Is there really any good way to do it, amidst the inevitable anger, heartache and sadness?
When we were teenagers, most of us believed in a world where we fall in love and stayed with our soulmates forever. But then we grow up some, real life starts to kick us in the lady balls and we realize that forever sometimes mean for a time.
They say few things in life are a surety, with death sitting pretty at the top of the list. I’d say for most humans, the act of falling in love and then falling back out is pretty certain as well. No matter how badly we want to find someone and be with that someone for the rest of our foreseeable future; it’s just not always meant to be that way.
As we approach the holiday season, many people are preoccupied with Christmas shopping, finding the perfect gift for the special people in their lives. After all, it’s a time of giving, sharing and celebrating with those near and dear to us.
But some of us are grappling with something completely different, the end of something that used to be wonderful. The approaching end of our relationship. The search for the perfect gift is more intense because it’s quite possibly the last time you and your partner will exchange gifts. The quest for the perfect Christmas dinner, putting up a tree and decorating it together, spending time with her folks. Somewhere there’s a woman making an effort to do all these things because she knows that it’s the last time she’ll do them with her partner. They’re splitting up together.
How exactly does that even work you might ask? Well for me, it means coming to the conclusion that splitting up is best for both parties involved. I highly doubt there’s a rule book for this kind of thing so I’ve got a few ideas that might suffice.
Go To Therapy
You might be asking ‘why the heck would I do that when she’s already made the decision to leave me?’ Well for one you’re angry, you’re sad and that should be enough to want to seek professional help. There’s a lot to discuss, if you have kids, pets, or property together you’re gonna have to talk about what to do with them. A therapist may be able to help you guys talk, really talk without it turning into a screaming match. Perhaps you’re both too upset to really listen to each other and a mediator might come in handy. Having a trained therapist allow each of you to talk might be better than attempting it for the umpteenth time in your bedroom. It might not save your relationship, in fact that’s really not the intent (even if that does happen). It’s all about sorting out feelings, grieving, say how you really feel in as calm and respectful a manner as is humanly possible.
Give Blame and Take it Too
What brought you to this point? There’s no way she’s solely to be blamed for the erosion of your relationship. There’s no way the fault is all yours either, you both participated in some way. Sure, she cheated, or you cheated or you both admitted to wanting to be with other people. Sure, she screwed up royally a few times, or maybe you did. The thing is, there’s a reason for all our actions. It was wrong to cheat, we all get that. But what caused it? Maybe you or your partner felt lonely and unloved in the relationship. They say it’s a natural part of being human, the desire for physical contact with other humans. Kind of why the institution of marriage exists (at least I think that’s why), so what happens when you’re with someone but you feel like you’re alone?
I remember that due to complicated work-related issues I couldn’t be with my wife 24/7. I couldn’t leave for work at eight and come right home at five. In fact, sometimes we didn’t see each other for up to two weeks at a time. Sure, we discussed all this in the beginning but then it lasted way longer than we expected it to. She said she felt lonely every day and eventually started to feel like she was single again. That killed me to hear but I knew her feelings were valid. My point here is that we have to be willing to hear all about the ways we screwed up. We have to also tell our spouses how they made us feel, just be respectful. No matter how terrible your situation might appear, remember this is someone you used to be madly in love with. Perhaps you still are.
Part Ways With a Hug… if possible
You might be thinking ‘get the eff outta here with that!’ Remember that bit about this being someone you used to love and perhaps still love? Well go on then, have a hug. Have a cry if you feel like it, even laughing together at an old, distant memory is allowed. Heartache is the worst kind of ache there is because you can’t get an injection or Ibuprofen to make it go away. Still, parting on a horrible note won’t help either of you. In fact, if you split amicably you just might start your journey to healing a little faster.
So go ahead my dears, decorate the Christmas tree together, wrap those gifts. Remind the kids and the pets just how much you’re always going to love them.
Parting really is such sweet sorrow, so if this is your season to do it, I say do it right. Sure you might think the ache in your chest will never go away, you might think you can never again look at a particular animal and not think of her.
You might feel absolutely sure you’ll never, ever love or even date again. [In my Mrs. Doubtfire voice.] But you will, my poppet. Maybe not anytime soon, but you will.