*Cue Neil Sedaka*
Yes, I know I’m dating myself.
This past weekend, a dear friend of mine broke up with his girlfriend. He’s completely devastated by it and although I’m sure she feels a hell of a lot worse, we often forget the emotional perils that the person doing the ‘breaking up’ feels. Of course, it’s not always the case (and I can attest to this from experience) some people just don’t give a shit if they rip out your heart, stomp all over it, light it on fire and then kick it to the curb, all the while pointing and laughing at you.
Do I sound a little bitter?
No, I’m over all of that and came to a decision a few years ago that the best course of action was to accept what was and then wish that person well. I mean, if they’re not the one for you, someone else out there is, right?
Go in love and peace, my friend…Namaste!
(Eat shit and die you fucking asshole!!)
Back to my point. Whenever I’ve had to “do the deed”, which hasn’t been very often in my case, I’ve nearly had a nervous breakdown figuring out how to ‘end it’ without causing too much emotional damage to the other person. Because there will be. Especially if they don’t see it coming; which I admit to, some have not.
I liken it to intentionally causing a serious car accident where you know you may nearly kill someone. No one actually dies (hopefully) but it sure seems like it. Unless the person whom you no longer want to be your sweet Honeybunch is a lying cheating jerk/bitch or abusive, you’re going to feel a lot of guilt and hurt, for yourself.
After all, ending a relationship is like a death, they say. If you can remain friends and it’s mutual, all the better! But how often does this happen?? I can count the number of times on one hand and have a few wonderful friends myself, to this day, who are past lovers. I also respect a man more if he has some as this proves maturity, graciousness and endurance. Some women feel jealous and possessive, personally it’s a bit of a turn on that a man is ‘MAN enough’ to realize that just because things didn’t work out – doesn’t mean that you can’t still value a person in your life and move past all the crap. The world evolves; people do, too.
You’ll question yourself: Am I doing the right thing? What if I’m horribly wrong; will they take me back?! Could I have done more? Did I try hard enough?
Most of those questions you won’t know the answer to. And take it from me, if you decide that the worst mistake you made is to let this person out of your life and you give it another go…9 x out of 10 it still won’t work out. There’s a reason you’re thinking of breaking up in the first place.
The key, of course, is communication. It always is and without it, everything will fail in time. We need to tell our better half what’s bothering us, what’s not working for us and suggest a solution(s) if there are any. That being said, we need to do this in a constructive and kind way as opposed to:
“YOU did this! YOU made me feel that! I don’t like it when YOU… YOU! YOU! YOU!
This is accusing, destructive, attacking and instantly puts the other person in defensive/must find an appropriate verbal weapon to protect myself with/angry, position. It’s a terrible way to communicate and will never resolve the issue but WILL create anger/resentment/depression and in some instances retaliation.
Instead, sit your sweetie down and let them know (in a gentle way) that you wish to speak to them about something that’s important. They’ll look at you all worried, wondering what the hell they did wrong and what the consequences may be– this is unavoidable. Smile at them, be reassuring and then say what you feel in a constructive manner.
“Hey, Cindy, it’s not that big of a deal, but when brushing your teeth, often there are splatters of toothpaste all over the mirror; do you think you can wipe that off, after? It would help me out if you did and I’d really appreciate it. Would this be OK?”
Then smile at Cindy in a sweet and non-sarcastic way. She may get a bit miffed but in the end she’ll see reason and most likely oblige you. If she questions you further, tell her that it’s your OCD, you can’t help it but she could help alleviate some of your terrible urges to wash ever mirror in the house by simply giving that mirror a quick wipe.
Say what you need to say but keep it quick, simple and kindhearted.
Even better, if the issue you’re having is a bit weightier I use the three x rule: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.
“Hey Cindy, I want to talk to you about what you said to my mother the other day, do you have some time? I wanted to tell you that the information you gave her caused some issues between us and I was wondering if the next time you could maybe talk to me first beforehand? So, sweetheart, are you okay with what I suggested? It will make things a lot smoother and I know you understand my relationship with my mom needs some work!”
You get the idea.
Something else we often forget to do in relationships is: LISTEN. Yup, just stop talking, shut the fuck up and listen to what your darling has to tell you. Even if it’s boring you to tears or if it’s annoying. Tough, suck it up. LISTEN. It’s important for people to be heard. If you don’t listen to what they have to say, you can’t expect them to listen to anything you want to convey.
Think on that. And, listen.
Could my friend’s relationship be saved if they’d communicated better? I don’t think so and I know things were discussed but there were many underlying issues that will never change so it was best if they parted ways. Even if for the time being it hurts like hell for the both of them, it was for the long-term good.
Although not every relationship can be saved by communication alone, many will and every single one of them will flourish a lot more when two people DO talk to each other, discuss rather than fight, suggest rather than demand and stop doing all the talking and listen to what someone else has to say.
Nobody wants a break-up and no one wants to do the breaking up, either. It’s a terrible thing, a sorrowful thing that weighs heavy on our hearts (well, most of us) but sometimes…a necessary thing.
At the end of the day, life goes on, doesn’t it? If it didn’t work out, know that there WILL be someone out there for you who it will work with. Be grateful for what you’ve learned from that other person and DO wish them well. If you carry grudges or hate/anger, this will only impede on YOUR healing process, not theirs.
And most importantly…approach your life with love.
That’s a wrap, folks.