“Emotional baggage” is a popular term implying that someone has done a poor job of moving on from past painful relationships. Unfortunately, it is often blamed for many breakups. 
 
As much as we like to accuse others of having too much emotional baggage, the truth is that all of us have it. 
Emotional baggage ruined relationship

Your emotional baggage includes all of your life losses 

Perhaps we carry the weight of a parent never being present or interested in our lives. Perhaps we lost a loved one at an early age. Perhaps we were betrayed or hurt by someone we loved. Everyone experiences losses, many of which occur early in life and may not have been acknowledged by the adults in our lives at that time. 
 
In terms of a romantic relationship, a partner may indeed be grieving a previous loss so deeply that it affects their present relationship. It is true – the more unresolved grief we have, the harder it is for us to fully engage in present and future relationships. This is then labelled as having “too much emotional baggage” and since we lack the tools for handling it the relationship may eventually break down. 

Unfinished business can impact the future 

Some of us carry the unfinished relationships of our past forward into all of our new relationships and then are surprised when they end unhappily. We may be ill-equipped to deal with the feelings caused by the end of each new relationship and we may be unaware that almost all of our past relationships are incomplete or unresolved. As the Grief Recovery Method says: 
 
"Incomplete relationships create unresolved grief, and unresolved grief creates incomplete relationships." 
 
Incomplete relationships can influence us to make poor choices, cause us to sabotage good relationships and hinder our ability to make decisions based on the present rather than on the past. Unresolved grief can cause us to define ourselves as unworthy of happiness. We must learn how to grieve and complete relationships that have ended or changed. 

Learning how to unpack your emotional baggage 

When we finally learn how to unpack our emotional baggage, we open ourselves up to a multitude of new and exciting possibilities. 
 
What if you could... 
 
• Release the pain of being betrayed, insulted, or rejected by a partner? 
• Speak to your former partner one last time – what would you say? 
• See photos, films or things that remind you of your previous relationship without bursting into tears? 
• Be in a new relationship without constantly comparing it to your old one? 
When we complete the relationships of our past, we are able to be open and loving in the present. 

Without action, there can be no change 

The Grief Recovery Method, a scientifically proven programme for relieving the pain and the symptoms of grief, is the only evidence-based method of its kind. In a safe, structured setting with a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, you are given the tools to complete those past relationships so that you truly can move on. Without action, there can be no change. There’s no time like the present to begin. 
 
To find out more, contact your nearest Grief Recovery Specialist or order a copy of Moving On, a book specifically for grief and relationships written by the authors of the Grief Recovery Method, John W James and Russell Friedman. 
About the Author 
Libby Kramer
Libby Kramer is an Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist. With a background in education and as the mother of two children, she has led numerous talks and programmes on the subject of Helping Children with Loss. She currently offers support to Certified Grief Recovery Specialists as well as contributing content to Grief Recovery UK. She practises with individual clients and groups as a Grief Recovery Specialist in Luxembourg. 
Tagged as: Heartbreak
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