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The Dan Keizer

Mourning A Relationship

32 posts in this topic

Let's say you break up with someone you once thought you loved. Could have been amicable, could have been messy, it doesn't matter.

Do people mourn their failed relationships? For how long? What is the mourning process like?

Is it a healthy thing to do this?

Can a person properly mourn a failed relationship if they have already moved on to someone new? Should they move on before they have gotten over the old one?

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24 minutes ago, The Dan Keizer said:

Let's say you break up with someone you once thought you loved. Could have been amicable, could have been messy, it doesn't matter.

Do people mourn their failed relationships? For how long? What is the mourning process like?

Is it a healthy thing to do this?

Can a person properly mourn a failed relationship if they have already moved on to someone new? Should they move on before they have gotten over the old one?

i mourn failed relationships, for pretty much forever.

process: move on and try not to think about it, something will remind me of her/him and i'll be in a depressed stupor for a day or so until i can run them out of my system again or at least until the next horrible shitty day when i feel alone or angry. sometimes when i'm happy, well crap. i guess i don't really move on at all. so i should say my process is ongoing.

not sure for anyone else, but it works for me for lack of any better way i've tried so far. a lot healthier than going on a bender or retail therapy.

it really depends on the person, grief is personal, and the mourning/coping process is very personal. 

should they move on before the next? maybe, but sometimes you have someone you're never going to be able to move on from. for me, i realized i love people differently, since i'm different w different people. the ones i moved on from are the ones who never existed in the first place. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

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I've done that. It seemed inevitable at the time. Even if you are the one who broke up, you can feel the loss of the hopes you had for the relationship, and so on.

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1 hour ago, The Dan Keizer said:

Is it a healthy thing to do this?

Yes it is. A lot of people claim to have "moved on" when in reality they haven't.

Mourning takes as long as it takes. Within the process we need to look at why and where things went wrong...from dashed expectations to taking responsibility for our part in it all. And then proceeding to forgiveness - for both ourself and the other party.

Relationships are "life assignments" and if we learn how to be more loving and more lovable from each experience then they're not complete failures at all.

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I have in the past. With one of my exes, despite the fact that he cheated on me during most of our time together and how infuriated I was, I still mourned the failed relationship. It was partially due to the fact that I was going through a rough period in my life with him being one of the few people who listened and took care of me. The other half was wondering what was missing in our relationship and why he decided to stray.

I mourned mine for roughly 2 1/2 months. After that, I let go and have not looked back since. It may be shorter or longer for other people depending on what happened and how bad the pain inflicted them.

Healthy? I suppose it depends on the situation and how the person reacts.

I like to move on before starting something new, but some may not. I don't think it is necessarily a requirement, but it will probably help to not be super attached to a person.

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I'm baffled as to why we mourn them at all. It should be as simple as a wrong way sign. A gentle redirection in life, yet so many of us grieve that road we didn't get to go down and it leaves us a wreck. Usually failed relationships have inset issues that cause them to crumble - so why do we get upset when it's over? It's like mourning the loss of a termite infested house - yet we still do!

Also curious why we mourn certain relationships and not others? Why do feelings appear for one person and not another?

Just blabbing as I don't get it either. Relationships are complicated. 

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Once heard most females get over relationships but most males never really do.  Not sure how that assertion could be proven but know that I struggle with relationships that end.

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Speaking for myself, it depends on the circumstances surrounding the breakup.  Maybe we grew apart, simply stopped trying, already moved on emotionally, couldn't stand each other, the little quirks we found so endearing at first, a constant source of irritation.  In the end it was a relief to be free, to analyze, catalog, and then never look back.

Then, maybe the dog in her made her do it, the dog in me, too, no one's a saint, no one's above acting on temptations.  Worse, letting go was the most logical choice in the midst of an impossible situation.  With these I would grieve, suffer, even flirt with self-destructive behaviors.  For all the calm, detached INTJ exterior, I was hurting inside more so.  It would take time, months, even years, before I'd feel whole again.

So, I think mourning isn't something one chooses to do or not do but simply part of the process.  There's no right way, no optimal solution, only reflection, sometimes long after the fact.

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I mourned my last relationship for about nine months, even though I was the one to end it.  I cried just about daily.  I became involved with my current boyfriend during that time and he was very patient and kind regarding my grief. He was never upset or irritated and he let me express how I felt.  

I was able to have a relationship because he didn't try to suppress my mourning period.  It took a while for me to be fully invested in our relationship, but I got there.  It's a difficult thing to do and in normal circumstances I wouldn't have gotten involved until I had finished mourning.

 

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I've never had a failed exclusive relationship that couldn't be recovered from after a few nights of binge drinking with friends.  Granted, my exclusive relationships haven't lasted more than a couple of months.  It's the friendly relationships (maybe sex once or twice) in which I fall for a girl that really get to me.  It takes much longer for me to get over them. 

