Thursday, October 14, 2010

Breaking UP or Breaking Through

Have you found yourself in a relationship where the frustration level and the number of times you butt
heads with each other seems to increase by the second?

You say blue, she says red, and the fights just seem to be going in circles.

If the answer is yes, then some say you may be at what they call "the break UP point."

But I wonder, is it break UP, or break through?

Maybe you're at the place where you're finding out things about each other that you need to fix.

Maybe it's an opportunity. A critical one, but an opportunity nonetheless.

Let's say the honeymoon's over, and you start that constant UPhill drive to build a relationship. If you
start bumping heads, instead of uglies, then it might be time for a "re-group", or chat, if you will. The
first few months and even years of a realtionship are the most critical time to build that relationship. If
you stop doing the little things that make the day nice; good bye kisses, notes, texts now that we're in the
modern era, and frisky, friendly, flirting, then you're at a break UP point. It's time to be really honest with
each other and compromise, work things out. Break through, not break UP.

"My wife/husband doesn't understand me." Isn't just a line from some jerk in a bar. It might be the
truth. People come from different backgrounds, and no two homes are exactly alike. Heck, the five
children in my family could not be more different, but were raised by the same two people, and for most
of our lives, in the same house. So, blending two people into one family takes work. Understanding each
other isn't easy, and it's a constant task. People change, times change, ideas change, goals change. Make
sure you talk about the changes you are going through, and make sure you include your partner in them.
Don't break UP, break through.

If you start to punish each other, things are getting serious. I'm not talking about a little mutual friendly
S&M kids, I'm talking about passive agressive behavior. You know, "he left his clothes on the floor, so I
just won't put them in the load of laundry I'm doing even though there's room." Or "She never puts the
cap back on the toothpaste, so I'll just leave the seat UP!"

Stop it!

It's silly, and it's dangerous. Resentment can build, feelings get hurt, the game escalates, and then all hell
breaks loose!

Use it as a break through point, not a break UP point.

Have you stopped "fighting" or "arguing"? Well, that's a danger sign. Walking out of the room gets
nothing done. And even though you can't unsay things you've said, sometimes you have to say them.
(This is not permission to be a jerk, think before you speak!)

Fighting isn't a bad thing. It clears the air. I'm not saying you should start throwing pots and pans, and
no one needs a baseball bat, but talk about it. Yell if you have to. When you stop fighting at all, you've
stopped fighting for the relationship, and you've reached a break UP point. Use it as a break through.

Have you actually thought about leaving? Well, then you're at a break UP point. You need to regroup,
take a few days and think it out. Some therapists recommend leaving for a few days or a week at this
point. I'm not so sure. Maybe a weekend with the girls (if you're the girl), or a fishing trip, or camping
will do some good. But don't say, "we need some time apart". That may just be what your partner wants
to hear, and it may not be the real solution. Stick it out, but take some time. Go visit some friends or
family, or go see the Biltmore House, but spend some serious windshield time thinking just how your life

would be if you walked. You may envision something that isn't possible, and hopefully you'll realize that
you're where you need and WANT to be. Make it a break through.

Once you've thought about it, and worked it out. It's time to take a stand. A stand for the relationship
or a stand to walk away. Go back, talk, make decisions. Life is way too short to be miserable. Both of
you need to try, and both of you need to work at it. Evenly, and willingly. If you don't try, it's a break UP point. If you do, you might just break through.

UP- who also guest posted for us HERE.


Purple Cow said...

I remember reading in a study somewhere that families with young children on the brink of divorce were interviewed. In five years, they were interviewed again after sticking it out and it was found that things were no longer so bad. So I guess, nothing is static. There are lots of ups and downs...yes, I agree with this post.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I totally agree. Sometimes when you actually both work through things, well almost every time, it's better, your relationship, you as an individual and you both as a couple.

Working through things is what makes the afterwards the most rewarding!

TisforTonya said...

ManOfTheHouse and I are celebrating 17 years of marriage today... and although we have what I consider a great relationship, we have been through some tough times. We've fought, and yes... I've sometimes wanted to just get in my car and drive away... but sticking it out, working it out... it's worth it. I'm sure there are more hurdles to come - but the plan is to get past them together.

Anjeny said...

I completely agree! Thank you, UP, for a well-written post.

wendy said...

very wells said UP
too many people give up too easily...cause they feel like they can
Divorce is and ugly thing
I know....I am on my third marriage (albeit my situation wasn't about 'not gettiing along and working things out'...not toally)

BUT in my hear of hearts I believe if you can sit and maturly talk about the issues , putting the FIGHT aside.
COme up with a plan to try and work things out, give it a good boy scout try.....then you have worked it THROUGH an all is the better for it.

Divorce hurts children more then you'd like to admit. like I said I KNOW>

but if you keep a mindset on being mean and beligerent, then it is probably a break UP

and it is harder then you visualize

wendy said...

sheeesh, I should totally proofread first....

Anonymous said...

Way to shine a light on the UP-side of working things out.

I agree with purple cow. I have some personal experience there, and can say that 10 years down the road from that point, (really even a year from that point), we are happy, more committed and stronger for the experience. I wouldn't want to repeat it, but I wouldn't trade what we learned and how our relationship grew from it.


UP said...

@ everyone...thanks for your comments...this is a tricky subject, and I don't konw everyone's I'm not's just that a life together is worth working for.

@ Wendy...proofreadin', I don't need no stinkin' proofreadin'!


CityMom2 said...

UP - you present us with yet another opportunity to see things from a different perspective. Breaking through is a LOT harder than Breaking the short term. It's scary to say what is REALLY on your mind (at least for me).

For me and the hub it's been 26 years of hard won, not so well planned compromise :)
We have always put our children first and divorce is hard on kids. That said, a loveless marriage may be worse - I'm sure it has been for my folks and that is very, very sad.
But your idea of breaking Through has a lot of UPs to it.
Each person has to be willing to give some ground but they should gain some also. UP - you need to write the "How to Break Through" guide for the Gen X'ers.
Good post.

nitebyrd said...

I kept hanging in there, trying to make things right or make it work. My problem came from being the only party that actually wanted to talk/communicate. I gave in on many things and I hate myself for being weak.

If both people can't/won't/don't talk openly and honestly, there just cannot be a good relationship regardless of children.

I'm really sorry I stuck around for so long.

UP said...

@Nytebird - every case is different, it takes two to tango, and if one has two left feet, he's gotta' go!

Unnerstan' completely my sistah!


UP said...

@Nytebird - every case is different, it takes two to tango, and if one has two left feet, he's gotta' go!

Unnerstan' completely my sistah!


H.K. said...

I loved this post and your perspective. There was a point in my marriage where my husband and I questioned whether we wanted to "break up" or "break through"- I'm glad that we chose the latter.