Why is it so hard to leave?
Severing an attachment bond is excruciating, more painful than being mistreated by the partner for most people.
You may understand rationally that you should leave, but your emotional brain might not yet be ready to make that move.
The emotional circuits that make up our attachment system evolved to discourage us from being alone.
The same areas in the brain that light up in imaging scans when we break a leg are activated when we split with our mate.
Our brain experiences the departure of this person in a similar way to that which it registers physical pain. Thought processes are also hijacked in the process.
You get overwhelmed by positive memories of the few good times you had together, and you forget the multitude of bad experiences.
When we break up with someone, our attachment system goes into overdrive, and we can think of nothing but getting back together with the loved one.
The fact that one person can take away all our discomfort in a split second makes it very hard to resist the temptation to see them again.
Just being in the same room is enough to entirely relieve the anxiety in a way that no other single friend or family member can.
Many individuals find it hard to follow through on their wish to break up, even after they’ve tried more than once to do it.
People with anxious attachment take longer to get over a bad attachment, and they don’t get to decide how long it takes. Only when every single cell in their body is completely convinced that there’s no chance that their partner will change - Will they be able to let go and deactivate.
You may have to remind yourself that the person is not able to change. You may have to stop concentrating on the occasional positive experiences you had.
- Ask yourself what life is like for you in the inner circle of your previous partner. Am I treated like royalty or the enemy?
- build a support Netwerk ahead of time. Start to open up about what your relationship is really like -rekindle friendships
- Find a comforting, supportive place to stay for the first few nights. You will need all the support that you can get. The temptation to rebound is very strong get people to help you resist the urge.
- Get your attachment needs met in other ways. Plenty of exercise, diversions, like a massage, comforting, healthy food. Quiet down your attachment system so the painful separation will be less painful.
- Don’t be ashamed if you slip up and go back to the scene of the crime. Obviously, you were not better off reestablishing contact with your ex, if you end up doing so, don’t beat yourself up. It is important that you be compassionate with yourself. The worse you feel about yourself, the more you want to go back to the false safety of the bad relationship you were in.
- If you’re having a hard time, don’t feel guilty. Remember, the pain is real. The pain you’re feeling is real, so don’t deny it. Be kind to yourself and find ways to pamper your body and soul -just like he would if you had a broken leg.
- When you get flooded with positive memories, ask a close friend for reality check. Your attachment system is distorting your perspective on the relationship. Ask a friend to remind you how things really were. Even if you sometimes miss or idealize your acts, reality will slowly sink in.
- Deactivate: write down all the reasons you wanted to leave. Your objective here is to deactivate your attachment system. Recall the bad moments and the best way to keep them fresh is to write them down. When the invasive positive memories creep in- take a peek at the list.