Dividing Assets in a Break Up

March 22, 2011 at 7:28 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 7 Comments
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If you think there are only two people in a relationship, you are wrong.  Sure, there are only two people in the bed (typically) but there are many more in a relationship, and sometimes you don’t realize this until the couple breaks up.

It’s been years now since I broke up with my college boyfriend, but I remember this feeling well.  I remember being sad about losing my connection to his family that I really cared about, about missing his dog that I fell in love with.  At the time, he didn’t bring too many friends to the table because they lived all over the place.  We typically hung out with my friends.  So when we broke up, of course my friends, who had also become his friends, all took sides.  Some of my friends I guess thought I was wrong to break up with him and took his side, but mostly my friends stuck with me.  It was really only my newer friends who didn’t really know me or our relationship to be fair judges so while it sucks to lose them to him, it wasn’t that painful of a loss as it would have been to lose friends who I had a long history with.

My ex and I eventually were on good terms, talking occasionally.  We were together for a long time and while the break up was tough and painful, it wasn’t filled with hatred and revenge.  Recently, we have lost touch and I have wondered why I wasn’t hearing from him. So what do you do when you lose touch with someone and are wondering what they are up to?  Well, in this day and age you turn to Facebook.  This is where I learned that a good friend of mine, one I know I “got” in the break up, was friends with him on Facebook.  I had a brief feeling of shock and “WTF” before rationality kicked in and I realized it is really just Facebook.  I have a ton of friends on Facebook that I don’t talk to and are simply connected to because we knew each other in another life.

But it’s not just friends you can lose in a break up, and it doesn’t happen just in romantic relationships.  It can also happen in friendships that fall apart.  Unconsciously (ok, sometimes consciously) you start avoiding places you both used to go, or you flip your routine so you go when you know that the other person wouldn’t be there.  In a way, you end up reinventing yourself.  With my ex, I really needed to and was ready to.  But sometimes, you are just forced into doing so.

I sometimes think about what would happen if (God forbid) I broke up with my current boyfriend. If things went awry, or he finally got sick of me.  My life would change drastically.  We mainly hang out with friends he brought to the table who I would have to give up.  He’d have to give up my dog that he’s fallen in love with.  Then there’s the apartment we share.  Home would never be home again.  We’ve built such a life together it would be so hard to untangle that I would consider up and moving away from it all.  And I’d be alone.  For a long time I would swear that I’d never date again, that I was sick of putting in the effort, that I didn’t want to get hurt again.

I guess it all comes down to finding yourself again, and loving yourself again, no matter what was lost.  Because the truth is most people will come and go and sometimes you just have to be comfortable being alone, and sometimes you have to be open to change, and at some point you will open your heart again, forget the past and move on.

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Breaking Up is Hard to Do, For Real

April 15, 2010 at 11:25 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 3 Comments
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When I broke up with my college boyfriend after four years, I was a complete wreck.  It wasn’t the type of thing that happened over night.  We had started to grow apart and eventually I gave him an ultimatum.  Some things needed to change otherwise it was over.

But things didn’t change, and one October day I realized we weren’t meant to be together.  Everything I had known, everything I had planned, it just wasn’t right.  For the next six weeks I cried constantly, drank wine, consulted my close friends and mother on how to end it and if that was the right thing to do. I listened to a lot of sappy music, and I wrote!  I didn’t write creatively. Instead, I took notes on all of the “significant” relationships I’d had in my life – what the circumstances were in terms of where I was mentally, why we got together, how long we were together and why we broke up.  The majority of my relationships were just complete crap.  I had such low self-esteem when I was young that I couldn’t take anything or anyone seriously, and so no one took me seriously.

When I got together with my college boyfriend, I really thought he was different, and it many ways he was.  He treated me so much better than any other guy had before.

I also wanted to tie myself down so that I wouldn’t be so wild anymore.  My college boyfriend kept me safe from my out-of-control self.  But he also kept me away from my friends, not completely intentionally, but nevertheless did. I devoted myself to him and him to me.  I was happy for a time.

But as we grew up and started to work and rent apartments, we began to grow apart.  He became more unreliable than ever and I missed hanging out with my friends.  I wanted a relationship that was a partnership, and I knew at this point I was worth more than what I was getting.

So we broke up one cold Thursday night in December before the holidays.  I had already bought him a gift.

The hardest part of breaking up was realizing that I had spent four years thinking I was going to marry this guy.  That was the next logical step.  I wouldn’t have married him for love.  As a passionate person I wondered how I could have lied to myself for so long.  He’s a great guy, just not for me, and all of my friends knew it.  How come I didn’t see it?  It’s amazing how much of yourself you can shut out when you’ve been damaged.

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