It never ceases to amaze me. You hear of a hot A-List couple breaking up and then before the next issue of In Touch goes to print, they have hooked up with another A-Lister. Unbelievable. This phenomenon isn’t reserved for the rich and famous, we all know people who go from partner to partner with nary a break in between.
To each his own, but I’m more at the other extreme, I break up and then it’s a good long while before I find anyone else. Both systems have their drawbacks but whenever a relationship ends, I strongly suggest that you perform a relationship autopsy on your recently demised relationship.
With a real autopsy, the doctor examines the dead body for the cause of death. And, here’s a bit of morbid trivia. In at least one in four autopsies, the doctor finds a previously undiagnosed condition (diabetes, heart disease, cancer).
A relationship autopsy does the same thing. It asks “What killed this relationship?” and if you’re honest, you’ll find disease from both parties contributed to the death. The idea behind the autopsy isn’t to excessively grief the relationship or to throw a lengthy pity party but to find the cause of death so you can prevent it from happening again.
After my last serious relationship ended, I sat down and asked myself why? And I got several answers. I won’t share them all (this is a blog, not a novel) but one thing that came up almost immediately is that I was never first in his life. After four years, I’d never been made a priority.
I am not self-centered enough to expect to be first all of the time or even most of the time, but my needs should come first some of the time. He never went out of his way for me – not on my birthday, not on Christmas, not V-Day or any other time. Everything was based on what was convenient for him. However, I had to admit that I didn’t ask for more. I expected him to make certain changes without ever really letting him know what those changes were.
The takeaway for me was to demand more and state my needs clearly without assuming what a man should or shouldn’t know. There were a lot of other lessons I’ve learned and been able to apply. But I wouldn’t have known any of them if I hadn’t taken the time to really look at what went wrong (as well as what worked).