The wife of a patient of mine told him she was leaving him because he bought a lamp without first consulting him. When I asked to see her, she explained to me that it was not about the lamp. The problem was he never consulted her about matters that affected both of them. Although she had spoken to him many times, he truly had not understood her. It is not uncommon for someone to persistently misunderstand a spouse if he is asked to do things that seem foreign to him, possibly because of the dynamics of the family in which he grew up. No matter how many times she had spoken to him he had not taken her seriously. In the setting of my office, however, it was possible, finally, to get through to him. He had never intended to ignore her and had not realized that that was what he was doing. They had had a failure to communicate. This problem could be managed.
Through marital or couple therapy, the counsellor can help the couple increase effective communication skills, assist in looking at each other’s perspective, discuss what makes a relationship work and what a healthy relationship looks like, help identify specific problems and dynamics of the relationship, understand gridlocked conflicts, and help establish interventions and strategies that will help strengthen conflict management skills.
You may worry about the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind,” and use that as a justification to reach out. The thought of him moving on and forgetting about you is too terrifying to bear. One little text won’t hurt, you reason. But, in this instance, it will hurt. If you want your ex back, it is important that you strictly adhere to the no contact rule.
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