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Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

What is a Relationship Exit?

Many times, when one or both partners become dissatisifed with their relationship, they may take an exit from the relationship.

In Imago Relationship Theory we define an exit as an activity or event that a partner engages in in order to avoid spending time with or be intimate with one another.  Since many times taking an exit is an unconscious act, you or your partner may not know that this is what is happening. 

If your partner is the one taking an exit, you may notice you are feeling alone, lonely, or neglected in your relationship.   

Anything you do can become an exit. Some exits are more serious and damaging to relationships than others. Examples of small exits are:

  • Spending time on social media or the computer at home at night instead of engaging with your partner
  • Spending most of your time focused on the children's homework, sports, or other activities 
  • Staying late at work when you don't really need to
  • Making plans with friends and leaving your partner at home
  • Volunteering for charitable organizations that take up all your free time
  • and any other everyday activity that you are doing to avoid being with your partner

Large exits include

  • Having an affair (or affairs)
  • Drug or alcohol abuse, or addictions
  • And most serious and damaging of all are suicide, and/or homicide.

All exits drain energy away from your relationship.  In Imago Relationship Therapy we can look at what is happening in your relationship gain an understanding of yourself and your partner, and if you agree, identify exits that you or your partner may be taking. With willingness and commitment to your relationship and the process, you can work to close those exits and restore the flow of energy between your and your partner.

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