Recently I broke up with my partner of 18 months, by no means a world record relationship duration but still significant.

My ex partner is a wonderful woman and this article is not at all reflective on anything she contributed or didn’t contribute.

Both parties had our own part to play in the eventual dissolution of what we had together and as in all your relationships its good to reflect and understand your contribution to the current health of your partnership.

What I wanted to cover today was part of the warning to me that should have led to fully evaluating my relationship much earlier than I did, therefore allowing both of us the freedom to find mr/mrs ‘right’ instead of constantly running head first into problems and trying to patch them up without an understanding of the underlying non-resolvable fundamentals (this will be covered in a future blog post).

There were several times over the 18 months where the plug should have been pulled and not reconnected again, much the same as a brain dead patient instead in our case, our hearts died and could not be restarted, CPR couldn’t work.

The warnings were obvious but the positives of making up with the woman I was in love with diminished those negative thoughts from my consciousness and made the situation after an upset seem great and wonderful until the cycle repeated 2-4 weeks later.

The Anatomy of my relationship upsets

1. An incident would occur, minor or major – words, lack of words, action, inaction.
2. An Action happens with the offended, often a withdrawal from the relationship.
3. A reaction happens where the ‘defendant’ responds with a verbal attack or a defence or an apology or simply doesn’t respond.
4. Situation loops back to 2, until each Action has been addressed.
5. Make up occurs and damage is done that either fractures, further fractures or seriously harms the partnership.

The reasons for an incident occurring are many and varied, they may be large or small and there really is no way to determine the importance another party may place on the incident except by talking them through what the experience meant to them and understanding their concerns.

In my case most of these incidents were not significant to my world view as they were to my partners view of the world, I had trouble understanding the depth of feeling because I could not comprehend the root cause as I had not either lived through such pain in my past and I did not have the empathy required to truly feel her hurt.

For my part, looking at these incidents and thinking back through the many situations made worse by my lack of understanding, I now see what I should have done very early on and that is to ‘Know when to fold them’ (a great Kenny Rogers song) and walk away.

I had to analyse, diagnose and realise that I won’t accept that level of drama in my life. To reiterate, this is not an issue with my partner this is an issue with what I am prepared to accept and it wasn’t balanced, in this case with my expectations and wouldn’t have been balanced with my partners either.

If you look at your relationship, do you regularly conflict on points that should not cause an upset in your mind? It just might be that your level of understanding and empathy is not on a par with your significant other. It’s not impossible to gain a compatible level of insight and understanding if you want to but you must be the judge of that? Do you want to?

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