wanting to improve and/or move forward in relationships seems to be a very common topic in therapy, counselling and coaching. Relationships consist a very big part of our lives, our identities, our sense of belonging, they help shape our purpose of living, are reasons to get up in the morning, in short, they make our lives juicy and full.
Sometimes they also bring pain, disappointment, betrayal. They can be manipulative, abusive even, and that goes to all relationships – personal, professional, romantic, etc. They usually start beautifully, but then as you get to know each other better or as life happens in ways that make it harder for you to stay together, it becomes hard work and too much pain . Should you stay or should you go? Should you try harder with your partner or should you look for someone better for you? If you decide to fix the relationship, who should be the one to change first? How much of a compromise is still worth it?
Sounds familiar? Yeah, I’ve been there too. Many times. And as much as I’d love to give you an answer about how to move forward, I cannot, because everybody’s different. But that’s good news, because you already have the capacity to find the answers that will work for you (and your partner if you are in this together). Either you’ll find them on your own, or together with a professional, but don’t worry, you will.
I can however share with you a letter I wrote to my most significant relationships, which have hurt me.
you have left footprints in my life that will never fade. I am thankful for all of our good and bad moments together and the contrast they produced. I now know better what I don’t want and that makes it a good starting point to think about what is it that I do want. If we could go back, I would have repeated it all over again, second by second, because I know it was essential for the growth of both of us.
It may seem that you were all I ever wanted and it had been your fault things did not work out for us, because you couldn’t find enough time for me and couldn’t keep your promises. If you had, our relationship would have thrived. But I know now that this was false. It was not your fault, it was mine. You should never have been a condition for my ability to love and I now know better, not to give my heart to anyone with notice they may break it. I wished you and me were back in alignment, so much. And I would have done anything to fix this. Now I know what truly matters is me and me in alignment. You still may be my subject of attention, but the condition of my love will not be yours. It is not your job to love me. It is mine. It is not your responsibility to make me happy. It is mine.
The love that I was seeking was not where I was looking. So here I go, moving through life, with or without you. I will work on it and do my best to allow the things life has to offer to come my way, but for me, not for you. And I promise to myself not to let me down again. Relationship with me is the only relationship that will last me a lifetime, so the best place for my heart is to stay mine and not be anyone else’s. I want to invest it all into it. And when sometime in the future I do, life will flow through me, I will be my best version and I can promise you, that I will love again, differently, regardless who is around and even if there is no-one. You can be a part of this. But I don’t mind if you don’t. I got this.
So here it goes, to all of you either loving or looking for love. Everyone deserves to be given a wild love from a gentle soul, like yours. Love doesn’t have to stop if your loved one stops loving you. Not sure my love letter is of any use, but who knows – sharing is after all, caring.