I stayed up late till 5:00 am last night doing something else, and dealing with my brother’s ex-girlfriend issues.
They have been going out for 2 years, and broke up just shy of a day from Valentine’s this year (and somehow, I doubt my little brother is little anymore).
The issue was, he disliked her partying ways where she’d stay out till around 2:30am and socially smoke. He didn’t like that her kabarkada was a neighbor and has a thing for her, serving as her chauffeur and bad influence when she goes out partying.
Meanwhile, because of our strict dad, my brother was caged at home, choosing instead to concentrate in building up his own business, which I can proudly say is thriving despite a few misses.
Anyway, they broke up clearly because they’re at different points in their lives. Bottomline is, he’s judging her for acting like a college kid, when fairly, she IS still a college kid. So partying and staying out late number as a few of her many pursuits.
On the other hand, she seems him as “controlling” and not wanting her to have a life, since my brother instead wants her to grow up and act as an adult.
As you guys can see, this is a recipe for disaster.
My mother was very worried with this relationship. The girl lived in Corinthians (an upper class community in the Philippines) was a bit spoiled, and demanding a lot of time from my brother, asking him to accompany her out, etc.
However, given our disciplined upbringing, that’s really difficult. Despite being older, my dad will rise a ruckus if my brother’s just led around the nose by his girlfriend, telling him to disobey our dad’s orders.
Personally, I was nonchalant.
Maybe because am at the third person, so I can see it with unbiased eyes. Like my elder brother’s relationship with his girlfriend of five years, I knew it was going to end sometime or the other. They were just in two different places and one is stubborn in the other.
“It’s just a matter of time,” I consoled my nervous-wrecked of a mom. “Don’t worry, it won’t last.”
And I turned out to be right. It was the same issues that they’ve fought over 2 years ago that they’re still fighting about now.
“Raven, please, can you do me a big favor?” MSNed my brother last night at 4 o’clock in the morning. “Can you talk to SA (his ex) and tell her that you knew that we were together for 2 years? Because she thinks nobody in our family knew.”
This is already March, a month after they broke up. Heck, why should I tell this girl the obvious?
“PLEASE Rave,” begged my brother. “I will explain later.”
Big sigh. Okay, okay…
I talked to the girl and found out that she’s nice and all that. I’ve met her at least twice and she’s okay, but she’s no match for my brother.
Basically, the issue was, she thought he was too controlling (and she’s right), and that he was hindering her partying and smoking ways.
“Look, I have nothing against staying out late,” I told her. “As a party goer, there’s nothing wrong so long as you go home safely and soberly. But with smoking per se, my brother and I don’t smoke. There’s a reason for that — our dad will kill us.”
“How would you feel if you’d want your girlfriend to be approved by dad, and then seeing that your girlfriend can’t stop smoking? Is smoking so important to you that you’re willing to give up the relationship?” I asked.
“Yup, important sa akin. (Yes, it’s important to me),” she defiantly replied.
Put it this way, from what I’ve heard, she’s a social smoker. Obviously, she’s not worth my brother’s fine if she’s willing to not give way.
It’s clear to me — she’s over in my book.
Even if they’d get back together, there’s no freaking way that I’d approve of her if her priorities are that skewed.
Anyway, it’s none of my business. That’s my brother’s life and he’s big enough to decide on his own decisions.
But my writing this entry is not to share with you what happened last night.
I am writing for anybody who has broken up with somebody before. It hurts me to see my brother hurting when I’ve told them what’s going to happen.
The Anatomy of a Breakup
When a person breaks up with you, they’ve already thought about it A LOT. They know that once they’ve broken your heart to little itsy bitsy pieces, it’s so hard to glue it back together and expect that things will still remain the same.
A relationship contains a lot of trust.
When you enter in a relationship, you go in with the hope that this person cares for your well-being, is on your side, and your partner for that period of time. Nobody comes in a relationship expecting to be hurt. Instead, you choose to be in a relationship with this person because you believe this person cares enough for you to not hurt you.
That’s why in a relationship, we open ourselves up. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We tell people things we’ve never told other people before. Why? Because we trust that they’d guard these secrets, these moments, these vulnerabilities because it hurts them to see us get hurt.
We get into a relationship thinking that this person can’t hurt you or at least, won’t intentionally hurt you.
And then it happens, be it your first fight, the first harsh word, the first misunderstanding, and if the person is immature and don’t fight fair, you realize, “F*ck, this person can really hurt me.”
