I received a comment on one of my other posts from a woman that had a relationship go wrong when she experienced breaking up with her partner. It brought back a lot of memories of things I’ve gone through after some traumatic relationship breakups.
Well, they’re all traumatic, aren’t they?
I thought I’d create a whole article about relationships and what might be a healthy way to approach them… and a healthy way to get over breaking up when they go wrong.
“Healthy” meaning you’re a winner whether they’re going right or wrong. You always have to remain the winner because love relationships are that one area of life that can destroy you. Literally destroy you because you put so much into them.
I’m downplaying it when I say I have had some outrageous break-ups over the year. Despite great intentions and I think doing the right things with what I was faced with, I still lost some amazing people that I was totally in love with. If we’re counting them , that’s 5 people I broke up with after being totally in love with them.
Currently I’m head over heels with my current girlfriend/common-law wife and finally I know what it is to be in a healthy relationship where trust is 100% and yet, if it goes tragically and unexplainably wrong – I’ll be OK in a short time because, though I love her to death – I’m also OK with knowing that things can change anytime. They do. I’ve seen it over and over in things I used to attach my mind to.
The way people – and especially women I think – are raised in the USA is that they think there is one love relationship that is IT forever for them. There are good and bad times in relationships most realize, but, it’s forever. They search for that relationship and every time they fall in love and get married or date seriously for 2+ years – that’s it. That’s the one and they are totally taken by surprise when something happens – like the male partner finds someone else. (can easily be role-reversed)
I have to admit – when I fall in love – I’m IN LOVE – completely, 100% in it for the duration and head over elbows in love with the girl. I don’t feel right when I’m not in love and I miss the 1-1 relationship if I don’t have it.
Well, lose 5 people you love tremendously and there begins to be some growth in that direction. It’s common sense starting to come into the picture. In hindsight I can see the faults that happened in each break up and see where, though I couldn’t have prevented any of them – I might not have been so attached to the person – to the relationship and think – THIS IS THE ONE, the only one for the rest of my life.
First, lets agree on something…
All you can control is yourself. And, it’s quite tough to do that. Extremely tough.
And yet, you can. It takes effort, but you can control your life and what you do in that life.
After a break up you should grieve and throw shi* across the room, hit your pillow, buy a punching bag, take up racquetball and get your frustrations the hell out of your system because you need it. You were wronged – horribly wronged in your mind, and you’ve gotta deal with breaking up by expressing it. You’ve gotta express it with words, screaming, anger, punching, kicking, hitting and crying.
Do it somewhere appropriate. Somewhere safe. But, DO IT.
You must feel the hurt. Feel free to ignore friends and family that try to rush you out of feeling bad. FEEL IT. Hit the bottom and feel like dirt for as long as it takes you – but, always have some other parts of your life that are rewards… that are good to you.. make sure you’re having fun when you can. Sports, movies, reading, traveling, eating out, friends, anything that makes you happy – do it and do lots of it anytime you feel better than dirt.
Give yourself permission to hit rock bottom. But, notice when you’re not all the way at the bottom – and in that space of 15 minutes, an hour when you’re at a higher level – do something fun to break the spell depression has on you. Eventually you start to destroy the power of the spell and you’ll get tired of depression. Time does heal everything. Not completely, but it sure crusts it all over!
Relationships are only as powerful in your life as you allow them to be.
What I mean is, you can be 100% into a relationship – in a completely lost state where you’re tied into that other person with your heart, soul, mind, time, thoughts, hopes, dreams, and everything that makes up “you”.
Or, you might assign your relationship some portion of 100%. Say, 10%.
If 10% and you lose it – what happens? You grieve – sure, but you have 90% of your life remaining the same. Life goes on… the game goes on, and you’re a winner in it because you’ve got a good strategy.
Structure your life more like that… give your relationship 25% maybe. 50% if you dare. See what happens when things go wrong? You have something left. You’re not 100% lost if your relationship doesn’t work. You’re 50% out. 25% out. Maybe even 10%. Looks a lot more bearable at those numbers, yes? You have to make those numbers… decide them for your relationship.
Tracey Chapman says in a song…
This time… I won’t show I’m vulnerable. This time I won’t give in first… this time I will hold out with my love… this time, I will not be hurt…
I’m gonna love myself more than anyone else… I’m gonna treat me right. Gonna make you say that you love me first, you’ll be the one with the most to lose tonight…. this time… this time… Won’t let my emotions rule my life. This time… gonna lock my heart up safe and tight… this time… I’m gonna be my own best friend… this time… I’m gonna be the one….
And that’s sort of the same attitude you have to take… hold a little bit back for yourself, for your sanity.
How can I say this? How can you hold back from giving 100% to your partner? Is that LOVE? Or, what is that?
In a relationship you’re 50% of the equation. You control just 50% of it.
Your partner is the other 50% and you NEVER know how much they’re in it for – or, if it’s changing within their mind at any time. They might be 100% into you for a few months, then 80%, 50%… Maybe they find someone else they’re 50% for – damn, that’s 50% you and 50% the other person.
You’re going to get hurt if you don’t hold something back… that something doesn’t have to be what you GIVE that person. Please don’t misunderstand. It doesn’t have to be holding back how much you love and feel the love of that person.
What you need to hold back is your idea in your mind that it can’t change… it can, everything does change. You have to realize that with your mind – that your life consists of 100%.
Your relationship is part of that. NOT the whole thing.
How can it be? You have friends, work, hobbies, family, and self. Assign percentages of your life to those essentials too – and think about them often.
Every single thing that you can point out to me – changes as time goes. Time affects everything. It’s a basic truth the Buddhists have acknowledged for thousands of years. Everything is impermanent.
You might attach to the idea with your mind that your relationship is permanent. It isn’t. It’s ALWAYS in flux. It’s ever-changing and not completely controllable by you, or you AND your partner. Time introduces so many variables to a relationship that it’s impossible for you both to control them.
So, after a relationship breakup – in the short term – you’re angry and hurt… life seems like a joke without this person you built your life around. You feel like it’s all over… and I’ve been there. Couple times. Few times. Though I thought – maybe I’ll kill myself, I never reached that point. Never got serious about it because I always had something fun – some friends, family or someone that was worth living FOR.
I always had someone that I didn’t want to destroy because I couldn’t tough it out and continue what seems like a stupid, ridiculous game at times (life).
And, so I hurt for months the first time. It ripped my insides out and that’s all I saw for a couple months… and then, gradually I pulled out of it. Everyone can pull out of it with effort. Don’t think it will happen on its own. That’s when you go into long and deep depression. MAKE EFFORTS.
Think about it as a game. The game got sick for a little while, but now you’re learning about life… it IS sick sometimes. It’s undeniably unfair and ugly. Think of it like you just learned a WHOLE lot and that you’re slowly mastering this monstrous game that has infinite ways to hurt you… and you’re getting better at it with each major problem you put behind you.
Put this one behind you… take some time and learn something about what happened… figure out how to go about it smarter this time… with a little bit saved for you.
Change the pie-graph so it looks more like 25% friends, 15% family, 15% Self, 20% activities, and 25% relationship. Not filled in 100% red like a Valentine’s Day heart with your lover’s name on it.
You’ve got to set yourself up to be the winner. With every game you play. One of the best ways to do that is to have a realistic view of it to start. Everything is impermanent. Everything changes. Base your life on these ideas… you can’t be a loser with that system. You just can’t be….
Best of Life!