“There are times when two people need to step apart from one another, but there is no rule that says they have to turn and fire”
~Robert Brault – Writer
Very few people are able to traverse the end of a romantic relationship in a way that doesn’t end up with hurtful words being exchanged and long term damage being inflicted. It is interesting how two people can go from one end of the spectrum where they are each other’s world to the other end of the spectrum where they cannot stand the fact that the other person is even breathing. It has been my observation at the end of my most serious romantic relationships and the end of other couples’ relationships that even when both parties agree to part in a civil manner that they rarely are able to part friends and be civil. There are numerous reasons why breaking up is hard to do. Even when we part on good terms and agree that this is the best and most loving thing to do for each person there are often external and internal influences that turn the tables and mayhem ensues.
The external factors are often friends and family who believe there must be a bad guy and that the break-up is someone’s fault and it is often their influence that can turn a mutual parting into a war of the roses parting. If a lawyer is involved in the dissolution of the relationship the lawyer may do things that create riffs in the pool of emotions that each person is treading water in. Feelings are hurt, anger is fueled and all of a sudden each person is at the jugular vein of the other.
The internal factor is primarily the ego. We tend to forget that there were two people involved in the success and failure of the relationship and we begin to assign blame and point fingers at the very person who at one point we could not imagine living without. Our ego takes the position that we were wronged and that the other person was to blame. We say things that are hurtful, we re-write the story of our relationship, we sometimes take the position of the victim and we go out of our way to inflict hurt and pain on the other person based on our now distorted view of the relationship.
Of course relationships that end on a mutual note do not have to end this way. People can love each other and choose to recognize that the loving thing to do for each other is to part ways. We can do this by coming from love in everything we do and by recognizing that other people who may want to make someone the bad guy does not know what you know about your relationship, that they have their own baggage that is influencing their advice to stick it to the other person, to make them pay, etc.
Parting with peace and love is more difficult when one partner does not want the relationship to end. There are truly toxic relationships where no matter how loving you are the other person is going to react in anger, in a controlling manner, in a jealous manner and attempt to make your life a living hell. Know that you can choose to send that person love from a distance, that you can choose to be compassionate in your dealings, you do not have to mirror the anger and pain the other person inflicts upon you. Our knee jerk reaction is often to act in kind and be just as mean and hurtful as the other person is being. No one wins when this happens.
Remember peace is a choice. You can choose to be loving and peaceful even when your relationship comes to an end. Remember also if you don’t engage in drama the drama loses its appeal for the other person.
Breaking up can be hard to do under the best of situations. Be loving at the end of your relationship. Remember at one time you were madly in love with the person who now sits on the other side of the mediation table, remember that although the way you love the other person may have changed that you can still love them as you would love anyone else. As strange as it may sound, when you break up, do so with love.brea