I don’t think I’ve ever experienced an “easy” breakup. But some were definitely harder than others.
A conversation I had this past week got me to thinking about how I felt as my first marriage was ending. That was definitely a “harder than others” breakup. I was pregnant, working full time, living with my mom, hoping I didn’t go to jail on an assault charge (yeah, I just said that), and very openly being cheated on.
I think with most breakups initially we’re upset but shortly after WE’RE FINE! Because we’re strong. We. Got. This!
But all it takes is a few nights sleeping alone, a few events without a plus one, and now you’re wondering if this was the right decision. You start thinking “could I have made it work?!… he’ll miss what he had soon enough and get it together…”
Been there. Lived that. Preeeetty sure I actually created the souvenir cups. smh
As I was having this moment for the, I dunno, GAJILLIONTH time?? I realized that my ex-husband certainly wasn’t making our breakup easier for me. When the person you’re breaking up with sends a flirty text here, cute email there, makes “checking on you” phone calls, and hearts your last 6 posts on Instagram, you QUICKLY start finding flickers of hope where there are none. And these flickers exacerbate an already REALLY difficult situation.
Of course, there are absolutely ways to combat this! But this post isn’t for those of us being strung along. It’s for the a-holes holding the string! (keep reading though, you may need to send this their way!)
This post is for the exes that keep giving us the dirt we need to make that mole hill a mountain. I used to always say to my ex-husband “a girl may make a mountain out of a mole hill but she can’t make a mountain out of nothing. You’re giving her SOMETHING!” That was in response to his multiple side chicks but it applies here too!
Now, I’d be foolish to imply that the burden doesn’t lie with us ladies. It’s ABSOLUTELY our responsibility to not read more than what’s on the actual page. But exes??…it’d be a LOT easier for us not to if you’d stop giving us side shit to read!
You’re not helping us to move on by being an ever present fixture in our lives. You can’t be the one that helps us heal in this process. Stop feeding into, or manipulating, our hurt and just LET US BREAKUP WITH YOU!
A. Stay away
For the life of me I will never get this whole “I don’t want to be with you romantically but we can be friends” stuff. Look, if we’ve had sex and now we’re NOT having sex I’m not your friend.
- I don’t need your presence complicating stuff once I’m actually in a relationship of substance again.
“who is he?!”
- It’d be too easy to slip into the role of “friends with benefits” (which would eliminate room for a relationship of substance) and I’m not about that life.
“we’re just chilling, nothing serious”
- You’re breaking up with ME! My feelings are hurt. Friends don’t hurt friends. Go away.
“look, I know you’re crying, but once you’re done we should grab coffee”
When you insist on trying to be friends with us RIGHT after a break-up you’re not giving us the space we need to let our hearts heal. Let’s try to be friends in 6 months, 3 years, or NEVER. There’s no unwritten law that says we need to maintain a platonic relationship once our romantic one has ended.
I know this is hard because most people feel like it’s mean to have been with someone that we say we cared about and then just fall off the face of the planet once we’re not together anymore. But it’s necessary! If you ever cared about us AT ALL do us the favor of creating some distance. Especially create distance if you’re only keeping us around as a play thing with no real intention of being with us. You need to communicate the breakup with your actions as much as your words.
Now here come all the “but we have kids” comments. You can do whatever you want. But if you think your relationship needs to be anything more than amicable for the sake of the children you’re creating an excuse for your fairytale. My parents got along great when I was a child (as far as I know) and they never once had frozen yogurt on the weekend.
The only time you need to call your ex is to check on/help parent said children! The only thing you need to talk about are said children! Not each other. Not your work life. Not your parents and family. Keep it one dimensional. The only time you need to see each other is for things related to those children. Not for drinks after a long week. Not for that play you’d both been talking about catching. Start building lives outside of each other. You don’t need to be BFF’s in order to effectively co-parent.
B. Allow us ONE moment
At some point we may attempt to contact you. We may need to get some things off of our chest. Allow us ONE moment. This is a vital step in us healing from the breakup and sometimes those things we need to say have to be said in more than just the pages of our journals; you need to hear them! Allow us to speak our truth without feeling like you need to explain or rationalize it. Bite the bullet! This part takes a lot of humility. But trust me, explaining just softens our hearts all over again and we need them to be healing!
This is our time when we get to display the strength we’re finding after the breakup. Let us have that!
But don’t let us KEEP having that. One moment is enough. Anything more than that may be us at grabbing at straws. Shut it down!
Of course I can’t end this post without mentioning that some couples WILL break-up to make-up. Life happened and you thought the relationship needed to end but then life happened again and now you both want to be together.
I think the majority of the time those reuniting couples were better off apart and eventually they realize that. On the flip side, sometimes the rebirth of the relationship is very healthy and successful. But let’s keep it in perspective: out of the hundreds of people that I’ve encountered in my life I’ve only known a successful reuniting to be true in three cases. Don’t bank on being one of the three!
I hope this helped those of you doing the baiting to realize the impact you’re truly making and how you can help the relationship to successfully complete itself. I also hope it brought some perspective on how to communicate what you need during the breakup for those taking the bait.
I love you guys SOOOOO much! I’m praying for you every single day. And of course I’m believing for your limitless lives!