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"I don’t understand why..” (The blessing of the 3 of swords)

I cover lots of hard topics as a Tarot reader, and the one thing that makes my job so utterly compelling is just how different everyone is.

The uniqueness of humans really is exciting, yet that uniqueness leads to one of my biggest difficulties with clients. Sometimes it is simply impossible to understand another persons “why”.

It’s hardest when a relationship ends, or has unravelled, seemingly for no reason. One partner is left totally crushed, confused, and with only one question “why”.

My honest plea to everyone is if a relationship is breaking down, and it is safe to do so, please try and explain your reasonings and emotions to your partner. It may seem tedious to you, you may never want to see this person again- but my most common plea is not “when will they come back” but “why”.

The reasons often fall into one of these categories;

They did explain, you just couldn’t understand them.

As a Tarot reader one of my main skills is using the card to reflect another person, to be able to get a grasp of their emotional state, their psychology. I love this type of reading- but it has been a genuine eye opener. I can often describe a person’s emotional/psychological state to them quite accurately. I can express their reasoning for particular decisions, but personally it just doesn’t make sense to me. I will often say “If we were down the pub I’d say you were mad, but looking at the cards I can see that this works for you.”

We are all so complex. A messed up blend of our childhood, education, past lovers, society, fears, hopes, and own unique blend of us-entangled in a way that can be hard to express, or for others to understand.

Sometimes one person feels the need to end a relationship for deeply subjective reasons that are hard to express, or understand. It may remind them of their parents relationship- which may trigger bad memories, or their own worries about growing old. They may desire emotional closeness on one level, but also feel claustrophobic. They may want to be nurtured, but old wounds may make nurturing feel like control.

Sometimes a person’s reasoning is clear as day to them, but so deeply personal it doesn’t translate well into words.


So many relationships break down based on fear.

Fear of emotional intimacy- being seen. Fear that all relationships break down- so I might as well walk away before I get hurt. Fear that I am deeply unlovable, and I don’t want you to see that, so I create barriers which in turn end the relationship. Fear of not being able to provide for a family leading to over-work. Fear of losing youth leading to affairs with younger partners.

Fear is the nightmare of relationships, and it is a dark secret- so that when a couple talk about what is wrong with a relationship the fear is never touched upon, and other reasons are talked about instead.

If a relationship has ended and you are left wondering how or why, there is a strong likelihood your partner was trying to hide a personal fear that spiralled.


Often blended with fear of being rejected, regret is a hard obstacle to overcome.

It’s a pattern I’ve seen so often, and arguably the root of my own marriage break-up.

A partner makes a stupid decision in the moment, one that they regret almost immediately. Regret and fear mix and they decide to try and recover the situation by making other decisions/choices that they are not happy with- but are easier in the moment than being honest.

It often feels like a trail of minor bad choices, with so many points where they could have changed their decision making process, yet it always seems easier to just keep going- until the point of no return.

I have read for many relationships where the moment of no-return means a relationship breaks suddenly, and without warning. There is no closure as the partner does not want to bring all their poor choices into the light- so there is simply a cliff edge of an ending.

They often regret deeply their choices, their situation. But are so committed to hiding that regret they would rather walk away from a loved one that own their choices.

As a client pointed out recently "if some-one says nothing, it can often mean they know they need to apologise and simply can't handle that - so it is easier to say nothing."

I often see the three of swords labelled as the “break-up” card, and I want to share why this bugs me.

I connect the suit of swords with our words and mind. The three swords are thrust through the open heart, it is a card of expressing emotional honesty through words.

I think it is labelled the “break-up” card in part because the phrase “We need to talk” is so often uttered before a break up. But by this point often one partner (perhaps both) are so lost in their own reasons, their own fears, their own regrets, the talk doesn’t bring the couple together- rather it highlights the differences.

At the right point the three of swords can bring a couple together, expressing emotional intimacies in a way that may bridge whatever divide was growing.

I have learnt several things about love through my work…

· Love is complicated.

· Sometimes we can not understand another person’s reasons- even if we know them well. (Or don’t lose yourself trying to understand the madness of another)

· Everyone has fears- however confident they may seem.

· Endings without understanding are cruel. They leave the other persona questioning the validity of everything. If a relationship is ending, try to offer some truth to your partner. It will ease their healing journey.

I'll end with a quote from Dr Who (12th I believe) "Never fail to be kind"


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