WALK-AWAY SYNDROME By Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya



Lovely : My husband wants out of the marriage. It is so heartfelt because this is the same man who was once in that exact place. I am still committed in the marriage and would like to stay and look at the problems and fix it. 

Sabath : I don’t know how to salvage my relationship. She isn’t aware or doesn’t understand how her actions affect me. My anger drove a wedge so far between my wife and I, when she thought of even touching me, I wanted to vomit. "We have fallen out of love."

Lovely : I don’t mean to be harsh or uncaring. But he won’t talk to me positively about our marriage and remains as confused as I am and wants to quit. What should I do ? Is this domestic violence ?

Sabath : I may be confused because I live in the fear of the unknown all the time and my core is shaken. Feel controlled and judged all the time by Lovely.

Lovely : I love Sabath, but I have deep insecurities of losing him. Always feel confused and terrified by abandonment.  

Sabath : I am afraid of her unpredictable emotional state and high levels of jealousy. Giving constant approvals to everything is like a vocation for me. Our community social networks are big and cluttered and she can get angry before anyone for no reason. 

Lovely : I am hyper vigilant with money because I want Sabath to buy a home for us. When he is in the midst of women, I feel very anxious and say things which should not be and everyone around feel I am judgemental. For sure I feel terrified by abandonment, but if he decides to leave me like what happened to me in my previous marriage, I want no one’s help. I will turn into a ghost and haunt him. 

Sabath : The downside of this security (it’s just about impossible to live together as a family) happened since the last four months. Though we are both viewed as good people and secure in social standing, I am always worried about her stiffed speech, distrust and emotional-driven misinterpretations. I am not the same Sabath today. I feel mentally threatened and humiliated. I have moved into the adjoining bedroom without her consent. 

Lovely : Sabath is always ruminating on the past issues instead of reminding himself that marriage is a legal obligation. I will not spare him. He will regret this for what brought him to this juncture and the stubbornness he used to lash himself with and stop him from moving forward will be viewed as unfair and punished further.

Assessment
1] The description of the way Sabath and Lovely operated while they were dealing with rejected suitors ended up with further anger issues only leading to desperation and extreme stress for both partners. 

2] If we knew our remarriage was going to end in disaster management, we are sure that we would not get into this marriage, they would keep saying very often. 

3] The sessions investigated the relation between spouses’ and styles of conflict resolution. Even though the couple recalled old and new conflict episodes they also made effort to observe different conflict conversations. 

4] The intimate couple were trained for different approaches to conflict resolution which included active listening skills, neutral language, and reframing techniques to understand the feelings that drive the other person. 

5] The troubling thing is the persistent fascination for fighting and arguing. Fighting became dramatic while peaceful disputing boring.

6] Intimacy requires high levels of trust. Vulnerability requires great transparency of feelings. Intimacy requires that the partners feel understood by each other as well as accepted, admired and loved. 

7] So when we analyze how people conduct disputes with each other’s approaches that may lead to resolution of the dispute, can leave the relationship damaged and may not work.

8] If someone feels wounded after a dispute she/he may withdraw from the relationship and the consequences for the relationship though negative, are not necessarily fatal. The person in conflict may leave for some time, but if they are fired or threatened further, then they quit. 

9] a] So, in the marriage of Sabath and Lovely, one partner experiences defeat at the hands of the other, or as that partner feels attacked and diminished in the eyes of the other and the relationship suffers. 

b] Lovely : If I lose my trust that my partner will not hurt me, I become more cautious which means I want to be less vulnerable. Thus I begin to reveal harsh feelings.

c] Sabath : If I feel it is dangerous to my self esteem to raise difficult issues with my partner, I will avoid conflicts even as I become more resentful and begin to withdraw.

d] Sabath : As I feel less connected I find myself with a diminished sexual interest in my partner. And so the marriage slowly erodes until one day I, typically say "We have "fallen out of love. There is no intimacy left between us and so there is no passion any more. We have grown apart. I think it can’t work and I can’t take this anymore.”

e] Both may be very dear to each other, yet the marriage for the current situation is in a chronic dysfunctional state due to threats (arising from lack of conflict resolution skills) and not because of any threat of domestic violence which can become more resentful, and there is a possibility of any one spouse withdrawing for safety (walk-away-syndrome).

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