It can be brought up as a simple, nonchalant logical "option"... to leave.
Well, logically, of course it is one of the ways to solve a problem, and I will tend to see it that way when it is brought up, when it is listed.
Emotionally things are different. I have to think about what you are saying, I have to feel it out as well, and however I may temper them, I will have emotional reactions to whatever we have said - as you will too.
When leaving is presented as an option, it is elevated to being viable.
In general, the sense of commitment we hope to feel from our partners is that leaving, for now, as things are, is not an "option." It is not something we would do to solve a problem, not without declaring the problem to be serious enough to leave over. That changes the topic of conversation, and always carries the shadow of termination in its concealed folds. Until leaving is once again taken off the table, it is a haunting presence that threatens intimacy.
It is a dangerous concept, one that should be used only when there is a serious, completely undermining threat to the relationship, since it clouds darkly any pleasantries that ensue, and it is a difficult option to renounce, once its spectre has been raised.
© Huw Powell