Break-ups, part 2. Extra Yuck.

It was both heart-breaking and encouraging to read through some of the responses on the previous blog. It’s sad to hear this topic is not only familiar but continuously relevant and so multi-layered. It is however encouraging to hear from a few who have some practical experience and are able to share with others.

Now, while I am experienced, I’m really no expert. To me the expert is the person who manages to make the relationship work. I rather suck at that, thus why I have such a long history of bad scars on my record. I will say though it wasn’t necessarily my fault, but you can’t help feeling some sense of failure when it doesn’t go according the commitment you made.

One of our friends on here, Valerie brought up an excellent thought. She wondered about break-ups when you are simply not in love anymore. The person hasn’t really done anything wrong, you just want out. This I can truly say I don’t have any expertise in as any time I wanted out, it was for either physical or mental health and it absolutely had to happen. But she did touch on a topic I at least have an opinion on having watched people go through it, but I would really like to get many opinions on it because I think it’s one of the biggest issues facing relationships today.

My thought with this particular challenge is that we need to go back to the very beginning of the relationship. It would seem to me that people don’t really fall out of love the way they say they do. Maybe they ‘thought’ they were in love and realized they weren’t, but I don’t think it’s as clean cut as 'Oh I fell out of love'.

Should we at least discuss what being in love is? Does anyone really have a definitive answer on it? My thought is that most people tend to fall in love with the idea of being in love. You know what I think differentiates the two? If some guy asked you to get married and invited you to his cardboard box under the highway (not as a surprise to you by the way, that’s something else) and you were ok with living in the box together because you were so in love, I would say that is a good sign to start the relationship because it means as a team you were willing to go through anything together. But, if someone brings you over to their loft apartment and cooks dinner for you and you fell in love and then 10 years later, he loses his loft and is unemployed, it would be fair to assume your love waned because of a situation rather than something else. (people who shake their responsibilities is also a whole new topic but anyways…)

My mom used to tell me, "You should marry someone when you love them so much you can’t live without them." She didn’t say, "You should find a doctor/lawyer who will support you" or the opposite, "You should marry someone who needs your help."

So back to the very beginning…why do couples get together to begin with? The reasons are varied and massive. If you are considering breaking up with someone because you feel like you are not in love, I would very humbly suggest (not to be condescending in any way) that you seek counseling ..not couples counseling, just go by yourself. I say this because the amount of women specifically (this does go for men too, but my experience is more with women) who say this usually have some personal issues to work through. Many people who hate their job, hate their body weight, hate their overall place in this world or even have mini aversions to some of it, tend to act on something they can fix quickly. If we hate our body for instance and our husband hasn’t complimented us lately and some guy on the street corner shoots us a kind word, we tend to equate that with, "See? Someone else appreciates me." And we break up with our spouse. I think we screwed up the order of events. I’ve come up with a preliminary order that anyone here is free to revise, but it’s just kind of my take on it. This is not for abusive situations, please keep that in mind.

1. Get some personal self-help counseling while you are in the relationship. ie; do you want to leave because your eyes are wandering, from boredom etc.

2. Once you have figured out the source of your personal issue, take the necessary steps towards fixing that part of you that needs fixing.

3. Once you feel like you have attained personal happiness while inside the relationship that is in question, ask the other person if they are willing to take steps 1 and 2 unless again, you still believe they have done nothing wrong.

4. If they are, then the two once again happy individuals can seek counseling together to determine if the marriage has a shot anymore.

And that is where I bail on the next solutions. :) The reason I propose this is because I don’t believe happiness comes from another person (your spouse or a new person outside of the relationship) It has to be in the individual. Having spiritual, emotional and physical happiness is the only way to grow. While others make us feel pretty awesome at times, it’s not substantial enough.

But, in looking back at the beginnings of many relationships, I would dare say a whole slew of people got together who were never compatible to begin with due to other reasons, family pressure, money etc. There is probably a good chance that if it didn’t start for the right reason, then it isn’t going to work. I’m not trying to be negative or promote divorce, just babbling about it.

I try to keep in mind at all times that as individuals, we have to get ourselves strong and quit relying on a relationship being good to have happiness. It’s a quick fix solution. Two independent people coming together to share their lives usually makes for the best relationships.

We live in a culture that is constantly bombarding us with images of 'grass-being-greener' but I firmly believe we have the capability to get the lawn in tip-top shape right at home. (wow, that analogy was so obvious I had to type it, but it was a little silly…lol)

When all is said and done, I would ask that if you are planning on breaking up with someone who you think "did nothing wrong" you make sure you place the blame solely on your shoulders, don’t pick a fight to make the break-up easier on you and be as forth-right and honest as possible because if your spouse truly did nothing wrong, they deserve to get on with their lives and they deserve a respectful conversation where they don’t have to live with the guilt you inflicted.

But again, what do I know? ;)

"There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination." ~Mencius

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