I recently picked up a book by Dr. Bonnie Weil called, "Make Up, Don't Break Up," and its got me thinking about relationships and break ups in a whole new way. Until the past week I've thought of a break up as an end, a defined break. But Dr. Weil's premise - which I haven't finished reading yet so please correct me if one of you have read the book and consider my interpretation misguided - is that a break up can serve a couple better if considered a pause, or at the very least temporary, in order to better a relationship that isn't flowing like it could.
Why a break up? It isn't her first suggestion, I'll admit. But her idea is that all romantic relationships have a Pursuer and a Distancer (although some relationships have two of each, most have one of each). The Pursuer is the person who wants a commitment, is scared of being abandoned, has no issue being impulsive or taking risks in a relationship, loves talking about the relationship and/or dislikes being alone. The Distancer would rather leave everything up in the air, wants space but has issues communicating that need, is a workaholic, and/or stands still in relationships out of fear of being rejected. A break up is necessary then when those two roles become so unbalanced that they affect the interaction negatively, i.e. the Distancer is so distant and non-responsive that the Pursuer chases even more, with both running in circles, spiraling downwards fast. The break up then allows for both parties to get some space, refocus, ground themselves into a healthier dynamic, and focus on whatever issues they have individually in order to come together again and determine if the relationship can weather the storm.
Does breaking up to make up work? Dr. Weil states that in her private practice (she's a therapist) she has a 98% success rate with her break up to make up technique, using the bevvy of skills and suggestions in the book (there are tons - way more than I can do justice here). Success meaning, that people don't break up permanently, but rather, temporarily.
So, what do you think? Have you read the book and used the tactics? Did they work for you? Or, do you think that breaking up to make up could salvage a good relationship that's in serious trouble?