Breaking up is hard to do
Breaking up IS hard to do, but some people make
I just ran into a good friend, we have a lot in
common, let’s call her Wonder Woman. Around the middle of last year, she
abruptly ended a relationship of close to 20 years. It was a stealth bomb
maneuver, no one, not her partner (for the sake of clarity, let’s call the partner,
‘the Ex’), not her friends and not even Wonder Woman herself saw it coming. But
that’s Wonder Woman, she’s an all or nothing sort of girl.
Anyway, I asked Wonder Woman how she’d spent
such a glorious Hobart Sunday morning. She told me she’d decided to hit the
beach. Not any old beach; the beach she likes most in southern Tasmania and
the beach Wonder Woman and the Ex spent their summers on. I asked her how she’d
felt about potentially running into the Ex at the beach and she told me she’d
thought it might happen but that she needed to continue on life’s trajectory
and she was looking forward to cool water and hot rays.
So she told me there were only a few families
on the beach this morning. Is there any other place you can go on a 30 degree
day and enjoy such peaceful surrounds? She swam in water calm and transparent,
and then read shaded in part by lazy she-oaks.
I take my hat off to Wonder Woman, when the Ex
turned up she took it in her stride, called out ‘hullo!’ I know Wonder Woman’s
preference is for less animosity between them. I guess she thought she was
reaching out, it would be silly to ignore the situation.
What transpired was a rant-fest. Apparently she
missed the public signage that said she was no longer welcome there. It went
on, blah blah, you shouldn’t be at this beach, it’s my space, this is were I
live, yadda yadda, no one likes you anymore, rant rant, you’re nothing.
Oh my god I said. She was resigned, well you
know the Ex she said.
The thing about Wonder Woman I appreciate, is
that she won’t take things lying down. So she got up off her beach towel and
strode down towards the Ex. She said ‘Hey Ex! You don’t have to yell at me down
the beach like that. I’m not bothering you. We’re two people who live in this
town together, we’ve got to find a way of being in the same space sometimes.’
Wonder Woman tells me it went from bad to worse
and it was interrupted by people nearby reminding them they were not the only
people on the beach and children were listening.
By this stage, I had a pretty good image of the
showdown, and I'm keen to know, ‘What happened then?!?!’
Wonder Woman tells me she then saw the little
kids on the beach and said, absolutely, you’re right, I’m so sorry and walked
She tells me she’d planned to leave around that
time but decided to stay on and read a bit more lest the Ex form the mistaken
view that the little confrontation had rattled her.
I tell her I’m really sorry that she’d had that
experience and I wonder out loud about whether she will alter what she does in
the future because of the scene. It’s pretty clear the Ex is struggling to find
peace and resolution. It’s pretty clear that the Ex has some interesting
perspective on appropriate public behaviour.
Like the Wonder Woman I have learnt over years
to love and admire, she is determined, resolute.
I hope one day, the Ex will move on in peace
and with forgiveness, she says.
But I won’t I be limited by the Ex, or anyone.
I will take up my space in the world.
I have a right to be here.
Well I said, I can’t argue with that.
And it made me think about breaking up. Nobody says ending a relationship is not
painful but everyone of us decides how we cope and we decide the person we want to be. You
can make breaking up as hard or as easy as you want to. At the end of the day,
you’ve got one life, live and let live.
How have you moved on in the past?