“Endings are beginnings.” I hear people say that sometimes in an effort to provide comfort. As helpful as they can try to be you still have to go through the discomfort of letting go and all the painful feelings that ensue.

One reason endings can be so unpleasant is that you may have never wanted the relationship to end. You may have even found yourself blindsided by a partner who, unbeknownst to you, decided to disconnect. 

Even when you decide to end a sick relationship, the pain can be unbearable. You may even toss a grenade into your relationship to create a diversion to avoid your feelings and to flee. You are not the first person to start an argument or blame your partner, in order to leave a failing relationship.  

Why? I'm suspicious that you may be ambivalent and not recognize it, or recognize it and not know how to deal with it. It's hard to admit, “I love you, but I'm leaving.” Anger developed to help us hide primary feelings like disappointment, shame, and guilt. Anger can be used as a means of image control, according to Dr. Raymond Novaco who posits that anger used in that way may serve to display strength and resolve rather than sadness and vulnerability. Anger and bitterness can disguise love, fear, and sadness. Anger is a fine intoxicant. Loss can be one of the most painful experiences of your life.  

Feelings, no matter how strong, will not kill you. In fact, as Nietzsche said, “if it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger.” The strength you gain from facing endings and the feelings they evoke can make future relationships more satisfying.  

There is a way out. By embracing your humanity, you can allow yourself to experience your feelings—the good, the bad, and the painful. In that way, you can not only survive the loss but also gain inner strength as a result. By adopting a humble approach, rather than dodging uncomfortable emotions, you can learn how to improve your connection to yourself and others.  

Relationships are not permanent. Your job is to love wholeheartedly. That's impossible to do if you are afraid or misdirected by your feelings.