If I had, I probably would have never left my house on June 6th. That's probably why the human experience doesn't generally come with a. When a relationship is failing, there are usually some pretty obvious signs, like an increase in arguments, name-calling, and more time spend. I can't remember how many breakups I've been through. I've lost count. Sometimes I wondered if they just weren't the one for me, but most.
We met at a bar I had been to dozens of times before. It was a five-minute walk from my apartment, and right up the street from her yoga studio. My breathing slowed a little as she explained what it was like to come out on a conservative Christian college campus, and the struggles she faced in learning to accept herself FOR her queerness, and not despite it. My mind raced forward through all the potential scenarios of what could be, landing finally on the pleasant image of an ideal forever together.
I wanted that image to be realized, but failed to understand that it was never even real to begin with. Really, our entire relationship boiled down to her needs and her insistence that I was constantly falling short of meeting them. These all-important needs, however, remained ambiguous, as if she were testing my love for her through my ability or inability to crack the code. There was a little explanation here and there, but on the whole everything she said was some generality of discontent.
At the time, though, I allowed myself to be consumed with being enough. I slowly and subconsciously started reinventing myself to be the person she kept obtusely hinting that she wished I were. I lived with a constant weight on my chest that I was failing the woman I loved somehow. There was no space to consider my own needs, and I started seeing myself as a busted accessory to her life.
5 Important Things I Learned When My Relationship Failed
Even still, I lived with a consistent anxiety that she was shopping around for a replacement accessory, and would send me off to a resale shop as soon as found the right fit. At the end of the day, she was right. The love itself is complicated, of course, because the woman I loved never existed in the first place.
The woman I loved had the same blue eyes, but a vastly different soul. I was in love with the image of her I had fabricated the first day we met. Everything inside me wanted to find that imagined woman, and I stayed with her because I kept hoping that my idea of her would come out of the woodwork.
When I first met her, I thought she would be important because she was my dream girl. I thought I had found my soulmate. I came out to my family with her by my side. I spent every night and all of my free time with her. I told her things about myself that I never would have dreamed to say to anyone besides a blank Microsoft Word document.
I saw forever in the crystallized blue of her eyes, and she gave me every reason to believe that was a reasonable thing to see. As fixated as I was on that imagined future, I naturally blinded myself to the warning signs right in front of me. I wanted to create a narrative around these signs that they were simply evidence of the difference between us. That despite our differences, we had enough in common to be able to love each other in the ways we both needed. Is it to give an illusion of competence in some area, or to prop up a failing sense of self-respect?
Once you understand why, you can find more positive ways to achieve the same end. A single betrayal--or an act perceived as a betrayal--can wipe out a lifetime of trust. If trust is absent, again, ask why? Is it warranted, or is it coming from something unresolved in in a past relationship? If there has been a breach, is it too serious to be mended? If one or both partners is consistently tuning out, seeking distractions, and making a conscious effort to avoid making a connection, it may be that the bond between you has already been severed.
People check out for all kinds of reasons--some temporary, others permanent.
It's not unusual to respond defensively when you're challenged. Over time, defensiveness shifts into the "whatever" stage, which throws up a protective isolating barrier. Wherever the need for this protective stance originates, it prevents open communication and a meaningful relationship.
The most serious possible sign; once a relationship is at this point, the odds of survival are low.
5 Important Things I Learned When My Relationship Failed | Thought Catalog
It's often a way of turning one's own despised and unwanted feelings outward, so left alone it may recur in later relationships as well. Think about the relationships that are important in your life and work, and ask yourself if they have any of these qualities.
If so, you need to take action. It may mean a new focus on growing together in healthier ways, or more structured communication, or a change in the ground rules. You may need the assistance of a counselor to make things right--and you may end up needing to walk away. But with the right intervention and a commitment to success from both parties, you can end up with a newly strengthened partnership. Sep 16, Like this column?