Your relationship: separation or expansion?

twomanPartnership is all about commitment.  When you come into partnership with someone, you do so on the basis of a number of agreements. Unfortunately, few are expressed or discussed; most of the agreements we base our partnerships on are implied or assumed.  Is it any wonder, therefore, so many of us find ourselves in a position of needing to forgive our partner for not keeping their side of the bargain or falling short of our expectations?

While there is a real need for such agreements to be hashed out at the very beginning of a relationship, with realistic boundaries established up-front, we need to back up and ask the question: What is the purpose of relationships anyway, and why are they so difficult? Answer that, and we can understand how the system works.  

You would be forgiven if you were to assume that the purpose of committed relationship is to stave off loneliness and make yourself happy.  This is not true at all.  Quite the opposite, in fact.   During the first half of our lives the purpose of relationships is about creating opportunities to experience the pain of separation.   

I know this sounds very glib but I have explained this radical idea in depth in my recent book on relationships.  The basic assumption I make is that we have come into the physical realm to experience separation in order to really understand the true nature of Oneness. Who better to give us the experience of separation than those we feel most connected to on the human plane?  Our spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, and trusted colleagues provide endless opportunities for us to feel separation and in many different forms: rejection, abandonment, abuse, disappointment, unmet expectations, infidelity, shaming, manipulation and so on.  

Things change dramatically once we begin to awaken. Having achieved our goal of experiencing the amount of separation we signed up for this lifetime, our understanding of the true purpose of relationship shifts.  We find ourselves able to easily and quickly forgive whatever happened during that period of separation, because we become aware that there was a spiritual purpose for it.  In that sense, no one had done anything wrong.  

But even after we have awakened, many of the old energies remain in our mind and body. That is why we need to go back to those times when we felt victimized by our partners and clear that negative energy out once and for all using the tools of Radical Forgiveness, bringing our energy back into present time. This renewal of our present energy can then be applied to creating our future and making a difference in the world.

Take a look at Moving Forward: A 21 Day Program for Forgiving Your Partner and Healing a Relationship. This program applies to both current and past relationships; as we know, the need for healing doesn’t end when a relationship ends.

Next week, I will address some of the practical considerations as we heal our relationships and expand into Love.

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8 Responses to Your relationship: separation or expansion?

  1. Ash says:

    I have been relatively surprised at the speed of transformation and acceptance that is now within a partnership I supposed was beyond hope only a few months ago. This energy shift has been without a resulting surrender of self esteem or principles. I find nominal resonance of the narrative I was proclaiming to all that would listen only less than 3 months ago and he and I spend much more time together and he shows me the appreciation and attention he never showed me as lovers.
    I am more patient and experience more ease with the unfolding of our story as well as in other facets of my life.
    Radical forgiveness really propelled my recent growth with greater sweetness and dynamism than I would have imagined.
    I am ever grateful.

  2. Diana says:

    I have been with my partner going on almost 5 years, off and on. Every year between June/July he begins to be mean/cruel/distant/ with me. I feel it and I begin to try so hard at not arguing with him or being demanding. I tell myself that it’s something with the Vietnam War and attempt to be compassionate with him. When he came looking for me this time; I asked him what was going to be different and he said he was now attending a PTSD group, seeing a Psychiatrist quarterly, and he was attending church every Sunday. He wanted to try again. I was very happy and had so much hope that it was going to work this time. When he started in June with the meanness, I decided to take a vacation and be away from him. I returned and he continued, even the our church friends encouraging him to be nice to me. Well he did it again this week, and its the same story, he does not love me anymore. So when I ask for a nightly text or phone call when I’m travelling by myself to CA, he can’t do it because he does not love me anymore. Even though when we return together after we are apart 3 months or more, he is very affectionate and loving with me. I notice it will last about 4 to 5 months then 2 months of meanness and he will end it. Once we break up, he waits about 2 weeks and he will join several computer dating sites. He will be very complimentary and generous with these women that he does not even know or is barely getting to know them. He will call them nightly, text frequent, etc. I just happened to find a folder he had as I was organizing his filing, and saw all the different women and the communication between them. It hurts me so much that he can’t do that with me. He did it when we first met, but 5 months into it, he disappeared. Well when he ended it this time I confronted him with the folder and asked him how he could spend 350.00 to fly to Chicago and other places to meet these women, call them every night and talk hours with one, get off the phone and call another one. Wake up at 4 am and be sending messages on the computer to all these women. And me who is the one who stays with him, he can’t compliment me, call/text me nightly. He again answered, he does not love me and he is not sure why he looked for me again this time. In my hurt, I asked him; but you love these women you don’t even know, and that is why you can do all those things for them. He shut down. I became so hurt, then angry that I pushed him. I became scared that he would call the police that I left in a nightgown and left all my belongings. I have done a radical forgiveness worksheet on the incident. It obvious that my feelings of unworthiness is what keeps me coming back to him. I want to heal this belief so I’m not getting hurt by him or anyone anymore. HELP! What can I do?

