We've all been through that kind of breakup or divorce.
Y'know, the one that leaves us weak in the knees, gasping for air, and wondering how it all went so wrong. The one that leaves our hearts breaking, wondering how we are going to get through the next five minutes, let alone next five years.
Yeah. That breakup. The one where you are beyond crushed because you are still very much in love with your soon-to-be ex -- and you don't want the relationship to end.
So if that's how you feel, is it wise to stay friends? How do you move on? How do you keep those romantic feelings at bay?
As most of you know, I'm in the middle of a divorce. It's amicable, which doesn't mean that we're the very best of friends, just that we don't need a mediator for every phone call and a bodyguard for every interaction. We have kids together, so we remain civil.
And I won't lie: There have been times I've laid on the floor in my new apartment weeping; I missed my husband, I missed my old life, and I was having a challenging time adjusting to a life alone. I'm sure there will always be those times.
But I know we're better off in the end as friendly exes, no matter how much it hurts. We're not the same people we used to be, we're not good for each other, and that, in turn, affects our children. Like it or not (mostly not), it's what's best for them.
Every now and then, though, I feel those familiar feelings for him slip back. My mind wanders and I wonder if maybe, just maybe, we could work things out. Maybe.
Then I remember all the reasons we weren't a good pair and focus on those for awhile. I certainly don't hate him, and I'm very sad that we're getting a divorce, but we can't be together and be a good team. It's simply not in the cards for us.
My advice to anyone going through a gut-wrenching breakup or divorce who's still in love with his or her partner is to establish some proper boundaries. Remember what made you a bad couple and allow that to further your resolve.
And if you decide that you can't see your ex without wanting to fall into his or her arms, it's probably wise to remain as far away from that mess as possible.
Your heart is special, and needs to be protected. Never allow someone who has been callous or cruel to it hold it in their hands again. You deserve better. Period.
Are you friends with your exes?
Image via jinterwas/Flickr