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How Relationships Die

I learned this powerfully sad lesson again today. It has happened before, but it’s been a while. A relationship that has no air in it, where one or both people refuse to communicate, is dying. The currency between the people is cut, and there is nothing to build, nowhere even to begin a reconstruction. The relationship is stuck- beliefs are entrenched, feelings numb or too hurt to approach, the divide opens into a chasm. 

This happens with personal relationships frequently, it’s probably happened to all of us at least once. I am not sure if there is a better side to be on, the one who walks away, or the one who is left. In many ways both positions are equally powerless. Because I am in the business of love, and our mission really is to increase the experience of love in the world, it hits just as hard for me as it would with an old friend, when an old customer refuses to communicate. I can always feel the moment when a break occurs in a conversation. Discomfort, boundary crossing, or something else not quite nameable steps in between you. People who are committed to their relationships know that the time to intervene, to build a new bridge, is immediate. Other people, without the skills or willingness or those who tend to categorize relationships in their life, choose to walk away.

I have always said and believed that marriages don’t end in years; they end in weeks. A break occurs and distance starts to build. Time allows this to form a protective negative coating, by three weeks the entropy of the system is almost too much for people to overcome. They give in to the energy and it defines however many days are left. Shifting the energy requires addressing the break, sooner rather than later. The reason that love is an action verb is that at least half the time we are in them, we are fighting our way back to the closeness and intimacy that we really want- it is the only thing that keeps relationships alive.