Think it through a bit. You break up with someone you have spent several years with, and in the beginning you both try to keep things civil. You talk about dividing the household, dealing with debt, pets, kids, joint accounts; all the things you need to resolve before you can move forward in life. This so-called civil period can last for years or it can tank coming out of the gate. For me, it ceased to exist as soon as I made it clear that I am going to take care of myself and stop taking care of her.
My biggest source of confusion about this whole break-up process stems from my ex’s inability to understand that I am not interested in listening to, dealing with, solving or even discussing her problems anymore. I acknowledge that I have played a role in her inability to figure out the little things in everyday life; possessing a caregiver’s personality, I generally took care of the everyday things that life would throw our way. Perhaps if I had demanded more input or action on her part, we could have prolonged our post break-up civil period, and I could have avoided being financially and emotionally drained. Sadly, I realized my error much too late and now I am still paying.
Over the past year, I have been threatened with law suits, stolen from, lied to repeatedly, cussed out, told I need therapy, told I am no longer a parent, and basically had my character dragged through the mud; all because I said …”I don’t want to be with you anymore.” I didn’t take legal action, I didn’t steal from her or speak badly about her to others; I have continually tried to be a decent person throughout the whole process. What I didn’t realize in the beginning is that she really wasn’t interested in being civil, she just wanted me to be civil. I can’t anymore. I won’t continue to offer the olive branch only to turn around and get slapped in the face with it each time.
Here is my point. When you break-up, whether you have been together 12 months or 12 years, it’s going to suck. Separating yourself from another person’s life is a gruelling task, but in order to continue on with your journey, you have to cut ties and seal doors that were once open to that person. You can’t continue to act as though you are a couple while you are breaking-up; it doesn’t work. When you finally start acting like exes, closing the door is a little bit easier; at least it is for me.