Jennifer is stunned. Her long-term, live-in boyfriend, Rob, came home from work last night and announced to her that he is moving out temporarily because he needs some “space.”
Rob's announcement took Jennifer completely by surprise. She knew that their relationship had its challenges and rough spots, but she felt like things between them were starting to even out. They hadn't been arguing as much lately.
Jennifer wants to do whatever is necessary to win back Rob. She can't understand why he would move out and she keeps wracking her brain to figure out what she's done wrong. When she asked Rob why he is doing this, he only re-stated that he needs some space to sort through some things.
If you've been hit with the news from your partner that he or she needs space or wants to temporarily separate, you might be thinking and feeling the same way as Jennifer.
You may or may not be surprised that your mate is asking for space.
But, if you want to stay in this relationship and your partner informs you that he or she needs to get away from you and your relationship for awhile, you're possibly searching for ways to change your partner's mind.
You might also be dealing with worry or fear that this space and separation will only grow into a permanent breakup or divorce.
We can't guarantee that you and your partner will get back together again or that this separation will not lead to a breakup.
It's understandable that you might feel powerless to change what's going on. You cannot force your partner to stay with you and you cannot force things in your love relationship or marriage to happen in a particular way.
To be honest, there are quite a few things that are out of your control.
However, there are so many things that you DO have power to change. First and foremost, you get to decide how you will respond to this upsetting news from your mate. You can also make a conscious choice about what you will do during this time of space and separation.
We urge you to focus on what you CAN do when you are facing a situation like this. Here are a few suggestions...
#1: Care and nurture yourself.
For many people, hearing that their partner wants space can be quite a shock. When a person is in shock, he or she might walk around dull and dazed or have a difficult time just getting through the normal routine.
Make a conscious effort to give yourself extra care and nurturing right now. Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. Treat yourself to bubble baths, relaxing music, get a massage, or whatever helps you feel just a bit more soothed.
#2: Gather a support system around you.
Take a look at your friends and family. Who are the people that help you feel supported and uplifted?
Make a list of not only these people, but also the books, music, activities and groups that are truly supportive of your healing and then deliberately spend more time with these people and doing these things.
#3: Resist the urge to predict the future.