Can’t speak up to break up? Find the words, and help your partner do the same. This is how friends stay friends afterward

I had a most interesting reading last night. A friend heard that her ex recently had “a spiritual awakening” and changed his ways.  All she knows is the last time she saw him, it was a drunken public screaming match ending with her coming home to find her clothes boxed up on the driveway and the door lock changed.  She says she’ll believe he’s had a spiritual awakening when he apologizes to her and explains to her what happened. For six months she’s been wondering WTF? Now he’s suddenly this nice person to everyone else? But how “spiritual” is that and how “awake” is he if he won’t take the fundamental step to apologize to those he harmed in the past, she wanted to know. I reminded that her only job was to forgive him and not be concerned with what anyone  should or should not do. I led her through the Ho’Oponopono Hawaiian healing process.  In advising for the past 30 years, I’ve learned that many people not only do not have a vocabulary to express what they feel, they don’t even know what they feel. This frustrates them when they have a life situation they want to change, yet don’t know how to communicate it. So every break up turns into Armageddon when a simple conversation would have left everyone going their own way as friends.

When you find the words to express what you feel, what you feel will no longer drive you crazy and control your life. Instead of an angry outburst at frustration, you’ll know the anger is because you feel trapped in a situation of your own making. It’s something you do again and again, and you would really like to stop the pattern, but just can’t seem to.  You love your partner but now more in a brother/sister way and you once again want to feel that free flowing feeling of new love and infatuation flowing through you.  You want to be free to find it and you don’t want to hurt their feelings, but you want out, now.

Don’t expect enough silent moments to speak for themselves.  You speak it. The moment you feel it, or stop feeling it, you say it.  This is how you be honest and stay friends.

Figure out what you feel and why you feel it:
I feel she resents me not being motivated to have a steady job and not wanting more for myself. I feel she judges me for not being financially responsible and careful with my health. I feel like she wishes I helped more around the house and learned how to fix things to save her money. I feel like she wishes I would talk about relationship and future with her when she wants to.

Why do I feel these things?
Maybe because that is my idea of what I would want in her situation. Maybe that is my idea of what a man should be. Maybe I feel I fall short of these things.

Why do I feel I fall short of these things?
Because I don’t place importance on the things she places importance on. She wants to build an empire, and I want to get by with minimum effort and maximum chill.  If I tell her how I really think, that will make waves and I’m happy with how things are right now.  I don’t feel motivated to do anything else, although I always like talking about what I’m going to do. When I talk about my projects, I am not so much in the planning stages as I am in the daydreaming and pre-paving stage.

Maybe that’s why I blew up in anger when she offered to make my idea a reality.
I felt trapped and frustrated because I wanted to spend more time basking in the day dreaming process first. I want to be the one who decides how long to daydream and when to take action. I didn’t tell her that because I didn’t know it until right now.  I didn’t know me not wanting to make waves was letting her hold on and make plans based on the wrong impression I kept giving her. Now that I know what I feel and why I feel it, I realize what I’ve done and I know what to apologize to her for.  I have no shame not realizing this before, now I know.

Honesty is the best policy.  Otherwise it will keep her asking a million questions and keep the situation alive in her mind. Once someone knows the truth,  they can process the info and eventually move on. If you are no longer sexually attracted, but you break up saying you don’t have enough time and then you’re dating someone else a month later, it keeps her involved in your life because she will be questioning why and looking for a better answer from you until she gets it.  You cared for her once, you respected her once, care enough to give her closure with an honest answer so she can begin to move on.

We have to be careful in how we train people to be with us. In the past you thought her little jokes were funny, now they are just tedious and annoying. In truth, you never thought her jokes were funny, it’s just in the beginning you were happy whatever she did. Now you realize you never liked the jokes at all, you just liked her. But you’ve trained her to think you love her jokes by laughing at them even when you didn’t feel it.  You’ve left her clueless because you’ve been faking it.  It will help give her closure for you to admit you liking her jokes was bogus and you just got tired of pretending.  Yes, it was your fault and now you know better, now you realize what you did and how unfair it is.  You just hadn’t thought of it before. Doing it is a life mechanism you learned as a young child, how to get along with those in your environment by being funny and entertaining, how to make it easily past the moment. Now realizing this is what you did and why you did it, you are sorry for having perpetuated a wrong impression.

Telling her these things helps her not only to understand you, but to understand herself. It helps in her future relationships as well.  She’ll be on the look out for when she is acting automatically and leaving an impression she may not want to live up to. She will notice when she is enjoying someone no matter what they do, rather than really enjoying what they do.

Don’t be upset when exes within your group date other exes within your group. That’s life. And yep, even your best friend. When everyone is an adult and keep their break ups friendly, there’s no need to feel uncomfortable in the group together. Keep your uncoupling as conscious as your coupling.

The best things we can do for our friends is give them tools for their own self discovery, to know what they feel and why they feel it.  When we know this, when we have this expanded awareness and the vocabulary for it, we are able to more fully express how we experience the entire sensory world and draw more and more information from it.  Then life begins to get really fun.

Begin by contemplating your own situation, what you feel and why you feel it. Sit quietly and see what thoughts come up for up. Let the insights sink it. Ask to see how to apply it to your situation.  Now you know what you did and why you did it. From this knowing, give closure to those from the past so everyone can move into their good life.

Conscious Uncouplings, Sacred Endings: Honoring each other as intentions change
How to survive changes when lovers morph into platonic friends
Sample Break Up Scripts: When You Can’t Find The Words
When Relationships Change
Conscious Coupling: Having Resolved the Past is How We Stay Conscious In the Now