Preparing for partings
Whether you are spending just a week apart, a couple of months or longer, try to make the parting a good one.
But what’s a good parting? A prepared one, that prevents negative emotions festering while you are apart. Each of you will have uncomfortable feelings – worries about how the family will manage while you are away from home, anger at having to manage home life alone and both of you enduring the loneliness of separation - so try to deal with those feelings before you part. Knowing that the parting will be difficult makes it tempting to avoid thinking about it.
Being the one who leaves or who is left, means you have different feelings; past experiences effect how we deal with separation, so being apart will affect partners differently too.
There is never enough time to prepare fully. Even regular short periods apart – leaving on Mondays and returning on Fridays – can be rushed. Preparing will make things easier.
Admit to your worries in advance, when there is time to talk, to be listened to and to listen. Try to explain clearly what your concerns are and why.
You will both have valid reasons for feeling resentful about having to be apart which you need to acknowledge, but try to keep focused on your personal feelings rather than making your partner feel defensive.
Sharing the concerns each of you has can give a huge sense of relief. It’s then easier to make practical plans to address these concerns – together.
- Discuss how and when you will keep in touch. Your expectations about this may be different; better to face this while together than to feel hurt and angry about lack of communication when apart.