There are hundreds of germs all around us but they are so small they are invisible to the human eye. However, when allowed to invade your body, they break down your immune system and may leave you sick, dying or dead.
In the same way, in relationships there are many ‘germs’ around us. These are small things we take for granted but which if not treated leave our relationships sick, dying or dead. One such germ is called withdrawal.
Today, global studies show that 20 per cent of relationships are lifeless. Partners hardly communicate and do different things behind their lovers. Some stay miles apart and even when they live in the same house, they never do anything in common.
Imagine a Christian couple married for over 10 years but have not known any peace from day one. They stay in the same house but for last three years, eat and sleep separately and never talk to each other.
Sometimes, they go to the kitchen to find they are all using the same ingredients to cook the same food, usually rice and stew! However, outsiders see them as a happy Christian couple.
How lovers withdraw
Withdrawal is the unwillingness to discuss problems or refuse to acknowledge such problems exist. Some see their problems as hopeless and, therefore, make no effort to work at them.
Some give up because they think they have done their best and expect their lovers to do theirs. You, therefore, create space and refuse to talk about your problems or listen.
Some partners refuse to talk or share activities they normally enjoy doing. A husband may refuse the meals of a wife and a wife may use sex as a weapon. Some do everything to avoid conflicts in their relationships.
They withdraw mentally by shifting their minds off the relationship and see it as ‘living dead’.
Most partners withdraw to protect their self-esteem. They are unable to face their acts of wrong-doing. They hide their true feelings by putting the blame on others. Withdrawal is used out of fear of lack of ability or success.
It is a fact that men withdraw more than women. Men are more vulnerable to failure because it threatens their self-esteem.
We cannot face a losing situation and find it hard to apologise. We, therefore, tend to avoid discussing issues where a woman is more likely to get the upper hand and, therefore, threaten our ego.
Effect of withdrawal
Most partners are unable to cope with withdrawal. They feel unwanted, helpless, controlled and worthless. They may feel imprisoned in their own homes.
Some partners spend several hours watching television to help them turn of their minds and shut out of the world. Tension may give rise to physical and mental break-down.
Some women overeat in withdrawal. The act of eating is an easy way to avoid upsetting feelings such as boredom, loneliness or sadness. Food dulls pain of unhappy feelings but if you use pain for withdrawal chances, you can become obese or ‘obolo’.
Some men get into substance abuse or promiscuous life to reduce their anxiety or fear during withdrawal. By channeling their tension into activities they can control, they attempt to restore their failing ego.
Others work long hours as a measure of achievement to restore their ego.
Say no to withdrawal
Habitual withdrawal is the worse approach to handle your conflicts. It leads to mistrust, suspicion, bitterness, tension and hurt.
If you focus on the wrongs of your lover and withdraw, you put the problems out of your control and nothing good happens. You simply keep digging holes and sinking deeper.
You must, therefore, examine your own actions and see what you can do better. Accept you are part of the problem because it takes two to fight.
A woman must know that when your lover withdraws, he is simply expecting you to take the initiative. Sit down and talk about your problems no matter how small they may be because it is the small things that grow into big monsters.
Sometimes, apologising even when it may not be your fault is an easy way to grow your relationship. Be lovable and all things to your lover.
What you must never do is to withdraw because withdrawal is a germ that can cripple or kill your relationship.