“For better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health. Until death do we part.”
These are the promises made by two people on their wedding day.
Romantic, right? But somehow, not as realistic as we imagined it.
After all, “If it’s not working out, I will detach from you in the least painful way possible…” was not part of the vows!
But whatever your reasons are, you’ve come to a safe space.
Here are 10 creative ways to detach from your spouse when you’ve dealt with enough!
1) Accept it for what it is with an open heart
It must be incredibly difficult and overwhelming to accept that your marriage is failing and that you’re miserable. So many questions and doubts must be racing in your mind.
I come from a broken home, and I saw my dad live in excruciating denial before he finally accepted that he needed to move forward.
You’re not weak if you admit that you’re unhappy.
Acceptance is necessary to move forward in an empowered way. You have to permit yourself to take the steps you need to create a better life, even if it means letting go of what you thought would be there forever.
Start with reassuring yourself that it’s a terrible situation and your feelings are valid:
- “I don’t know why this happened.”
- “This hurts so bad.”
- “I’m so confused.”
- “I hate it here.”
- “This sucks.”
Negative emotions should be processed and not suppressed because the more you fight the situation, the more you lose focus on the things you can control!
Acceptance allows you to see things from a different perspective.
You can finally open your eyes and see the toxic patterns and behaviors that made your marriage this way. It can also lead you to be more compassionate to yourself and even to your partner. So yes, it isn’t easy, but it’s essential.
2) Spend time alone outdoors
After acceptance comes the brainstorming of ways to cope, and there’s nothing more cathartic than being alone to detoxify your life!
When fighting with your partner, the natural tendency is to charge head-on.
Because you want to prove a point.
Because you want them to acknowledge you’re right.
Because you want to win and to see them acknowledge their loss.
I understand that when both of you are hostile towards each other, there’s something so satisfying about seeing the disappointment on their faces.
But that’s not a very healthy way to deal with a situation like this!
It’s like that old saying: you can’t put out a fire by throwing gasoline.
As you explore your feelings, you can recognize the underlying issues that might have led to the need for detachment.
So spending time alone can give you an objective view of the situation. Maybe you might be open to looking for solutions!
And what better way to do that than communing with nature?
It’s free, and it’s readily available!
Go hiking or sit alone at the beach. I’ve done both, and it’s very liberating and therapeutic!
3) Practice mindfulness
In addition to connecting with the outdoors, take the time to look inward.
Mindfulness can be a great way to detach from the negative aspects of your marriage.
By looking at your relationship’s positive aspects rather than the negative, you can recognize the wisdom in your pain.
You can see the abundance of lessons you can learn, and with that knowledge, you can create a more fulfilling relationship.
Spend time each day focusing on taking deep breaths and being mindful of your thoughts and feelings.
Be aware and be present!
Don’t invalidate your thoughts and emotions.
Acknowledge that your reactive self might have affected your partner’s moods and disposition.
Forgive yourself for that.
Self-care activities such as yoga and meditation can help you be grounded and centered.
Saying these mantras would get you started:
- “I am worthy of love.”
- “I am kind to myself.”
- “I am free to live the life I want.”
Of course, these are not magical incantations that can make the pain disappear, but it’s a start.
Try to start journaling, too. Writing it down can help you process what you’re going through.
4) Exercise and work on your self-image
If yoga, meditation, or journaling isn’t for you, consider getting active and start moving!
It’s no secret that exercising reduces stress and alleviates symptoms of depression.
Physical activities produce endorphins, which are nature’s painkillers.
They can lift your mood and clear your head to refocus on the present.
Studies have shown that regular exercise for 30 minutes three times a week will work wonders for your mental health and physique.
And one of the things that you need to figure out is finding a physical activity you can handle!
Going for walks might be a good start if you’re not used to working out.
And when you’re used to it, you can explore jogging, biking, or swimming. There’s no wrong option here!
As long as it’s something you enjoy and can fit into your lifestyle, go for it!
Exercising can also give you a sense of accomplishment and much-needed balance. Both would be terrific for your self-confidence and mood.
5) Learn how to create boundaries
Creating healthy boundaries can be challenging if you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship or in any situation where you’ve been taken for granted.
At this point, maybe you’ve been so used to putting your partner’s needs first.
I’ve heard from friends that they’ve become people pleasers to avoid confrontation with their partners, and most of the time, they’ve done this at their own expense.
