It's difficult to tell the one you love that you can't be around them right now. When you're opening up the floor to have this tender conversation, it's important to approach the issue from a standpoint of health. You want what's best for you, which, in turn, nurtures the garden of your relationship. As you're trying to figure out what to say to your partner when you're upset, try not to get so caught up in your wounds that you end up tainting the soil your garden is growing in. To do this, it might be necessary to ask for space.
Let your partner know that you need time to figure out how to address them, not because you don't want to talk about it, but because you want to discuss what happened in a productive way. Make it apparent that, although you need some space to get your thoughts together and find clarity, you are going to come back around to this recurring issue. This isn't a matter of avoidance, and you aren't going to hide from the relationship. Both you and your partner owe each other more than that.
If you need some starting points, here are ways that you can express the need for space in order to establish clarity.
1. "I Want To Talk About Our Conflict, But I Need Some Time For Clarity First."
Ask yourself, to what extent did your partner do or say something that was genuinely hurtful? And to what extent did they touch on a hurtful part of your past that led you to project your past pains onto them?
Chances are, whatever your partner did or said to you that caused you to be upset was a mixture of both. Honor your feelings. Know that you have a right to feel angry or sad. But also understand that there is a deeper pain that goes beyond what a single person could have done to you. You need time so that you can discern what your partner is and is not responsible for.
2. "Let's Take Some Space To Process And Talk Later."
Although it's good and healthy to sort through relationship problems as a couple, you are still individuals within your relationship. The self remains intact. But it can be difficult to be in close conversation with your own thoughts when you are also making space for someone else. It's OK to reconnect with your emotions and what you are going through on your own, before you bring that information to the relationship. It's important for both you and your partner to have that inner conversation, and more than right for you to recognize the need for both of you to enter a time of healthy retreat.
3. "I Need Some Distance To Find My Perspective."
Sometimes, you need to make room within your relationship for those who give you perspective: your friends. When you're deeply in love, it's easy to get so wrapped up in one another that you forego communities of support and care. But love exists all around you, both inside and outside of your relationship. There's nothing wrong in getting a little distance, reconnecting with your friends, and even asking them for help.
Friends can help you stay grounded when you are in danger of spiraling too far within your own thoughts. They can also provide illuminating feedback that helps you better see your own relationship. Chances are, someone in your friend group has had a similar conflict with their partner. Chances are, they can tell you whether the fact that you are upset is or is not cause for greater concern.
Getting space when you're upset doesn't mean that you're depriving your relationship of anything. All it means is that you're getting back in touch with your primary connection, the one you need to keep whole throughout your entire life: the bond you have with yourself.
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