It can be a terrifying thing when someone says “I need space.” We start wondering if we did something wrong. Are they going to leave us? Are we unwanted? Space in a relationship is vulnerable for us survivors of abuse—but it is possible to reclaim it as a healthy thing.
Every individual person has their own needs and sometimes that includes alone time. Often, when a need for space crops up, it’s completely unrelated to us. Maybe they’re sick or stressed about something else in their life. Maybe they have a lot of work to get done or something else they need to prioritize.
Of course, sometimes their request for space is about us too. Even the healthiest couples won’t be able to spend every moment together.
Space in any relationship used to terrify me, but now I’ve learned it’s a safe and comfortable thing. I’ve discovered how to process the anxiety it causes and focus on building even better relationships—or investing in something I care about, while that other person takes the time they need.
I want to help you also feel this calm around any space in a relationship, so I made this video. Go ahead and watch it if you want to feel better about it!
Don’t miss these highlights!
The way our abusers turned space into something terrifying [0:51]
Several steps to reclaim space in a relationship as a healthy, compassionate thing [1:40]
How to cope with someone needing space from you and your connection with them [3:40]
Your abuser may have turned space into a frightening thing. Often, abusers punish us by abandoning us and making us feel unwanted—by saying they need some space after we try expressing a grievance or boundary.
You should have a right to talk about these things and not have a person walk away. That wasn’t a healthy form of space in a relationship before, but space does have its place now in your new connections.
So, it’s all about you finding a sense of peace in them.
To start, go ahead and comment below with your answers to these questions! What in your past has made space in relationships feel unsafe? How can you use one of the techniques in this video to reclaim space as a healthy and safe thing?
It’s good to acknowledge that it will also take time to trust space. You’ll have to experience it in a positive way a few times before you can feel somewhat comfortable with it. So, give it a chance and try your best with the suggestions in this video. I truly think it will help you so so much!