You go on a defense and start building walls around yourself. She does too, until a breaking point where you’ve hurt each other to a point where you break up.
There’s a popular book in stores — It’s Called a Breakup Because it’s Broken. And I think it’s true — People break up for a reason.
It may be a silly reason, or a logical reason, but whatever the reason may be, the point is that one or both is already tired of dancing, of even trying to sway to the beat, and wants out.
And once that happens, that’s already the beginning of the end.
The funny thing is, usually when you first open your mind to the possibility of a breakup, you’re not yet that sure. You look back at all the happy memories and how this person has enhanced your life that you find it difficult to let go.
But after seeing the same destructive patterns emerging over and over, you realize that there’s ultimately no future together. But still, even when you open the conversation to breaking up, you’re not yet that sure.
That’s why my friend’s ex drunk dialed her to ask her to come over so they can talk things out. You’re aware that something’s wrong, but you don’t want to let your girlfriend/boyfriend go for now.
Maybe it’s the BUS (breakup sex) that’s what’s making him call, but ultimately, I think after a person breaks up with someone, immediately after experiencing an absent presence, they almost immediately want it BACK.
Doesn’t mean that they want you back for good, but after you being a major part of their life, of course, they’d feel a missing presence.
And since you like them more than they like you (that’s why they have the galls to break up with you in the first place), you run over back to their arms and take them back.
But remember, at this point, they already have one foot out the door, ready to bold whenever you release your psychotic tendencies.
Bottomline is, they CAN walk away, while your heart ain’t ready yet.
And when you reach this point in a negative relationship, you can’t win. Get ready to get your heart broken over and over again, and you ask yourself, “Why is she doing this? Does she no longer care or love me anymore? Was our relationship a farce?”
No baby. She still cares — but you care MORE. A lot more.
That’s why you’re willing to have your heart stomped over and over again till you reach a saturation point and you can’t take it anymore.
Because you love them MORE.
When you reach this point, the other person’s not thinking of you anymore. She’s thinking about herself, on whether she still wants you, and if you make just one wrong move, you’re out.
That’s a hard place to be in — and usually happens within 1-2 months after you break up.
She may still be there, you may still try to be friends, but her heart is no longer in the relationship. She’s looking for another way out already, and you’re no longer the man in her life. She may be there because you’re stroking her ego and it makes her feel good to see you crawling, but it doesn’t mean that she wants you back.
And you know what?
It hurts your esteem terribly to be with someone who doesn’t really want you.
You think that maybe it’s your problem, or if you can still work things out, but actually, there’s really nothing you can do about it. It’s true what they say when they break up with you — It’s not you, it’s me.
There’s nothing wrong with you, baby brother.
But there is something wrong in the relationship, something missing, and obviously this person isn’t the person for you.
It’s hard to realize it when you’re still hurting, but after a while, after your heart mends and you can think clearly, you thankfully realize how incompatible you are and grateful that she had the galls to break it off before you.
Personally, I’ve always believed in making things work — Am the kind of girl who still works on the relationship till its last dying breath.
So I’ve dated someone way poorer than me before, way older than me before, and way culturally different than me before. Sure, it was tough and I knew that I wasn’t going to have an easier time because of these choices, but ultimately, it wasn’t these things that broke us up no matter what they say.
Ultimately, a breakup is very very simple.
You breakup because the other doesn’t want to dance in the same tune as yourself anymore.
Nothing wrong with you, but a relationship cannot really work if you’re just working at it alone. No matter if this is the greatest girl in the world, but if her heart is not into it, it’s over.
Better cut your losses and move on to someone who thinks you’re the world.
And if you hold on to dear life, begging this person to take you back, you only hurt yourself, because you are groveling, accepting so much less than what you deserve. Your self-esteem goes on an all-time low and you wonder, “Why the f*ck am I allowing him/her to hurt me like that?”
The bad news dear brother, is that this stage where you in right now, depending on whether you can stop contacting her, will hurt like hell and it will probably take you a while to get over.
The bad news is, no matter what I tell you, no matter how good my advice is, you’re probably not going to listen anyway and still contact her. And when you do, you will again get hurt, and contact your atchie all the way in Taiwan crying because she did EXACTLY what I told you she’d do to you.
You will feel like crap. Sorry, welcome to the harsh reality of failed relationships.
