Eric Evans

Registered Psychotherapist

Toronto Psychotherapist working with depression, anxiety, serious illness, creativity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer issues.

To reach the end is through.

It is very common that people come to me for psychotherapy because their relationship is over, is in trouble, or is just beginning. Relationships can affect the deepest and oldest parts of ourselves. They are often the most significant experiences we can have as adults, and sometimes the most disturbing. A wonderful book on this subject is Can Love Last by Stephen Mitchell. 

One things that seems clear is the fact that despite how many in the external world tell us that a relationship is bad, unwise, wrong, short-sighted, etc, we rarely listen and, in fact, the only way we might learn that a relationship might be wrong for us is to live through its end. I'm beginning to think the only way we can learn to make better choices or learn to be different with someone is by screwing it up and then understanding why. 

This assumes, of course, that we have at least learned to be honest and open with ourselves and our friends; that we can learn to understand and more importantly say: I shouldn't have done that, or I always react that way and don't want to again, or that feeling I had there - I don't' want that again. We need to be ready to learn from ourselves. To learn that pain or anxiety or depression mean something about what has just happened and maybe we can begin to do things differently. 

But our closest friend saying: you really shouldn't be with that person really doesn't help - assuming we even want to listen which we don't often. People who love us mean the best for us, but what we really want from them at these times is for them to listen, to reflect, to share their own experience. We don't want to be alone with these things but we don't want to be told we're doing it wrong or made the wrong choice. Mistakes are ours to make and ours to correct and hopefully learn from.