Unlearning that is really hard, especially if it has become convenient for you.
So first, learn how to be honest about your needs and expectations.
Talk to your spouse about what’s acceptable behavior and what’s not.
Keep an open mind about it, and be willing to compromise.
Here are a few areas where you can set the record straight:
- “How often are you willing to communicate?”
- “How much physical contact are you comfortable with?”
- “What are your worries and fears as we explore this process?”
It’s a delicate balance, but boundaries are necessary!
6) Connect with your support system
You’d be freer to pursue other connections when firm boundaries are in place.
Spending time with your circle, like friends and family, can be one of your greatest sources of support and understanding.
When the world you’ve come to know no longer makes sense, your circle is there for you as a haven.
Focus on the relationships that make you feel the most secure, and honestly tell them about what you’re going through.
It’s good to remember that your support system will always have your back, especially in tough times.
Try to schedule an activity that all of you can enjoy, like a picnic, a bowling night, a museum tour, or a movie marathon. A fun night out can also work!
You don’t have to talk about what happened all the time. Sometimes, just being with them can mean everything.
7) Commit to self-care
The greatest support must also come from yourself.
In times of stress and anxiety, you must protect your mind and well-being!
Check on yourself, “Are my needs being met?”
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating healthy food.
Listen to soothing music, or go for a massage.
Finding ways to relax and unwind is top-tier self-care.
8) Find a creative outlet
A healthy self-care routine should also carve out time to nurture the spirit.
Reading books is a great way to escape the world’s harshness while learning new things.
Choose a topic that interests you or any field you’ve been eager to pursue when you were single before your days were filled with couple-things!
It’s good practice to set at least 15 minutes each day to find a quiet corner to get lost in your thoughts and read, read, read!
Another creative outlet would be making art. Try drawing, painting, pottery, or even music! Be playful and adventurous here. There’s no wrong answer!
I remember going through a breakup, and I picked up a guitar and wrote a few songs. I’ve always channeled my emotions through music, so it made sense to use it during a hard time.
And now that I’ve healed, I have music pieces to remind me what I felt and how much I’ve endured.
Helping others is also something you can do: turning negative energy into something beautiful and positive that you can share with the world.
Whether volunteering at a local organization or calling a friend to check in, make sure to take a moment each day to do something for someone else.
9) Seek counseling
And if you’re not too busy helping others, don’t forget to help yourself.
You are not alone in this journey. There’s no shame in asking for support.
Connect with people who have gone through the same thing and ask if they can refer you to a licensed counselor or therapist.
Talking to a professional can help you to gain insight and a different perspective.
This process can help you acquire clarity and understanding, process your emotions, build coping mechanisms, and learn how to deal with and move past the trauma of detachment.
Professionals can also offer information and guidance on certain legal issues, including custody and financial arrangements.
Another option is group counseling if you’re the kind who finds relief and comfort in shared experiences.
Many resources and support networks are available to you in your journey. All it takes is to try!
Detaching yourself from your spouse takes work.
It’s enough to make you want to give up on love and walk away.
But I want to suggest a solution. You have all the tools you need to do this right now, right where you are.
I learned about this from the modern-day shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me how the lies we tell ourselves about love trap us in things like a relationship that fails to meet our needs.
As Rudá explains in this transformational free video, love is available to us if we cut through the lies we tell ourselves.
10) Embrace self-love!
And finally, when you get the professional help you need, you can start a lifelong journey to self-love!
The existential psychologist Rollo May talked about eros, the psychological desire to procreate through a long-lasting union. The kind of love you’d expect in a marriage.
As time goes by, people change, and how we feel for people also changes – and for eros to continue to exist, couples should continue investing in their partners and the relationship.
But what if that stops altogether? What if you need to detach?
This is where self-love comes in…
Detachment is the ultimate expression of self-love and putting your needs first.
Taking a step back to make a safe space for yourself can give you the happiness you’ve been craving all this time!
It takes much courage, but it’s an essential part of the healing process.
There might be times when you will lose hope and have doubts.
But look in the mirror and tell yourself:
- “I am capable.”
- “I am worth it.”
- “I am loved.”
It’s time to reclaim your power and choose your destiny!
And when you’re done wasting your time on love that doesn’t work, I invite you to watch this short video and open your mind to new possibilities.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
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