The “Bad Guy” vs “Good Girl” Narrative

Why is it so often that the story at the end of a relationship becomes one of right and wrong? Who fought the hardest, made the bigger effort, who screwed up, who was the good one and who was the bad one??

Every relationship in our lives is significant in some way, perhaps that’s where the term ‘significant other’ comes from? When a serious, or long term relationship ends, some people find it helpful to find meaning, an understanding or an explanation. And often times that is all very hard to come by when one is left with a broken heart. But for some there is no choice but to examine every feeling, every word said, every memory, and every event in the hopes of healing, or at the very least learning a lesson.

While I can’t help but go over every little detail in my mind repeatedly,  I am trying to refocus the heartache on a more positive subject; the opportunity to learn about myself. In doing so I am finding that things are not always so black and white, its not always a situation of the “bad guy” versus the “good girl”.

This was, and always has been the narrative of my relationships; where I am saint-like and my partner was so lucky to have me, and a horrible person for ever hurting me, or for making mistakes, and ultimately for loosing me. This was a narrative that I’ve always bought into (without realizing it). It could even be argued that I chose my partners based on this narrative.

As I examine the significant relationships of my life, I’m finding there is a very apparent re-occurring pattern; choosing someone who is not my equal. Be it emotionally, intellectually, or any other form of measure, I have always been the stronger one, the fearless one. This comes down to my own deep rooted issues (obviously I haven’t been doing this on purpose!), and there’s a variety of psychological reasoning behind it all, however for the purpose of this post, what is important is the idea that we can’t fault someone for not being the person we hoped they would be for us, if we unconsciously specifically, chose them for being lesser than us in some (or many) way(s).

Is it really so wrong to consider that each person contributed some pain, that each person made mistakes, that each person let the other down in some way, at some point? Considering your own faults, is that not taking responsibility for your own pain? Its not to dispel all the good that you did do, or the effort that you made, but why must we dispel the good, and the effort of another simply because they hurt us “more”? Sure, taking this route might cause you some guilt, or even worse, regret, but is this not significant to knowing your truth, to self discovery, and ultimately to healing? What if we considered  that each person did the best they could with what they knew at the time?

If you are able to look beyond the sadness, anger, or pain and are willing to consider things on a deeper level, you are granting yourself the greatest gift; an opportunity to learn about  your own issues, an opportunity to grow and ultimately break the unhealthy patterns of the past. Giving up the “Bad Guy vs Good Girl” narrative grants you freedom from the negativity which threatens to consume us when things end badly, and offers us the opportunity to forgive.

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