If "healthy" means correct or appropriate, then I have no opinion.  People deal with things in their own ways.  No method is better or worse than another.  Some people lash out..  if that calms them, then so be it..  Some people ignore it and move on to the next victim..  if that calms them, then so be it.  

Now, as for cheating, I'm not for being with someone else when you're already with someone exclusively.  That's just my perspective, though.  There are plenty of valid reasons to do so (for both sexes).  A man wants to spread his seed..  a woman wants to have a kind and caring man help her raise an alpha male (who will be better able to continue to replicate her genes).  This is getting off topic...

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Yes, I have mourned after failed romantic relationships, but it usually is a short mourning after the official break-up. This is likely because I have often stayed in a relationship that wasn't working for too long, so it was "over" long before it was OVER.

Not asked, but I will answer: I mourn for lost friendships far more than lost romantic relationships. True friends are hard to find and it is awful to lose one. 

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15 minutes ago, efior said:

I mourn for lost friendships far more than lost romantic relationships. True friends are hard to find and it is awful to lose one. 

Shit yeah. Sounds like you've got your priorities in order. Losing a valued long-term friend can be soul-destroying in a way that some departed paramour could never achieve.

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I ended my last relationship in 2013, and didn't start seriously dating again until 2015...So is perfectly natural. 

Assuming you're looking for a "forever" relationship, each break up is the death of a happy future you once had. Much like losing an old friend, losing a lover is tough.

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These are my thoughts on the matter, and although I realize my process is different than many of yours, I see this happening frequently among thinkers and judgers so, here goes.

Just as several of you have noted, I believe there is no one way to grieve, but it's not a step we can sidestep without consequences. Sure, it's easier to just walk away and "put away" your feelings and go on as if nothing has happened.... but that's how your attic fills with baggage.

What I've observed with many INTJs is that they often wait for *years* to unpack those feelings they put aside. Mind you, every time we put aside unpleasant feelings, our emotional wavelength decreases. Until we go back and clean house, that is. When some INTJ folks get around to dealing with the grief, the situation is so far removed that there is no remedying it, and yet there is often a fair amount of self-recrimination and melancholy to go through. Sometimes self-pitying, sometimes regretful.

There's an opportunity to move on from there, if you all stick with it until it's cleared out, but no. There's a sentimental side of INTJ that's rarely talked about, that makes many of you hold onto your grief-stricken memories,  so you dip into your melancholy here and there. In doable doses. Because 1) dealing with anything emotionally-charged for more than short periods is far too unsettling and 2) not letting go completely allows you to carry the memory around.

So, in answering your questions, here are my personal opinions:

On 3/17/2017 at 1:03 PM, The Dan Keizer said:

Let's say you break up with someone you once thought you loved. Could have been amicable, could have been messy, it doesn't matter.

Do people mourn their failed relationships? It's a good idea to do so. For how long? Until you feel free of the conflicted and painful feelings surrounding the breakup.What is the mourning process like? It's as varied as people are.

Is it a healthy thing to do this? Absolutely, if your goal is to move on and not remain stuck in anger, misery, or self-flagellation.

Can a person properly mourn a failed relationship if they have already moved on to someone new? I believe so, but if it were me, it would require some space and understanding from my new partner. Should they move on before they have gotten over the old one? I don't think there's any one "right" answer to this one. Pop-psych says no. The magic eight ball says "maybe."

 

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Past relationships look different depending on the point in time that I look at them. If mourning suggests a path towards some sort of static sense of closure, then I don't think it's ever completed with regards to relationships (friendships and romantic relationships).

For example, the 6-year relationship from a decade ago looked exceptionally bad a year after it ended, now that break up looks mostly inevitable and is actually a relief that it happened. 

Memories of pain and pleasure are important I think, for aspects such as lessons learnt and good feelings of the enjoyable moments shared. Those moments of vulnerability and emotional intensity are pure within those little pockets of time (granted, this might be linked to not having had flings). 

Edited by zonsop

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I question whether giving up on a relationship is just being a quitter. Maybe all subsequent relationships will be worse, or will meed the same sad end if the cause of relationship failure isn't identified and addressed. If it can be identified, there was ways to prevent failure. This makes me think "what if it could've worked?".

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4 hours ago, pangolinoleum said:

What I've observed with many INTJs is that they often wait for *years* to unpack those feelings they put aside. Mind you, every time we put aside unpleasant feelings, our emotional wavelength decreases. Until we go back and clean house, that is. When some INTJ folks get around to dealing with the grief, the situation is so far removed that there is no remedying it, and yet there is often a fair amount of self-recrimination and melancholy to go through. Sometimes self-pitying, sometimes regretful.

