Breakups and Lines
Breakups are a messy thing. You have to sort through physical belongings and slowly start the process of mentally and emotionally separating from a person. It's a lot of work at first, but it slowly becomes easier as time passes and healing continues. But what happens when a breakup doesn't go smoothly? When it adds to the already existing hurt from the end of a relationship? It's a pinch of salt to the wound that prevents you from moving on and healing. Boundaries become blurred and burdens become confused. So today, I want to propose the idea of showing a little consideration to your ex after a breakup.
It doesn't matter who the "breaker upper" is (even though that's not a word, I am totally using it like Webster legitimized it); all parties can show some respect during the aftermath.
Now...you may have been the one who received the broken heart; leaving behind some anger and bitterness within you. Don't let it out on the breaker upper (I really think this should be a word). Here are a few reasons why:
- This is your time to show your ex what type of character you have. Show them how you have the ability to respect their space and recognize the need for boundaries; to honor the reasons why they broke up with you (no matter how ridiculous they may be).
- You need to assume the other person is probably hurting as well. Reaching out to them too soon will only create confusion for the both of you and delay both of your healing. It also deeply hurts the other person. Remember that you cared for this person at one point in your life, show them you still do with your actions.
- It doesn't allow you to move on with your life. This relationship has ended, for better or for worse, leaving you with a new future to look ahead to. Continually reaching out on the other person keeps you both in the past. It only creates an unhealthy pattern of brooding and lingering rather than letting go and looking to the future.
- Respect what you had as a relationship. By continuing to contact the other person through the ups and downs your of emotions will start to cloud the goodness of what you had. Allow yourselves to reflect on what the relationship was and don't let your breakup crazy muddle it all.
- Plus...You are bigger than that!! You are a grown human. Show the world that you are by handling the breakup like a boss. Mourn. Reflect. Learn. Then move on. Whatever the future brings isn't for you to control, it's your responsibility to embrace it by learning from your past. You can't change what has already happened and you likely can't control what will. So why linger for an unhealthy amount of time?!
On the flip side, you may have been the breaker upper and may be on the receiving end of emotions. Your job is to not feed into it. Create boundaries to protect yourself and the other person. You may have broken someone's heart but it doesn't mean you're not hurting as well. Allowing the person to tromp all over you because of guilt is wrong. It also perpetuates the other person's behavior. As much as you may think you're helping the person with their healing, you're not. Also, why are you giving them the right to hold you back? Breaking up with someone you loved and deeply cared for is never easy; so respect why you ended the relationship and draw lines. So here are a few tips on building boundaries:
- Keep it clean and end all communication as quickly as possible. Having lingering open ends (such as item exchanges or upcoming trips) only creates opportunities for future awkward and potentially painful conversations.
- Consider discussing boundaries and timelines at the time of the breakup to clear up any confusion. For example: I'll call/text you next --day to exchange our stuff. When you go to exchange items: Be quick, bring a person with you if you need the supervision, and don't go into the home. You can also establish conversing rules: So I think it's best if we don't keep in contact with each other for at least -- months, for healing and reflecting. What do you think?
- Do not encourage continued conversation, especially if it's hurtful or unhealthy. If your ex is asking you the why's and the how's or sending the angry I hate you messages, try your best to not be driven with guilt and continue answering the questions. It may help your ex recover in their heart but it only rips open the wound on yours. Either ignore the messages or gracefully defer.
- You may have urges to reach out and contact the person because of your own thoughts. DON'T!! You have already hurt your ex with the breakup, why add to their hurting heart? Be strong for the both of you but, most importantly, for your own sake.
In conclusion, it's all about healthy boundaries that promotes healing for both parties. It's the harder path because it requires control of your emotions and to fight your initial instinct to either reach out or allow the reaching. But I speak from personal experience on both ends when I tell you it only prolongs the hurting and bitterness. Be the bigger person and be strong. Be considerate to your ex and give them room and space to breathe and heal. Learning to fight the initial urges also builds interpersonal strength and discipline. But most importantly, it demonstrates that you still do care and respect your ex because you're going to give them what they need, even if they don't see it at the moment. Your ex may fight for attention or may try to manipulate certain situations to achieve their own goals. But in a breakup, you come first. You are no longer responsible to this person and need to figure out what is ok and what is not. Even though it may feel cruel or cold, cutting off the communication and contact is the better route. It allows you both to move forward.
If you find yourself itching to spy on the other person...DO NOT DO IT. You can read my other past post regarding this here. But trust me when I say don't do it. It'll only blur your reality and mistake the past as your present. It's time to move on.
Thank for reading! I finally figured out how to add a comments section to the blogs, so feel free to write below!!
Until next time. Deuces.