Tag Archives: adults

The thing about breakups …

Note: This is not a quest for sympathy or well-wishes. I greatly appreciate your thoughts, but one of the reasons I put this post off for so long is because I made it through the hard part. – Molly

Let’s face it, breakups suck. No matter how amicable, how cordial or how mutual they are, they still suck. Injured heart

Sometimes, as with my recent breakup, the more amicable they are, the more they suck. Rather than having that anger/distrust/rejection/fury that comes with a cheat or a liar, you have … nothing. Hurt and sadness. As we were putting an end to our 2 1/2-year relationship as a couple, we were still telling each other how much we loved each other. We made the obligatory “let’s be friends” promise, but unlike most times those words are spoken, I think we actually meant it. We severed our romantic ties a little more than two weeks ago, but we still chat often.

That’s probably because we really are friends. In the 29 months that we were together, there were no fights – no angry words, no yelling, no arguments. There was one topic on which we disagreed, but conversation – although tears were involved – was just that: conversation. What we did do in that time frame was build a great friendship.

Still, the breakup – like any – still sucks.

Breakups suck because of unfulfilled plans. There are so many little things we were going to do – go to the Quad Cities to see a ball game, go to his favorite breakfast joint before it closed, have the first Christmas in his new place, get all the kids together on Christmas Day to see the final installment of “The Hobbit.” Then there are the bigger things: next summer’s vacation (sadly, the breakup came just two weeks after we had a fabulous vacation in Denver); a “someday” trip to Ireland; trips out east and out west. Many of those I can still do on my own, if I want, and some of them I will. Most, though, I probably won’t.

Breakups suck because, as adults, they’re not just between two people. Two whole families broke up. My daughter created close bonds with his daughters and their children. My son became good friends with the guys in his family. We met and loved each others’ friends. I felt like we were one big family – I loved his kids and grandkids and enjoyed all the time we spent with them. I had a great relationship with his mother, and my parents loved him like they never loved anyone else I’d been with.

Breakups suck because, eventually, you begin to see the holes, the places that the relationship wasn’t as “perfect” as you thought it was. I knew we weren’t perfect, but I honestly thought we’d be riding off into the sunset together.

And breakups suck because the landscape has forever changed. Where once there may have been a clean slate, there is now a “record.” A broken heart mars the playing field.

But breakups are also a time of growth. I don’t regret having given him that chunk of my life – despite the one issue that persisted, it was a very joyous time of my life, where I felt loved and cared for and comfortable. Incredible new people are now a part of my life, in some big or small way, because of him. I learned things and went places I’d never known before. And I pushed myself because of him – not because he asked me to, but because I wanted to be a better person for him, and for me.

And for those things, I will always be grateful.

* * *

Note: Snark will return with the next post. I promise.

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How did THAT happen?

I’ve come to realize I’m not the most observant person, otherwise I likely would have seen this a while ago. Over the past few weeks I’ve been noticing certain things “missing” at home but I’ve never noticed anyone coming to take them.

No, the computer is still there, all the electronics, what little valuable jewelry I have is still tucked safely away in an open box on top of my dresser. My kitschy knickknacks are still on their shelves, and the dogs are always relatively undisturbed. There’s been no evidence of anyone breaking in, either through the door or one of windows.

And yet some things are just … missing.

At some point, when I obviously wasn’t looking, someone took my children and replaced them with young adults. Their childish giggles have turned to laughter – often at my expense, particularly when they’re laughing together. Their hands reaching out to take mine have been replaced by hands waving as they drive off on their own. And though they still sometimes turn to me for advice, they’re also prepared to give some.

The funny thing is I started noticing these missing things when I wasn’t even home. First when my 20-year-old son – the one I’ve been calling “Man/Boy” but should probably think of something else, or just call him “Justin” – asked me to mail his voter registration card, and then again a few weeks later when he talked to me about having gone and voted early. We were talking outside and then he went to his apartment and I opened the door to mine and noticed it then. Something was gone.

Earlier this week I noticed it, too, when I was in Ames with Teen Girl – my high school senior daughter who is seriously thinking about Iowa State. ┬áHere we were, two hours from home and suddenly in the middle of this eight-hour campus visit I got the feeling something was missing. Sure enough, when we got home it wasn’t there.

This morning it really hit home – I took Teen Girl to go take her ACTs and met Man/Boy in the parking lot at 6:30 a.m. He had a mandatory seminar he had to go to for work, and he was actually leaving early. This is the same person who struggled to get out of bed at 6:30 to get to school just a few years ago.

I still catch myself every now and then wanting to give some piece of over-obvious parental advice, or caution them against Bad People or making Wrong Decisions. I forget sometimes that they’re 17 and 20 and instead try to picture them at 10 and 13. Or younger.

It’s great watching my “kids” start to become the adults they are going to be. But sometimes I wish time would slow down, just a little.

 

 

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