What if we ended our relationships with the same amount of love and attention that we invested in it at the start of the relationship?
Very often couples attend therapy or marriage counselling when they want to "save" their relationship! But what happens when there is no more "saving" to be done? If they have come to a place in their relationship that it is not worth "saving" or that something so serious and irrevocable has happened in their lives that they cannot or do not want to continue the way they have been?
This is obviously a much larger topic and like many things has many more layers than what the eye can see... and there is no simple answer to a lot of the hurt and anguish some people have experienced in their relationships.
In this article, however, I want to touch on the "Conscious Endings" of relationships.
As a therapist I am very interested in how people "do endings" in their lives... how they end relationships, end jobs, move locations etc. As the endings of our relationships very often indicate how we are in our relationships and can set a foundation for the next relationship and how we "are" in it...
Let's face it... Endings are hard! Even if it is you who instigate the dissolution of the relationship. It takes a hell of a lot of courage to Speak Up, make your truth known and to take the risk of "hurting" someone and opting out of a commitment that you have made.
However, if we decide to end the relationship - for whatever reason - and we do it with the same amount of love, care and understanding that we gave the other at the start of the relationship, we get a very different outcome in the separation. And also a respectful continuation of the love that was once present in the unit.
I have sat with some clients who initially came to counselling to see if they can repair the rupture in their relationship and get things back to how they were before... (in itself an impossible task, as we can never be who we were. change happens by the second and we cannot even be who we were 5 minutes ago, but that is a blog for another time.)
For some... when they start to communicate and learn how to actively listen to their partner, this can be enough to help them onto the road of recovering the love and respect in their relationship. For others, they might have come to realise that it is time for them to go their separate ways. For some of these couples, who have made this decision, have chosen to continue their counselling sessions, and work towards a conscious closure in their relationship. To end their relationship with love, respect and integrity.
Working towards closure in a therapeutic setting helps both parties to be heard and seen and also allows everything to be said so that there are no "loose ends" at the end. This allows for a respectful and loving ending to the relationship and very often mutual understanding and "well-wishing" of each others' individual journeys. Some even remain friends! Especially if they have children... What an amazing gift to give your child... to show them that you can speak your truth, be heard and still be loved and respected by the other... that they are still loved and cared for just as much as they were before and that they do not have to choose...
What is needed in the conscious dissolving of a relationship is both parties' willingness and commitment to the ending of the relationship. Two people who truly want the best for themselves, each other and each other's happiness - even if that means concluding a relationship or life that they have shared. It also includes a lot of self-care and practice of loving-kindness towards the self and each other.
If you keep what really matters - love - in the centre of everything, including a separation... You will be amazed at the outcome and the endless possibilities there are to continuing the "relationship" in a whole new way...
If I can be of support to you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Yours in service,
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