Some Relationships Are Meant To Teach Us What We Don’t Want

Comedown with me from past relationship stresses. Is there anything that you need to say to your exes for closure?

Photo by Kilimanjaro STUDIOz on Unsplash

In the past, I have had a tendency to hold onto relationships that weren’t working well. I would hold on when I should have really let them go and moved on. That’s much easier in theory than in practice. Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists mentions that “ letting go is not something you do, it is something you stop doing.” When people are in relationships for months and years, even decades, their partner can become ingrained into their routine. The partner becomes intertwined in so many aspects of their lives that they almost become a part of their identity. Letting go of a relationship oftentimes feels like losing a part of oneself. Although painful, it is sometimes necessary to allow for true positive feelings instead of holding onto something that no longer serves you.

Personally, I have had experiences in relationships where my previous partners were not bad people. There were no red flags about the people themselves, but they did not support the relationship or make me feel cared for or valued. When someone does not positively contribute to a relationship, I feel the need to let the relationship go.

My past relationships have failed for three primary reasons: poor communication, imbalanced efforts, and a lack of respect. The following is a brief letter of explanation to my “collective ex” that describes how the aforementioned issues led to the demise of the relationships:

Dear ex,

I have told you this countless times, but I wish to make this clear here so that we can all have some closure from the years of life that we spent as a unit. I choose to believe that our experiences have served us in that we can now easily identify what we don’t want, or rather refuse to accept, in a partner and in a relationship. While I know that I am not perfect by any standard and there are many things that I should be held accountable for with regards to the dissolution of our relationship, this is my medium and my opportunity to address you.

I have to start by acknowledging that I never felt heard by you. In fact, I felt ignored. I would text you and get no response, call you and not be answered, and even speak to you face-to-face and have you either stare into some screen or sit silently staring back at me. You, quite frankly, had the communication skills of a toddler who ignored anything that made you slightly uncomfortable. Any problem went without resolution because you were too resistant to conflict to even attempt to deal with it. Talking with you was nothing short of speaking with an impenetrable wall or presenting on a video call where all cameras were turned off. It was isolating! There is no point in remaining in a relationship when you already feel alone.

While I felt alone with my issues, I was still expected to support you. As someone pressed for time and considered poor by some measures, I was asked to uphold your well-being, physically, emotionally, and financially. You expected me to be ever-present, attentive to your emotional problems, and to help you financially because of your mistakes and responsibilities. What I received from you in return was little to nothing. Empty promises and sheer frustration if ever I needed to refuse giving anything to you. The good thing about monetary support is that it is tangible and quantifiable. At some point, you can’t help but notice an imbalance in a relationship if you constantly find yourself giving, but not receiving.

All of this culminates to the realization that you had no respect for me. I was nothing more than your plaything, a rag doll, that you used when you wanted or needed something. You were around when it was convenient for you to be. My needs from you were interpreted as mere suggestions. Maybes. If you felt like its. I was never your priority. I had to leave a relationship in which I was given no respect.

However, I still wish you all the best.

With sincerity,
Your EX.

Now, at least I know what I won’t accept in a relationship, and I have gotten much better at identifying those things early on. Our time and attention are such valuable resources that we should not waste them in an effort to maintain relationships that cannot serve us.

Originally published at https://mindful-comedown.art on August 30, 2021.

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The Mindful Comedown

The Mindful Comedown

I write about finding presence in daily life. I invite you to mindfully come down with me with reflections on life and methods to truly enjoy it.