How do we remain loving and conscious in the face of heartbreak?
Let’s start by saying, when it comes to matters of the heart we can only stand in awe of the amazing things love can do – it can heal us and make us strong. It also has the power to bring us to our knees and to challenge us to the very depths of our soul. Controlling oneself in the very beginning of a breakup, especially one that is perhaps leading to a divorce where children are involved, is not going to be easy. It can be extremely difficult. I don’t want to appear insensitive to the immense pain and destruction that may happen when someone is betrayed, lied to, or abandoned. It is true that our emotions may be pushed to their limits and that it takes a lot of self-control to keep your balance but, if we can just do our best to remember that in this fragile time we are in the position of having a big impact on our childrens’ and families’ lives as well as those of our friends and communities.
We are powerless over people and if there is one thing we know about love, you can’t make anyone love you; it’s given not taken.
We are only human. We are not machines that can be programmed to respond the way we would always like each other to respond. The heart has a mind and a will of its own and for many complicated reasons, who we love and how we love are not in our control. Yet, we look to our marriages as a place where we are now safe and secure, which is beautiful. But, the truth is, we are never really safe from one of us having a change of heart. Just because we have voiced a commitment to each other, it does not make us immune to being left, or leaving ourselves. What keeps our marriages or committed relationships strong and connected is not a piece of paper or the idea that we have taken vows and therefore we can count on that to be the glue to keep the relationship together.
So maybe one way we show up in the face of heartbreak is to acknowledge from the start that a piece of paper does not hold back the forces of nature and that it is important to pay attention to this as we enter into a commitment of any kind. The truth is we are always changing and anything can happen. If we come to this understanding then we can make other kinds of agreements around our unions. As we grow our capacity to allow in the possibility that relationships sometimes end, we can develop tools for communication that create a more peaceful outcome to breakups. This is how we create happier, healthier, long-term blended families.