Closing exits is necessary for connection.
WHAT ARE YOUR EXITS?
Although we all want love in our life, we are afraid to really let love in and be in love. As couples, we sometimes co-create a pattern in our lives where intimacy is virtually impossible. In order to maintain some distance and the status quo, we create exits.
What do I mean by exits and why do we create them?
Basically, exits are a way to act out our feelings rather than discussing them. For example, it is easier to stay late at work than to tell your partner that you feel unhappy when you walk in the door. This is understandable. Staying late is a simpler way to avoid the pain rather than talking about it.
There are many different types of exits that we create.
Some are terminal to the relationship – divorce, suicide, and murder. Others are catastrophic like affairs and addictions. These are misguided attempts in trying to find one’s aliveness and can cause more pain, shame and betrayal. Affairs are often the result of an existing rupture of connection. If the affair continues, the relationship will eventually dissolve. If openly discussed, there is hope for the relationship and the couple’s bond can become stronger.
More elusive are functional exits that are hidden in normal behaviours. None of these are harmful per se, unless we are using them to avoid closeness in our relationship. Some of these exits are work, hobbies, family, eating, the children, TV, gym, shopping, friends, reading, cleaning, and the computer to name a few.
An “Invisible divorce” takes place when these kinds of exits are active. All the energy for the relationship is diluted to other objects of desire or activities. These exits need to be talked about and gradually closed to restore the fullness of connection.
Sometimes it is hard to see the ways in which we exit, especially, if we are the one that tends to pursue and seek connection. You may say to yourself, “I am the one that always wants to connect. I don’t exit our relationship”. If you are unsure how you exit your relationship, just ask your partner. He or she will experience your EXIT and may have already been telling you. Therefore, become curious and check in with yourself. What am I doing? Am I doing this to avoid intimacy and connection with my partner? If so, what is the reason?
Becoming conscious and verbalizing these feelings rather than acting them out is a great way to create emotional safety, transform your relationship and re-ignite your passion for each other!