But it’s up to you dear brother on how long you’ll accept her crap.
My best solution after the breakup: NR or No reaction.
I’ve repeatedly read/heard people advice the “No Contact” rule.
This means, after the breakup, it’s over. Cut all ties with the ex and not contact him/her anymore. This will hurt like hell and you’ll miss her like crazy but the sooner you accept that he/she is no longer part of your life, the better.
Like my old friend Mike advised, “Rip off the bandaid, it’ll heal faster.”
However, not all people have the guts to do that. We’d rather delay the hurt and let the failed relationship drag on than to just cut everything off and accept the reality that it’s finally over.
So we have our hearts stomped again and again.
But after a while, like in my case, after you go walking home alone, bawling your eyes out and feeling like TOTAL CRAP, you realize, “Goddamm, I deserve WAY better than this.”
You cry a bit more as you are quietly saying goodbye to the past… and you hug yourself to sleep. But after a while, after you reach that saturation point, you wake up and say, “F*ck him. I deserve better, and I don’t want to feel like crap anymore. I think I’m a person who deserves just the proper respect and unless I find someone who can give me that, well, he can just go to hell.”
When you reach that point and accept that the other has already stopped dancing, things gradually get rosier, pinker… and finally, you realize one day that you’re over him.
You realize that you don’t really feel anything for him.
You don’t care who he goes out with, where they go, what he’s doing with your life. Heck, even if he disappears from your radar, you don’t really care.
And then you realize, this is what moving on feels like.
And it’s a great feeling to be in — to be where you rid yourself of those who make you feel bad, and surround yourself with things that make you feel good be it your job, your friends or your colorful life.
Ironically, this is usually where your ex comes back and realizes what he/she has been missing — but by that time, you don’t want to be in a relationship with them anymore. Why go back to all that hurt and misery? Why let someone who has hurt you once, hurt you again?
Better start a new slate and date somebody else who can treasure you.
This is where I am right now, and it’s truly wonderful. Everyday brings back positive feelings and terrific possibilities.
But this stage comes once you’ve finally accepted the end, dear brother.
Please, stop contacting her anymore. I know you still miss and care for her, but unfortunately, nothing against you, but she’s already stopped dancing. And if she’s stopped dancing, she doesn’t deserve to be asked by you to dance anymore.
Later, you’ll realize that there are other fishes in the sea….
And the sooner you open your eyes and accept that this fish you have is already foul and deserves to be thrown back to the sea, the better.
The good news is, things WILL get better, I promise.
All you need to do is be strong and please, stop giving her the ammo to hurt you again.
STOP CONTACT NOW.
I love you baby brother.
Please love yourself as well.
8 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Breakup”
just found your blog. love your analysis of breakups!
Raven, this is nice material for a Toastmasters speech! You certainly put a lot of thought into it.
Long post but worth it.
You might be also interested in what I wrote:
How to break up with your girlfriend in 64 Easy Steps
yeah her priorities are really screwed. i think even full time smokers wouldn’t answer the way she did.. and i was only picking on the way she answered and not her answer.. hope your brother gets over her soon 🙂
“But with smoking per se, my brother and I don’t smoke. There’s a reason for that — our dad will kill us.”
What the–?? Is that the only reason you don’t smoke? Because your DAD will kill you??? Err… how about because SMOKING ITSELF will kill you?!?!
Yours truly, thanks! And Blackdove, coming from you, that is indeed a compliment! Appreciate the feedback; do you think though that Toastmasters will be open to topics such as breaking up? Btw, some great news, finally finished my C10! 🙂
Michael, saw that video — nice! And so true!
Devilshaz, I think she can say that because she wants out already. Remembered that she promised my bro she’ll quit when they first get together. Funny how she changes her mind afterwards.
Jane, tell her that. I don’t smoke. 🙁
wow, this blog helped me sosooooooooooooo much, my boyfriend and i or two years broke up for many of the same reason that your bro broke up with his lady. ive felt so many of the things you mentioned, and am goin through all those feelings, it was amazing to read this and get so much help from it! although i dont even know you, wow, you are awesome and thanks for posting this hahaha 🙂
Unbreakable, more power to you. Breakups are hard, but you will get through it. Everybody does, you just have to go through the emotions. Fortunately, one day, you’ll just wake up and realize that you’re over, and thank your lucky stars you’re not in that relationship anymore.