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Learning From a Relationship Breakdown
By Robert Elias Najemy

A divorce, separation or, in general, any loss of an important relationship is a painful experience. . Such pain can seriously diminish our peace and happiness. We can, however, use this inner discomfort for our spiritual benefit. If we are thinking of separating, there are many lessons we need to examine before we can come to the conclusion that we must separate from someone. But if the other person leaves us or this separation has already happened, we might be able to benefit from the following.

1. Our first lesson is to examine our behavior to see how we might have contributed to the problem. Only in this way can we create a new healthy relationship if we chose to.

In relation to this we might want to examine the following:

  • We may have been criticizing, complaining, rejecting or otherwise causing the other to feel unaccepted.

  • We may have been seeking continual affirmation in ways that may have been tiring for the other.

  • Our fears may have been causing us to be over sensitive and annoying.

  • Perhaps we were playing games of power, who is right or who is more successful.

  • We might have been playing roles such as the child, the parent, the savior, the holy one, the rebel, the teacher or some other role which may have affected the others' behavior.

  • We may have guilt feelings that were making us vulnerable to the others' words or behaviors.

  • Perhaps we were not communicating our needs clearly and effectively as an adult and were suppressing ourselves or complaining, criticizing or threatening.

  • We might have been projecting onto the other our childhood or other experiences.

  • The other might have been reflecting back to us our lack of self-esteem or self-respect.

  • We may have attachments that were coming between us.

  • We may have inner conflicts, which were reflecting back to us from the other.

2. We may need to learn to love the other in spite of his or her behavior, regardless of whether we stay with that person or not.

3. We can discover that we can live without this person and that happiness, security and love are internal states that are always within us, if only we allow ourselves to experience them.

4. We can use this opportunity to develop greater inner strength so as to feel confident and able to face whatever may come to us in the game of life.

5. Most of us will need to change our self-image. We need now to learn to accept, love and respect ourselves more, so that we do not create the same problem in our next relationship or in life in general.

6. By directing our energies in a spiritual direction and developing a relationship with God - the Universal Being, we are no longer so vulnerable or so dependent on others for our feelings of security and self-worth.

Our lessons might be separated into five categories:

1. We might need to learn to communicate more effectively, assertively and lovingly.

2. Perhaps we need to let go of some attachments, which are increasing our conflicts with others and diminishing our happiness.

3. Examine our behaviors that might be annoying the other.

4. Free ourselves from subconscious programmings, which limit our self-esteem and ability to attract the behaviors that we deserve.

5. Develop inner feelings of security, self worth and freedom.

Once our happiness, security and love have become internalized, we can experience unconditional love.

Although we need to make every possible step to heal our relationships, if and when a relationship breaks down, there is still much we can learn.

Robert Elias Najemy is the author of over 600 articles, 400 lecture cassettes on Human Harmony and 20 books, which have sold over 100,000 copies. He is the Founder and director of the Center for Harmonious Living in Greece with 3700 members. His book The Psychology of Happiness is available at http://www.amazon.com/

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