Learning from failed relationships | What your ex can reveal about you
Urgh. Crappy stuff happens to me all the time. I have lost jobs, had disastrous relationships, I have been injured, I have lost important things, I have felt terrible pain. We all have, right? Failed relationships are always hard.
For the most part, I have been blessed with really quite wonderful men in my life (including my angelic and patient father and two awesome grandfathers), and now I have my adorable husband, who has made my life better. But I have also been in some destructive relationships.
Basically, before I settled with my husband, I was with the world’s worst person. Really, he was a giant asshole. He was such an asshole. Such a raging asshole. Read about our break up here. And the funny thing is, he wasn’t just an asshole to me, he was an asshole to EVERYONE. His father was quite a nice guy, and in his 80s at the time. I used to see this former boyfriend (I always call him “Joe”) yelling at this sweet old man every time he darkened their doorstep.
Once we visited his sister for Christmas, a normal suburban woman who I had just met, and Joe basically yelled at her for the four hours we were there, in front of her husband and child. It was horrendous. But I let this guy into my life – why would I do that?
People are sometimes just “agents for a process” in a failed relationship
They come into our lives to teach us something, or to begin a lifetime process that we need to undertake, good or bad. You can really learn things from failed relationships. “If you keep finding yourself in the same situation again and again, ask yourself what it is that you’re supposed to be learning,” asks Baggage Reclaim.
“It’s that assumption that if you find happiness in someone else, you will suddenly be at one with yourself,” says the blog’s author Natalie. “I learned that you need to be personally secure so that you can enjoy a relationship with someone and also enjoy being you.”
Do you believe in fate?
I used to be a total fatalist – ergo: nothing was choice, everything was design. I couldn’t choose to eat the chocolate cake over the apple pie because I was born with a predetermined set of likes and dislikes which meant that I would always choose the apple pie. What could this tell us about our failed relationships?
I no longer believe this.
Can you have fate and free will at the same time?
As counterintuitive as it may seem, now believe in a kind of fate/free will mix. I do believe that some things are predetermined by fate, for example, I couldn’t choose what country I was born in or how rich my parents were. I couldn’t choose what my nose looks like or the colour of my skin. But I do feel that we have some choices in life, and as we learn and grow we (hopefully) discover how to make better choices for ourselves, based on our learnings from the past. A series of failed relationships can really hurt.
Are you fighting a process in your life?
There are things that have to happen to us, this I believe. If you find yourself resisting a process, it will come to find you. For example, I have written quite a lot about eclipses on this blog. An eclipse is an astrological event where something dramatic happen to put you back on track when the universe thinks you’ve stalled or are actively resisting a process, such as leaving a lousy job or an unsatisfying relationship.
I broke up with Joe after a very dramatic eclipse. At the time I was devastated but now I am SO relieved that that eclipse came and washed our shitty relationship away. He was a Class A Jerk and I am thrilled to be rid of the dimwit.
7 things you can learn from failed relationships
Mind Body Green has a great post on what you can learn from failed relationships. “Relationships leave us with feelings of sorrow, uncertainty, and guilt but there is much wisdom from these uncomfortable emotions.”
The website points out that people do not belong to you and that we can all benefit a bit from some “me time”. Also, the fact is that you really do not need another person to “complete you” – you are whole as you are.
“If you aren’t happy with yourself, you won’t find that happiness in a relationship either. You have to cultivate self-love and happiness in your life first, before you can share it with another.”
There are some other great points in the article, including that relationships are a direct reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves. In short, until you love and value yourself, you’ll never be able to have a loving and valuable relationship with another. Read the full article here.