If given the chance to revisit a past relationship with an ex, how many of us would ask questions, requiring a great deal of honesty from ourselves?

By seeking to understand the motivation of our ex as to why the relationship ended, we can use it as an opportunity to see our own contribution to its demise.

Many of my clients provide emotionally dramatic details from the ending of their relationships, which translate to still harboring unresolved feelings. There was no peace, because they held the other person as responsible for its ending (no matter who initiated it).

Caught in an endless mental loop of thinking the same thoughts, keeping us stuck, it's exhausting and we never come up with a solid conclusion. 

In reality, the reasons a relationship ends, has to do with both partners and their beliefs. Whether we believe it was our soulmate, or our worst enemy, when we have unresolved feelings from a past relationship, it's about us.

Let's look at five reasons relationships may end in the first place. Whether one partner wanted it or both did, the following have an impact in some capacity, if not all, for the reasons it ended.

1. External Circumstances.

Everyone has an opinion, whether its our family, friends or society, there's always external input in our lives. When we encounter a problem in our relationship, we may complain or ask the advice of others. If we don’t believe in ourselves enough, to think we’re doing the right thing and instead defer to what other people think is right, we can talk ourselves right out of the relationship.

Solution: Take responsibility. What is our responsibility? How are we allowing the issue to persist in the relationship and how are we practicing self-care?

2. Lacking Courage.

Many people believe on a deeper or even subconscious level, they're not worthy of receiving great love. They live a relationship out from beginning to end in their minds, often succumbing to fear about "what if?" What if... their lover leaves, disappointment happens, or a myriad of scenarios, leaving them to feel unable to recover? Unfortunately, their insecurities will help provide the nail in the coffin by setting up scenarios, which confirm these beliefs as true.

Solution: Take responsibility. Why do we feel unworthy? How do we set ourselves up to fail and prove our lack of worth? Self-awareness and communicating with our mate can bring the dark to light.

3. Skewed Truth and People Pleasing. 

Being transparent is tough to do, since most of us are unaware of 'why we do what we do,' because we're so focused on the other person. If we don't pay attention to how we feel, when we compromise ourselves to please our partner, inevitably we'll become resentful. We drive a wedge between us, creating distance. And for many, this is what we want, because we fear our truth and the emotional intimacy it brings when lived.

Solution: Take responsibility. Get clear on what's really going on within. Next, come from authenticity, only saying or doing what is true for us. Vulnerability is our true strength, it's our truth.

4. Childhood.

Perhaps, we took a vow as a child to protect ourselves from being hurt, so we approach love in a strategic manner. We could've been raised by a single parent or watched our parents struggle in a relationship together. We were like sponges as children, and for many of us, we're emotionally still there. The decisions we made to be invulnerable or to be unlike our parents, may not be effective for having a truly intimate and loving relationship. We may sabotage every opportunity to grow closer, because we cannot risk vulnerability.

Solution: Take responsibility. Examine old rules and thoughts about relationships we had as children. What perspective did we pick up and does it serve us? Or does it keep love away?

5. No Risk.

Change requires risk, which means the potential for loss. We may say we want love, closeness, and true partnership, but we're afraid to truly commit (even if we're married). The comfort zone we live in, feels familiar and has a strong hold on keeping things the same (even if we're miserable). To step out of it and live from our heart in our relationship can feel like the greatest risk for us to take.

Solution: Take responsibility. Ask, is it better to remain where it's familiar or to take a chance, be open and experience a deeper connection? If it's an affirmative answer, then we need to do what scares us. We need to risk it, because if we don't loss (any loss) will be inevitable. 

All five take a great deal of awareness to put into practice.

Life is not like the movies and often people make choices based on anything, but love. Our relationships end, because we stand in our own way. We deny the pleasure of being free to be who we truly are! Living in that heaviness, we place responsibility on the other person, while thinking we are immune from participating in it's demise.

Do the risky thing no matter what happens—there is far less regret in living life through action, rather than just in our heads. When we don’t honor our heart we miss out on experiences, which connect us deeper to our own truth.

If the relationship is over and we are revisiting with our ex, we've an opportunity to explore the relationship and ourselves too. We can look at it from a different perspective, one of balance, love, openness, courage and awareness, so we can move forth into experiencing this now and in the future.

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