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Saturday, May 31, 2014

When Relationships Fall Apart

     One of the hardest things in life to deal with is when our relationships fall apart.  It's natural to question everything.  Who's right?  Who's wrong?  Why is this happening?  Did I make a mistake?  Were there warning signs? Should I have seen this coming?  What now? Can I trust anyone?  I've experienced this on numerous occasions in my life.  I've had friendships come apart at the seams after years of being close. 

Copyright by Voice From The End of Town/Pure Maiden Photography

     I've seen many people go through long drawn out seasons of doubt, depression, anger, low self-esteem and loneliness due to the "breakup" of a relationship.  Personally I've gone through those same issues and I was given little to no good advice.  Many times the advice given is to "just forget" that person.  The impression is that you get someone in your life to replace them.  After my experiences, I definitely don't think like that.  I believe when relationships fall apart you should do a little soul-searching.  I don't think you should try to take your mind off of the broken place you are in emotionally and try to find another relationship to get into. That mindset only perpetuates pain.  Nothing is gained and so much is lost.

*What I write here can be related to more than just friendships however I 'm specifically dealing with friendships below.  

For me, there are three things that help bring healing and peace when a relationship falls apart.  The first is
Acceptance.  Coming to a place of acceptance allows you to stop fighting something that is outside of your control.  Acceptance brings you the opportunity to concentrate your time on you and you're healing.  The second is Releasing.  To handle the breakup of a relationship you must release the other person from your expectations upon them and your past experiences with them.  And lastly, is Understanding. It's important to understand that some people are meant to be in your life for years, some for months, others for weeks or days, some for only hours, minutes or even just seconds.  The "time frame" is ordained by God who seeks only for your good. 

