When we are not the one who ends a relationship, even a short-term dating relationship, it usually stings. Being on the receiving end of the boot with a longer-term, intimate relationship often creates wounds that last for years. No matter how much we work to accept it — and in some cases welcome it — the announcement from the other usually causes some pain.
In “How to trump being dumped” I explored with a pal how being released from his overly suspicious lover was a good thing. But it’s hard to see that at first.
Three months after my ex announced he was leaving, I was still in a lot of pain. One day while running errands and not thinking about the breakup, I heard a loud voice, as if someone were next to me in the car.
What was this disembodied voice talking about? I’m in my car, not playing Monopoly!
As I reflected on the message, I realized it was saying that by being released from my ex, I was being saved from the “jail” of continuing to live with a man who wasn’t right for me. One who admitted he didn’t think about me when I wasn’t in the room. Who was, in his words, “emasculated” by my competencies.
I could have lived with this man the rest of my life because I loved him and saw the positives in our relationship. However, he did not feel for me how I felt toward him. I deserved a partner who was equally in love with me, and knew how to show it.
Also, since ours was not a vindictive divorce, neither of us was taken to the cleaners by the other. “Get out of jail free” meant that without a lot of drama or hideous expense, we could move on with our lives.
Some DG readers have shared their pain from past relationships gone sour. Some of these stories are heartbreaking. But you can easily imagine they could have been worse. You got out of the relationship — even if not by your initiation. You are now a wiser person, clearer on what she wants, and unwilling to settle for what you settled for in the past. You could still be with that guy who wasn’t right for you. By moving on, you got a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Time now to be grateful and move on to pass “Go” around the romantic version of the Monopoly game of life — even if you don’t collect $200.