Why Disengagement Can Be a More Bitter Pain Than Being Cheated On

The thought of a cheater: someone we trust, who we've shared a closeness with for so long, who we know on the most intimate of levels...That person turns on us and seeks love, sex, intimacy, emotional connectedness with someone else. And we are left gutted. Could this be the most brilliantly hurtful pain of all? To know someone preferred the company/lips/love of another? The concept of disengagement could potentially be more devastating than the actual psychical cheating. Disengagement is a term not often used when people talk about why it ended. They usually jump to the climatic "He cheated on me!" or "I woke up one day and wanted a divorce!" No one breaks down and deconstructs the exact time when the relationship began disengaging, when one person stopped bothering to fix the tiny tears that eventually wore into big holes. “What can make this covert betrayal so much more dangerous than something like a lie or an affair is that we can’t point to the source of our pain — there’s no event, no obvious evidence of brokenness. It can feel crazy-making.” scholar Brene Brown explains of disengagement in her book "Daring Greatly". Crazy-making is right. In today's society, communication can come in strange forms. We can ignore each other's calls, texts, emails. We can not text back for hours and leave our partner feeling anxious and upset. Disengaging is as easy as putting down our phones. "Cheating" puts a clear, defined label on the situation. Disengagement is sort of a grey area of vague, lazy lack of attempts to keep a relationship alive. The important thing to remember is while this behaviour may make you feel crazy, you are not. You may never know what leads to disengagement, and what happened to that person that made them shut you out, but you're better for not being in a relationship with them! Share with us your stories of relationships - past and present!

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