Written by Julie Taylor
Rebuilding after a Beautiful Relationship
I started reading the book Rebuilding last night. After reading chapter one I realized with horror that everything that happened after our initial disagreement was a chain reaction – caused by hisguilt, and my feeling rejected. The problem right now is that I’m consumed by the overwhelming desire to contact him immediately with this discovery… in the hopes that we’ll work it out and get back together…. which is clearly just denial…. right??? Help!!
PS… Is this what you meant by “bouncing thoughts” which you offered to do?
Yes! This is bouncing thoughts…
I am delighted that you can see so clearly what it could be (denial) if you just contacted him now… Very nice that you stopped yourself. Wow… Rebuilding by Dr Bruce Fisher is an excellent guide to help you through this sort of difficult time.
It sounds like you are ripe and ready to discover more about yourself and I encourage you to ‘go for it’… This is just the beginning. Explore more about ‘you’… What makes Lorrie tick? It’s a fascinating subject.
If you find yourself thinking about him and wishing that he was more aware of these ‘couple dynamics’ so that he might have great relationships in the future (not necessarily with you…), there might be a way to share that with him… And maybe he will embrace it.
To be honest though, in a situation such as you describe that doesn’t often happen. And you may be hankering after him, rather than purely wanting to share what you’ve learned? He may see you as trying to manipulate him? Be careful to avoid that. Know too that maybe he won’t be ready. And even if he is ready and receptive, you may still be wrong for each other… You have embarked on your journey – which he chose not to come on… Keep travelling.
Spend some time acknowledging – wallowing, if you like – in your own longings. What could have been… The future that you were so excited about has vaporized. This was a huge shock to you – and would have been to anyone. Things were so good and you had no warning. Being sensitive – and ‘open’ to relationships – makes it both possible to enjoy and grow beautiful relationships and even harder for you when they don’t work out. Crying for what’s lost – the future as you were hoping and even starting to ‘see’ it – is natural. Grieve…
Beautiful relationships are precious – they enrich our lives and always (whatever happens) allow us to discover what’s important to us and ‘practice’ our actions and see our reactions. Play with life – always in a kind way. Discover more about yourself every single day. I hope this book will help you debrief events and help explain what exactly this relationship meant to you? And I hope it will be just one of many (books…).
About contacting him… IF it is YOUR choice to do this FOR YOU, then you could BE BRIEF and just speak the facts: that your relationship was a lovely and valuable experience to you (YOUR OBSERVATION ANDFEELING) and that, as with all of life, you want to explore and grow from it (YOUR NEED). You could share that you are reading Rebuilding and sharing some thoughts with me and that you are surprised to see some of the dynamics between you are so ‘textbook’ (YOUR OBSERVATION) . You could let him know that you wanted to share what you’d discovered, (YOUR NEED). so he could choose whether to explore those things for himself (YOUR REQUEST). These priciples for amazingly successful communication are covered in much more depth by Marshall Rosenberg who is a psychiatrist (who refuses to practice as such!) and the creator of NVC (Non-Violent or Compassionate Communication.
Remember KISS? Keep It Simple, Student… Craft your words with care. Don’t rush off a quick email – save it as a draft for a day or two.
- Make a simple OBSERVATION OF FACT (one or two at most) with the resulting…
- YOUR FEELING AND
- YOUR NEED and perhaps…
- End with a simple REQUEST
Then wish him well and say goodbye. And leave it there.
It’s not necessarily denial to want to share your discovery with him… Not if your reason is simply that you want to share your discovery with a friend/someone you care about? But as he broke up with you, don’t pursue him. That would be denial…
When you care about someone and you can see their actions as having been ‘manipulated’ by circumstances, it’s hard to accept those actions as ‘real’ and ‘final’ – because the very foundations for those actions may have been faulty… However… His actions are still facts, whatever the foundation. It would also be very easy and very tempting to get back into a relationship with an unhealthy foundation and for the wrong reasons?
Only do anything at all IF you feel compelled to and if THAT’S WHAT YOU FEEL WOULD BE RIGHT FOR YOU. This is all about you at this stage. What need of yours would be met by contacting him? Spend some time on that issue…
Everyone has similar needs – but varying quantities of those needs… For example, me… I always need to know in my heart that I did everything I could. I feel happier with myself when I do that. And I waste time worrying when I don’t. I need to do that because it frees me to move on.
Explore yourself and find out what works for you… I also tend to ‘hang on’ and have trouble saying goodbye – in everything I do. Not right – or wrong particularly… Nice to know though… So I can avoid ‘avoiding’ saying goodbye now and honor my own sadness when I do have to say goodbye. Get to know yourself well – the good, the bad and the ugly!
What are YOUR NEEDS here? Get to really KNOW YOURSELF. Do what YOU NEED to move on.
Don’t expect him to contact you if you do send him a note. He may and he may not. I hope that (if you choose to do it) sending a note will be FOR YOU… This is a great opportunity for you to explore yourself and learn a bit more about the patterns in your relationships. And even if he does contact you in return, I would stay apart for a few weeks at least. Read this book first and ponder…
The last ‘piece’ I would like to honor – it’s so important it could well have been first sentence – is this: Your instinct when you discovered his behaviour was to call into question your relationship. Honor your instinct. Resist doubting it. As children we are often taught not to honor our instincts. Children are often told “of course you’re not hungry, you’ve just eaten”. Or… “it’s a warm evening so you can’t be cold…”
Listen to your inner voice – I believe it’s your soul talking to you.
I would love to hear about what you choose to do!