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Then, one day and seemingly out of the blue, the partner who has detached from the relationship announces that he or she is leaving and that there is no possibility of further discussion; no ambivalence to play on; no possibility of salvaging things.
It’s particularly devastating when this occurs because the partner who is left has no time to prepare or anticipate and grieve the end of the relationship, and because the magnitude of the loss is tremendous, involving not only the loss of a sexual partner, but also a confidant and intimate friend, and often a house or a car or a standard of living.
One partner in the relationship loses the attachment to the relationship, while the other partner does not.
Often, this happens silently, without any fanfare or obvious signs, and the partner who remains attached to the relationship doesn’t know what is happening.
Not because you want to do this, but because he clearly no longer wants to be with you, and to not divorce yourself from him emotionally at this time is to decide instead to suffer in a more intense manner than is absolutely necessary.
If you fit the common pattern, your heart will not give you permission to let him go.
So, if that is the case, your head will have to do the dirty work. You start living your life as though the relationship were truly over.
It is much easier to let someone go when you’ve had some anticipatory time before the loss event to know that the loss is coming and to engage in some anticipatory grief.
In terms of what you should do, the advice I have to give is simple but hard to follow.