Ending of Relationships
But ultimately the mirror's image was too
and the reflection unbearable- so it was easier to shatter the
mirror and destroy the truth.
Home | Up
Love is nothing else- if not eternal
"All loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet,
those who have not
had a taste of it do not know!"-Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn
as if you were
to live forever. - Mahatma Gandhi
The beginning of the adventure of finding yourself is
to lose your way. - Joseph Campbell
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does
not exist in nature, nor
do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding
danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life
is a daring adventure or nothing at all. - Helen Keller
The above are quotes from bodymindsoul.
If you allow it to be, love is the greatest
force in the universe.
When most people end relationships they
reject what they most
love in order to avoid facing what they most fear- themselves.
As they say, it is important to live in the
present, not the past or future.
Yet, it is also important to understand the past- so you can
avoid repeating the mistakes- even if those mistakes
were an important part of your learning.
Healthy love must be nurturing. It is not only about what you are,
who you are now- but what you may become. The potential of the human
spirit for growth, love and awareness. Therefore, for me, love is about
unlocking the potential of the other- not stymieing it with
nurturing. It is an awareness of your beloveds potential. I have
where one or both people are choked - where their love has become an
an antidote to the fear of being alone not a mysterious adventure. To often
and judge and judge - nothing more is this than extension of ego- destroying
communication and cutting off the vitality needed in a healthy
My answer to this is thanks, but no thanks
When we reject others- we reject a part of
When we seek happiness by rejecting love and losing
our openness to others- we only delay the time that it takes
to become fulfilled and truly happy.
Love is the unconditional support of
It is the unshakable desire to see them become what they
were meant to be, yet accepting of who there are now.
It is unmoving, and remains when all else is gone- whether
that is youth, health, mind and even life.
I promise you this. Each day I will say I
- regardless of how sad, disappointed or angry I become.
Each day I will commit to you as if for the first time.
An each day I will be thankful that you are with me.
Each day I will remember how imperfect I am.
A relationship is not about you or me. It is
Without the "us" there is no relationship.
To make one person the
focus of one's love-may be the inspiration
of many a love song- but in the end- that focus is narrow and selfish.
If one loves, then one must love all consciousness- all life-
and the full manifestation of this in oneself and others.
The essence of life and love is change.
My heart is open- but to be understood the
other must be willing to receive-
to accept the offering.
Without commitment there is no possibility
of change and growth,
and without these things the relationship and the people in it will
not heal and become healthy.
Often the ego's "self protectiveness" can be
resulting in anger, threats and withdrawal. Yet sometimes there
is a need to fight. A need to break the silence- to restore
a balance- to unleash the truth.
To often people forget that life itself is a
gift. They lose
perspective on what is important and isn't- they forget the
primacy of love and instead revel in fear. While we think that
our fears protect us- they really destroy us and eventually rob
what they seem most desirous of protecting- life itself.
For too many relationships are nothing more
than sources of
ego gratification. This kind of love only leads to cruelty & pain.
True love is as constant as the North Star & as faithful as the
sun that rises & sets every day. True love is unshakable. True love
cannot willfully hurt the beloved. To love someone is to love their
spirit- their essence. To seek to know them at the deepest level. To
love what they love & to accept them fully for who they are.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.- William
Shakespeare, Sonnet CXV1
of relationships, whether friendships, marriages or work is always painful.
Often there is a great sense of loss. At times it is necessary when one or
both partners are emotionally and/or physically abusive, and unable or
unwilling to change what has become a toxic, unhealthy and/or addictive
relationship. However, reconciliation is often possible if both people love,
care, trust and respect each other and are fundamentally compatible. The ability and willingness to
honestly, assertively, empathetically and non-judgmentally communicate
and actively listen is also critical.
Sometimes counseling helps if both
people are sincerely committed to relationship building and are
psychologically secure and healthy enough to alter their thoughts and
behavior. Counseling can help us understand that conflict can be healthy- a
way to talk about problems, instead of arguing and withdrawing. It can help
us find ways to empathize, acknowledge and
express feelings and avoid the pitfalls that commonly escalate conflicts. What of course doesn't work in salvaging
a troubled relationship are threats, ultimatums, harsh criticism,
sarcasm, passivity, pent up
aggression, passive aggressive behavior,
violence and/or resigning oneself that any relationship is
better than no relationship.
