So we have all had break ups. We have all had that awful after shock where we have to remove their clothing, pictures and other random items from our lives so we can move on. However, the question I have is what about the family?
Alright if this is his family- maybe you should break up with them too…
When two people have a long term relationship, the family gets involved. You may become best friends with his sister. You might become shopping buddies with his mom. Maybe you are a tutor for his younger sibling. So when the two of you call it quits, is it also essential for you to break up with the family?
My wildly unpopular opinion is, NO! You are both adults (well o.k this opinion is under the assumption you are both adults) and you can make friends on your own. Sure, you former other half introduced you and happens to share blood with this friend of yours but they do not share a brain. If the family member is willing to keep you in their life after the break up I say go for it! There was a reason you guys bonded and I don’t think a romantic misstep should mean the ending of a friendship.
So this begs the question, how will this friendship work? Well there is one golden rule. Never and I repeat NEVER bring up your former boo with their familial relation. This means not asking how their new flame is working out no matter how badly you want to know, this means not asking if they are spending their days in a dark basement pining after you, this means not asking if they mind slipping cyanide into their morning coffee as a special gift from you. The topic must be completely out of your conversations at all time. If this rule is followed I think a continued friendship is healthy and completely O.K.
So bloggers what do you think? When you go through a break up do you break up with the family as well?
One thing I have gotten back into lately is reading. The book I most recently finished was “Why We Broke Up” by Daniel Handler. The book basically goes through the relationship of a guy and a girl using items as ways to remember different stories. Each item solicits a story that ends up explaining why they broke up. The book is written as if the girl is writing a letter to the boy who at the end of the book she gives him with all the stuff that reminds her of him. This really seemed to me to be a great way to get closure. So I decided I would try to do this for a past relationship of mine that ended a bit messy and I really haven’t been able to quite get out of my head. Now since this is a blog and not a book I didn’t pick a thousand items and they wont be long stories but here is my short version of “Why We Broke Up”
This was a drawing you did for me very soon after we got together the second time. The first movie we ever saw together was “Up” and the first time we were together I asked you to draw me a picture from it because we said that we would have that kind of relationship. The movie was special to us and it meant the world to me. However, the first time we were together this drawing never was completed because you left me before you had a chance to draw it. So after a year break and we got back together this was one of the first drawings you did for me. The drawing was special because you hid messages to me throughout the drawing. Messages I didn’t find until long after you were gone. Messages included “My First My Middle Your Last” (, “I will never leave you again (was this a joke?) “I love you”. Also see that crow and butterfly on that drawing? That wasn’t from the movie but rather your reference to our song, “The Crow and the Butterfly” by Shinedown. Looking back maybe I should have known something would go wrong. Our movie and song together both represented relationships that had ended. In the movie they were apart because of death, the song they broke up. How didn’t I see this coming? But it is safe to say this is one of the reasons we broke up.
This was a Christmas List I started when we were together the second time. The only stuff written down is the stuff that we bought while we were together. Notice how its your family on that list and that the list is extra short? That is because in the three times we were together we never once spent a Christmas together. However, I liked to plan ahead and when I did think of shopping for Christmas even though it was summertime- it was you who came first. I made sure you had a gift to give your mom even though I was never there to give it to her with you. Each relationship we had always started right around March as the weather started warming up and always died out before the summer ended. We had what they would call a summer romance- for three summers in a row. It seems as the weather got colder- so did your feet. This should have been a sign to me that you would have never made it down the aisle- if the weather gave you cold feet- a wedding aisle would have given your feet frost bite.
Finally, the ring that I thought really meant you were in it to stay. This ring was a combination of a ring that was given to me when I was only eighteen and then another ring put together. I loved the vintage, unique feel of this ring. But this ring never quite made it on my finger. You did propose to me I have to give you that. However, you proposed to me with a promise ring. That promise ring did not make this list because that ring is not why we broke up- that ring is why we stayed together. You picked that ring out for my yourself, without me knowing, at a shop I had never even heard of. You brought me to a gazebo in a park (just like our first date) and got down on one knee and promised me we would be together forever. It was an amazing moment. However, this ring here I picked out. I dragged you to the store and set you up on a payment plan for it. I put it under my name and even helped pay for it on the months you needed help. But it was something we were doing together. We made a day trip out of the times we went to make payments on it. And we even managed to pay it off while being together. I thought this meant something. However, you didn’t propose right away- you wanted to find the right moment. And this is why we broke up. The right moment wasn’t there not because you hesitated to make it perfect- you hesitated because you still weren’t quite sure.
The signs were there my love. We should have seen them in the moments that we shared. But those moments are encapsulated in the items that are left behind and this is why I will never forget you. Although this is the story of why we broke up- these items also tell me stories of why we were together.