By Alecia Rice
Q: I feel I’ve outgrown the relationship that I’ve been in for the last 12 years, and I’m not quite sure how to go about leaving it. I’m not angry about anything, nor has my boyfriend done anything “wrong” to justify it. It’s just not fulfilling anymore. How do I go about leaving it without the arguing and anger that usually accompanies breakups? I just don’t have the energy for that. — Moving On
A: Dear Moving On,
Cultural programming insinuates that relationships can’t end amicably, but that’s not true. The conscious path suggests that we come from our highest place—even when it’s painful and we’re afraid. We can walk such a path by engaging in “conscious uncoupling,” which is a peaceful, honoring way of disentangling lives. It’s not always easy, yet it’s well worth it if one has a mate that will walk a higher path through the breakup alongside them. The spiritually mature path is to be accountable while approaching one another with empathy and understanding. Breakups aren’t easy, even when both know that the relationship has run its course.
You can begin the process by approaching him when you’re both in a quiet, easy space. Share several things you’ve loved about him so he knows that he’s seen and appreciated. Calmly and neutrally explain what has changed for you and why you are feeling unfulfilled in the relationship. Own your feelings instead of trying to avoid them. Try to use as many “I” phrases as possible, such as “I feel….” and few phrases beginning with “You don’t…or you won’t…” which shift blame onto him.
Explain the changes you’ve been through, along with how it has shifted your interests, mindset, and how you wish to live. Let him know that your intention is to consciously uncouple by co-creating fair agreements which dissolve the relationship while moving everyone forward in positive ways. This doesn’t guarantee that both won’t occasionally feel angry, annoyed, or hurt, or that you won’t have any arguments. This merely means that you both agree to attempt to consciously override those more base feelings, by aiming your intentions towards higher perspectives that consider the other’s point of view through an empathetic lens followed by open-hearted actions. The ultimate intention is to uncouple in a way that brings as much goodwill, generosity, respect, mindfulness and compassion to interactions as possible—especially when children may be involved. Children deserve both of their parents whole, intact, and as balanced as possible while lives are being interrupted and rearranged and hearts are hurting.
Breakups don’t mean that the relationship was a failure. It’s essential to preserve the positives, such as memories shared, children birthed, lessons learned together, as well as fun times that were had. These still exist and don’t have to be permanently overshadowed by the grief and struggles that often come with endings which, in actuality, are transitions leading to new beginnings.
During your process, try to remember:
No one is responsible for our feelings but ourselves. The focus isn’t as much on what they did, as it is on how we react to them.
When feelings amp up, push the pause button. If you’re hot, step back and take some time to cool down and sort out where the root of your feelings really come from. Naming them can help you feel more in control.
Stay away from blaming your partner for not making adjustments to fulfill your needs in your new place of being. We’re responsible to be true to ourselves, and it’s not necessarily up to one to transform to meet another’s needs and changes.
Seek the positive in the situation, for pain can eclipse the good through our hurts and disappointments. There are always silver linings to be found. Be grateful and cherish them when you find them.
During the uncoupling process, our mission is to process ourselves through the pain, guilt and projections. In that way, we can be accountable as to how we also contributed to the demise of the relationship, because each partner contributes to it in their own way. If we’re to move forward and not make the same mistakes twice, we’re called to awareness of the path that we’ve traveled, owning our faults, thereby challenging ourselves with new ways of healing and being. This allows us to move forward, feeling empowered with forgiveness in our hearts for ourselves and others, so as not to get potentially stranded in the quicksand of negative feelings and perspectives.
Alecia Rice integrates higher concepts with wisdom to bring forth balance, perspective and clarity. She’s a personal advisor, speaker and gatherer of women. For perspective on life issues, you’re invited to text questions and comments to 681-321-1109. Discussions continue at Ask Alecia on Facebook.