Learning From a Relationship Breakdown
A divorce, separation or, in general, any loss of an important relationship is a painful experience. Such pain can seriously diminish our peace and happiness. We can, however, use this inner discomfort for our spiritual benefit. If we are thinking of separating, there are many lessons we need to examine before we can come to the conclusion that we must separate from someone. But if the other leaves us, or if this separation has already happened, we might be able to benefit from the following.
Robert Najemy, author, lecturer and founder of the Centre for Harmonious Living suggests that our first lesson is to examine our behaviour to see how we might have contributed to the problem. Only in this way can we create a new, healthy relationship if we choose to.
- We may have been seeking constant affirmation in ways that may have been tiring for the other.
- We may have been over-critical, complaining, rejecting or otherwise causing the other to feel unaccepted.
- Our fears may have been causing us to be over sensitive and annoying.
- Perhaps we were playing games of power, who is right or who is more successful.
- We might have been playing roles such as the child, the parent, the saviour, the holy one, the rebel, the teacher or some other role which may have affected the other’s behaviour.
- We may have guilt feelings that were making us vulnerable to the other’s words or behaviours.
- Perhaps we were not communicating our needs clearly and effectively as an adult.
We may have been projecting onto the other our childhood or other experiences.
The other might have been reflecting back to us our lack of self-esteem or self-respect.
- We may have attachments that were coming between us.
- We may have inner conflicts, which were reflecting back to us from the other.
Regardless of whether we stay with that person or not, we may need to learn to love the other in spite of his or her behaviour. Happiness, security and love are internal states that are always within us, if only we allow ourselves to experience them.
We can use this opportunity to develop greater inner strength so as to feel confident and able to face whatever may come to us in the game of life. Most of us will need to change our self-image. We need now to learn to accept, love and respect ourselves more, so that we do not create the same problem in our next relationship or in life in general.
The lessons to be addressed are separated into five categories:
- Learn to communicate more effectively, assertively and lovingly.
- Let go of some attachments, which are increasing our conflicts with others and diminishing our happiness.
- Examine our behaviours that might be annoying the other.
- Free ourselves from subconscious programming, which limit our self-esteem and ability to attract the behaviours that we deserve.
- Develop inner feelings of security, self worth and freedom. Once our happiness, security and love have become internalised, we can experience unconditional love.
Although we need to make every possible step to heal our relationships, if and when a relationship breaks down, there is still much we can learn.