Do You Chase When Someone Withdraws?

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A member of our website asked this question in our advice section:

I’ve read several of the articles on the site, but have not seen anything mentioned about “chasing”after someone who is pulling away in a relationship. That has to be a form of protection against deeper feelings, though, right? If someone is pulling away and the urge to chase after them comes up, what is the best thing to do in this situation? Thanks!

I know exactly what this woman is going through, as I used to go through the same thing. When a man I felt connected to would withdraw, shut down, or pull away in any way, I would feel a sense of panic. In my panic, I would convince myself that by being a certain way – attractive enough, sexy enough, nice enough, right enough, or convincing enough – I could get him to reconnect with me.

Now I know that the panic over another disconnecting from me was coming from my own disconnection from myself.

I used to disconnect from myself right at the beginning of a relationship, making his feelings more important than my own. I would put my own feelings – my inner child – in a closet, and instead take care of his inner child. My hope was that if he felt loved enough by me, he would take my inner child out of the closet and love her. I was abandoning myself by caretaking him, hoping to get the love from him that I had no idea how to give to myself.

Because I didn’t know how to love myself, I was emotionally dependent on my guy to feel lovable and worthy. Hence, the panic when he would leave – taking my whole sense of self-worth with him.

The question asked is: What is the best thing to do in this situation?

The Best Thing to Do

The best thing is to let go and take loving care of yourself. But this is easier said than done.

There are a number of things I had to learn before I could to the best thing for myself:

  • I had to accept that I had no control over how he felt about me, no matter how much I chased him, or how wonderful I tried to be. I recently read this on another site (http://stepperswisdom.blogspot.com/):

codependent’s Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,
the courage to change the one I can,
and the wisdom to know it’s me.

~Author Unknown

  • I had to learn how to take 100% responsibility for my own feelings of worth and safety, joy and pain. And before I could learn this, I had to accept that my feelings were, in fact, my responsibility and not someone else’s. I had to accept that I was the cause of my anxiety, depression, panic, guilt, anger, and shame, and that I had to learn to manage the core painful feelings of life – loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief, and helplessness over others.
  • I had to establish a strong connection with my personal source of spiritual guidance in order to access the love that my inner child needed. As long as I was making a man my source of love, I was emotionally dependent, continued to panic, and continued to chase when he withdrew.

This pattern continued with my ex-husband for the first 20 years of our marriage. He would withdraw and I would chase, desperate to not feel the loneliness and heartache of his disconnection from me. Then, thankfully, Spirit brought us Inner Bonding and I learned how to be loving to myself. This has made all the difference.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to discover real love and intimacy? Click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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