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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Break Ups: Being the Dumped

   Whenever a relationship ends people become consumed with what I call Columbo syndrome.  They want to understand the whys and hows.  Instead of choosing to accept their new reality, they get sucked in by the need to understand the other person's choices, thinking that maybe there is still some way of rectifying the situation.  People wonder, "Why did they break up with me when things were going so well?"  Well there's the short answer and the long answer and in a completely unexpected turn of events (this is sarcasm by the way) I will offer you both. The short answer, of course, is that obviously things weren't going as well as you thought. I mean this isn't a Danielle Steele novel people don't generally end relationships that they are happy in. As the song says breaking up is hard to do, for most people (sociopaths are excluded from this generalization) and that is because there is usually one person who wants to leave and another who doesn't. I've been on both sides of this scenario and I can tell you in my experience that it's no bed of roses for either party.

    One of the wrong turns I feel that most people make is that they dedicate so much energy to rationalizing another person's decisions. Well here's your wake up call: You can't know why someone else does the crap they do, so knock it off! I mean really how many falsities have you yourself told someone else? As an example let's toss out a few examples and maybe the memories of your own sugar coating will start flooding back. "I am late for work because _______." "I wanted to be there but ________." "I really love your haircut (not!) where did you get it done?" The truth is that our desire to be kind or to appear (fill in with a grand adjective that desribes what you aspire to viewed as) puts us in a place of dishonesty on a daily basis. The caviat is that the people around us are no different. We get to have our secrets and they get to have theirs. It's a lot easier to say "my feelings for you have changed and I just want to be friends" than it is to say "you irritate the piss out of me and if I continue living with you I may just drive myself off of a cliff."

    So to answer the question, or to circumvent the question entirely, I will say I don't know why they broke up with you but I'm sure they have their reasons. One thing is certain if they intended to tell you those reasons then they already would have. Chances are they weren't completely honest about their reasons because they didn't want to hurt your feelings which means that they care how you feel. That's a good thing! Now don't go getting some unhealthy idea that this former mate cares about your feelings so they must still want to be with you. Expressing a consideration for someone else is not code for "you're the love of my life." If you push too much the real reasons behind your split will come out and you are probably better off for not knowing them. Just accept the fact that the relationship is over and that you don't need to know why. If the other person wanted to work on things and repair the relationship then they would have given you the opportunity to do so.  Instead they ended things so what's the point in dwelling?

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