18 April, 2009


Stages of Service Separation

Stage Two - Detachment and Withdrawal
guy and girl sittingAnother part of the emotional preparation for parting is detaching or withdrawing from each other. This can be particularly noticeable when it comes to sex. Part of you may be saying that you've "got to have sex", as this is your last chance for six or so months. Alternatively, another part will be saying "I don't want sex, I don't want to get close because you're leaving me (or I'm having to leave)".

Sex is as intimate as you can get as a couple, you cannot get any closer and this closeness may be painful before a separation. Understanding this can stop a lot of resentment and heartache.

Consider this... you or your partner are about to depart for six months, but the closeness of sex causes one of you pain and confusion. You don't understand why you feel the way you do and get angry with yourself and your partner. Your partner feels rejected by you sexual withdrawal and you both become angry with each other. This is part of the mental preparation your mind experiences before separation, but you don't know this. You both become more tense with each other, confused at your own feelings and hurt by your loved ones responses of rejection or anger.

These feelings grow, fermenting in silence and uncertainty until a huge row breaks out - normally over something trivial - and you make up. But this cycle continues and the pain and anger grows until one of you has left and you're both feeling guilty resentful and relieved. What a goodbye, and all done without intending to hurt each other. In fact you both love each other and just feel confused every time you try to work out what has just happened.

This is a particularly difficult for you both, but knowing what is going on and why you feel the way you do may help you both depart with less resentment and anger.

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