We can be hard on ourselves, especially when it comes to what we label in our minds as a relationship failure. After a break up or divorce, it's all too common to hear the lament "I wasted 10 years of my life on that man!"
But this kind of thinking is a lie you tell yourself, it's a defense against the pain you feel. It will only hurt you in the long run because it makes you a victim. It negates the love you shared at one time and all the good that you experienced when things were going well.
More from YourTango: Why It's Hard To Let Go After A Break Up
While you were living those 10 years together, you weren't saying to yourself, "what a wasted day." No, you were living your life and sharing loving experiences with another human being.
It's only after the demise of that relationship that you call it a relationship failure. It's as if suddenly all those years get lumped together in your mind into a waste of time and energy...as if you weren't even participating in a loving couple all along.
Every relationship failure leads you closer to your next relationship success.
It only hurts you to dismiss the love and the good times you shared with another as a waste. It's all very dramatic to declare that you've lost all those years of your life to a man who now doesn't love you. But is that the truth? Of course not.
Love is never wasted, NEVER EVER. Cherish the fact that you were able to create a loving experience with a man, that you shared a deep connection that will always be a part of you both.
I know it hurts to no longer be together and to feel that his love has been taken away from you. I know that the words relationship failure may haunt you and make you feel mad enough to negate everything you had in the past.
More from YourTango: Single And Dreading The Holidays? Here's The Cure
But honestly, you were given a gift. Not everyone loves deeply and well. Not everyone has that special connection with another that makes for true romance. The length of time a love lasts does not define a relationship's intensity, nor does the way it comes to an end.
I don't believe in relationship failure. I consider all relationships to be successful. They are your opportunity to learn more about yourself and your ability to love.