Remember the days when you met someone, you liked them for a while, maybe even loved them, went out on dates, had passionate sex and enjoyed life? Remember when they started to annoy you and you began avoiding their phone calls and eventually them at all costs? When that happened, what did you do? If you’re like most normal people you simply ended things. Maybe there was some yelling, a tear or Angela Bassett style burning of left behind belongings, but for the most part you just let go and moved on.
Not any more.
Lately it seems like everywhere I turn people have forgotten the simple, timeless art of breaking up. What was once a temporary inconvenience has turned into a life altering nightmare of epic and even tragic proportions. Uttering the words ‘I think we should end this,’ can now get you sued or even killed. I recently watched an old episode of Dr. Phil where one guest, Bonnie, had to deal with her soon-to-be ex husband writing and distributing vicious lies, in what her ex called The Bonnie Chronicles, to everyone she knows including her boss! Another guest, Dawn allegedly unknowingly fell for a married man, broke it off when she found out he was indeed married, only to be sued later on by the man’s wife under North Carolina’s alienation of affection law, the same law that had singer Fantasia caught up. In a more tragic case, Felicia Cruz, a mother of two, was murdered by her boyfriend of just five months, Miguel Pena, simply because she refused to move to Florida with him and was trying to break things off. Two children are now without their mother because some jerk couldn’t take no for an answer.
When did breaking up with someone get this serious?! I understand hurt feelings and not wanting to let go of someone you feel you love, but to resort to lawsuits and murder is past extreme. Do you really need to sue because your man couldn’t keep his soul pole in his pants? Do you really need to spread vicious lies and strip someone of their livelihood all to show how much you’re hurting? Does the other person need to literally die? When did breaking up breakdown? When did it become unacceptable to just leave an unhappy relationship? This society of instant gratification and entitlement has given certain people permission to feel as if the other person owes them something for wanting to leave. It has told people that they don’t have to assume responsibility for their part in the demise, that they can simply pass the blame. It has given people the false idea that hurt, loss and healing are not real parts of life so they don’t have to truly accept it; they don’t have to suck it up and move on.
Fortunately I’ve never had to live any of the experiences I’ve mentioned and I pray that I never will. I prefer my breakups the old fashioned way. However, for countless other women, and men, in the world this is a serious new reality. The breakup has broken down, times have drastically changed and your very next breakup could very well end up being your last.