As I’m preparing myself to go back through all of my important relationships, I find myself spending a lot of time parked in memory lane.
Now, for some of these relationships, enough time has passed and the initial sting of the end has long been gone and relieved. For others (or really just the last), the memories are incredibly vivid and the wounds are far from healed.
Thinking back on the men who have entered and exited my life, who I’ve loved and lost or let go, I’ve tried to figure out what patterns I’m continuing and how to learn from them. While the Mr’s have varied in looks, ages, occupations, and duration by my side – the way I’ve reacted after each relationship is basically the same.
I’m an active player in The Blame Game.
Somehow, when a relationship comes to a close – regardless if I ended it, he ended it, or we ended it together, I always seem to blame myself. If only I was more attractive, he wouldn’t have left me for her. If I would have slept with him, maybe he wouldn’t have moved on so quickly to her bed. If I would have given him another chance, maybe we’d be together and it all would have worked out. If I wouldn’t have said what I said or freaked out or over analyzed, maybe we’d be in love. If I wouldn’t have been so inquisitive, maybe he wouldn’t have felt smothered, and that I was “too much.”
If only I wouldn’t blame myself for everything that went wrong.
I catch myself saying sometimes, “You’re just not good at relationships.” Which is far from the truth because I don’t really think someone can be “good” at relationships, nor can they succeed or fail. Love isn’t like a test, a career, or a goal to reach –but more so, just something that naturally progresses in your life. Technically, no one is “good” at relationships until they find their person, but even then, it is not all smooth sailing, rainbows, wishes, and butterflies. Truth be told, relationships are work. Being a pro at them would mean you’re unaffected by arguments or struggles, and that’s not really a healthy union in the first place.
As hard as it is to not feel guilty for the end of a relationship, there is never a one-hundred-and-ten-percent person to blame for why things fall apart. To say you have no part or complete part is not giving the relationship or the love the credit it deserves. And, it is selling yourself way too short.
My mother has told me for many years, so eloquently, “You can’t screw up what’s meant to be, Linds.” While those words may not seem like much, they have comforted me in many dark hours, hysterical fits, and analytical trances. One of my favorite books is The Alchemist and in it, there is a line that says something along the lines of: when you’re truly meant for something, whatever it is, the universe aligns to make it happen.
So really, regardless of why a relationship went astray, who made a mistake, who fell out of love, or what argument caused the last straw to break the relationship’s backbone – all is working out just as it should. Even if we think someone is The One and for whatever reason, fate decides to craft a new plan; we can rest assured that something better is in store for us.
A lot of my recovery is based on speaking differently to myself and thinking more realistically and positively about old (and to-be) loves. Instead of blaming myself for the end of my significant relationships – I’ve discovered that turning around the approach can help tremendously.
Mr Curls broke my heart in the seventh grade, but I moved on just fine. Mr Faithful had my heart for three years, but after quite the epidemic, I learned to completely let go. Mr Rebound served his purpose and introduced me to college, but we’re able to be friends now with ease. Mr Buddy and I went down a path we probably should have steered clear of, but now we talk almost daily. Mr Fire may be the one who got away, but there is a passion (that doesn’t upset me anymore) that’ll remain…probably forever. And as for Mr Idea, though I may have sincerely fallen in love with him, what I learned was more important than our romance.
So who’s to blame? A little bit of them, a little bit of me, and a whole lot of fate.
I used to do the exact same thing. Even in relationships where guys treated me badly and did not deserve me, I still would find some way to blame myself for things not working out. However, now I do just what you suggest: realize that there is a greater plan for me that does not include that person and move on. I highly doubt the guy is sitting there blaming himself, and I’m not going to waste time doing the same. If I start to get down about relationships that didn’t work out, I think of the Rascal Flatts song “Bless the Broken Road”-it is so true!
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