Before I found lasting love with my husband, I had a few relationships I thought were the real thing.
Obviously, they fell apart. At times, the loneliness, confusion, and grief were all-consuming. It’s hard to find perspective and insight in the middle of heartbreak.
Sometimes they initiated the break-up. Sometimes I did. Each time, excuses were made on both ends. I spent hours sifting through old memories. I tried to pinpoint the moment when it all went wrong. I looked for qualities in each of us that were incompatible. I examined our place in life, and determined them not to align. I tried to make sense of it all, but I knew I was fooling myself.
The truth was, I didn’t know why we didn’t last – and I couldn’t at the time.
The end of most relationships has nothing to do with you. It has nothing to do with your partner either. .
The answer can’t be found in your flaws or in their mistakes. It doesn’t lie in one bad interaction or irreversible error. There’s probably nothing about you or your partner that is wrong.
You both did everything you were meant to do. You put forth the best version of yourselves. You learned and grew in this love – and you will both continue to do so, long after it is over.
Things didn’t end because he put his friends before you. It isn’t over because you chopped your hair too short or flirted too brazenly with the bartender. It isn’t over because you missed his calls or because he was too busy to take you to your sister’s wedding.
It didn’t end because you worked too much. It didn’t end because he refused to be vulnerable. It had nothing to do with that embarrassing fight outside of the Olive Garden.
It didn’t end because he loved the Patriots and you were a Falcons fan. It didn’t end because he felt emasculated when you beat him in fantasy football. It didn’t end because he was selfish or because you were childish and irresponsible.
It didn’t end because he wanted to settle down in the suburbs and you couldn’t give up that city life. It didn’t end because you didn’t get along with his mother. It didn’t end because of the cute brunette in his economics class.
It ended because, when push came to shove, your relationship was not bigger than these things.
Your loyalty wasn’t enough to overcome your restlessness. His sense of self was not enough to overcome his jealousy and insecurities. Your connection wasn’t enough to weather the storms you were facing in the office. His forgiveness and grace wasn’t enough to overpower his anger. Your love was simply not enough to overcome the distance growing between you.
All of the things you were building within your relationship – and within yourselves – simply wasn’t powerful enough to conquer the challenges that life threw your way.
Someday, they will be.
These challenges are no joke. They take down solid relationships, solid people. They win against love that is real and deep. The world will tear into you with all it’s got. It will do it’s best to drag you apart.
There will only be one love in your life that can stand up to this – and God – whatever your vision of that concept may be – is using these experiences to ready you for it.
Each love you encounter makes your heart stronger, your soul more complex, and your mind wiser. Each heartbreak does the same. You are growing. So is the person who is meant entirely, wholly, and exclusively for you.
Give yourself permission to mourn your relationship. Allow your spirit the time and space that it needs to become whole again. Rest, renew, and concentrate on your relationship with yourself – but do all of these things with a hopeful heart. Your true love is out there, and it will wait for you. You will meet one another when you are ready.
Then you’ll understand.
Warm in your partner’s arms, you won’t wonder anymore why it didn’t work out. You’ll smile to yourself. You’ll look back on these memories with a bittersweet sense of peace.
Trust me. It will all make sense someday.