Sometimes Breaking Up Is The Best Thing To Do


Celebrities divorce or split up. Non-celebrities do too, of course, but I can't read comments to their failed relationships. There is always a thunder of comments following announcements of stars breaking up. They are usually addressing the disposable Hollywood relationships, the lack of commitment, the new age in which people are not interested to invest in their relationships anymore. They talk about how people always take the easy way out nowadays and how disgusting and morally bothersome such an approach is. Shame on you, people who can't stay together! Did you see the crazy divorce rates? Nothing is sacred anymore!

What people conveniently fail to mention is the number of marriages that last, or used to last, but were full of abuse, unhappiness, humiliation and secrets that nobody dared to speak about, because it was not socially acceptable or appropriate. You married the person, now shut up and figure it out.

But sometimes you can't figure things out. Sometimes the best solution for everyone involved is to let go and move on. There is no shame in that. It is not an easy route, either. To admit that your relationship has failed, to face the rejection, to announce to people around you that you are no longer in a successful marriage or relationship is horribly hard. It's heartbreaking. It makes you feel like a loser. I know this from personal experience. And I also know from personal experience that divorcing was the best thing to do.

I am not sure how many couples just jump to the conclusion that they are done, without fighting to make their relationship last. You know why you chose the person, you know why you loved the person, you know you are not thriving together anymore - do you think the first reaction is to throw everything out of the window, pack up and leave while whistling a happy tune? Maybe there are couples like that. But in my personal opinion, most of them tried. And failed. And thank goodness decided to go their separate ways to search for something better for themselves.

If you are unhappy at your job, people advise you to find a better one. If you are unhappy about jogging, people suggest you try swimming instead. If you are struggling in school, one of the solutions is to look at your areas of interest and see if they truly are the best fit for you. Yet relationship is somehow a one way street in which you must remain no matter what or you will be judged and called a flake, or a slut, or a douchebag who just doesn't give a damn.

I am not saying that marriage is not a hard work. When Ben Affleck said in his Oscar speech that marriage is work, people flipped because they found it ungrateful and inappropriate for the occasion. But this article sums up so well why what he said was the best compliment his wife could get. It is work, and it is the best kind of work, and sometimes it's futile. Yes, people should always try. I know couples that have been through hell and I know it often seemed the best solution would be to give up and move on, but they kept fighting and they figured it out. I have so much respect for them. But this is not always the case, nor should be.

I am glad that we live in an age when it is OK to say "this is not working" and walk away. Do you really think that relationships of the past were so much better just because people were so much more caring, committed and willing to fight? Or did they stay together just because it was socially unacceptable to leave? You know what I think. What is your take?

4 comments:

  1. I think my attitude about marriage is similar to well, my attitude about same sex marriage. You live marriage in a way that expresses what it means to you, and while it might mean different things to me, I don't get to tell you what it should mean to you. I got into marriage having no real idea what to expect but ready for the ride and believing it was forever. And I hit the jackpot. I get to live in a marriage with the perfect (and patient) person for me (and not in the soul mate romantic sort of way. In a pragmatic, anyone-who-knows-us-sees-this sort of way) and only rarely (he might disagree) would I actually consider it work. Most days I just consider it my most favorite place to be in the world and try to honor that. There's not a single day that goes by that I take that for granted either. I know not everybody gets this lucky, sometimes ever.

    I have also watched people I love fight single-sided battles to save relationships and lose. That's the most heartbreaking. I have watched couples work and fight and talk and still decide it's not right. What I respect about that is they made an informed decision.

    I work really hard not to judge the choices of other people, not always successfully. I give myself a little more judgemental freedom when a breakup is the result of someone really hurting another person. I don't care about excuses, if you're hurtful, it hurts. And you're an asshole and you have to live with that. And the Karma that comes with it.

    So in closing, love one another, respect your fellow humans, and mind your own business. And none of my rambling answered Andrea's question :-) So I'm sorry about that. Laura Ciampa

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    1. I love your rambling. Thank you for that! I have to admit that I don't consider my current marriage a hard work either. But that's exactly for the reason you have mentioned - because I got lucky. And I know that the fact that we respect when the other one is having a bad moment can be called work, it just doesn't feel that way, because we know by now it's just a moment. And I can also see how a relationship can become hard work when one is under financial or health pressure - things we don't truly have to deal with (yet).

      So even thought I don't feel like I am putting any work in my marriage (and I know Peter doesn't either), I think we actually do. We are just so good at it we don't notice. And that's incredibly lucky.

      Couldn't agree more with your closing comment. Amen to that.

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  2. If divorce means leaving a life full of distrust, disgust, belittling, fear and giving up your dreams, hopes and everything else it is healthier than staying in such a marriage.
    I knew a lady that gave herself up for a man that did not deserve her. What a sad sad thing that was. A wasted life, a life with disease, mostly brought on psychological abuse. It still haunts me. I could NEVER do that. yes, marriage is work, hard work at that, but sometimes even hard work isn't enough and doesn't pay off. Steffi

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, Steffi. I know couples like that. It's heartbreaking to watch.

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