“There is no such thing as failure.
There are only results.”
~ Anthony Robbins

Last year, 40% of US marriages ended in divorce. Our culture labels these relationships as failures, but is there really such a thing as a “failed relationship”? Or is this just another label we use to disempower ourselves with guilt, regret, and resentment?

If you look back upon your life you’ll notice that your external reality has always been in a constant state of flux. Everything has continually changed form in order to provide you with new opportunities to experience life, express yourself, and evolve into a more conscious human being. Friends and teachers have come and gone. Houses bought and sold. Jobs and careers embraced and released. And it all happened in perfect timing, whether or not you were aware of the fundamental order that governs the Universe.

Nature continually replaces the old with the new. This time next year, 98% of the atoms in your body will have replaced themselves with new ones. So if everything else in existence is continually striving to be better, healthier, and more harmonious, why do we beat ourselves up for “failing” in a relationship if it no longer works for us? What if our culture was more accepting of the transience of Life, including the transience of relationships?

The New Paradigm of Relationships

The ever-increasing divorce rate is not a sign of failure; it is a sign of change. It’s a sign that the nature of human relationships is in the process of evolving. Although love will always be the catalyst that draws two people together, there are always secondary reasons why people choose to make a long term commitment to each other. In the old paradigm, couples were united in marriage for the purpose of emotional and physical security. In the new paradigm, couples will unite for the primary purpose of conscious personal growth.

Since the soul favors experience and evolution over security, relationships of the future will most likely have shorter life spans and marriage will become less popular. It will be understood and accepted that remaining in the same relationship for 50 years does not always serve the soul’s highest evolutionary path.

Another worn out concept currently dissolving within the collective consciousness is the notion that we need an “other half” to complete us. As the concept of oneness and unity emerges on the planet, we will no longer need to seek our sense of wholeness in a mate. Our recognition of the underlying connection we have with ALL beings will give us the sense of wholeness we’ve traditionally sought out in a marriage.

All relationships in the new paradigm will be viewed as mirrors of our own consciousness. We’ll look at what is being reflected in our partner with the intention of healing and celebrating the same qualities within our own souls. When our lessons have been consciously embodied in one relationship, we’ll be free to move forward into the next experience. It won’t matter how long a relationship lasts as long as we feel we have consciously embraced the opportunities for growth and development that were provided by our partner.

There are No Failures

If you ever felt that you have “failed” at a relationship, stop and look at the situation from the perspective of personal growth. What did you learn from your relationship? What did you experience? What did you express? How did you evolve? Since the purpose of your relationship was evolution, consider what qualities might have been seeking to emerge that could not have been developed otherwise. Some of these qualities might include:

  • Courage
  • Trust
  • Confidence
  • Loyalty
  • Unconditional Love
  • Surrender
  • Honesty
  • Self Reliance
  • Responsibility
  • Creativity
  • Self Love
  • Strength

In looking at your life experience from this higher perspective, you’ll discover a golden nugget in even the most difficult situations. If you emerged on the other side of any relationship as a more conscious, more loving, more evolved human being, regard the entire experience as a triumphant success. In the grand scheme of things there is no such thing as failure, only opportunities to learn and grow. It’s time to release the guilt and resentment and accept deeply that there is no such thing as a failed relationship.

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8 thoughts on “There Are No “Failed Relationships”

  1. Jen

    I really enjoyed this Karen…I think it is an exciting time right now, lots of change and growth going on in the world and I think a lot of people are realising that our old paradigm for relationships isn’t necessarily working or empowering. It is time for something new. :)
    Jen x


  2. Bruce Achterberg

    There are no failures. Indeed. What an lovely message. :)

    The more I experience life, the more I see that failure is a perspective (and not a particularly empowering one at that!). And I don’t just mean that in a mindset way–I mean that also in a “the universe seems to conspire in your favour, always, no matter what” way.

    I can imagine no better system than one where you can experience so much, but never lose; never fail; never get it wrong.

    – Bruce


  3. Andre

    Hi Karen,

    Thank you for this wonderful post! The paradigm that there is no failed relationships, that there is no point of continuing a relationship where you and the partner no longer grow together (as you said, the purpose of a relationship is to evolve as human being), has always been how my wife and I view it too.

    You articulated this so well, way way better than I ever could! Thank you again for sharing this perspective to a larger audience… reading it is like dipping my head into the Niagara falls.

    Peace and blessings,


  4. danii

    I’m throroughly enjoying your posts, and this one comes at a specially relevant time for me. I have a question: Do you think to fulfil yourself fully as a person one cannot have a mate? I’ve read so much taoism and other esoteric readings that have enhanced my life…and it all seems to be pointing me away from having a mate. I do have one, and I love him dearly, but sometimes I feel to be really fulfilled I must do at least more of this journey of my life alone…do you know what I mean?
    How do I reconcile both?


  5. Angie

    Hey Karen
    How about a comment from a marriage and family therapist? Although I agree with the premise of your article, my insight would be a little more specific. In working with couples, I have seen people who have been abused or cheated on by their spouse. Real life also means that people make BIG mistakes, they may spend all the money, fool around with the neighbor, pass on an std. However, going along with your premise, the key is that people learn how to fully experience and be responsible for, their disappointments and resentments in a marriage. This takes time, and it is based on learned skills. When people learn how to do this, the marriage is successful, and I would agree with you that even if it ends, it would be considered successful.
    I would caution readers though about your comment, “relationships of the future will most likely have shorter life spans”. We live in an ADHD society and people should know that as you mentioned, about 40 % of first marriages (the figure of 50% is often used, but is more reflective of young people marrying under the age of 20) end in divorce, however the statistic rises to 60 to 70% for second marriages and a whopping 74% of third marriages end in divorce.
    John Gottman, the “expert of marriage” has a number of great tips for anyone in a relationship (Gottman.com).
    I would agree, that people place far too much emphasis on “should we stay together or separate”, however many people miss out on the fact that relationships are better when people learn and practice good relationship skills.
    Thanks for the insights :)


  6. Elliott Kim

    What a timely post. For the sake of simplicity, I would often say my last relationship failed. It really evolved into a new relationship – two single parents. I learned a great deal about myself, and learned that I am a much stronger person than I originally thought. It is during this time I became a vegan. I may have done it subconsciously to further distance myself from this person and her son (both have questionable eating habits). But the end result is a lifestyle more suitable for me. I have slid back a little… cheese is insidious, but, I have still made a net gain in my personal growth.


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