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  • Writer's pictureEllie Bass

Redefining Failure in Relationships: A Journey Beyond Taboos

In our collective consciousness, failure often gets an undue amount of attention. In relationships, particularly in marriage, the idea of 'failing' is heavily intertwined with divorce. But what if we shift our perspective? What if we measure success not just by longevity, but by the well-being of everyone involved? Evaluating Success and Failure in Relationships When assessing a relationship, what benchmarks do we consider? Traditionally, longevity has been a prominent measure. However, this sole metric can be misleading. Instead, the broader indicators—mental health, happiness, growth, and healing—offer a more comprehensive understanding. Imagine applying the longevity yardstick to other aspects of life. Would staying in an unsatisfactory job, home, or even country be the only sign of success? Clearly not. Similarly, with relationships evolving beyond mere protection and procreation, we seek deeper, purposeful connections. Diving Deeper: Is Longevity the Ultimate Goal? With ever-evolving societal expectations, we desire more from our relationships—more than just longevity. It's about meaningful connections and support. However, there's a balance to strike. While seeking fulfilment with a partner, we must remember the value of other avenues of companionship and support. The Real Cost of Holding On Labeling a decision to divorce as 'failure' might be an oversimplified view. The ramifications of clinging to an unhappy marriage can be multifaceted:

  • Emotional Toll: Staying in a problematic relationship can wreak havoc on one's emotional health, escalating anxiety, and diminishing self-worth.

  • Children's Well-being: A tumultuous household can detrimentally impact children. Divorce might sometimes present a healthier atmosphere, fostering positive relationship dynamics.

  • Personal Stagnation: A troubled marriage can stunt personal growth. Aspirations, dreams, and even self-care can be sacrificed at the altar of commitment.

  • Lost Opportunities: Clinging to an unsatisfactory union might blind us to avenues of true happiness and personal growth.

  • Modeling Positivity: Ironically, opting for divorce might showcase self-care, emphasizing mental well-being over societal expectations.

Historical Stigma Around Divorce Historically, divorce was taboo, deeply rooted in religious doctrines and societal norms. From Christianity to Judaism, the sacredness of marriage was emphasized. The societal fabric saw the family as a pillar, making divorce disruptive. For women, the economic implications further compounded the issue. This historical perspective, coupled with concerns of societal reputation, placed undue pressure on couples to remain in unfulfilling marriages. Perfectionism and Self-Reflection In a world obsessed with perfection, our perception of failure is often skewed. It's time for introspection. Are we too hard on ourselves, trapped in a cycle of seeking perfection? Maybe the real 'failure' is not in ending a relationship but in ignoring our own well-being. Concluding Thoughts Reframing our understanding of 'failure' in relationships and divorce offers a refreshing perspective. It's not about the end but the journey, not about mere survival but thriving. In embracing this paradigm shift, we align closer with our true selves and what's genuinely best for our mental and emotional health. In times of turmoil, remember, it's okay to redefine success, to prioritize well-being over longevity, and to embrace change as a path to growth.

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