No matter how hard you tried, your relationship seem destined for failure. In our world – this heartbreakingly beautiful, fragile earth – it is not true that love conquers all. How do you move on when you tried everything to save your relationship, but it failed? These tips are inspired by a reader’s question.
“We’ve only been dating for six months, but I developed very strong feelings for her,” says Darren on How to Heal Your Heart Without Relationship Closure. “She has made me feel something I’ve never felt before. The other day she told me she can no longer be my girlfriend. She just wants to be just friends because she has lost her emotions towards me. She says, ‘How can I love you when I don’t love myself?’ She was extremely upset when she broke up with me and I feel that it just was not her breaking up with me but the depression that has overtaken her. I want to try everything before this relationship fails. Is there anything I can do to save our relationship?”
If your relationship failed because your partner couldn’t or wouldn’t commit to you, what can you do? Accept and respect her words, wishes, and choices. In fact, I admire this man’s girlfriend for realizing that she doesn’t love herself. She is 100% right: she can’t be part of a healthy, growing, good relationship if she doesn’t value herself. How can she truly love a boyfriend or husband if she doesn’t love herself? Not only did she recognize this truth, she expressed it to her boyfriend. This is huge. No wonder he loves her, and is heartbroken that their relationship failed.
The truth is difficult to accept. But, the truth will set you free.
Accepting a Relationship Failure After You Tried Everything
One of the best ways to cope with a failed relationship is to understand what happened. Darren’s breakup made sense; his girlfriend was not in an emotionally or spiritually healthy place. She felt unable to put energy, emotion, time or effort into building a strong relationship. No matter what Darren did or how hard he tried, the relationship would not succeed. She wasn’t ready or willing to be in a relationship because her heart, mind, soul and spirit were not ready.
Why did your relationship fail? Maybe it was a health issue or mood disorder. Maybe it was a family death, job loss, move to another city, or even the death of a pet. These events can bring deep pain and unresolved grief to the surface…and they can cause relationship failures even when everything else seems perfect.
Regardless of why your relationship ended, remember that you are only half of a whole couple. Does your other half have the fortitude, time, energy, or ability to work on saving your relationship? If not, it’s better to break up or separate. Maybe you’ll get back together or reconcile. Maybe you won’t. Either way, you get to choose whether you will live in freedom and peace.
Accept that it is impossible to “make” someone happy
“I did everything I could – I tried so hard to make her happy,” says Darren.
No matter what you do, you can’t make another person happy. She has to find happiness within herself – she has to be her own source of fulfillment, peace, security, and self-esteem. And that’s only part of the truth. The whole true is we need more than ourselves and other people to make us happy. We need to feel emotionally and spiritually connected to God, who is our creator and source of life. The deeper your relationship with God, the more access you have to joy, peace, freedom, healing, compassion, and a full life.
It is impossible to make someone fall in love and stay with you. Sometimes our partners make decisions about love and life that baffle, hurt, and shock us – and it’s not because we failed to make them happy. Sometimes what’s going on in their minds, hearts, and souls is beyond our relationship, beyond our love for them.
Try not to take the breakup personally
“I felt she was my soulmate and in the beginning of our relationship she felt the same way,” says Darren “Will she ever regain her feelings for me? I want her to get better and I care about her a lot. She cares about me a lot, too. But it just shatters my heart that she has lost feelings for me when I continued gaining feelings for her. I tried to tell her I would do anything to save our relationship but she just couldn’t hear me. What can I do now?”
Let her go. She needs to get emotionally and spiritually healthy. It’s painful to give someone you love space, but it’s the most important gift you could ever give. Separate her reasons for the breakup from who you are as a person. This relationship failure is the best thing that could ever happen to you and her right now. She needs this time and space to get healthy. And so do you.
Learn about the reasons your relationship failed
Darren’s girlfriend broke up with him because at that point in her life the depression was too crushing and overwhelming. She loves him but couldn’t find the emotional strength to be in a relationship. Depression causes chemical changes in the brain that change who people are and how they respond to relationships, love, life, and everyday experiences.
A practical tip for accepting a breakup – especially when you tried everything to save your relationship and feel like a failure – is to learn about the issue. Why did your relationship fail? If there is a specific reason or cause, such as health problems, addictions, gambling, death or even political arguments, learn what your partner is experiencing.
Allow the break up and separation process to unfold naturally
“I haven’t texted her since the breakup, but she has texted me every day,” says Darren. “It kind if gives me mixed signals, you know? We are both in college and actually have a class together, so it’s not like we are never going to see each other. How do I let her go when I see her all the time and love her so much? I still want to keep trying to save us and fix our relationship. I want things the way they were.”
There are no right or wrong ways to break up with and let go of someone you love. It depends on you, your ability to handle contact, your history with love and loss. Take one day at a time. One interaction, one moment at a time. You will have to feel your way through the breakup. You will have to release control, to surrender to whatever is happening in front of you. This doesn’t mean accepting things you can change.
How will you accept a failed relationship after trying everything?
Darren asked many questions that will only be answered when they are lived. In other words, you have to literally go through and accept this relationship failure before your heart heals and you move on.
“When people overcome depression, do their feelings come back?” asks Darren. “That is, will my girlfriend feel what she used to feel for me? Will there be any hope for us in the future? I still want to save our relationship because I love this girl and she is everything I could ever ask for. It just scares me to know she doesn’t feel emotions for me, and there might not be an ‘us’ in the future.”
Whether or not a relationship is really, truly over depends on many things. An emotional health condition like depression is curable, or at the very least manageable! Many people learn how to live with it and/or manage health problems with medication, therapy, or a combination of both. There is no magic way to see into the future or know if your past efforts to save your relationship will make a difference next month, or even next year. All you can do is grow forward, toward your own healing and peace.
How do you feel – what does this mean to you? How will you accept the failure of a relationship you still want to try to save?