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Ask Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH Your Ow...
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 251
Experience:  Over 15 years of experience as a substance abuse therapist. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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My partner & I were in a verbally abusive relationship that

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My partner & I were in a verbally abusive relationship that went both ways. We both see therapists. She told me that her therapist advised for us to do a 3 - 6 month separation period with no contact in order for us to break our reactions to one another. My partner chose 4 months with absolutely no contact. She sent me many mixed messages in the days before our contact ceased about what she wanted for the relationship. We have had zero contact for a little over a week now. Also, the last time we spoke, my partner told me that at the end of the 4 month period, she will tell me if she is even able, and/or willing to try a relationship with me again. My question is, would a PhD psychologist who does couples counselling, ever tell a patient to take a no contact break of that length? Another quesiton I have is, am I a complete idiot to think our relationship might not be over forever?
Thank you for using Sorry to hear you two are going through this. A counselor would recommend this type of separation if she/he felt it were important for the client to learn that she can be self sufficient, independent and if the client has the need to be "on her own" to focus on her own stuff. If she is in a relationship with you, she will inevitably be distracted by the on going issues in your relationship and unable to fully work on herself. I would suggest talking to your therapist about this as well to get his/her perspective.

I don't think you are a complete idiot for thinking the relationship might not be over. The saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" fonder, comes to mind. I think if you were to continue to meet with your therapist and work on yourself, you might be much healthier by the time you two get back together.

I hope these answers help. Please let me know if you have any other questions or if you need further clarification about this answer.

Take care,
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The last weekend we spent together, we moved my things into my new place. She stopped dead in her tracks at one point and told me that she really thinks we're going to be alright. She says this is what she needs. I am so afraid that she is just using this time to get over me. We have agreed that if she knows the answer to the question of if she can have a relationship with me or not, she will let me know immediately. We are both devastated at not being together but she says we have to break the cycle. In your experience, do couples in this situation most often get back together and do better, or do they just go their separate ways? I guess I'd rather know the statistics now so I can decide if I should be using this time to get over her. I can't even imagine how truly devastated I will be if I give her this time and just wait, just so she can tell me at the end of 4 months, that it is over for good. How do you even proceed in a situation like this? How do you even get past the broken heartedness?

Hi again,
Thanks for accepting that last answer. I'm sorry to hear you are having so much pain regarding this issue. I think heartbreak is one of the hardest things to cope with. Feeling heartbroken is just like going through any other type of grief. There are stages associated with grief and only time will help it feel better. You can read more about the stages of grief regarding a break up here. As far as statistics go, there is no way to give exact numbers about how this works out for people. I have seen people get back together and then I've seen people decide it hurt too much to try again. I think if you make a choice to be positive and truly focus on yourself and make the changes needed to stop the verbal abuse, when the two of you come back together you will be able to make it work. I wouldn't use the time to just "wait" or to get over her. Try imagining that she is off on a personal journey or sabbatical and use the same approach with yourself. Soul search, work with your therapist and truly make changes for you to become a better person with or without her when the four month mark comes.

I hope this answer helps as well.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.

All the best,