Humpty Dumpty can live Happily Ever After

For the longest time, relationships were a scary thing for me. I didn’t want to be alone… but found it hard to be with others. The slightest upheaval or dispute in a relationship and like Humpty Dumpty, my world would come crashing down… “all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men.” I felt that if something went wrong in a relationship, it meant it was the end of the relationship… “couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Yet what I am seeing, feeling, and understanding about relationships today is something vastly different.

In the past relationships were a security blanket and a way of belonging – in fact a need to belong. My wife and I had even attended couples counselling workshops and sessions where we were told, and fully accepted, that we were each angels with only one wing and could only fly by holding each other. It was a model of co-dependence that meant for our relationship to grow, we had to keep having issues to deal with; we had to have a reason to hold on tightly to each other.

The very foundation of our relationship was based on a needed security, which meant that any proposed (or needed) change to that foundation would end up as a defensive battle. Each time one of us started to grow and develop in a different direction, we would claw the other back into an embrace that we thought was security; but in reality, it was suffocating.

At a Universal Medicine workshop many years ago, we were presented with a simple truth…  we do not need to be in a relationship to be or to feel whole, that this feeling comes from within. When we connect to that wholeness we can then choose to be in a relationship or not. This meant no longer needing to be with the other person but appreciating what they brought to our life so deeply that the choice to be in a relationship with them was a no-brainer. More importantly, we also brought an appreciation of what we offered, because we knew more about who we were!

It took a couple of years to really live this simple teaching, and there were some very uncomfortable moments between my wife and I, because she was living this reality earlier than I was. Having someone not need you anymore is both confronting and liberating. For me this was the end of the relationship. I was Humpty Dumpty laying shattered on the ground, until I realised that ending a way of relating is different to ending a relationship.

Whilst we all have patterns of behaviour, these patterns or ways of relating CAN change but it doesn’t mean it is the end of the relationship. At times it feels like the pattern is all there is and we become fixated on fixing the other person. But if I am more than a pattern of behaviour then the person I am relating to is more than their patterns as well. It is the more that I want the relationship with, so that is what is offered.

So rather than threatening the end of the relationship, the change being offered is simply an end of THAT way of relating to this person. The hard part can be that some people are more committed to that pattern of relating than they are to the relationship.

Indeed this happens sometimes – you can see the pattern being clung to like a life raft and the person preferring to float away than step onto dry land. It can hurt when this happens because it is no longer the existence crisis it once was. This Humpty Dumpy handles himself with more care now and has grown his own set of wings. Which means I no longer need ‘all the kings’ men’, because when my relationship with me is solid, I no longer break when I fall.

Published with permission of my wife.

By Joel Levin

Further Reading:
Appreciation in relationships
Relationships – Around and Around We Go
It’s Never Too Late For Love

663 thoughts on “Humpty Dumpty can live Happily Ever After

  1. “…we do not need to be in a relationship to be or to feel whole.” This is a fundamental truth that we need to be made aware of from the year dot. We invest so much need in our relationships with others without realising the most important one is the one with ourselves first.

  2. There’s something really lovely about being in relationships and not needing the other to be a certain way for me to accept that I am OK. There’s more space in these relationships and people often surprise me in what they do with that space as I am not bearing down on them to conform to something.

  3. I love this ‘we do not need to be in a relationship to be or to feel whole’ that completely put the phrase ‘my other half’ out of kilt. Not to say it is not a beautifull thing having a partner. The truth is we are in relationships the whole time. Living in a world of 7 billion people we cannot escape them and are learning about them the whole time .. or er not learning about them? Are they evolving or stuck in a rut and becoming stagnant. Since knowing Universal Medicine my relationship with both myself and others has healed and instead started to blossom. It has been pretty cool and keeps getting better ✨

  4. “But if I am more than a pattern of behaviour then the person I am relating to is more than their patterns as well.” This is so worth looking into as we may forget that the person has many beautiful qualities and we may not relate to their inner essence, especially if they are at times buried in their patterns.

  5. The fall of humpty dumpty is a fabulous analogy of how shattered we feel when we the imposed expectations we put on others and the world around us come crashing down. Great blog Joel, I loved your honesty.

    1. It is a great point that what shatters is our pictures and expectations, not necessarily ourselves or the relationship and it’s potential, even though that can be the perception.

