The Worst Exit Lines of All Time

strangerI’m cribbing off Goldi’s comments in the “Sometimes it’s just not it” post.

Many times someone is saying sweet things to ASSUAGE THEIR OWN GUILT…let me just get rid of this person…without drama. I know I’ve done it. I’ve let them down easy, but it’s the WORST when you are on the other side. As Goldi said, hearing “You’ll meet a great guy….” or something along those lines will infuriate you.

One of the worst physical fights I had with my first husband happened a couple of weeks after we separated and I had been mooning about him. The ferocity of the fight literally (yes, literally) knocked me back to reality…he was a class A asshole. An abusive Class A asshole at that. But it made the breakup so much easier to tolerate. Niceness has never been a tactic I like in a soon-to-be ex.

I had a bf who hugged and kissed me and told me how grateful he was for me and what a great relationship we had and oh, yeah, BUH BYE. Sometimes you are the pot of gold, you know you’re the pot of gold, the other person acknowledges you’re the pot of gold but they’re looking for copper or, even worse, fake gold.

It’s about THEM and not you. But what “nice” breakup lines have you heard that have infuriated you or made the whole thing worse?

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What If You Were Gone Tomorrow?

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. -M.K. Gandhi

To follow up on the “Build Your Life” post, it’s a difficult thing to do (what that post and the comments suggest) and sometimes we need some “push” to get us motivated to do the tough thing. I hope this post can act as that catalyst:

What If You Had Six Months To Live? What POSITIVE things would you do in those 6 months?(running up credit card bills or going back to smoking should NOT be on the list)

Okay, now here is the next question: how do you know you don’t have only six months to live? or six weeks or six days or even six hours? How do you know? Well, you do not know.

Third question: If you had 60 minutes to live, would you say your life was well spent?

After I started to recover from that debacle of a first marriage, I stepped back to see that what I was grieving was my fantasy of what we had or would have had. And I had to stop hitching my wagon to someone else’s star. Especially a cheater and a liar who insulted me and degraded me and didn’t want me.
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If It Walks Like a Fool, Talks Like a Fool….

bananahead1Litigant on the People’s Court: I was the other woman for 19 years, he would drink and not come home…he cheated on me (apparently there was more than one other woman) and once he didn’t come home on his birthday and when he came home he kicked his gift that I bought him across the room. He spends all day doing nothing and then just up and moved out on me one day.

Judge Milian: I can see why you didn’t want to let go of such a catch.

Judge Milian called him a selfish pig but the litigant got more of the judge’s wrath. The woman was suing him because he owed her rent for an apartment where she wasn’t supposed to have a roommate (govt subsidy). gave her an STD. Judge Milian: “Why do you come to court because you couldn’t break up with him and he gave you herpes? I won’t judge you for being 19 years stupid if you don’t come into my court house and waste my time.” The litigant said “He’s a cheater, has always been a cheater and always will be a cheater.” She’s angry and yet, SHE’S THE OTHER WOMAN. Cheaters can’t cheat if there is no one to cheat with. Hello stupid!

She got exactly what she deserved: nothing.

FYI: If you are given a communicable disease by someone who knew they were infected and did not disclose it, you have the opportunity to sue and win…this woman did not win because his behavior was above-board…she knew he had multiple lovers and her excuse for staying was, “If I didn’t give him a home, he’d have nowhere to go.” That’s not a reason to allow an STD-ridden person into your bed (even though he didn’t tell her about it, his conduct gave her notice.


and on Judge Mathis:


“He abused me. He put a loaded gun down my throat. He turned me onto pills. He beat me. He wanted to bring other women into the bedroom. I love this man and will always love this man.”



Walks like a fool, talks like a fool…might just be…

IF SOMEONE ABUSES YOU, the answer is NOT “But I love him…..”


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Build Your Life

4piecesOne of the themes that I hear – and has just come up again in comments – which makes breakups much harder to recover from is when someone has made their partner their life. They don’t have many friends, have pulled away from family and have not developed or maintained hobbies and interests. That is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

Michael and I were best friends. I adored him and he me. We both liked to hang out on the weekends and be together. But neither of us gave up friends, family, interests and hobbies for the other. We prioritized what we did and how we did it and gave time to that which we loved which was each other and our children (our own and each other’s). We gave time to our jobs and me school because that was necessary. I am much more social than Michael was so he stayed home for many social gatherings (including my firm’s Christmas party and some family birthday parties) but went to those I said were important. I had time for my friends and never gave up – nor was willing to give up – previously agreed upon standing get togethers with my friends. I didn’t call him when I was out for the night with a friend even though he didn’t get 7 hour dinners…but I always brought him home a doggie bag or even went so far to order him a meal.

We both had more hobbies than we had time for so we prioritized the ones that maant the most to us and shared others (like motorcycle rides.) I turned him onto travel and he actually got me to ride my motorcycle on the highway. We opened each other world’s and widened our life scopes. That is how it should be…and you should maintain and encourage the maintenance of friendships, family, hobbies and interests. If someone is becoming your entire world, something is wrong and you need to right it. Oftentimes a couple manages to survive because one or both give up absolutely everything for the relationship.