    • Colin says:

      Hi Diana,

      I think you have hit the nail on the head. It is something in you that is creating this situation. I hae two suggestions for you. First, read the book Expanding into Love. You will find a lot that will help you in there. Second, once you have read the book and done the exercises in there, go to the website again and hire a coach to help you clear that energy. Your relationship will either come back or it won’t. Either way will be good.

      Colin

  3. Jana says:

    Hi, I’ve done the 21 day forgiveness for partner….I have experienced unbelievable pain in my 14 year relationship and in the last 2 years trying to survive my husband’s infidelity….basically that blew off the atom bomb inside me. I can hold on to the radical forgiveness ‘method’ for a few weeks at a time and then I fall back into such extreme rage towards him (I don’t show it to him….I handle it with other ways) but nevertheless it gets in the way toward any healing….and I still am treated fairly bad by him at times with feels like the all too familiar abuse of my younger years. I have borderline personality disorder–I don’t dwell on this but I do understand it has an affect on my relationships. Any insight is helpful….I could try and work with one of your coaches….I tried that once and was not helpful but maybe need to try and get the right person for me. Thanks for all you do. J

    • Colin says:

      Hi Jana, You just need to find a way to get that rage out! Did you bash cushions in Step 5? What other ways do you handle it if you make a point of not showing it to him? Do you just turn inwards? If you go for another coach, let me recommend Shari Claire. She’s a senior coach and will be able to help you, if she not fully booked up. You need also to tackle the root cause which is your childhood abuse. Shari can help you with that too. Don’t turn back now. You are closer to healing than you think.
      Colin

      • Jana says:

        Thank you Colin. I turn the rage inward to self harm, depression, etc. I did bash cushion but didn’t seem enough….over the years I have done various exercises to release rage….recently started to try and box. I will call Shari….thank you for your support and taking the time to write :)

  4. Angel says:

    Hi Colin,
    I have just learned that my partner of two years is a compulsive gambler. I knew that he had had a gambling addiction around 15 years ago early in his first marriage. He sought professional help and after his first child he stopped (though he did have a few relapses over a few years.) Around that time he estimated he’d lost at least $100,000. I absolutely believed he was over it, as it was so long ago. I have known that he plays online poker and he never concealed that from me. His playing recently increased and he said he was earning winnings of around 200-300 euros per week to suppliment our income. Naive me absolutely believed him and encouraged him to play more! I had noticed though that he wasn’t sticking to our agreed daily routine and he often get’s up in the night to play. Now today, I realise he has lost a fair amount. I don’t know for sure as I have always left him in charge of the money. I think he’s probably lost around €5000, possibly more. This is a shock of course.
    I don’t know what program I am running within myself but I do seem to attract people who are mentally ill. There is severe mental illness in the family and my last relationship was with a man who was a compulsive liar. I didn’t realise this for a whole year. Everything he had told me about himself was fantasy. I thought I had forgiven the situation and moved on but I obviously hadn’t.
    Also with my current partner, I had been working on radical forgiveness for my perceived ‘wrong’ choices he made just before our relationship began. It was an unusual relationship situation, as we knew we loved each other and would be together, but he was fresh out of his long marriage and so we chose to spend 6 months apart. During that time I was utterly faithful to our ‘love’ but he obviously saw it as freedom and had so many casual realationships. I have found this extremely difficult to forget and forgive, though at last it no longer haunts me. Only yesterday I told him (2 years after our being in rleationship) that I truly feel that I have forgiven this grievance that pained me so. And then today (what timing!) I learn about his addiction!
    I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be free of pain and almost wait for the next stab that I spend more of my life trying to get over. Wow, this sounds so dramatic and I know compared to so many real ‘tragedies’ it is minor, but the pain I have felt in this relationship is intense.
    We actually have a very kind and loving relationship though and we both desire an evolved holy partnership with each other. It’s just our fears and egos holding us back.
    Colin, is there hope to heal the gambling addiction and our relationship to solid trust and unconditonal love? I’ll do anything to help us and I believe he would too. I would absolutely love to hear your expert advice on this.
    Thank you & blessings
    Angel

    • Colin says:

      Hi Angel,

      You have a lot going on and it wouldn’t do you justice for me to try to answer this on this forum. I really think you would benefit from working with one of our Radical Living Coaches or Radical Forgiveness Therapy Practitioners, if you’re open to it. They are trained to see the synchronicity in your story and can help lead you through the best RF tools for you to use to shift to a place of peace. Do keep me posted on how that goes.

      Blessings,

      Colen

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