Coming to Terms with the Feeling of Wasted Time Spent in a Relationship

When we go into a relationship the last thing, we think of is that the relationship will end.

We hear of people going through breakups, separations, or divorce, but we never think it will happen to us. We often live life as though we are invisible to these things and it would not happen to us until one day it does. I have coached women who have been married for several years who find themselves separated and filing for divorce from their husband. A breakup is not something that is planned. A series of events have led to where you are right now. It could be you and your partner could not overcome the hurdle of communication, cheating, unforgiveness, lies, verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional detachment, or true acceptance of one another. No matter the reason that lead to the breakup with your partner, you now have  a raging anger  or rather living in regret that your time has been wasted during the time you were with your partner. For some this could be three, five, seven, ten, twenty years or more of what feels like a waste of time.


  1. Acknowledge that time has been wasted

I want to first acknowledge that what you are feeling is real. When you invest your heart, time, soul, strength, career, and life purpose into a relationship and it does not work out, it is normal to have these feelings of wasted time. I want you to acknowledge that what you are feeling is real. Acknowledging and accepting that what you are feeling is real may express itself as crying, anger, guilt, feeling lonely, sad, or fear of the future. When these emotions arise feel every ounce of it. Don’t try to ignore these feelings. When you ignore it rather than facing it you allow it to have power over you.

It is easy to sit in this state of feeling sorry for yourself for a prolonged period even up to years because you feel something was taken away from you when the relationship ended.  The truth is once you have acknowledged and accepted something, one of the hardest things to do is to decide to move forward after accepting the truth. I want to challenge you, now that you have accepted that your time may have been wasted in the relationship what are you going to do about it? What are you going to do differently moving forward? Below are several items to address as you come to terms with this.

2. You cannot get time back

This is a hard pill to swallow, but nevertheless it is the truth. As much as one would like to go back in time and change how certain things played out, that is not possible. We can never get time back, no matter how hard we try. I say this with the intent to help you realize that, what happened in your past relationship has already happened and you living in the past does not help you. Rather it replays old memories which continues to bring you pain. Accept that you cannot get time back or change what happened in the past.  What you can do is learn from the past.

3. What did you learn during that time?

When you reflect on your past relationship, it can be difficult to determine things that you learned or could have done differently. I want you to pause and truly take time to reflect on this. There are most likely red flags that occurred which at the time you did not realize, but when you reflect it is now clear to you. There may be actions that were done at the time which seemed innocent, but as you reflect it was a sign. When you give yourself space to think about your past relationship experience there will be things that will come to your awareness which will be life lessons. You can choose to look at these lessons in a positive light or negative light. What I mean by this is, you can utilize these lessons to make you wiser, stronger, and proactive or you can allow the lessons to keep you sad. You can decide for yourself what you will do with lessons. There is always a lesson to be learned if we choose to reflect. My hope is that you will choose to have the lessons help you to be wiser and stronger.

4. Forgive yourself

As you reflect on your past relationship, there will be instances that may arise which will bring back feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, or shame; this is not unusual. I want you to forgive yourself for the decisions you made based on what you knew at that time. A failed relationship does not define you, and it will not stop you from living your life.  Forgive yourself for the role you may have played during the relationship when it ended. It’s often easier to find blame in the other person, but if you search deep you may find out there were things you tolerated or did which you should not have. Forgive yourself and let go of the past pain. It serves you no good dragging along the past pain throughout your life.

5. What can you do with the time you still have?

If you can not get back time and you cannot control time, what can you do? You can make the best of the time you now have. From now on, be intentional and protective of your time. Do the things you enjoy, spend quality time with people that matter the most to you and do not allow your time to be wasted. Utilize the lesson learned from the past to help prevent you from wasting your time again.

Start envisioning how you want your life to be from now on and take actions to meet that goal. The current time is yours now to do as you wish with it. Make the most of the time you have now. Time is never wasted, it a series of events we can one day look back at and learn from if we shape our minds to see things as they are and what they can become.

I would love to be a support on your journey. To help you get unstuck and let go of the frustration and pain you may be feeling. Schedule a free call with me. 

With Love,


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