Picture it! Sicily! 1912!
God help me! I love the Golden Girls.
Once upon a time two people meet. They like one another. They start spending time together. They develop a relationship. The relationship lasts whatever amount of time.Maybe they were engaged. Maybe they got married. Maybe there are some kids involved. No matter the circumstances, something happens. The relationship ends.
The natural feelings that happen at that point are pain, anger, confusion, betrayal, and a whole host of other negative things. I would say 90% of break ups turn really ugly. Names get called. Property gets stolen or destroyed. Disrespect is traded back and forth.
This makes very little sense. Even in the event of infidelity it is much better to calmly heal and move on to show the person your true value. At some point in time you desired, respected, and were into this person to the exclusion of all others. What is the point of losing your mind and acting out?
Psychologically speaking I think we always want the other person to realize what they have done. You are basically acting out your pain. Is sleeping with someone else out of spite the best way to do that? How about burning their stuff? Flattening all their tires? Not letting them visit their kids?
The other problem here is that the person who got dumped, cheated on, stolen from, or abandoned very likely cannot reach the person that hurt them emotionally. The decision to end the relationship was made when that person did whatever they did. There is very little chance, even if they didn't think things through, that you can really connect with your former partner in a way that is meaningful enough to make them truly value your feelings. They didn't value your feelings before. Why would they now?
Lets look at this from a less detached and logical perspective. In our theoretical break up lets say that my wife lied to me, manipulated me, and generally had zero regards for my real human emotions. The break up happens because I develop the stones to say enough is enough. Once I reach that decision what do I really want from her?
Emotionally, a little genuine introspection that garners a sincere apology and changes they way she behaves toward me is awesome. It probably won't happen. Even though I have taken myself away from her she still didn't really care enough about me not to lie to me, manipulate me, maybe cheat on me (because who really knows without proof), and had no regard for how I feel about anything. I cannot reasonably expect the apology.
What I can reasonably expect is respect for my new boundaries. If this theoretical wife and I shared a child, I can expect that the welfare of the child comes before absolutely everything else. I can reasonably expect that once I finalize the break up that I don't have to hear a bunch of begging and pleading. I can expect fair treatment.
The catch to all of that is it is my responsibility to give the same. One of my biggest flaws is that I still love people long after the relationship has become a thing of the past. It isn't hard for me to be nice or even kind. The mistake that most people make is that my kindness is an opening to rekindle the "romance." It isn't. If pushed too far I will withdraw my kindness and meet an ex with aloof indifference from that point forward. Underneath I will still care, but I will be damned if I ever show it again. Fool me 32 times, shame on me. I have to draw the line somewhere.
As for stuff, people should leave the relationship with whatever they come into it with. Mutual property should be fairly split. It is just stuff after all. You are going to replace the relationship eventually. Who cares if you have to buy a few DVDs again? Money gets tricky, but the best thing I can offer here is that you should be a separate accounts kind of person from the beginning. Like Snoop I have my mind on my money and my money on my mind. Ain't no sense losing it to foolishness.
I have been robbed in break ups way too many times. It is my biggest argument for going digital for content. I can change a few passwords and maintain my movie collection, digital music, and Kindle library safely. I don't really mind losing stuff as much as I mind the disrespect behind it.
I guess all this rambling isn't necessary. What this all boils down to is simple. When you break up with someone you should hold yourself to a very high standard of behavior. Be an even better person that you were before you met them. Take the experience and appreciate it for the time you spent. Let go of bitterness, resentment, and unrequited love. Don't allow yourself to walk about worse than you were before the relationship began.
Ultimately, if you and that person are meant to be you will find one another again. It would be good if you didn't have to have a bunch of uncomfortable conversation about the way you exited the relationship. I learned this one the hard way, but I am thankful that Ashley was able to forgive me a short lapse in my senses. I foolishly had let my own pain get in the way of seeing that if she was leaving there was a problem with the relationship. Denial is self delusion is a powerful tool. I kind of wish someone had been friend enough to me to point out that I might have head my head up my own ass. Thankfully I have those people in my life now.
If I hadn't made that mistake there is a good chance that the break would not have evolved into a break up. I hope all of you take this advice. The next time you lose a relationship show all the integrity you can. Be kind and respectful even if you were done terribly wrong.
Just don't ever allow that person to do you wrong again. Acting right and proper is great, but don't ever allow yourself to be a damned doormat! Take care of yourself first. That is rule #1.
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