Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Breaking up is hard to do

image from:
Yesterday my therapist broke up with me.  Really.  I've seen her, on and off, since around the time I first became a parent, and I think we've done some good work together.  She helped me to understand my family history and lack of parenting, and to accept myself and some of the challenges I've encountered in life.  I believe I've developed better communication skills, and I know that I've been able to more fully express my wants and needs, because of our relationship.  We've been "seeing each" other again for about 6 months and we've spent the time discussing the unraveling of my marriage and how to best help the boys cope with changes in their lives.  Our most recent visits, say the last 3 or so, have been scheduled at increasingly greater intervals and our conversations have leaned more to the social than the psychological.  The appointment on my calendar has come to feel more like a burden than an unburdening and I think we both knew it was time to close this chapter.  Last night she pulled the trigger and we agreed to separate.  It is time for me to move on - alone.

In terms of personal relationships, how do you know when it is over?  Is there some sort of internal well that either overflows with resentment and disappointment or is it more a case of your reservoir being emptied of feelings and enthusiasm for life?  Does your relationship add more good to your life than it saps from your soul?  How do you broach that life changing topic with your mate - the conversation which upon initiation sets the tone for what is to follow? I guess the decision is personal, no one else can make it for you. Knowing that you are supported by people who love you unconditionally can certainly give you the strength to follow the path you have chosen.  For me, it was the sense that life was too short for me to feel perpetually dissatisfied.  I couldn't do it - not to myself, not to my spouse, and not to my children.  I knew there would be a continuation of pain inflicted and, since making the decision, I have felt a sense of happiness and peace which is absolutely radiating from me.  Breaking up may be hard to do, but staying in a relationship which prevents you from feeling intrinsically intact is far more difficult.


  1. How do you know when it's over? For many relationships, it's over before we admit it. It's like an airplane with an empty fuel tank. It glides along for a time, but inevitably loses its altitude. Does it crash and burn or does it come back to terra firma softly and allow its passengers to live on? Sorry for the heavy-handed metaphor, but it's a subject on my mind. Great post, delso.

  2. It's over when your heart tells you it's over. It's just the fight against change that we all fear. Once you learn to listen to your heart, follow it, embrace it---then, and only then, will you be ready to begin your new chapter leaving behind the worthless weight of doubt and regret.

  3. I'm a creature of habit and a lover of security (whether real or imagined) so I was not the one who ended my very unhappy marriage. That was done for me. In the beginning as I went through all the stages of mourning my marriage, I couldn't see that what my ex husband did in ending the marriage (not how he did it though) was a blessing and a gift to me. Yes, it takes a little creating imagining to think of it as a gift but now I do. Hindsight...

    Knowing what I know now, I will make different choices in my life going forward. I now see myself as responsible for my happiness and that wasn't clear to me when I was married. Now I know that when a relationship makes me more angry, stressed or sad than happy, it's time for reevaluation. Whether that means and ending or a change can not be said but I will never again sit passively by while things fall apart.

  4. I'm trying to email you but the nycap address is getting bounced back, with this message:
    The following recipient(s) cannot be reached:

    '' on 5/20/2011 1:01 PM
    550 Invalid mailbox: [R0109006]