When Your Relationship Fails

The following questions, gleaned from Daphne Rose Kingma’s book Coming Apart (Fawcett Crest Publications) are designed to assist you in gaining greater awareness of why your relationship failed. These exercises are designed for you, not for you to send to your ex-partner.

  • On paper, tell the story of how your relationship began. Where did you meet, what attracted you, and what was it about him/her that seem to resonate with some deep wish or interest of yours?
  • What was the first clue that the relationship might fail? This tiny thing that you noticed could destroyed things, but you chose to ignore?
  • What was going on in your life when you began this relationship?
  • What were you seeking to solve, resolve, understand or to gain at that time that the relationship assisted you with?
  • What did your ex-partner need to add in his or her life that you offered?
  • What did he or she gain by being with you?
  • How did the clue of failure emerge in the relationship?
  • THE POISON PEN LETTER. Write a letter to your ex-partner in which you express the full intensity of your anger, rage, hurt and sense of betrayal. Let out every self-indulgent complaint you have about him/her with no censorship.
  • THE LETTER OF CONFESSION. It is also true that you may have acted inappropriately, made significant mistakes and responded poorly when another response may have been wiser. What were your failures in the relationship? Write a letter of apology to your ex, honestly acknowledging what your role was in causing the problems or in assist e most important lessons you can take from this experience?
  • If the story of your relationship were written as a title for a book or a movie, what wouldit be called?

What did you discover about yourself—and about your relationship—by doing this exercise?

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