Serious post here.
Have you ever been in something you invested in for so long, that’s it’s utter heartbreak when it falls through? I have. Whether it be a job, school, or relationship. Mine was a 6 year long relationship, and I’ve learned a lot that I figure I can share, because if anyone understands heartbreak and life spitting in your face, that’s me. Someone can relate to this somehow.
The truth is no one tells you how hard it is when something you invested so much time in slips away. No one talks about a personal lurking darkness because it’s so stigmatized. I’ve honestly been through hell and back, and experienced darkness. My dark side was depression. I was clinically depressed for about two years in my second year of university, and sought out counselling help to learn how to cope with it. I’m over the hard bits now, but only because counselling helped me through that, and I applied the things I learned to help deal with my depression. There are traces still left over, and I’m not 100% better, but I know I will be.
Why was I depressed? My relationship with R hit a kink in the tracks that caused the train to derail a year and a half into our relationship. I lost my self-esteem, my sense of self, everything that I built. Nonetheless we repaired our relationship after some time and got back together. But I was never whole ever since that major speed bump occurred, and I’m still not. That incident kicked off more, but less intense incidents and setbacks, but we trucked through. Let me tell you what I learned;
1. It’s no use in mending a relationship when you’re not at your fullest potential, it’ll just cause more problems.
2. People make mistakes, and they can change (but only if they truly in their heart want to). Forgive and maybe spend sometime apart to regain what was lost, depending on how bad the situation is.
3. Relationships take hard work. Especially serious ones, it’s unrealistic to think that if it’s meant to be, it should just work. Get that idea out of your head
4. Problems are bound to occur, so it’s important to figure out ways that you can properly deal with them.
- Good fighting tactics
- active listening – actually listen and try to understand what the other person is trying to say
- validating – rephrase what your partner is trying to say, you’ll be showing them your making an effort to understand them.
- using I feel statements – Start off sentences with I feel _____ to easily let your partner know how it is you’re truly feeling without being accusatory
- Communicate effectively – don’t be condescending or ignore the other person
- Make sure they know you still care about them at the end of all this
- Things to avoid:
- You statements – things like ‘you do this always’ or ‘you _____’ is accusatory and will set the other person in defensive mode
- avoid name calling and cursing – it’ll fuel the fire
- Leaving and never talking about the situation again – if you really need to remove yourself from the situation, just say I need 20 minutes to calm down, and make sure you calmly revisit the problem after, and not sweep it under the rug
- Avoid kitchen-sinking – kitchen-sinking is throwing in irrelevant topics to the problem, or adding more things to the list to be mad at. Focus on the problem at hand.
- Avoid gunnysacking – gunnysacking is letting the little things slide by, and bottling them up until one day you explode. It’s important to address issues as they come up, not waiting till one day you explode.
5. Be you, and do the things that you want. Don’t always do things because you feel like you need to, or because you feel like it has to be this way. Do what you actually want. That way, you’ll have a lot less regrets, if any. Stay true to you, and don’t lose sight of that
At the end of the day, a 6 year relationship isn’t something that was easy. There are many other couples who have been together longer, and I’m sure can share with you the mountain of problems they had to work out. R ended our relationship, but I don’t blame him for that. He obviously needs to figure out himself, and so do I, since we were never the same since the first big incident that caused us to walk on eggshells. Don’t get me wrong, perfect times were perfect, but I need to regain what I lost when I was depressed, and I haven’t yet. I’m still here, and that’s what’s important. I’m still sane enough to climb out of that bottomless pit called life, and climb out so that I’ll be on top. It’s a long way, but it’s worth it knowing that I can do it on my own. I’m not sure what’ll happen between R and I, but I know you can’t erase the love we have, and will always have for each other. And of course I’ll always be there for him, because I’m so stubborn and love him wholeheartedly.
But all I know is, right now I need to focus on me, and regain 100% all of the self that I lost. And that’s a damn good reason to stay sane and not give up.