They say that breaking up is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it's true
Don't say that this is the end
Instead of breaking up I wish that we were making up again--Neil Sedaka
Bubblegum pop, love notes, and rainbows, the good ol' days of love and relationships. But, what about the aftershock from the break up? That ripple effect that extends beyond you and your ex. Breaking up touches many people around you, especially if it was a long relationship, such as family, friends, and in some cases the dry cleaner.
Speaking as a man who was in a long term relationship of 9 years, I knew that breaking up with my partner would affect many people in both our lives. First, there are our mutual friends. Everyone involved wanted to be fair to both of us. They all spoke about not choosing sides. We never asked them to either. The awkwardness was obvious though, especially when I had met someone. There are no rules, there is no right or wrong. The only answer to how to treat this situation was with mutual respect. So we all did.
It took almost 2 months to let my family know that my partner and I had split up. It was a hard and difficult decision because my family loves my ex. To this date, he is still a part of the family. When I finally decided to tell my mom, she was heart broken and told me to think it over. Ever the optimist that my mom is, everything IS fixable. After much coaxing and reassuring her that I would be fine, she accepted it. Not willingly, of course. She made sure for me to tell him, that he MUST attend every family activity, because he is one of us. You have to love Mexican families, they adopt people left and right. I think to this date my mom has ulterior motives.
I knew that he, my ex, would still be a part of the family. I couldn't deny that to my family members, the young ones especially, who grew up calling him uncle. The one day, he didn't come to an event, everyone was surprised and to be honest, devastated. My nephews were calling out for their uncle. My mom was sad that he didn't show and bring food or wine, as was his custom. They were all affected. The only thought that ran through my head was if someone did come into my life, and at the time there was, how would I bring him in? My family had already decided that my ex was a part of the family, how could an outsider compete? Often, that was the question.
Months later, after the break up and when the air had cleared and settled, my ex was back to attending family birthdays, weddings, quinceañeras, you name it, he was there. I was back to picking up his dry cleaning, because after all I am a good friend. As I hand over the check to the nice asian lady, whose bangs are always misplaced on her forehead because of the warm environment, she states "I no see you in a long time." Me: "Oh hun, where do I begin?"