We’ve covered A LOT in this month’s mindful messages, and I know much of it has not been easy to digest. Some of the ideas I’ve shared challenge the ingrained societal conditioning about commitments and relationships.
I understand this makes some people uncomfortable, but I’m also receiving a lot of positive feedback. In fact, my ex-partner (who is still my friend) even commented on the value of these messages!
Do you remember how I shared with you that the whole concept behind A Healthy Path to Love is to keep the love in the relationship, even when it’s in the best interest of the couple to break their romantic connection?
Well…that’s exactly what my ex-partner and I did. Even though the breakup was painful, we made a choice to handle it with integrity and love. And because of that choice, we were able to continue the friendship, enjoy an occasional hike with one another, and help each other out when we can.
So please…don’t buy into the social conditioning that breakups are always ugly. It doesn’t have to be that way!
And I also urge you to reject the social conditioning that romantic relationships are difficult and you just have to deal with it because you made a commitment.
Yes, romantic relationships go through difficult phases, as do most types of relationships. But if that ‘difficult phase’ turns into month after month or year after year, it’s time to examine why you’re in it!
If you’ve been in a state of stress and struggle with your partner, facing the reality of your relationship and seeing it clearly is difficult. One of the most simple and direct questions you can ask yourself is: Am I staying in integrity with the purpose of the relationship?
If the answer is no, what steps can you take to reconnect? Maybe you need to get back in touch with what you want and need out of the relationship. Or maybe the two of you need some counseling on how to communicate more effectively.
By all means, take measures to make the relationship work when there’s a lack of harmony. That’s part of the commitment.
If after taking those measures, you feel like you’ve done your best and discover that it’s not possible to reconnect in a way that works for both of you, that’s okay. When a relationship ends, that doesn’t mean it was a failure!
In fact, it could very well mean that it was a success. That your relationship gave you the gift and opportunity of loving each other as long as it stayed healthy and fulfilling. But once you came to a point in the relationship when it no longer felt healthy and fulfilling, you were able to stay true to your commitment of honesty and respect by letting it go.
When two friends decide to no longer be friends, that’s not considered a failure. When an employer/employee relationship no longer works, that’s acceptable. But somehow, society has conditioned people to think that when a romantic relationship ends, it was a failure. This is simply not true.
Yes, ending a relationship is painful. But so is staying in a relationship that’s no longer fulfilling!
Romantic relationships are a beautiful thing…when they’re working. But when they’re not, it can feel like a never-ending struggle. Choosing to stay in a never-ending struggle (yes, it is a choice!) is NOT what commitment is about!
This is one of the things I love so much about the form of a romantic relationship. It gives us so many opportunities to face the truth of what’s really going on and move beyond our personal fears about rejection, abandonment or not feeling worthy of true love.
Marianne Williamson spells this out so beautifully in her book, A Return to Love:
“Sometimes the lesson to be learned in a relationship is how to hang in there and try to work things out. Other times, the lesson to be learned is how to exit a situation that doesn’t serve. No one can determine for another person what principle applies in what circumstance. It is ultimately our connection to Spirit, our own intuitional guidance, that alone can lead us to the higher unfoldment of events through the deepest understanding.”
No one can force a relationship to work. People change. Priorities change. Circumstances change. Relationships change.
Part of the commitment is facing the reality of how those changes affect the relationship and whether or not you can maintain a healthy connection.
As long as the relationship is treated with mutual respect and honesty, even if you’re no longer a couple, you can still care about each other and continue to be friends.
For example, co-workers who became friends may stop working together, but can easily continue the friendship.
The same concept applies to schoolmates or roommates. Once you’re done with school, or move to a different location, the friendship can easily be maintained…if it’s worth maintaining.
Of course a romantic relationship is different than these other forms of relationship, but the same principles apply. It may not be easy at first, but it can be done!
You can’t change the past, but you can change your future.
When you make the choice to honor yourself, your partner and the purpose of your relationship with honesty, love and respect, you bring peace to your past. This allows you to move forward into your future with grace!
Whether this means you stay with your partner to work it out, or gracefully let the relationship go, making peace with the past will help!
Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you tips, exercises and helpful information to improve the quality of your romantic relationship!
Healthy Relationship Coach
P.S. Please know that you’re not alone in this process! If you need support, please contact me for a relationship strategy session at no cost to you.