He Doesn’t Let Me Go

He Doesn’t Let Me Go

Why does it happen so? You’ve finally decided to break up with your partner because your relationship has become a burden, but he starts actively reminding about himself? Say, he may call you or give an unexpected present, or simply come and hug passionately? How can you leave him if he doesn’t let you go? Let’s see what psychologists advise to do in such cases.

Life as a senseless struggle

All people want to live happily in harmony, but, unfortunately, there are exceptions to the rule. Some women suffer too much in a relationship. They desperately try various means to bring love back, but once they want to relax (since everything seems fine), an idyll is being destroyed. Such women’s routine is filled with quarrels and even fights.

At a definite point, they cannot stand the pain any longer, but it turns out that it’s rather difficult to break up. “I would have left, but he doesn’t let me go,” a typical explanation. As a matter of fact, the reason is that such women aren’t ready to take responsibility for their life, and it’s beneficial for them to remain emotionally dependent on their partner. Thus, can something be done about it?

The root of the problem

A relationship in which partners “cannot live without each other” stems from their childhood. Children not only copy their parents’ relationship model but also grow up in an environment where people like or try changing others, respect, or repress each other’s desires, where all family members are either supported or criticized.

If children witness an unhealthy relationship, they grow up and become “incomplete” adults looking for their second half to complete a hole in themselves. For instance, if parents impose their desires, children can hardly realize what they want themselves, they are looking for a person who will care about them; in fact, they make another person responsible for their life.    

As a result, even if a relationship is very painful, it’s unbearably difficult to dare to break up. In psychological terms, we are talking about a symbiotic union, when partners depend on each other too much.

Why is it so hard to leave?

There are several reasons for this:

·         There is no understanding that another, happy life is possible since a woman has never had a similar experience. It seems that the current life is the norm. Either the fear of the unknown is very strong or a woman doesn’t want to trade bad for worse.

·         she is afraid that everything will get even worse after breaking up;

·         It’s very scary to become lonely suddenly. “Because no other man will love you as he did, or no one will love you at all.”

·         A woman fears she won’t cope with a new life, with providing for oneself and kids, for instance. Somebody big and strong has to defend her.

The list of fears is endless, and they will definitely win and never let go until a woman realizes the main reason. It lies in the fact that both partners have some subconscious benefits of staying in an abusive relationship.

Psychological background

Stephen Karpman’s triangle perfectly describes a psychological model of a symbiotic relationship. According to it, every partner may perform one of three roles: RESCUER, VICTIM, and PERSECUTOR. The Victim is constantly suffering, complaining that life is unfair, but does nothing to change the situation. The Victim waits for the Rescuer to come, sympathize with them and protect. The Rescuer comes, but sooner or later, because of being tired and unable to help the victim, he becomes the Prosecutor punishing the Victim for helplessness.   

This triangle is very stable and it keeps functioning until the participants have secondary benefits of staying in it.

Secondary benefits of staying in a relationship:

·         The Rescuer is sure that the Victim needs him: he realizes the Victim has no way to escape.

·         The Victim may be weak, complain about others, and get the Rescuer’s defense.

·         Punishing the Victim, the Prosecutor feels more powerful, which largely contributes to his self-assertion.

Thus, to get benefits, every participant of the triangle needs another one. Sometimes, a relationship of this kind continues all life long, with participants changing the roles.     

How to quit?

To end this cycle, one needs to realize what is happening and become a self-sufficient responsible personality. Follow these steps:

·         Understand the secondary benefits of a current relationship. The very fact that you’ve engaged in a symbiotic relationship means you lack something. At the moment, you are satisfying these needs at your partner’s expense, but in reality, you can do that without him, even if you aren’t yet able to do that.

·         Realize what is the price of the love you get. Say, it may be your physical or mental well-being, anxiety, the absence of rest, or depression.

·         To heal oneself, one needs to learn to gradually satisfy one’s needs. For this, it’s necessary to hear yourself, become a kind parent to your inner child, learn to ask for help, and receive it. A psychologist may help you with this task.

·         You have to get acquainted with yourself. Yes, you may be surprised, but focusing on another person we are losing ourselves since we cannot differentiate between our own and partner’s desires. How can we heal ourselves if we don’t understand who we are? One of the most effective ways to find it out is a date with yourself.

You may wonder how it happens. You should prepare for it as if you were planning a date with your partner. Consider the place you would like to go: a cinema, a restaurant, or just for a walk. Make sure you spend time exclusively alone, neither with friends not in front of a screen. At first, the idea of such date may seem crazy, but it lets us learn ourselves and realize our desires and needs.

·         It’s very important to admit that every partner is responsible for themselves and their life, and we should stop thinking that we can change others’ lives. For this, we have to learn to accept factors depending solely on us and ask for help once we need it. Also, learn to say “no” when you don’t want something.

Curiously, when we follow this path of self-healing, fears begin to fade and we become more powerful. It doesn’t mean that it will be a painless process and your life will instantly get imbued with new colors. We need time to separate from a person who has recently been so close. However, the result is worthy of the effort. You will find yourself and have enough potential to make your deep desires come true.

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