, writing, cooking, reading, walking and I know I really need and benefit from this time as it allows me space so that I can check in with myself and work through anything that I may be struggling with.
I go inwards and ask myself if there is any anxiety, anger, sadness or frustration that I need to work through and if there is I’ll often talk the problem through out loud with myself , its almost as if I take on the role of my own counsellor.
For me this is a very healthy process, to check in with myself and see where my head’s at, ask myself what is it that I need, where in my life am I self sacrificing etc, its like doing housework for my head.
Its important to identify what is healthy connection and what is unhealthy disconnection and understanding and appreciating the benefit of both, when we have the opportunity to disconnect from our partners it has the benefit of refreshing our desire to reconnect with one another, it really is a case of absence making the heart grow fonder !
In many ways its a bit like installing updates on our mobile phones or computers, we lose
the ability to use the device for as long as the update takes but when completed we have a refreshed operating system.
There are many reasons people connect and disconnect but its essential to observe and identify these times for what they are and that is the natural rhythm of a relationship, its much like the sea when the tide comes in and then goes out, the darkness of night followed by the light of the day , its all understanding and accepting that these are natural rhythms in our universe, and for a relationship to withstand all the modern day hurdles that are put in front of us we need to see disconnection and connection very much the same, as an essential part of any healthy relationship.
It is simply the energetic force between two people expanding and contracting to allow both individuals to live happily as part of a couple.
However this dance between disconnection and connection can at times become out of sync or even completely cease to exist, this is when one or both partners lose their desire or need to connect and reconnect with each other, In these circumstances one or both parties may be aware of the other parties lack of desire to reconnect or they be completely oblivious.
I’ve seen many clients who have genuinely not sensed a pre longed disconnection in the relationship at all and the subsequent announcement that their partner is wanting to leave the relationship has come at them like a curve ball, this is rare but by the time you finish this chapter I think you’ll see that its almost impossible.
If you really look at the dynamic within the relationship you’ll be able to see that the disconnection did occur in some form or another, whether you chose to recognise it is another matter but its helpful to be able to identify when the extended disconnection started as it will help you to explore and identify why the disconnection occurred and what your responsibility was in that disconnection.
You may be thinking, how often are we mean’t to disconnect and reconnect, is this hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, annually and when we do how long is too long ? What’s normal disconnection and what’s not ?
Healthy connection and disconnection is more about feeling the desire to communicate with your partner, if your partner were stationed in Afghanistan then you may not be actively participating in physical connection for weeks at a time but that doesn’t mean you are emotionally disconnected from that person , you may be desperate to show physical affection to your partner and communicate with them everyday but that simply may not be possible, the important factor here is that you desire to be connected and therefore as long as you’re partner feels the same you will remain in a state of connection even if thousands of miles apart.
I know many couples who live in the same property and spend hours each day together yet remain in complete disconnection so healthy and un healthy connection is really about the desire to connect on all three levels, emotionally, physically and intellectually and then taking the time to embody that desire and communicate it to your partner.
If you feel that there is a pre longed disconnection in the relationship that for me would suggest that one or both partners do not feel the desire to reconnect with the other even though it is entirely possible for them to do so, if this is the case then you need to communicate this to your partner and see how they respond to what you’ve observed.
They may be completely unaware of their disconnection in which case you can reconnect by exploring how this happened or they may be intentionally disconnecting in which case then you deserve to know the reasons behind their actions so you can understand how best to move forwards.
See my next blog for "Why do we disconnect"....