This. I find myself stuck in the future for years at a time. Whether it's deaths, failed relationships, regrets - I tend not to feel the emotional impact of something until years after, and then all at once, often when a life change jolts me out of the future mode.

I've started putting symbols of the past on my wall, to force some nostalgia every now and again.

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Regardless of how it was ended, you still go through the stages of grief and loss.  When I go through the end of a relationship, my mind will tally up all the reasons why it was probably for the best, but the other part of me will still FEEL every bit of it.  It is a constant battle until I just give up and allow myself to feel what I need to to feel to let things go.  It takes time, and for myself I give myself as much time as I need to clear the old from my mind before meeting someone new.  Nothing worse than comparing your new person with the old.

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Yeah, it sucks.

My process is drinking and sleeping around for few months. Then I pretend I am okay and start a new relationship. Then I dump her because she cant fill the emptiness in my soul.

But yeah, after two years,  about a dozen used women and some severe stress to my liver, I can move on and love again.

But since it is such a taxing process, I really, really, dont want to go through it (yet) again.

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I subconsciously mourned over a lost friendship from college for 46 years. We've reconnected, which made me realize I had been in mourning.

I have mourned now for two years over a relationship that never existed. It was two years ago that I finally acknowledged that my wife of then-43 years had never loved me. She loved someone that looked like me, spoke like me, and had my mannerisms, but most assuredly wasn't me. She loved a projection of herself, and when I wouldn't act "normal" she became irate. I'll mourn that for a few more years, and then I'll die.

Spoiler

Started the spoiler accidentally. Nothing to see here, move on.

 

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It always sucks, even when you know it's for the best. What I do when it hurts is to remind myself of the reasons to break up and have faith that with time the pain will fade.

1 hour ago, byhisello99 said:

It was two years ago that I finally acknowledged that my wife of then-43 years had never loved me.

That's awful, I guess it's better late than never?

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It takes me a long time to warm up and know someone enough to be in a relationship with them. Once I am in I am in. So when a breakup happens it's the death of my best friend and many good and bad close attachments. Yet at the same time, discourages me from wanting to risk it all again. I am over the relationship it's been almost 3 years however at this point I feel no need want or desire to be in another relationship. I have said that I think it's over for me, and that is okay.

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8 hours ago, Lovecraftian said:

I question whether giving up on a relationship is just being a quitter. Maybe all subsequent relationships will be worse, or will meed the same sad end if the cause of relationship failure isn't identified and addressed. If it can be identified, there was ways to prevent failure. This makes me think "what if it could've worked?".

Frankly, that is terribly naive. There are romantic relationships that can't or should not go on. And no, subsequent relationships are definitely not doomed to be worse.

You can learn from the mistake and move on to a new thing... refusing to give up is not always good advice.

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28 minutes ago, Seablue said:

Frankly, that is terribly naive. There are romantic relationships that can't or should not go on. And no, subsequent relationships are definitely not doomed to be worse.

You can learn from the mistake and move on to a new thing... refusing to give up is not always good advice.

It is not naive. I have been married over 12 years. I walk the walk. Of course there are legitimate reasons to separate.  I am not discounting those. 

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12 hours ago, pangolinoleum said:

What I've observed with many INTJs is that they often wait for *years* to unpack those feelings they put aside. Mind you, every time we put aside unpleasant feelings, our emotional wavelength decreases. Until we go back and clean house, that is. When some INTJ folks get around to dealing with the grief, the situation is so far removed that there is no remedying it, and yet there is often a fair amount of self-recrimination and melancholy to go through. Sometimes self-pitying, sometimes regretful.

 

8 hours ago, BostonIan said:

This. I find myself stuck in the future for years at a time. Whether it's deaths, failed relationships, regrets - I tend not to feel the emotional impact of something until years after, and then all at once, often when a life change jolts me out of the future mode.

With more free time and fewer distractions, many of my "unhealed places" have come back to visit me over the past couple of years. Man...I didn't realize how much crap and baggage I'd accumulated...not necessarily to my great detriment but just unresolved stuff I didn't deal with at the time. Probably because I couldn't. And there's some truth to the saying "Don't sweat it now - it won't mean anything in five years."

8 hours ago, BostonIan said:

I've started putting symbols of the past on my wall, to force some nostalgia every now and again.

Funny you mention that. I spent a lot of time restoring & digitizing all the family photos a while back and I suspect it acted as a trigger. There's a blurry photo of me as a scrawny kid of maybe 8 or 9 that's stuck in my mind: if I'm beating myself up about the past I refer back to it as an image of my real self. It generally puts most of my adult BS into perspective...before the relationship failures, before the poison LOL

35 minutes ago, Seablue said:

refusing to give up is not always good advice.

It's never good advice if you're the kind of a person who can't take "No" for an answer! :laugh:

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