Ahhh. What a relief!

  • I ended a relationship today. (Not the one I wrote about in my previous post.) This wasn't a virulent relationship like the one with my family member, but it had been eating at me for some time. There were no fights during the almost three years we knew each other, and a lot of good things. I learned important things from this person and for those things I will always be grateful.
    But at some point in the last year or so the relationship ran out of steam. It happens. That doesn't necessarily mean anyone's at fault; sometimes you've just said everything you can say to each other. Our mistake was not recognizing that. There were hints both ways, but neither of us took the initiative of saying it was time to move on. The result was a really draggy year in which we didn't look forward to seeing each other, but hoped that we would enjoy it sometime again.
    That didn't happen. We saw each other for the last time several weeks ago, we agreed that that would be the last time, and that seemed to be fine. But today some unspoken feelings reared their heads, and the relationship saw its only above-board confrontation. I said what was on my mind; the other person did the same. It wasn't fun, but it needed to happen. 
  • In retrospect we both could have avoided the final confrontation by speaking out earlier in the relationship. We had understandable reasons for not doing so, but it meant that we spent a year ignoring the elephant in the room. Everyone's done that. It's perfectly human and we'll all do it again sometime. The problem is, it costs a lot of energy, energy we can use positively. That in itself is a reason to speak up.
    The other reason is perhaps more subtle. It's actually a social lie to keep a relationship going that's not benefiting the people in it. Again, that's something we all do sometimes. And sometimes it's useful in other ways, for example, if you desperately need a job at the moment and you consciously decide to "deal with it" in order to keep the job. But there's something poisoning about it, especially in a personal relationship. Being honest with one's self and with another person is an expression of a "lovingkindness" we need to cultivate.
  • That being said, the final confrontation between me and the other person was actually a relief. It was crystal clear that we disagreed on some key points and would not agree on them again. That's the "closure" we all keep hearing about, and I've got to say, it feels great. Light. With freed-up energy. I'm happy. It's a good feeling.

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