3 Karmic Relationships That Will Heal Your Heart... Or Break It

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What do karmic relationships entail?

Well, has anyone told you some disaster you’ve suffered was "bad karma"? As if fate runs your life?

Are you dangling on strings, with your difficult relationships tied there alongside you?

Astrology, New Age, and some Eastern religions suggest that humans live many different lives. Between lives, we ponder what we've learned in our time on Earth, and what to experience next time.

Often, we’re trying to finish a lesson that we didn’t master in life. This is where "karma" comes from.

We plan it, but God or the Spirit helps guide us in the planning. Then, we're born and, unfortunately, we don't remember any of that.

When the events and people show up in our lives, they feel fated, because they arrive via coincidences and synchronicities that seem like destiny.

This strange sense of "chosen but not chosen" is what most people refer to when they use the term "karma."

These fated relationships fall into three types, but only one of them is commonly called “karmic” — which makes for some confusion.

RELATED: What Is A Karmic Relationship? Here's What Being In One Is Really Like

Here are the 3 types of karmic relationships that can heal your heart... or break it into pieces.

1. A Soulmate Relationship.

The partners are usually — but not always — romantic partners. Although they face challenges from a world that tries to force them apart, they're meant to be together.

They get along beautifully and experience love and happiness for as long as they both live, once they have overcome the challenges set forth by their circumstances.

They teach each other lessons but in a harmonious way that holds them together for a lifetime.

2. The Classic "Karmic" Relationship.

Usually, these people are lovers, but they don’t have to be. If you had a horrible relationship with an abusive parent, this could be a karmic relationship, too.

Karmic relationships feel awful. The people are stuck in an unhealthy dynamic, such as spousal abuse, alcoholism, or a codependent-narcissist relationship.

One person is an abuser who is unlikely to change. The only learning that takes place is on the part of the victim, who has self-worth problems.

The victim comes to see through the abuse that he or she is a much worthier person than they ever believed. The lesson lies in growing strong enough to leave.

The relationship feels "karmic" because it’s said to be some leftover learning about strength and self-worth the person didn’t achieve in a past life.

Sometimes, the learning has a higher purpose so the victim can later lift up other people. No one can do this better than someone who’s lived through the same difficult emotions in a situation that feels impossible.

Some of these situations are shocking and incredibly painful. Think of the Farrah Fawcett movie The Burning Bed.

3. A Twin Flame Relationship.

Twin flames are said to be two people formed from the same soul.

Whether this is true or not, a twin flame is someone with whom we have at least an initially fraught relationship.

Twin flames can be friends, a parent and child, or some other close relationship. The two people are closely emotionally involved and at least one of them desperately wants the relationship to work.

There are two types of twin flame relationships. Astrologer Molly McCord says that all twin flame relationships exist to teach the world more about love, but that's not entirely true.

One type serves as an example to other people, while the other only teaches the people engaged in the relationship.

The "example of real love" in a twin flame relationship is shown in the movie, The Big Sick. He’s Pakistani, she’s white. Their religions clash. The parents don’t approve.

Yet, the lovers battle for their right to marry, and all is right in the end. The parents and society rethink their attitudes watching these committed young lovers.

Meanwhile, in the "teaching you a lesson" twin flame relationship, the couple doesn't end up together. Often, the situation is very sad and at least one person pines for the other for an extended period of time.

There’s a protracted discovery of why it could never work, and letting go brings pain to a whole new level.

RELATED: The Lessons Your Zodiac Sign Needs To Learn In Karmic Relationships

What’s the difference between an "example of real love" twin flame relationship and a soulmate relationship?

In the "example" twin flame, society is adamantly against the pairing.

Think of gay marriage. The couple, in achieving their dream of togetherness, shows other people that love is more inclusive and expansive than their previous understandings.

My husband and I were soulmates but not "example" twin flames because we didn’t have a host of people who disapproved of our relationship.

Instead, we were battling cancer, from which he passed away seven years ago.

What’s the difference between the "meant to teach you a lesson" twin flame and a karmic relationship?

A karmic partner is often too abusive and too damaged to learn anything or change.

Fifteen years from now, they will still be hitting the bottle, shooting up, sponging off someone else to support their habit, or beating their next wife.

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They’re like the old archvillain J. R. Ewing in the classic TV series Dallas or Palpatine in Star Wars. They go on and on, victimizing and brutalizing other people, and they don’t care to change or get better.

The "lesson" twin flame often doesn’t mean to hurt you but sees no choice in the situation they’re in. Think of the co-dependent married guy who slinks back to a karmic wife to make the grown kids and in-laws happy.

They really loved you and they didn’t want to hurt you, and they had many fine qualities that made them hard to let go of.

These souls are called “twin flames” because, when you look carefully at the emotional and psychological problems of each person — they’re the same!

They need to learn the same lesson, and they came to teach each other the same lesson.

And they can’t stay together unless they learn the lesson. These twin flame relationships are often the most despairing and the most maddening of all.

When you finally get away from a karmic relationship, you realize what a skunk the person was. You don’t feel a bit sorry for any pain the person might have felt once you left.

With the "lesson" twin flame, you were both good people. You both had good intentions. You meant well.

It’s one of those relationships that could have worked, if only... if only.

"Lesson" twin flames leave scars on our hearts that could very well be permanent.

Understanding karmic relationships is the first step to healing.

Why does it matter? Which kind of relationship was yours?

Once you understand that, it may point you toward the healing you need to do and the redirection you need to take in your life.

The whole reason we have karma with another person is that skipped step in emotional learning we stumbled over in the first place.

If we don’t get the lesson this time, we may have that karma again with this person or someone very similar, in this life or the next.

That’s one reason I work as hard as I can work to "get" my lessons and do my healing now!

RELATED: 3 Steps For Breaking A Karmic Cycle So You Can Move On

P.D. Reader is a student astrologer who blogs about relationships, affair recovery, and healing from childhood trauma. She will be starting a series on astrological markers for karmic relationships in your chart. Join her for it on her mailing list at KarmicRelationship.com.

This article was originally published at Karmic Relationship. Reprinted with permission from the author.