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Can the man I love and I get back together?

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Hi Mark,

Your work has been very illuminating regarding my relationship. My partner (still not husband) of 15 years recently left without giving me a good reason, just that there were too many doubts and hesitations to confidently move into the future. He left the day after the conversation. Needless to say, I am scrambling and heartbroken.

I know my insecurity is a huge contributor to some of our issues. It's a classic pursuer/withdrawer dynamic. I always felt that I have to fish for reassurance and affection and I think his sensing that I was so needy made him frustrated. Now that we are separated, we are about to enter some counseling and I can still feel jealousy and doubt underlying everything. I know that I need to do this personal work, but I have a hard time when I feel like my intuition is at work.

For example, I feel that he really has a crush on an old friend of his and this makes me feel like it is an intuition. Therefore, it feels threatening. I don't want to feel threatened, but how can we deal with things? Say I have an intuitive feeling about something and I may or may not be correct, but he never wants to talk about it or discuss it. Of course, I just want to protect myself...

How do we deal with ‘intuition’ vs. what is or might be reality? Have you seen couples come back from big breakups like this? I really love this person and don't want to lose him, but I am afraid I already have.

Thanks for your help!

This question was submitted by 'Elena'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Elena and thank you for writing in.

It's difficult to disentangle exactly what's been going on here ‘from a distance’. Sometimes people have intuitions that they are made to feel are them being ‘unreasonable’ and sometimes, of course, what feel like intuitions are more like ‘paranoias’.

Strong emotion, because of its biasing effects on perception, tends to block the operation of intuition. So one question to ask yourself would be: when you've felt intuitively that something was up, were you reasonably calm or did you already feel anxious?

When we feel anxious, we tend to find things to confirm the emotion. It sounds like you were suspicious of his feelings about this old friend, rather than any actual physical betrayal, but I'm reading between the lines.

The question is, why did he leave when he did? Had there been a particular build-up of this 'classic pursuer/withdrawer dynamic’; had it been more acute than usual? Is he under other pressures? Has he left before?

Anyway, in answer to your question: yes, I have known couples who’ve come back from similar in their relationships. It's important not to feel it is all about how you are, because I note that you say he doesn't talk about your worries, which doesn't do much to soothe them.

I hope the counseling helps you both and if you haven't already read it, this might be of interest to you: ’Increase Emotional Intimacy in Relationships’.

I wish you all the best,


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - December 6th, 2014 in

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