For the past few months, I have given quite a bit of thought to relationships, breakups and reconciliations. Not my own, but other peoples’.
Before I go further, let me say this: My husband and I met in high school and haven’t been apart since. We’ve had the usual squabbles one has in a marriage—especially a Red/Blue marriage—but none of these have resulted in separation. Because I have never dated, broken-up, been jilted, cheated on, or experienced any of the other missteps that ruin relationships, I freely admit that I am in no position to give advice on how a person should feel when they are faced with the pain.
What I am, is an observer of human nature—and often, I am appalled at how people react when in the throes of a breakup. I have seen people behave in ways that are completely out of character for them. They become angry, vindictive, slanderous, and conniving. They seek ways to make their former partner angry, jealous, and miserable. All the while, they are in mourning and hopeful of reconciliation.
So, as a logical observer, I can’t tell you how you should feel, but following is what I believe is good advice how you just might want to move forward:
1. Take 100% responsibility for the dissolution of the relationship
Sadly, many of us play the role of victim. We have been taught by society that our problems are not our own doing and that we are blameless. By feeling misunderstood, abandoned, and/or neglected, we have a tendency to play the blame game. If you have had a breakup, you need to look inward and take responsibility for your part in the separation.
If you have hope of reconciliation, never (and I mean never) heap all the blame on your partner. Don’t tell your friends and family what a horrible person he/she is. Don’t tell them about every little argument you had, what names were called, or what slights were committed. If and when you do reconcile, you will find that your friends and family are not so keen to welcome your partner back with open arms. You may be on top of the world, but those who listened and watched you suffer will be resentful and distrustful, causing a new rift in your relationship.
2. Think before you post
When you post about your troubles on Facebook or other social sites, you tell the world (literally) about your personal life. Not only are your friends privy to the tale, so then are their friends, and their friends. And, these tales are up there forever.
I have a “friend” on Facebook who posts about her boyfriend on a regular basis. One minute she’s madly in love with the guy, the next minute she regales us with their latest battles, breakups, and makeups. It didn’t take me long to go from “poor her” to “stupid her”. You can only play the victim card for so long before the rest of us are wondering if you’ve lost you mind by returning to the brute (who, by the way, may not be a brute at all.)
You do need friends at this difficult time, but social networking isn’t the answer. Neither is telling everyone at the office, home, or in line at the grocery store. As much as you want to talk about it, not everyone is interested in listening. Pick a few friends who will be honest with you and whose advice you can trust. A friend who agrees with everything you say isn’t the answer to your problem. Also, reread number one.
3. Remember the golden rule “Do unto others …”
Have you ever heard the quote “the greatest revenge is happiness?” As difficult as this sounds, the best thing you can do is to get on with your life. If the subject comes up, say what a good person your ex is and how things just didn’t work out, but you wish him/her the best. Word will get back to them. This should make him/her contrite.
Forget the games, and figure out what you want to make you happy. If the person you are estranged from does that for you, then its time to re-evaluate the issues that caused the problems to begin with. What could you have done differently? What are your buttons? Once you’ve put in some honest reflection, and if you’ve come to the conclusion the relationship could work, then put aside your pride and initiate a conversation…oh, and reread number one.
4. Take the Color Code test
This is perhaps the most important advice. The ability to have a healthy, successful relationship may not be innate, but you and your partner have behaviors that are. Learn your partner’s driving core motive, and all the strengths and limitations that come with it. Truly knowing your partner, and understanding why they do what they do, will set you firmly on the road to insight and problem solving. This insight has helped my husband and I learn to cut each other a lot of slack. I no longer give him the eye-roll for his constant worrying, and he no longer nudges me aside so he can finish whatever chore he wants done his way.
5. Finally—fish or cut bait
Some couples break up and reconcile with such frequency, your friends and family don’t pay it any mind until they’re doing their Christmas shopping and wondering if your significant other will require a gift.
Don’t fall into that trap.
The more often you vacate the relationship, the easier it becomes. Surly, nobody wins in a situation like that. Reread number one.
Each of us is looking for that perfect soul mate. Do they exist? Probably not—except maybe in the movies. We sigh when we hear the leading man say all the right things, and the leading lady respond with loving admiration and we wonder why our partner doesn’t do that. Don’t waste your time wondering—scriptwriters can create a perfect relationship—one that lasts approximately 120 minutes. The truth is, in the real world, a solid relationship is hard work, and a tremendous responsibility—and worth it. CC
Teresa Glenn has been working with the Color Code since 2006, where her main focus is product development. She has been in the publishing and product development field for over 20 years. Teresa is a core Red with a strong Yellow secondary.