Why Do Relationships Fail?
Excerpts from CWG by Neale Donald Walsh
Most people enter into relationships with an eye towards what they can get out of them, rather than what they can put into them. It is very romantic to say that we were “NOTHING” until that special someone came along. But this puts an incredible pressure on our partners to be someone that they are not. Not wanting to “let us down,” they try very hard to live up to our expectations until they cannot anymore. They can no longer complete our picture of them and fill the roles they have been assigned. Our partners eventually begin to show who they really are, show their true nature and it is about this time that we realize and complain that they have changed.
Resentment builds. Anger follows.
Our obsession with the Other is what causes relationships to fail. Our focus remains on our partner—what is our partner doing? What are they saying? Wanting? Demanding? What is our partner thinking? Expecting? Planning? Our happiness have always depended on how well our partners have lived up to our ideas and expectations.
But the true test we need to consider is that our grandest dreams, ideas, hopes, and expectations should have nothing to do with our beloved Other, but rather our beloved Self. The purpose of a relationship is to decide what part of yourself you’d like to see “show up,” not what part of another you can “capture and hold.”
If each person in a relationship focuses on what Self is being, doing, having; what Self is wanting, asking, giving; what Self is seeking, creating and experiencing—all relationships would magnificently serve their purpose.
Your first relationship, therefore, must be with your Self. If you cannot love your Self, you cannot accept the love of another. No matter how many people profess their love to you, it will never be enough. First you won’t believe it. So you then ask your partner to prove it, to do this they start altering their behavior. Once you finally believe they love you, you start to worry how long you can keep their love. So in order to hold on to their love, you start altering your behavior as well. Thus two people literally lose themselves in a relationship. They get into the relationship hoping to find themselves, but they lose themselves instead.
This losing of Self in the relationship is what causes most of the bitterness. Two individuals join together in partnership hoping that both will be greater only to find that it’s less. They feel less than they were single. Less capable, less able, less exciting, less attractive, less joyful, less content. This is because they’ve given up most of who they are in order to be and stay in their relationship.
You must first learn to honor and cherish and love yourself. You must see yourself as worthy before you can see another worthy. You can never truly, purely, fall in love with another unless you have truly, purely, fallen in love with yourself.
Relationships are sacred because they provide life’s grandest opportunity—indeed, it's the only opportunity—to create and produce the experience of your highest ideals of Self. Relationships fail when you see them as life’s grandest opportunity to create and produce the experience of your highest ideals of another.