One of the key elements of a healthy
relationship is unselfishness. In essence, "Do unto others as you would have
others do unto you"- and engaging in the self questioning necessary to make
this a reality.
In any relationship it is important to
understand and accept a situation from the other's perspective, even if
that perspective is radically different from your own. It is also important
to understand that expressed or unexpressed anger may generate a similar
reaction - whether aggressive, passive aggressive and/or passive.
While anger is a natural human emotion one cannot expect that response to
anger will always be positive and constructive. The ability to unselfishly
deal with both you and your partners anger and to non-defensively
communicate your thoughts and feelings in the context of a trusting
relationship is essential.
It is true that in any relationship there
must be shared values on ethics and commitment. However, some feel we are
drawn to people that help complete ourselves. It is in these
relationships where there is the greatest potential for growth, precisely
because both people are so different in personality and life orientation.
Yet it is often true that these relationships may engender the most conflict-
at least in the beginning and until both people learn to communicate
unselfishly and acquire enough of an understanding of themselves and each
other for healing to take place.
Accountability, honesty and commitment are crucial to a
Gay Hendricks of the Hendricks Institute write:
|In our thirty-plus years as therapists,
educators and consultants, we have never seen dishonesty produce happiness
and intimacy. So we advocate absolute honesty in any relationship that
matters to you. If your relationship to yourself matters, be scrupulously
honest in acknowledging your feelings and motivations to yourself. If your
relationship with a specific person matters, scrupulously tell the full
truth about your feelings and your deeds to that person. Almost every
relationship disaster people have brought to our office began with lying
to protect the feelings of another person. For this reason, we never
|Commitment is crucial to relationship
harmony. Almost all relationship problems are problems of commitment. We
have worked with couples married for twenty years in which one or both
people had not yet made a full body-and-soul commitment to the
relationship. In other situations, problems were caused by a person being
more committed to an addiction--such as smoking, alcohol, work or
others--than to the ongoing dance of intimacy with a partner. Unconscious
commitments can best be discovered by listening to what you complain
about, out loud or in your mind. When people complain about something
repeatedly, it is almost always because they have an unconscious
commitment to it. Take, for example, the common complaint about weight:
Most insightful people eventually discover that they were unconsciously
committed to perpetuating their weight problems. If they weren't
complaining about weight, they'd have to do something with all that
energy, something truly risky like expressing creativity. We advocate a
monogamous sexual commitment, and have never seen any other model work.|
|Arguments start when someone points the
finger of blame and races to occupy the position of "wronged victim." This
causes the other person to blame and race toward the victim position. Both
people end up feeling wronged, justifying that position, and burning
immense energy in a futile attempt to get the other person to accept the
role of villain. Our work deals with this problem in a radical way: We
invite both people to take full responsibility for any problem in a
relationship. Both people are invited to shift to asking "What's my role
in this problem?" and "How can I shift my consciousness so it doesn't
re-occur?" rather than "Why is he/she doing this to me?" When people are
courageous enough to do that, the energy that previously was burned in the
race for victimhood can be re-channeled into creative activities.|
|Our work focuses on learning to
appreciate other people, and learning to receive appreciation, rather than
trying to get other people to appreciate us. When you open to receiving
appreciation and learn how to appreciate skillfully, other people go to
great lengths to appreciate you.|
|We are much more interested in how
people are the same than how they are different. While some approaches
focus on the differences between men and women, for example, we focus on
the underlying unity of genders. Whether you are in a same-sex
relationship, a multi-cultural relationship or any other variation, you
still face core issues common to all.|
|Creativity is crucial to relationship
harmony. Unless both people express their creativity, they are going to
think the other is oppressing it.|
|Most relationship problems can be
resolved with five questions: What am I not facing? What truths have I not
spoken? What have I been blaming others for that I need to own
responsibility for creating? What choices do I need to make? What actions
do I need to take? |
Some individuals are
narcissistic- viewing a relationship
primarily from the perspective
of their own needs and wants. They may lack self esteem and compassion-
resenting their partner for insensitivity to their needs. Their
resentment can manifest in any number of forms of exploitation and
emotional/physical abuse and withdrawal. They sometimes exit from a relationship when
painful challenges and disappointments arise either as a byproduct of the
relationship and/or external to it. This adversity represents too great a
threat to their self esteem, often conflicting with their sense of self
importance, entitlement and fantasy world of success, power or brilliance. Ironically, this very escape, while a symptom of their illness also further saps the joy from
their life- making life less,
not more bearable. Rather than attempting to resolve differences and
challenges through understanding and compassion, they cycle through future
relationships- repeating the negative, sometimes abusive patterns of the past.
