How to end a relationship

betty ming liu Relationships 31 Comments

I write to you now as A Newly-Single Woman. It’s the last thing I want for myself. But bloggers must carry on. So here I am, trying to feel it in order to heal it…

Three weeks ago, my partner and I had The Talk that led to relationship breakup. We agreed on a day for him to pull out most of his stuff. The move went smoothly. We were, in my mind, classy people.

What came next though, left me devastated.

His book shelves, favorite chairs and dressers were gone from their usual spots. His coffee mugs, sweatshirt hoodies, house plants — gone. The empty spaces left behind were more than physical gaps in the decor; they felt like wounds.

This is what I mean about needing to feel it in order to heal it. If I’m going to make a new life, the pain needed to sit there, out in the open, unhurried. The ache of loss must be respected and allowed to breathe.

At first, co-existing with the mess throbbed like hell. For a few days, I wandered the house like a weeping zombie. Then, I found the energy to clear dirty dishes from the kitchen sink. Eventually, I did some laundry. Then, I rearranged my office.

Each new day brought a few more baby steps to a new normal. I even managed to reorganize the bedroom closet.

Slowly, I’m finding my way back to cozy.

Figuring out what really happened over this nearly three-year relationship will take time. All I know is this: I loved the best I could, for as long as we could. Now, the journey is about letting go.

Even though I’ve been single before, this round is different. As an older woman (how did I get to 60???), I had really hoped that those dreadful dating days were behind me, that I had found a kindred spirit.

Now, I face what some people consider both a dream and a nightmare.

The dream: I’m financially stable with satisfying work. My daughter is grown, leaving me free to enjoy a meaningful life.

The nightmare: I face this abundance alone.

Alone, as in empty-nesting and boyfriend-less alone.

Like, sitting-on-my-deck-and-talking-to-myself alone.

my-deck

Yesterday, I spoke out loud in my house only once — during a phone call to a friend. Oh sure, I interacted with plenty of people. There was tons of texting on my phone and endless emailing from my desk.

But the intimacy of a shared life had disappeared. Gone.

Hey babe, what should we make for dinner?

So-and-so just sent me the craziest message — listen to this.

That’s okay; finish up what you’re writing. I’ll feed the cats.

In time, the grief will pass. For now, though, I am climbing a very steep emotional and spiritual mountain.

If you’ve survived a relationship or have other comforting words, I need them now. And if you know someone who would identify with the journey ahead, I hope you’ll share this post. The support would help me, them — and us. xo

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  1. Pingback: My inner child writes back & shows me the way - betty ming liu

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