Michael wouldn’t have left me (I don’t actually know that but his track record was that he wouldn’t have chosen it but, of course, there was no guarantee of that…but I think the chances of him deciding to leave me were exceedingly low.) But he was taken away from me. And I was left with a shattered life. I NEEDED friends, family, hobbies and interests. I needed to hang on – sometimes desperately – to what my life was after he was gone. I have had an incredibly horrific grief process which – I truly believe – would have been completely impossible to navigate had I made him my entire life. So it’s not negative to believe that you need friends, family, hobbies and interests and your OWN LIFE to buffer against the possibility of being alone again. It’s a nod to harsh reality that the best relationships can break up and the most loving partners may not be around forever.

A GBOT excerpt: “Preparing for your return to dating includes developing a mind-set that you will enter relationships only with people who will expand your life scope and not keep you from the people and things that you love. Before you date, it’s important to have room for everything you once did, you should be preparing a prioity list of things you need to keep in your life to maintain your sanity and happiness.”

When you do that, you not only have support during your relationship but if abruptly ends, you are NOT left floundering in a world where no one cares about you because the one person who did, suddenly does not or, even worse, is no longer around due to no fault or desire of either of you.

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Reconciliation: A Means or an End?

There were questions in comments about reconciliations. Most of the time we don’t talk about that. I find that there is a small percentage of couples who can successfully reconcile. Maybe there are therapists somewhere that have a high rate of reconcilliations that work out, but I have not personally experienced that. Couple dynamics can be changed and recharted through couples counseling but it’s an intense (and usually long) process. I find, a lot of times, “confused” couples attempt the most number of reconcilations. Either one or both are confused about the relationship (it’s usually both but one partner is “doing” confusion for both…not confused people do not stay with confused people.)

I do work with couples, especially pre-marital couples, on communication and other “glitches” that may threaten future stability. If a couple in a serious relationship has issues regarding communication, “fairness”, acceptable and unacceptable (and, again, usually communicating that), I have no problem working with them. If a couple feels that they are well-suited and fairly healthy but need some guidance and help in solidifying that union or making it better, I work with them. Many of the “healthy couple” strategies are discussed in Getting Back Out There (for those of you waiting for it, I understand it is SHIPPING!)

I know couples who have successfully gone through counseling who are married and/or have children and lots at stake and two committed people. I’m not talking about couples counseling in this post, I’m talking about a breakup (a true breakup, not a separation to sort things out) and then attempts at reconciliation. Rarely have I seen that work out and never with people who haven’t been together or married a long, long time.

The only exception to that rule is what I call the “event defining” break…a drunken episode and then the couple go to AA and/or Al-anon and work their programs and come back together….or the death of a child…where I have seen more than one couple go to their separate corners, unable to share the pain, and eventually come back together later in the grieving process. But besides these two “event defining” breakups, I haven’t seen many reconciliations that work out or any apart from these situations (except for one couple who, while broken up, found meditation and yoga together and now are all Zen about everything on the planet and another who had just married too young and separated for a year and went to counseling together and then regrouped as a mature couple staying in counseling for a few years).

Professionally I haven’t seen it very often and I haven’t heard about it from many other therapists. I don’t study it and there may be entire bodies of work that I’m missing, but my professional experience and my personal experience is that they don’t work.

And sometimes just trying reconciliation, if you have certain histories, can be a trauma.
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Early Relationship

GBOT excerpt:

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Sometimes It’s Just Not It

Requested repost. Amazingly enough, during my research for Getting Back Out There I interviewed a woman who had the same experience I did. In fact the names are just about interchangeable, so this is not that uncommon.

Not every post or every reader is about bad relationships. This blog and the book are about relationships that run the gamut. Many times the relationships are okay or even good and one person just says, “You know what? I’m outta here.” Sometimes there is absolutely no reason for it. It’s a nice relationship, you’re a nice person, but it’s not compelling enough for me to stay. That happens. Can be mind-boggling to the person being left, but it happens.

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Wherever You Go, There You Are

No matter where you go, there you are. ~ Confucius

It seems that each new year, people make changes that may or may not actually change things. Think long and hard before you do something drastic.

Many people are in full retreat of themselves or are trying to run from one thing to another thing to avoid everything, especially who they are or who they have been.

They will try new relationships, new friendships, new jobs, new clothes, new diets, new makeup, new cars, new hobbies, new this and that. They will be forever changing everything to avoid looking at themselves and the things that are wrong.

Some people will move to a new place, hoping to start fresh….to make it right this time.

But, the only thing that has changed is the zipcode.

They have brought the problem with them. And that problem is the one staring them in the face when they look in the mirror.

It’s a truism that you don’t put a jackass on a plane and it gets off a racehorse.

That simply does not work.

Wherever you go, there you are.

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Check in Thread 1/5

We had some technical issues and were down for a while, but here is the new check in thread.

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A New Year…a New You

The annual GPYB New Year’s Post. sunrise 2

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. – Ellen Goodman

The most important part of rebuilding after a major breakup is to plan out what comes next. For many it may be hard. We might be feeling lost, alone and not “up” to thinking about being the cheerleaders of our lives. We may be kicking and screaming our way through the idea of going it alone. In the past few weeks we’ve felt absolutely shipwrecked by the holidays. We just want them to be over (and they almost are!)
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