Monday, January 16, 2012

Who Am I To Say It, But It Needs To Be Said

Disclaimer: This blog post is not about you specifically, or anyone close to us in particular. It may sure sound familiar to you, which is my point. Please read on.

I know I have claimed this before, in various Facebook status postings, although not yet on this blog. Now seems to be the appropriate time to say it here: I think the world is going to end. Why? Because it seems everyone is going nuts. Losing it. Disrespecting each other, in public even. Hurting each other. Of course I am generalizing, and being slightly dramatic about the world ending thing, but given my recent purview of folks' lives around me, I am not far from the truth. We are out of control, we have gone mad!

Specifically, I have been shocked at what has been going on in relationships. Never before have I personally known just so many couples who have been giving up, breaking up, and then humiliating each other to anyone and everyone. If it isn't bad enough to do that to each other, they have to do it to an audience. And then a whole community is involved, repeating it, usually incorrectly, and propagating a whole new level of insult to the injury.

Before you go on believing I am speaking about someone you know, hold back and get that I am generalizing what I perceive to be a rampant problem. A friend of mine made a good point -- if more than 50% of marriages end up in divorce, and most relationships don't make it even to marriage, then the likelihood is that we will all experience a break up, especially if we are single, or not married, currently. You'd think that by now we would know how to handle it, more adeptly, more honestly, more respectfully.

I don't know if I have just been super-tuned in to the drama or if this has been happening before, and I am only now noticing. The cheating, lying, deceiving, game playing, obsessing, hounding, hating has progressed to a level that I just cannot believe. Where did we go wrong? When did we start believing it was acceptable to cheat, or see our friends cheating, and then just have it be the norm? Do you see it happening and not call your friend on this behavior? Or, when did we come to believe that drinking heavily and telling off our ex's was an okay thing to do, publicly? Or, how about the lying by omission that takes place -- when did that become not just another lie?

What drives a person to flaunt a new attraction, and then try to cover it or blast everyone with lies about when it all began? Okay, so maybe I have been guilty of this myself in the past. No, it is not okay to heal a relationship with another overlapping relationship. That new person gets hurt, too, because so often it is a rebound and ends soon later. And no, it is not okay to ravage a person's life when you decide for the moment to go BACK to the original person you cheated on to cheat again. It is NOT okay to pretend it was justified.

The question I want to ask you, everyone reading this, is where is our commitment level, first of all. When did every relationship become so disposable? And where is our sensitivity level if the break up occurs? You loved each other at one point, I am guessing. What makes you so cold to your ex-partner's feelings? We all deserve the truth. And we all have the ability to deliver it in a caring, respectful way. Sure, it hurts. And it is hard to face. Still, sit down, sober, in front of that person you once cherished, and explain your heart, explain why it isn't working for you. Perhaps there is a lesson in that explanation. After all the dust has settled, and you have both moved on, your honesty and empathy will be remembered.

Okay, so relationships break up. Marriages end. Bad things happen to good people. It is terrible for everyone involved, including children, extended family, friends. There is pain that is felt far beyond what you realize. Respect is called for! A kind, reassuring word, even in the worst of situations can remove so much anger and bitterness. That extension of dignity may prevent someone from taking a drink after being sober, or eating a whole pie after losing weight, performing poorly at her job, or running so many miles it actually injures him in the long run.

Maintain their importance in your heart. You do not have to stay with that person if a break up is the solution for a situation broken beyond repair. But can you just honor that person as a human with feelings, and walk away with an open door to a friendship?

What's more, let them go. This for me is the hardest thing to do -- I barely am able to do this -- it hurts deeply to do this -- but hug him and walk away. Try to not obsess, say permanently damaging things, wreck your own reputation or ravage yourself with guilt. It may just have been poor timing. You aren't broken -- you together were.

It feels so right at the time when you are angry and hurt to say mean, searing words to the person you trusted with your heart. I know, because I have said them. And not but a day later, I have regretted them. Sometimes an apology mended the fallout, but mostly just weakened an already strained relationship. What a gift patience would be at a moment like this!

What a blessing to remember the good times, and honor what that special person has added to your life. Most likely there was something. Or else why would you have dedicated time and risked exposing your heart? Cherish those memories, cherish the one who was once "your person."

Trust me, I am no where near perfection in regard to relationships. I have obsessed and pushed and cried for answers more times that I will admit here. And it was wrong. But in the end, I maintained MY self respect and respect for my partner, so that if the day ever came when we needed each other, that door was open still. If only to look inside and say, yes, I remember you fondly.

I am no one really, no PhD in kindness or what to do when you feel hurt more than you could have ever imagined. I am only an observer who has seen and heard way too much badness and blatant disregard for each other in this very broken society. This is my opinion only, and who am I really to say. But someone has GOT to say it.

Think before you act. If you have to, leave. But please, leave with your dignity intact.

And if you have been left, feel it, work through it... try to not fight it or cover it with distractions. And most of all, speak kindly of the person you once called your love.

No matter our personal situations, hate cannot be the answer. It is creating a cold, calculated society. It is ruining us. Please don't let it.


  1. Very thought provoking and inspiring. Thank YOU for saying it. Love you sis.

  2. So true Sue. A few years back my husband and I hit a big stumbling block. He felt the easiest way to get me to quit our marriage was to barrage me with harsh words and deeds. I received some advice from a very wise man, who told me to just respond with "I love you", ONLY if I could truly mean those words. While that response caused him to get more upset at moments, when we made it through to the other side, still together, he said it was because I said those 3 words and he realized I actually meant it.
    You're right - if you loved the person enough at one time to marry them, even in the hardest moments, you have to let that love guide your words and deeds. And that's not just marriage, that's friendships and family too.

  3. It seems this is a very trying time for many in our community when it comes to relationships. I think those decisions that are made with love at their core will turn out to be the best ones, even if they don't end in the relationship remaining the same way it was before.

    For me I found I truly believe there is a right and a wrong way to handle the end of a relationship and for me I could never live with myself if I didn't treat that person with all the love and respect they received from me when the relationship was new, even if it is no longer a romantic love and respect but only that of a dear friend.

    Thank you for being so open and honest about a very tough topic that is sadly very much reality all over the world.