Have you ever found yourself falling out of love with a partner? It happens more often than we probably think. It is one of those things we do not talk about too much in society without calling it something else, as we feel guilt and shame. We are raised with the notion that love lasts forever. So is it really any wonder that we feel ashamed and somewhat like a failure when our love doesn’t last?
Call things as they really are
I think it is important to our emotional well being to be able to call things as they really are, accept that they happen, and forgive ourselves as part of the healing process. When we fall out of love with someone, the most natural trap to fall into is to blame the other person’s shortcomings for the relationship breakdown.
He never listened
He always came home drunk
He resented by ambition
He stopped trying
It is easily done, and not entirely untrue, but also not that black and white. The simple truth is that we all change, and we also all probably do not try as hard as we could.
If we find that we can’t love somebody anymore, it is more often than not a combination of both parties’ behavior. Not really something to blame the other for, but something to forgive, accept, and move on from with maturity.
Before forgiveness comes acceptance
I think that when you fall out of love, as hard as it might be to look at your part in the breakdown, it is essential to do so for your own sanity. The end goal is to forgive yourself, and in order to do that, you first need to be honest with yourself.
Acknowledging your part in the relationship breakdown, rather than denying it but feeling bad beneath the surface, is a much more mature approach, and ultimately more satisfying in the long run.
Then comes the healing
Once you have accepted that it was not all a one-man show, that you both grew apart for your own reasons, the mist of guilt will start to clear. We can’t bury our feelings, although many of us try. These emotions are just something that we have to work through. When you start to forgive yourself for basically being a human being, you might find that your perspective changes too.
In my twenties, I had a series of relationships that followed a similar pattern. Things would be very intense at the start and I would fall in love too quickly. My old pattern was to give too much of myself upfront, overcommit, and then start to feel trapped by my mistake.
I fell in and out of love several times, and always felt terribly guilty about finally breaking it off. And I say finally, because I would try to deny my unhappiness for quite a while. I just did not want to admit that I had ‘done it again’ and feel shame for my change of feelings towards the guy that I had once loved.
I suppose a part of this was my young age and naivety. When we are young and inexperienced we really do not get how much work a truly happy relationship takes. We probably also do not have the perspective or the maturity to admit when we have got it all wrong.
If you find yourself in a relationship with someone you no longer love, it is not selfish to admit it and you should not feel guilty about coming clean. Far from it; this process takes guts and is ultimately better for the both of you to move on and find happiness.
Being trapped in a loveless relationship is painful for both people. He may not say out loud that there is a problem, but he will feel it. Broaching the subject with your partner will be tough, but worth it in the long term. You both have one life and you both deserve to be happy.