Punishing Partners:
“I can’t stand going home after a trip because my partner punishes me for ‘abandoning’ him.”

"Sinfonia Concertante" by Mimi Stuart
Live the Life you Desire

If your partner punishes you for going on a trip, it’s time to set things straight—kindly.

A loving relationship entails wanting the best for your partner as well as for yourself. This means rising above feelings of fear and possessiveness in order to support the other when he or she desires to take a trip, visit friends and family, or pursue a passion.

Sadly, a partner’s acrimony usually has the effect of driving the other further away. You need to talk to your partner about just that. Remember that his passive aggressive behavior is a result of feeling abandoned. Thus, you can be compassionate, while still standing firm for your needs and desires.

You could say something like, “I’m sorry you’re sad that I left. Yet, your bitterness pushes me away and causes me anguish. It’s very important for me to see my family/go surfing/go to a yoga retreat. It fulfills me and revitalizes my soul. If you could be happy for me, that would deepen my appreciation and love for you. Let’s both try to rise above our fears and be the best we can be to each other.”

Keep in mind, it’s also important to spend quality time together with your partner, and not to spend EVERY evening and weekend on your own.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “I’ve texted you five times in the last hour. Where have you been?”

Read “Were you out on the golf course again? I’ve been here alone all afternoon.”