See also: Dr. Irene's Verbal Abuse
Other personality issues or disorders can
contribute to relationship difficulties. Low self esteem may lead to pent up
anger, confusion, poor self assertion and unhealthy relationship dynamics.
Depression, anxiety disorders, narcissism, bipolar disorder and more severe types of mental
illness such as schizophrenia, can severely exacerbate relationship problems. The same can be said for substance abuse and
addiction. Substance abuse may accompany mental disorders- the two feeding
on each other and destroying individual lives and relationships.
may also arise- perpetuating, rather than resolving problems. Relationship counseling
in combination with self work, individual therapy and medication may be
required to successfully resolve many or all of the above issues.
At times a partner withdraws from what seemed a loving and supportive relationship with
little or no effort to communicate why and resolve differences. When this occurs the "rejected"
deeply betrayed and the "rejecter" less authentic and human.
Understandably, previous words of love and commitment are called
into question- the rejected feeling "used" and/or victimized by
what appears to be a psychologically irresponsible, perhaps narcissistic human being.
Our memories are not of what was, but how we remember what was.
Understandably, thoughts creep in that what was- never really was and
therefore could never be.
However, relationships do change over time and maybe love flowered once,
but gradually died over time- with the warning signs ignored or only
Mark Knapp, identifies these stages in the coming together and coming
apart phases of a relationship:
|Initiation- This stage is
very short, sometimes as short as 10-15 seconds. In this stage,
interactants are concerned with making favorable impressions on each
other. They may use standard greetings or observe each other's appearance
|Experimenting- In the
next stage, individuals ask questions of each other in order to gain
information about them and decide if they wish to continue the
relationship. "Many relationships progress no further than this point"
Self-disclosure becomes more common in the intensifying stage. The
relationship becomes less formal, the interactants begin to see each other
as individuals, and statements are made about the level of commitment each
has to the relationship.|
individuals become a pair in the integrating stage. They begin to do
things together and, importantly, others come to see them as a pair. A
shared relational identity starts to form in this stage.|
|Bonding- During the
bonding stage, a formal, sometimes legal, announcement of the relationship
is made. Examples include a marriage, "best friend" ritual, or business
partnership agreement. Few relationships reach this level. |
Differentiating- In this stage, partners begin to stress the
"me" instead of the "we." In other words, the individuals begin to assert
their independence. They may develop different hobbies or activities. The
relationship may continue to dissolve, or this stage may be a warning sign
that the couple needs to address their relationship status.|
Circumscribing: Communication between the couple diminishes
during this stage. They tend to avoid certain topics of discussion.
Outwardly, the couple appears normal. At this stage, attempts can be made
to discuss the relationship and return it to a positive state.|
Stagnating: During the stagnating stage, the individuals
avoid discussing the relationship because they think they know what the
other will say. Others begin to take notice that something is wrong.|
Avoiding: The pair begins to physically separate themselves
during the avoiding stage. The individuals try to reduce the opportunities
Terminating: This is the final stage of the relationship.
Termination may come naturally, such as at the end of the semester when
roommates move out, or arbitrarily, through divorce. Termination of the
relationship can occur positively or negatively. |
While memories of a relationship fade- they still remain part of who we
are. We must incorporate the relationship experience, understand and learn
from it-treasuring the best parts- but never
suppressing memories no matter how painful or joyful. Attempting to
suppress ultimately hinders
the growth of the soul.
Love is productive- giving genuine love
to another enriches one's own life and being even if this love is rejected.
Still, we must learn from our past relationships, seeking partners that can
love us deeply and unconditionally. We must learn to recognize the warning signs of
relationships in crisis and of partners who can't fully love.
All of us have had relationships that have ended. But while we may gyrate through the various
stages of denial, anger, grief, acceptance and forgiveness the consequences
are always painful.
