November 20, 2017

The Breakup Exit Strategy Part III: Everybody Should Have One

Courtsey of casinodownloads.com via Google Images

A good friend of mine was in a marital dilemma.  After some thought, he’d come to the decision that he no longer wanted to be in his marriage.  He said, “Kaneicia, do you want to know what my exit strategy is? It’s over, get your stuff and get out.”

I laughed when he told me that. He used the direct dump method; no explanation, no conversation, no miscommunication. It’s a bit on the rude side but considering what he’s been through, it’s understandable.  Some breakups won’t have happy endings. The indirect method just won’t cut it.  In my friend’s case he’d been betrayed by his wife and to him, his marriage was unsalvageable.  He made up in his mind it was over and he wasn’t going to waste another minute of his time.  He didn’t argue, didn’t swear at her, he just ended things.  You ain’t got to go, but you got to get up outta here!

As discussed in The Breakup Exit Strategy Part II, being direct is the best way to exit a relationship.  There are no mixed signals, no nonverbals to interpret, no ambiguity. To clarify though, being direct is not easy.  You walk a thin line between being assertive and aggressive, blunt and belligerent.  When dating, it’s all the more worse because you are constantly walking on eggshells.  You always wonder if what you say may be misconstrued.  My rule of thumb is if you deliver the truth with sincerity then you’ve done right by whomever you’re communicating with.  Case and point:

There was this one guy I dated a few years back.  He was charming, extremely talented and spiritually grounded.  I was sure I was going to be Mrs. So & So within a year.  We both wanted to get married and have kids; we had common goals and were very active in our respective churches.  The wait was over!

But as time would tell, everything was not so perfect.  I found out he had some serious financial issues.  On top of that he didn’t feel comfortable communicating with his ex-wife about me.  He’d planned on bringing the kids up to meet my family for Thanksgiving, but reneged because he didn’t want to ask his ex if he could travel with the kids.  When he told me they weren’t coming, I asked if it he didn’t want to ask his ex and he said yes.  I politely got off the phone, analyzed the situation and the relationship’s growth potential.  I decided the financial situation and his timidity were deal breakers. When I told him I wanted to put things on hold, it turned into the fourth of July.  He was not happy.

I know I hurt his feelings because he didn’t want to break up, but I really thought it would be best for us to be friends until he got his affairs in order.  Initially he didn’t agree but after the dust settled, he admitted he couldn’t afford to be in a long distance relationship.  He told me he knew I was right, he just didn’t want things to end.  For me, there were underlying issues of passivity and financial irresponsibility that I didn’t want to deal with (for the record, I did NOT say it that way).  Presently we have an amicable relationship.  Even though he was a great guy, the timing wasn’t right.  I’m thankful I had the wisdom to recognize that.

I firmly believe that openness and honesty trumps all.  Over time reality sets in and the pain goes away.  When your ex’s head is clear, he or she will be able to see things for what they really are.  They will be able to let go and move on.  And who knows what the future holds?   Issues may resolve themselves or the time apart may create a newfound appreciation for each other.  A friendship could develop or a romance rekindled.  At the very least, you didn’t waste your time or theirs, and you’ll have your self-respect.  What could be more rewarding?

Comments

  1. Break ups are never easy nor is there a exact science to breaking up. The only suggestion I have is to analyze your relationship and break up according to your partners behavior through out the relationship. Then maybe you may avoid getting a knife thrown at you.

  2. @ Willie, you’re right, breaking up isn’t easy. The moral of the story is honesty is always the best policy. If you’re dating someone who will potentially throw a knife, they will probably throw it no matter hwo you break up with them. Rejection is not easy to deal with either!

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