We fall out of love for many reasons. It often happens when one of the partners is in a stressful and less resourceful place. When we are in a stressful place we may start to behave differently towards our partner. We might have an increased need for intimacy or freedom. Suddenly we might not be able to express our needs to our partner or communicate the stress we experience. It might lead to some misunderstandings or disagreements. The separation in the relationship may come from different expectations or different attachment styles. These misunderstandings might trigger our conditioned behavior strategies or childhood patterns. We have a tendency to act like a child or an immature person. When this happens projections and blame tend to occur fostering less feelings of safety in the relationship. For some, this signifies a relationship crisis.
We have a tendency to project negativity on our partner when he does not live up to the romantic expectations placed on the relationship. It is important to become aware of our reaction patterns and kinds of demon dialogues that occur.
The most common Demon Dialogues are the Protest Polka, Find the Bad Guy, and Freeze and Flee. These varied attachment styles reveal ways we communicate being hurt. The longer things fester, the more negative the interactions can become. When we feel disconnected or triggered, we will naturally begin projecting negative emotions and labels onto our partner. We risk having demon dialogues which lead to bigger concerns in the relationship.
Protest Polka is the most common demon dialogue. During this phase, one partner (anxious) becomes critical, blaming and aggressive while the other partner expresses defensiveness and distance (avoidant) behaviors. The more one partner withdraws, the more frantic and cutting the attacks of the other becomes. This cycle continues until partners are not able to listen to each other.
The avoidant partner thinks that the anxious one created drama for nothing. If he could just relax, we could have a good time. The anxious partner thinks: "He is never there for me when I need him. He is selfish." It can also lead to an inner turning on oneself, “Maybe there is something wrong with me? Maybe it is better that I leave this relationship?”
Find the Bad Guy The purpose of Find the Bad Guy is self-protection. The main means of action is mutual attack, accusation, or blame. It's always the other partner's fault for the distress in the relationship. "It is not Me, It´s You." It is a dead-end pattern of mutual blame that effectively keeps a couple concerns resolved thus blocking re-engagement and the creation of safe bonding.
Freeze and Flee or Withdraw – Withdrawal is a pattern that usually happens after the Protest Polka has gone on for a while in a relationship. The partners, feeling hopeless, begin to give up. Their emotions and needs tend to be in a state of deep freeze, leaving only numbness and distance. These partners live side by side, but there is no intimacy or closeness in the relationship. Both are frozen and have withdrawn from each other. They are too afraid to speak about it; things just get worse. Often, they are also too scared to break up and leave each other.
How to break the demon dialogue?
The first thing is to become aware that the demon dialogues have started. After noticing, stop the behavior or the conversation. The more awareness we can bring to our relational patterns, the more likely healing can occur. This needs a level of maturity. To that end, taking a time-out could the best approach in the beginning.