  • ACCEPTANCE:  You are only in control of you.  When relationships fall apart we lash out in anyway we can to control the situation and manipulate it to make ourselves happy.  However, we need to accept that there are things outside of our control and stop the power struggle.  In reference to relationships, two things that are out of our control are how others feel about us and their desire to be in a relationship with us. Attempting to control others feelings and actions will only bring frustration and unnecessary stress.  Acceptance allows us to put our faith and trust back on God and uncloaks our mind so that we can reflect on ourselves.  Although the breakup of a relationship does not mean that we have done anything wrong we should still reflect and ask God to show us areas needing growth.  Take time to reflect on who you have been and who you want to be. 
    • Have you made the mistake of putting someone in a place in your life where God is in competition with them for your time and attention?  I've done it.  For many years I had my husband in the wrong place in my life.  He was literally in-between me and God and I put him there.  I depended more on my husband than I did on God.  My relationship with God was dependant on my relationship with my spouse. When I wasn't getting along with my him I wasn't even capable of praying or praising God. I have also been in friendships where my friends got the majority of my time, my family got their smaller slice and God had to get the scraps of my time.  There is nothing wrong with spending time with friends but remember to keep priorities in their right order and God in His right place.
    • Have you allowed others to "control" the relationship or have you been a "controller?"  I have been in several relationships that were controlling.  I've also been accused of being a controller.  Have you tried to control the other person?  To make sure that everything went your way?  To force your wants by coercion, threats, or other forms of manipulation?  Have you allowed yourself to be controlled for fear of "losing" your relationship? Whether you are the controller or the one being controlled, these are issues that must be dealt with.  Control is a desire for power to exercise over others to get your way.  You need healing whether you are the victim or the perpetrator or the cycle will only begin again.
  • RELEASE:  Release the other person.  Too many times we refuse to release the other person.  We keep them bound to us through unforgiveness.  We keep them bound to us by negative memories that we play over and over in our minds.  We must remember that in every relationship we give a little of ourselves away.  It's a part of our "heart" that we give away.  The "hurt" keeps our heart wounded and broken.
    • Start off by forgiving them.  Forgiveness is the first part of releasing someone.  It may take more than just asking God to help you forgive them.  Pain such as the pain of feeling betrayed, lied to, or just being blindsided when you thought everything was fine are deeply entrenched. You may find it necessary to write out and verbalize to God what you are choosing "by an act of your will" to forgive them for.  I say "by an act of your will" because as you start writing out what you need to forgive them for you will likely come across some things you don't want to let go of yet.  Sometimes it makes you feel good to hold some of that unforgiveness so you can remind yourself of how you were hurt.  In those instances, you will have to forgive them as an act of your will because your emotions will tell you to do the exact opposite.
    • Pray a prayer to cut soul ties.  Your soul consists of your mind, your will and your emotions.  A soul tie is an emotional connection or link that keeps you tied to another.  Soul ties can keep your mind, will and emotions tied up in your experiences with another person and will keep you influenced by them.  Until about a year or two ago I had never heard of soul ties.  At first it sounded like some New Age mumbo jumbo.  However, soul ties goes back to that comment I made about giving a part of yourself away.  Praying a prayer to cut soul ties is praying a prayer to call back to yourself every part of you and releasing the "hooks," the "negative connections," the "negative emotions," the "negative experiences" that keep you tied back to them.  You are praying a prayer to release yourself from them which in turn releases them.  I have personally witnessed the power of this prayer as I released those whose history with me was of a negative and ultimately parasitic nature.  I ended with asking God to bring me back to a place of wholeness and completeness in Him.... nothing missing.... nothing broken.  This is the place God wants us to be.... finding our wholeness and completion in Him and in no one else.
  • UNDERSTAND: Relationships are for seasons.  Just as there are times and seasons for everything under the sun, there are times and seasons for the people in your life.  Some people will be in your inner ring.  They are the people closest to you.  They see your ups and downs, they know how you think and have seen your best and worst.  Then you have your second ring.  This group is a little bigger.  These people are well acquainted with you but not as closely as the first ring.  They know a lot about you and see more than just the "public" you.  Beyond that ring is the last one.  This is where everyone else from the man you pass on the street to the person you chat with online but have never met belong.  However, God will shift and move people according to His will and His timing. According to the "season" you are in, God may move people from one ring to another.  He may even move them totally out of your life.
    • Understand that these "rings" change over time.  No one but God is forever.  People change, environments change, relationships change.  What may feel like a falling apart may be a part of that process of change... of God moving in your life.  Trying to hold onto someone when it's "time" for their position in your life to change will only cause you to be filled with resentment. Pray that God would keep your heart in tune with His so that you can understand and accept when someone walks away.
    • Understand how to graduate or let others graduate.  In some relationships you walk hand in hand but there are others in which you may be the teacher or the student.  When you find yourself as the student, remember that at times God will move you on.  He'll graduate you to another level and that may cause someones presence and influence in your life to lessen or even stop.  As they step back it may feel like a betrayal but they are only stepping back so the person God wants in your life to lead you further can step up.  When you find yourself as the teacher remember that the most selfish thing you can do is try to hold onto them.  If you truly desire what is best for them to grow as God would have them grow then you must step away as God instructs and in his timing.  Don't allow yourself to get in the middle of their relationship with God.  Move in His timing or get removed.
You can choose to fight to keep relationships, friendships....
but when you can't make it work, you can't make it stay together, what will you do?

Peace is available to you!  Every relationship that "falls apart" is not a reflection on you, your faults or frailties.  Instead of asking Who's right?  Who's wrong?  Why is this happening?  Did I make a mistake? Instead of going through doubt, depression, anger, resentment and loneliness...    

Accept that you are only in control of you
Release the other person
Understand that relationships are for seasons


"wrap yourself in HIS peace and ask God to show you the season you're in"

2 awesome comments:

  1. Hi Patricia,
    What a gentle post on how to deal with broken relationships. Well done. I have not seen much acknowledgement toward soul ties in my consuming of Christian works. I saw it in "Captivating" by Sherri Eldridge and on this post. I have used that before and I think God honors that. I do need to revisit that from time to time. The only tie we cannot break is that with our Heavenly Father. Thank God!


    1. Thank you Meredith for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it. As to the post, it has been on my heart for months and I've been unable to get it written down until now. After my last friendship fell apart I realized how absent good wise counsel has been for me pertaining to this subject. It was God who walked me through with the advice I've penned. It is my hope to help others walk this path with a few less stumbling blocks.


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