De Santis, Ph.D,
recommends the following steps to take if you decide to exit a troubled
|Formulate specific steps for exiting
your relationship that will help you avoid procrastination or
|Activate your social-emotional support
system, including friends and family.|
|Avoid entering a new relationship too
quickly. Take time to work through your feelings. Examine what happened so
you can make better relationship choices in the future.|
|Pursue your own goals for happiness,
personal growth, and getting on with building a new life.|
remember that all endings are new beginnings and that if we remain open,
caring and alive, love will again return- perhaps sadder and wiser- but no
less beautiful and fulfilling. No star or flower is more beautiful than
another- only a unique expression of love. And remember- true love abides.
The experience of pain and loss can foster
personal growth, healing and renewal-but first we must listen- inwardly and
Chuck Spezzano's Psychology of
Vision is based on the principles below. These principles emphasize the
importance of self-understanding and love- the critical foundation of
|Whenever there is a
problem or conflict, there has to be a better way.|
The world is our mirror.|
Anything that happens to us serves our purpose.|
No one can do anything to us that we are not
already doing to ourselves.|
As we change our beliefs, we change our patterns.|
We are always in the perfect place to learn
the lesson we most need to learn in order to heal and grow.|
We construct either heaven or hell on earth,
depending on what we give to our relationships.|
Leadership lets nothing be more important than
answering the calls for help around us.|
Problems are opportunities to heal the pain of the
The key to our fulfillment is to live our purpose.|
All manner of pain and suffering are washed away
Relationships are the fundamental building blocks
We are on an evolutionary path to realize that we
Whatever our circumstances, however we see things,
the answer always lies in healing.|
Dr. Michael Mirdad, wrote this about
healing in his article entitled,
"Creating Fulfilling Relationships,"
"If you want your relationships to be fulfilling, then you must let them
fulfill their two purposes. The first is to bring about whatever healing
they are presenting. The second is to let yourself reap the rewards of doing
the work, allowing the healing and committing to experiencing love in your
life. When you accomplish this, you will feel whole and healed. You relation
is no longer based on fear and dysfunction but instead on love and
wholeness. Passion and joy are no longer temporary distractions that the ego
can demand payment for. Your debt has now been paid. The relationship is
yours. You own it! Now you choose to share it with God, with all parts of
yourself and yes, with others whom you feel will recognize and appreciate
He goes on to write,
"...But in your new,
healthy state of being, you are in a perpetual state of LOVE. To have a
partner or not have a partner is all the same and holds no desperate energy.
You are no longer relating out of neediness. There is no longer codependence
driven by dysfunction. There is only a focus on sharing. Each person will
eventually learn to share their True Self with whomever they feel will
benefit from the experience and each will take responsibility for what they
gain or what limits they impose. This level of taking personal
responsibility dissolves unhealthy codependence and provides each person
with an opportunity to create a safe, fulfilling relationship."
I would like to add to
what Michael wrote. In the end we are all one. Security, youth, old age,
physical beauty, ugliness, dependency, needing, anger, attraction- even hope
for the future, anger at the past- are all illusions. None of these things
define the true self. Clinging to illusion- to the belief that we are
anything but love and consciousness- brings pain and becomes a source of
suffering in relationships. Relationship and community can become places
where we as humans foster each other's growth and enlightenment. Where we
learn to be more in touch with our true selves. Where we learn what is
important and not important. Where we learn who we already are. If you love
someone- do not therefore say you love them because they are smart,
beautiful, tall, short, energetic, calm, etc. Rather say you love them for
their true self that is always loving and caring. It is in relationship
where we can help each other realize this true self.
In this universe there is constant change. Clinging to anything results in
suffering. Yet- nothing changes- our essential self does not change. In the
end- it is only this unchanging self than can be loved- in fact it is love.
The closest most people come to this kind of love- is the love of a mother
for a child. Most mothers can love their children regardless of their faults
and in fact find in their perceived faults other reasons to love them. It is
also true that children who never find this love may have difficulty
experiencing it later in life- with partners and others. Yet challenges
early in life while bringing suffering, can also the foster growth and the
desire for truth.
