From time to time, I receive emails from both men and women devastated after a break-up. In many of these emails, the person sees that the relationship was not really fulfilling or that the other person has some "things that bother me" but despite that, it still hurts so badly.
"Christine, this is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with. I feel like my life is all falling apart. How can I make the pain go away?
Why do you hang onto a relationship that you know is not "right" in the first place?
Toxic or "negative bonding" relationships are some of the hardest relationships to break free from. Often times the chemistry of "negative bonding" is so strong. The person caught in this pain feels "love" even when the reasons they have for feeling that way are not backed up by facts and are unrealistic.
Breaking away from the chemistry of "negative bonding" is so hard because these relationships hide the feelings you already feel about yourself. You feel powerless in the way you relate and behave and even if part of you knows that this person is "wrong" for you, you really believe that once he / she sees "what you've got" he / she will feel "lucky "to be with you. And feel betrayed by his / her inability to see your potential and feel abandoned when your affections are not returned, etc.
Why does it hurt so badly?
When you say to someone, "I love you," you say it not in the least bit realizing that basically all you're saying is "I love me in you". When you find yourself in the other person and that person then goes away part of you is gone and a particular image of tragedy is created within your self. At first it takes you into the realm of grieving, grieving that is far deeper than you know about. Every cell of your body cries out in pain and frustration over your failure to become one with the other part of you. You mourn the ways in which you could have been more, done more, said more and given more. You may not even necessarily still "love" that person or want to be with him / her (after all they've done to you), it's the "feelings' that person brought with him / her that you mourn.
Is it possible to let this feeling go?
The mistake most people do when they feel this kind of pain is try to make it go away by talking about it, thinking about it, avoiding it, suppressing it or medicating it.
Right now and for a long time it may look like everything around you is falling apart, but I do not think that's what's happening. This pain is there to bring your awareness to the areas in your life which you have been either avoiding or suppressing. There is no where to go but within. This can be an opportunity to go beneath the surface of your life and really learn something about yourself that you have overlooked eg your feelings, needs, vulnerability, the choices you make, way you relate and react, etc.
Often the characteristics, habits and traits you "dislike" in the other person – the one you like least – are the ones that have something important to teach you about yourself. These are "disowned" parts of you. For instance, you may be a successful professional who takes everything seriously; the person who you are obsessing about on the other hand is a go-lucky party animal who seems to takes nothing seriously. Granted, it's great to be successful and to enjoy the sense of accomplishment that success and money brings, but would not it be wonderful to sometimes let your hair down and have some serious fun, just because you can?
May be you are someone who finds yourself doing all the contacting, calling, arranging for dates, paying the bills, sharing your feelings and emotions etc. and the person you are obsessing about enjoys all that but is not putting in as much effort. Granted, it's great to show him / her how responsible, romantic and affectionate you can be but would not it be wonderful sometimes to have someone call you just because they love you, surprise you with a romantic get away or open up and share his / her deepest feelings with you without you prompting him / her or nagging it out of them?
Say you are someone looking for a serious relationship and wastes not time in letting him / her know. Within a few weeks of meeting, you are ready to take the relationship to another level but the person you are obsessing about is not sure or does not want to. And he / she breaks up with you because you are "going too fast". Granted, it's great to know what you want and go and get him / her, but would not it be great to sometimes slow down and let the relationship develop and grow naturally.
Believe it or not, there is truly a gift in all of this! The negative bonding pattern is a great teacher …
Trying to "make the pain go away" is refusing to learn the lessons that life presents. If you can move beyond despair, you will be able to clearly see what you need to learn from the experience in order to develop your true capacity to create love and a fulfilling relationship. Pay attention and develop a communication with your inner self. You will be surprised how many realizations and insights you will receive if you simply tune in, pay attention and ask. Like anything, else, you have to approach it with an open mind otherwise the overall message of the pain will be lost.
If you need help with this, then get it but do not remain stuck there, unable to learn and move on. Your next relationship will just be a repeat of the same lesson, until you learn and move on.
You have a choice in the kind of chemistry and relationship dynamics you create!