Part I: How NOT to Break Up With Me (Or Anybody Else)

I can admit that I don't have a whole lot of experience being on the receiving end of a break-up. Luckily, there was one guy who broke it off with me and unnecessarily broke my heart so I could write this.   Gentleman, you can end a relationship with a woman without causing her to hate you and anyone who faintly resembles you for the rest of her life.  There are two very small things that can help you accomplish this: courage and complete honesty. If you don't have the first, you'll never achieve the second and therefore, you will probably end up with droves of women that lie broken and angry behind you.


Ladies, most men do not set out to be complete jerks.  In fact, most men end up being jerks because they call themselves protecting our feelings.  Yes, they lie because they love us. I know it sounds crazy but in their minds it's true.  To those guys I say, don't protect my feelings.  Respect my intelligence and preserve my dignity.  I am not letting you guys off the hook. You mask the lie in your desire to protect our feelings, but what you really mean is that you fear our response - and oft times rightfully so.  Men have to be courageous enough to face a woman's questions, crying, and criticism in the face of a break up.  Nothing backs up a man quicker than a woman's tears. He does not want to be the "bad guy" AND he also wants to protect the right to come back and "hit that" in the future if the opportunity arises. So.. he prolongs the inevitable with vague discussions and innuendo.

He tries to let you know he wants to end the relationship but the conversation never gets past our ability to present a solution to the dilemma.  Eventually he gets frustrated in his own inability to have the conversation and starts looking for the next girl - if he hasn't found her already.  In his mind he will phase the whole thing seamlessly.  He will start building with the new chick and let you down easily.  But herein lies the problem. Guys listen carefully...what I am about to say is critical to how you deal with your wives, girlfriends, daughters, and even your mother. The reason your break up approach never works like you think it will is because....

WOMEN ARE CREATURES OF HOPE

Women are built with the ability to see the best and believe the best in all things...especially the man we love. If you give us a small strand of thread to hold on to, we will build an entire quilt of loving scenarios. What are some threads that keep us holding on?  Words like:  "Right now...", "Maybe...", "Sometimes...", "I think..."  As soon as we hear those words, we pay little attention to what comes next.  If you say, "Right now I'm not happy." We hear that you were happy before and can be happy again.

Because we are creatures of hope you can tell us the most ridiculous, outlandish, super-celestial lie of all time and we will find a way to believe you.  Nothing kicks in our hope mechanism quicker than a lie that defies all logic.  I'm calling you for six hours. You never answer but when you do you say you were taking a nap on a Saturday afternoon - for six hours.  My brain knows you are telling a bold face lie, but my heart loves you and so I hope you are telling the truth and move on.

When everything hit the fan with my ex and he had transitioned from me to the new girl. I realized that he was trying to break up with me for almost a year because I couldn't fully commit emotionally to him-meaning abandon everything in my life to be with him.   It was a vicious cycle. I wouldn't commit because I felt he was still "out there". He wouldn't stop because I wouldn't commit.  Neither was willing to take a chance I guess.  We lacked courage in the relationship. But he continued to leverage my hope and love to get what he wanted or needed in the meantime. Undoubtedly our versions of this story are drastically different.  He feels like he was honest about his needs and desires. He said he tried to tell me.  Here's where he went wrong...

Don't TRY to tell me.  Tell me.  Tell me and move on.  Don't tell me you aren't happy then make love to me like you love me more than life itself.  Don't say we're through and you've moved on but call me back every day.  When you're sick or hurt, don't tell me that nobody takes care of you like I do.  And by no means should you ever tell me that you LOVE ME when you know you have the new girl on deck.   Don't give me a reason to activate my hope.

Some  guys are reading right now and saying, "But we do still love you guys. We just may not want to be with you."  THEN SAY THAT!  Don't just stop at "I love you."  Hit me square in the eyes with it. Tell me that you don't want to be with me. It's going to hurt and I may cry over the loss of the relationship.  However, we would much rather cry over losing you than to cry over being humiliated, lied to, cheated on, and taken advantage of. That kind of hurt endures for a long time...unless you get hypnotized or have a lobotomy. Just sayin'.





Painful, Difficult, Devastating....Love?

Last night on ABC's "Scandal" Olivia Pope told Edison she wanted "painful, difficult, devastating, extraordinary, life-changing love."   Really?

I have to give it up to Shonda Rhimes for creating Olivia Pope.  We love Liv because she is a smart, dynamic, strong heap of mess and she knows it.  Last night illustrated that more than ever.  Liv was deliberately choosing a painful life. She told Edison that she was not built for the other life-normal. She said she didn't want "simple and easy".  His response, "Love isn't supposed to be painful or devastating. Love isn't supposed to hurt, Liv."   I tweeted that as fair warning to the ladies and many of my twitter followers responded with a resounding "Yes" to that kind of unhealthy love.  And many of you secretly want it too.  I know, because I used to be just like Liv.  I accepted that I was not built for an easy-going, drama-free, love and joy filled life.

There are moments when our hearts race and our stomachs turn.  That part doesn't feel good. But when it all works out, the wonderful feeling of happiness that comes over us. Well,  it's emotional make-up sex.  And we get addicted to the pain before the pleasure.  It's like anything else, water is best when you are most thirsty and food is exquisite when you are most hungry.  The only reason that kind of "love" is so good to you is because you are at a low point when you experience it.  In our brokenness we seek chaos because it's our "normal".  Why? Because it's too hard to do the work to be healthy and functional.  "Normal" is a perception that varies from individual to individual. A "normal" relationship is not easily defined. However, "healthy and functional"  is crystal clear.

For years,  I held onto a painful, non-existent relationship - not unlike Liv and Fitz.  It was a relationship that made me cry, vomit, and on occasion wish I were dead.  But then a ray of hope would come- a vacation, a party, a night of great sex - and it would be all good again until the next flare up. I admitted to myself that I was addicted to the person. But, I finally came to realize that I was addicted to the pain.  I discovered that there was something in me that felt unworthy of real love so I stayed with someone who hurt me constantly.  Daddy issues? Peer Issues? Genetic abnormality?  Who knows?  But whatever it was, it gripped me.   It was passionate. And lets face it, there is nothing passionate about basketball games, school plays, and recycling day.

But love and passion are the same.  Love is patient, kind, forgiving - you know the rest. Love shouldn't be difficult. If your relationship is difficult, painful and devastating. It needs to change. You need to change.  I am not suggesting you necessarily bail on the relationship. But I am saying that you need to put in the work to make it healthy.  And you can't do that alone.  The two of you must decide that you want more of God's joy and peace in your life.  I realized that I wanted the goodness of all that God had for me.  There was no justification for tears and pain as a means to God's love.  Once I began to search me  I realized that I am beautiful and smart, kind and encouraging, ambitious and loving. Most importantly I realized that I was created by God for goodness.  And that includes "good love".  And trust me, when you have good love. You don't need to fight first to have good sex.

Liv said she wanted "life changing" love. Well, immersing yourself in years of pain and turmoil in an unhealthy relationship will definitely change your life.  Many a woman (and man) met their demise because they "loved" the wrong person.  Question is, are you one of them?

NOTE: Yes, I left out the point that Fitz is married because that's a whole different blog post in itself.



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