When my relationships ended, I had a view that they were “failed” relationships. It was also what my mother believed when her marriage ended. Why? Because that’s what society has had me believe. We are made conditioned to believe that every relationship that doesn’t make it ‘till death do us part’ is a failure, and us failures along with it. The pitying looks from friends, the “oh, I’m sorry,” the coupled up friends who constantly try to fix you up, the questions that are asked of you, they further substantiate this view.
You see, I had grown up thinking that the ending of every relationship (including my parents’) had somehow been my fault. To me, if people don’t stay together, it means that they did not try enough, or that they were too weak to weather the hard times. Because I thought this way, I ended up shouldering about 90% of the relationship. I would try, forgive, compromise, and give in, until there was nothing left of me. I realized that every time I got out of a relationship, I was exhausted from trying to hold it up. I believed so much in giving 100% that I forgot that it took two people to make the effort work.
Then I read this article: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/04/my-marriage-was-not-a-failure-but-a-successful-masterpiece/, where a woman speaks about the ending of her marriage. By taking a stand and saying that although her relationship had ended, it was, in fact, a successful masterpiece, she made me think of my own relationships. Yes, I loved these men, but a big part of it was a fear of “failing.” Part of my mourning the loss of every relationship was also me mourning my own failure. I questioned myself until there was nothing left to question.
But who says that a relationship that ended was a failure? Yes, so you might not have made it to the altar or from the altar to the grave, but who sets these ideals? When I took stock of things, it made me realise, that it was never a failure. In every relationship, I had given a part of me, and at the end of them, I had learned a bit about me. I had loved like there was no tomorrow, taken the time to really know my partners, and accepted them for who they were while still seeing everything that they could be. I had had faith and belief even when they hadn’t. A lifetime had been spent in every relationship, and every single one had made an impact on me. The way I had handled each ending had also evolved as I got older, I had come to the realisation that althought the journey together had ended, the love didn’t have to.
Yes there are scars, but scars only mean that you open yourself enough to get cut. The tears only mean that you cared enough to mourn a passing. Pain can only come if the relationship matters enough to you to feel. Without pain, it was only time spent for no reason. Every relationship is part of the journey that takes you to this point in life. It is a risk, hope, you opening your heart to something greater than yourself, and letting someone else in. No matter what you are made to believe, even though it was not forever, everything that you gave and everything that you learned makes it a great success.