Finally, the kind of
love I am describing is all around us. In nature, in the universe- in all
things it is boundless and flowing. Once we are awake to it- we realize we
are never alone.
I wrote this at the end of relationship. Perhaps overly idealistic for some
and for others too spiritualistic- I still believe it is fundamentally
Anyone who has been "in love" knows that the words are almost meaningless.
They fall trippingly off the tongue and are said by so many so early. What
they really mean is...I love myself and I love how you make me feel. I love
that you make me happy. I love this, I love that. And yes I love YOU. But is
it YOU? That YOU is often everything BUT who you really are. In truth most
don't even know who they are- so how can they love another for who THEY
So you may ask- what is the true YOU? I will tell you. It is not anything
you think it is- any quality, emotion, feeling or physical trait. It has
nothing to do with what you love or hate. Do you know what it is? It is the
core essential being- that will be part of you after you leave this plane
and before you enter it again. That is always with you. It is the eternal,
all knowing presence that can only manifest love and can see everything that
was, is and will be. Perhaps you might say it is the god within you- the
great stillness- the eternal harmony. It is only at this level where there
can be true love. Love, not just for a partner- but for all life- all
existence- all consciousness.
A part of me wants to cry. A part of me can't imagine how so many memories
must now be reinterpreted- found to be false. The child within wants to die-
and not face a world full of human beings who seem to lie so
much-unknowingly or not. But the truth is easy to see. Why should it be
otherwise. That child comes from an eternal place of love and is thrust into
a world of suffering and pain. The child will always be hurt and the pain is
real but illusory at the same time. How could a relationship based on
anything else but the true ME, the true YOU, ever be permanent- every
endure? It can't. To make one person the focus of one's love-may be the
inspiration of many a love song- but in the end- that focus is narrow and
selfish. If one loves, then one must love all consciousness- all life- and
the full manifestation of this in oneself and others.
I also wrote this
in connection with the ending of this relationship:
partner is now trapped in his own thoughts, feelings and emotions. Some
people feel that they ARE their thoughts, feelings and emotions. Sometimes
they create their own personal hells and become trapped. If they break out-
they can begin to breath and experience their true selves. I feel sorry for
him because he is trapped. The only thing that in a sense can “save” him is
his love for me and this is the very thing his psyche has attacked and
attempted to destroy over many months. Why? Because he attributes the pain
he is experiencing to me and the relationship- rather than face the other
issues he has- deep seated emotional wounds- that cutoff his vitality and
prevent him from getting past the traps. In this sense I feel very sorry for
him- and to the extent I can be objective- I realize that is not ME or US
that has the predominate set of “issues.” It can only be US- if there is an
For me, the sadness is that having
once trusted and believed- and still capable of great love- the relationship
is not what it once was- or perhaps never was what I felt it was- and that
there is nothing I can do about it- nothing. There are no words, no
emotions, no thoughts that can awaken him. If and when he does awaken- and
if he has greater awareness- he will realize that something very beautiful,
very real and very precious was lost.
The Tree and The
Many years ago there was a tree and a man. They met in a forest one day.
They gazed at each other. The man fell in love with the tree and the tree
fell in love with the man. The man so admired the beautiful outstretched
branches of the tree- its youth- the vibrant leafs, the sweet sap, the
gentile swaying of her branches in the breeze. The tree felt at home with
the man- admired- finally known for who she is- a little less alone.
Years passed. The tree became less beautiful. Some of the branches were
barren. She began to lean over a bit. The man grew bored. The tree was no
longer as beautiful to him. The man was unhappy and the tree no longer made
him happy. So one day the man moved on. He left the tree and never returned.
At first the tree was puzzled. She said to herself, “I thought he loved me.”
The sun loves me, the birds love me, the wind caresses me- they always
return- we are never apart. But this man has disappeared. Why? Did he ever
love me or was his love, like his rejection, nothing more than a game he
played with himself. The tree felt used, but finally the tree understood the
truth. The man never loved the tree, but only the saw the tree for what it
could do for him. When the tree no longer did what the man wanted- he left.
The tree wonders- will I ever find true love? Will I ever be loved for who I
am? The tree knows that she has always loved and has always been
loved- by the sun, the stars, the mountains, the river, the rain and the
wind. But she also knows...the man never loved her. He can’t even love