Saturday, July 18, 2009

Balancing Hope and Disappointment After a Breakup, Part 1 of ?

The words of BSEW regular, Big Mark, triggered this series for sure. He offered the following words to describe the His Side/Her Side split (and pinpointed a deep feeling that I had yet to specify on my own):

Keeping the disappointment from mixing with the hopes is a challenge for sure.

So instead of cussing out Big Mark for swimming around in my head and finding the words I couldn't even express, I decided to blog about it. LOL

Just as Mark prophesied suggested, the war between hope and disappointment started the moment I asked His Side to leave the home. In fact, the hard line I took on the decision constantly drew swords to fight off hope that "well maybe he doesn't have to really leave the house." Memories of the last time we split kept me on track. The in-house split featured him on the couch and absolutely no work done to resolve the root of the problem. Bzzzzt. Not gonna do that again.

I won the first round of the battle between hope and disappointment because reality dictated the necessity of pushing the STOP button and gracefully exiting the ride. Misdirected anger, bitterness, and even rage stole so much peace from the home, and efforts to resolve the problem were met with an increased frequency of bad moments. Sometimes you have to admit when a problem is over your head. And this one was waaaay over my pay grade...

You see, I won't declare Armageddon over routine spats, droughts, imperfections, and petty squabbles. That stuff always exists in relationships where two imperfect people come together and their human frailties collide. I am not going to lose any sleep over occasional nuisances. There ain't enough hours in the day and there isn't enough malice in true love to be that petty. His Side faced issues that only he has the right to tell (or keep to himself, dammit). And I am not one to blow up anybody's business in a public forum. Besides, technically it's irrelevant if he shares or not, because I only have two concerns

(1) How am *I* going to conduct my life and

(2) Does my home currently offer an environment that is good for my boys?

Because really, those are the only two things I can control - my behavior and my decisions.

The entire thought process (at times a small act of mental gymnastics) led me back to a conversation I had with Negril about men/women who simply "settle" in a relationship. Men and women settle for bad mates all the time out of fear... or dysfunction... or plain old stupidity. Shortly before asking His Side to leave, I made a declaration. Out of the blue. No warning. Just a sudden moment of clarity. I WON'T SETTLE FOR THIS. THIS IS NOT OKAY.

There's a fine line between patience and settling. That line is just about as fragile as the distance between love and hate. For instance, a temporarily unemployed husband requires patience. So long as you're in it together, you can overcome. A chronically unemployed husband who prefers TV over the classifieds requires that you settle. Settle for disrespect. Settle for financial hardship. Settle for less than you hoped for or deserve.

The day I diagnosed that His Side and I were facing a chronic condition that needed the shit slapped out of it, I was sold. My hope that we could overcome was drowned by the disappointing realization that only one option existed...

As the story continues:
My first battle to balance Hope and Disappointment ended in a successful decision to split. Next time, I'll describe what happens when Hope tips the scale (in the wrong direction) and leads to an ugly post-breakup episode.


Big Mark 243 said...

Wanted to let you know that I was here ...

Negril said...

I read this with both joy and sadness because transition brings forth both. The joy in transition comes from that moment where you recognize and declare that a situation is bad and you need something different; better. The sadness comes in shortly after the revelation and you then question if you're making the right decision. You sit like a mad scientist weighing all the pros and cons and trying to come up with a concoction that works in your favor. Fortunately for you Her Side, your elixir; though bittersweet, worked for you and you knew unequivocally that you'd done the right thing.

All too often, so many know they're making the right decision, but allow that iota of the other persons revelation (typically after the fact that they realized what they did wrong. It's in that instance that the dumper (for lack of a better word) starts to question if they'd done the right thing.

Now, I'm all for people being given another chance should they prove themselves worthy, but we all know that very few can and do actually change and remain changed for the positive. It's easy to recognize that we've messed up when the door is closed in our face, but how many actually dig at the roots and make right what was wrong? Few! Changing because you lost someone isn't really changing at all unless you're rooting; not pruning.

Hope and disappointment are all a part of the equation of relationships; however, when a connection is made of purity, true passion/compassion, endurance, strength, patience; then you have undeniable love. You have love that will withstand the disappointment and resurrect the hope x 10 because there are TWO WHOLE people doing the work; balance is scaled, and love gels it all together.

Her Side said...

@Mark: Thanks for dropping in! You reminded me that I need to check on Joe Blessing to make sure he's holding the pieces together...

@Negril: You ain't nevah lied about the joy and sadness that come with transition.

And you're right about working on the "root" of a problem. "The human condition" leaves us all with some root work to do, but it is only pruning if done to hold on to another person.

Oh God. I have so many more things to say about that in this comment, but I think I'll save it for our chats. LOL

Lovebabz said...

There is only LOVE or FEAR. You can have the life and lvoe that you want...but YOU have to beleive that YOU deserve that. Once you decide that you are not going to tolerate mess then the universe will open up and all shall be well.

This is tricky because we often acept and defend poor relationships. But I beleive in my heart that each relatiosnhip good and bad gives us tools for the love supreme. Look to the lessons learned from this loveship...not just the failings...but the strenghts. What do you need?...what do you want?

You are so smart and so intuned to your inner divine self. You will come through this beautifully.

joe blessing said...

I cannot as you know, settle on either. I hope she comes back, I'm disappointed she won't. I hope her friends and family get through to her, but of course they won't. I hope to be over this soon, but filled with disappointment that it won't happen. I hope that all many have said about finding someone better can come true, but the fear of disappointment that it won't happen, or if it does, what does that say about my relationship of 7yrs? A waste of time? I don't know.

Her Side said...

Lovebabz, it was only in the past few years that I learned how love and fear are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE and can't exist in the same space. Even in the biblical sense, "love casts out fear."

After absorbing that truth, I found it mind boggling how many people live in absolute fear and define the relationship as "love." There's no place for fear in love, unless love is the word used to describe lust, or what I've heard called 'the thin veneer of approval that disappears when the other person rejects something about your humanity.'

I am lovin' this journey!

Her Side said...


As Lovebabz shared, no relationship is a waste of time. They all offer tools we can use, and I recently read that they all offer a chance to increase our wisdom.

If we can accept that wisdom comes in all forms, we are free from the guessing games, the blame games, the self-flagellation, and fear of the unknown. If you're holding on to something that has passed you by, it can only pull you backwards... I prefer forward motion myself. hehe

You may not like the journey, but I can see how you've come along. Isn't writing a fantastic tool in that process?

Denisha said...

"Love casts out fear"...exactly what I need to hear @ 3am so now I can try to find sleep again.

Writing is a fantastic journey. During the process, it's kinda sad and pathetic to realize emotions have you so warped. Afterwards, you realize you are as human as everyone else. It is a journey indeed.