… When you’re feeling guilty

Dear Ana,

I am sorry this happened. It is awful when you fight with someone you care about. Wanting to confide in them but also feeling angry at how they hurt you and guilty at how you hurt them. 

Your guilt probably means you want to continue the relationship, but how can you both get through what happened? You have to see this as an opportunity to learn how to love each other better. Remember, blame has no place here. Blame will trap you. Anger is a feeling that tells you when your boundaries have been crossed, that you deserve better. It is a feeling meant to help you. But when you sit in anger without a resolution, it will become a bitter resentment. The anger is real on both sides and a simple apology will leave the bond hanging by a thread. 

Walking on pins and needles until the next blow up is not a relationship, it’s a prison. Making up with someone when you are still hurt is a violation of your boundaries. Maintaining connections is hard work sometimes but if this one is worth it to you, and to them, you must seek to understand. From everything you know about them, you can start to own our part in the conflict. 

Hopefully your partner can discover their part in the conflict but don’t rely on that. Communication is nothing without understanding. Pouring your heart out is a waste without another open heart to catch what falls out. Both of you need to come to the table with open hearts.

If you can do these things, you have done all you can. Your partner has to meet you halfway or you will be betraying yourself to maintain a one sided relationship. Showing up with an open heart is not the same as being submissive. And guilt is not the same as shame. Do no harm but take no shit.

With an open heart

– Guilt

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