The Invisible Divorce: Relationship Exits

Posted by in Articles, Sandy Berry

by Sandy Berry

A relationship “exit” is defined as ways you prevent intimacy by using energy to create conflict or to avoid involvement.

Exits are activities we do in order to avoid dealing with feelings we have about or toward our partner or our relationship.  Rather than talking with your partner, you choose not to discuss it with them and use that energy doing something else.  This leaks energy from your relationship and reduces your ability to resolve conflict or to increase intimacy.

Examples of exits are:

Major Exits might include affairs, addictions, or divorce.

Minor Exits might include cleaning the house, spending time with others (children, friends or family), or working too much.  These are not exits if they are things that need to be done.  They are exits when you use them as ways to avoid your partner.

Choose to close an exit by using the Couples Dialogue to talk with your partner about your concerns or feelings rather than doing your exit behavior.  This can be difficult in the beginning but with practice, it will create intimacy and help repair your relationship.