“You feel helpless and desperate. You feel like you’re not “good enough”. You want the magic words that will undo everything that’s been done and said and make it all whole again. And nobody can give them to you.”
As I tell clients who are struggling near the end of a relationship, I don’t save your relationship – I help save you so you can either save it yourself or happily move on. The pain of the emerging end of your relationship feels like a twisted knot in your stomach. It’s a dull ache that makes you lose interest in eating, drinking, or smiling.
The taut, throbbing, swollen feeling in your face and head makes you think you may explode.
Then you find out it was the tears trying to push their way through. The more you hold them back, the more the pressure builds. Then, you let them fly. And you feel relief.
Relief turns into grief.
You feel helpless and desperate. You feel like you’re not “good enough”. You want the magic words that will undo everything that’s been done and said and make it all whole again. And nobody can give them to you.
What Most People Do:
Most people at this point go into defensive mode. After the crying, begging, and pleading is over, their emotional guard is up and their mind snaps shut.
They want somebody to pay. They need someone else to be wrong so they can be right.
They spin story after story describing in detail how horrible the other person was. They list their partner’s faults and their baggage. They find blame anywhere they can. They don’t want to discuss the “other side of the story”. There is no room to discuss their own role in the break up because they did all they could. They tried so hard but their partner just never appreciated them enough.
Then they give up and continue to trash any remaining possibility of salvaging the relationship.
The Option That Will Save Your Life – And Maybe Your Relationship:
The first order of business is to begin the process of “Untying the Knot” in your stomach. That knot is the source of sleeplessness, horrible morning mind movies, and anxiety attacks.
What makes the knot go away? The truth.
The truth is that you are good enough. You do deserve to be happy. There is nothing inherently wrong with you that makes you “deserve” this pain. Once we get that through your head, you can also learn that your partner is not inherently horrible either.
You both made some mistakes, but you are not your mistakes.
Once the knot starts to fade and you let down your walls of blame and defensiveness, you will see something else.
Guilt–A very useful and motivational emotion when you know how to talk to it.
It sounds like, “I’ve made some mistakes and I’m sorry. But I know I can do better.”
This begins the wheels of accountability turning as you become clearer about what has happened and why it may be the best gift you could have gotten.
You want to own your role in what’s happened and you fully intend to grow from it.
Then you start to feel a little bold.. A tad bit courageous. You begin to realize that you can actually be detached from an expected outcome and be totally at peace with that detachment. You know you will be fine no matter what happens.
This is often the point at which your partner’s feelings toward you begin to change as well. Their fear subsides and their trust and respect can grow.
But you don’t have false hopes. You don’t take your eye off the ball.
This isn’t about them and their choices. It’s about you and your choices.
And you’ve chosen to chart a course for yourself that feels good. It’s based on your values for who you are and where you’re going. You will be with people who share those values. Your partner may be on that trip with you or they may choose a different one.
And you’ve somehow become at peace with that.
Originally published: GoodGuys2GreatMen
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