  6. “ending a way of relating is different to ending a relationship.” Thank you for this re-frame and for offering a more true way of seeing and understanding relationships. We do not need to be a catastrophist, or in fact I much prefer your Humpty Dumpty image, and we also do not need to harden so when we ‘fall’ we don’t break because we have hardened up. There is in fact a way of living without the hard shell but with the delicateness of the film around the egg that feels everything but can be strong and not break, moving like the branches of a tree with the wind. So many analogies but today they are all making sense!

  7. I also used to be a Humpty Dumpty and believe that if I spoke my truth or rocked the boat then that was the end of the relationship and I would be devastated, but at the same time, I knew that I am a very strong person and could face anything. So, what we are sold about how a relationship should be is all dependant on how needy we can be with each other and how we have to please the other person, continually sacrificing ourselves for others. Is it any wonder the divorce statistics are growing when we are suffocating each other.

  8. I used to use the saying when introducing my partner “this is my other half”. I no longer use this saying because I know that another person does not make me whole. That is often the perception though, that we are not whole without another to share our lives with. No wonder we struggle when our “other half” dies. We are back to viewing ourselves as no longer whole. Relationships as they stand are asking loudly for a new model of how we approach our relationships and to ask what is the purpose of this particular relationship.

  9. “If something went wrong in a relationship, it meant it was the end of the relationship” – I can so relate to this. And I am getting a sense that it is never about the relationship itself or the other person, but there’s this kind of stubbornness that simply would not allow more, or another way to be there, and like, I would do anything to prove that there cannot be – and this applies to how I am with myself first and foremost.

  10. I loved reading this, relationships are about people, whether we like it or not. Everyone of them are offering something, it’s whether we are willing to see this or not.
    I know in the past I have stayed in relationship with a previous partner for many reasons then one, and I have to say I had got into a rut and I wouldn’t know how I would cope without this person.

    Like any thing in life, we manage and we do make it. I have learnt what you can’t do yourself, then you invite people to assist you, in other words, ask for support or you pay someone – because there is a skill in everyone.

    Happiness is within us all, are you prepared to look within, before you look for it outside of yourself?

  11. How we are in life is up to us….if we break or we do not. Your blog shows us it is possible ‘no longer break when (you) fall’.

  12. One of the most beautiful insights in a loving, fulfilling relationship is when you realise that you can live alone and that you are together by choice and not out of need.

  13. This is amazing to re-read, especially the part about ending a particular way of relating to a person one is in a relationship with need not be the end of that relationship. The person may seek the old way or relating and perhaps seek this is another, or the relationship changes in terms of becoming solely friends, but what I’m feeling is, nothing has to compromise the relationship one has with oneself.

    1. Yes, that is what I am realising. Relationships should not ask another to compromise their relationship with themselves and therefore we need to live that in ourselves to know when that is being asked of us and when we are asking that of another. Otherwise we will not recognise the impositions either way.

  14. “This meant no longer needing to be with the other person but appreciating what they brought to our life so deeply that the choice to be in a relationship with them was a no-brainer.” I love this view on relationships. Bringing a whole version of you (to the best of your ability) and then appreciating what the other person is bringing to your life. #appreicationisthekey

  15. For a very long time I have lived with the ideal that another could make me complete. And nowadays when I know that the only one who can fill me, is me, I still can be seriously upset by an argument in the relationship: my world can at first feel like it is tumbling down. Then I know I have more love to build. Inside myself.

    1. Yes, sometimes I catch myself thinking that person isn’t giving me what I need and even getting quite hurt when really it’s me not loving me, bringing myself back to love and loving me in full. When I do I can see I’ve not been love with them either and seeing where they’re at and why they are unable to bring whatever it was I was hoping for.

  16. I have needed people in my life before and when I stopped needing something from them, the whole dynamic changed. Like you, we had to work out what our relationship was without this needing. Some stayed and re-shaped and others fell away.

  17. This means that an end of a relationship is not really the end but it can be the beginning of a new way of relating to each other. In truth we are always in relationship with people all around us, it is pretty amazing when we understand that relationships are about evolution.

  18. It is quite the thing, to want more and to be willing to explore it with another person. To allow the depths of that relationship to flourish, and to surrender oneself to your deepest heart of love so that it may be shared with another.

  19. Honouring the truth in any relationship is what allows us to end the momentums that are unloving and opens to the door for deeper loving and evolving relationship to be initiated and explored.

  20. I loved reading this blog. A wise person recently shared that my partner and I didn’t need to do everything together. When we have this picture that we need to be best friends etc, then what is the relationship based on….images and expectations that have been handed down somewhere along the way, whether through families, media, films etc. but it has had a significant impact on expectations..

    Relationships are about evolving one another instead of being comfortable all the time and needing each other.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s