The "Family Breakup"

Empress By Empress, 27th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

When a couple breaks up what is the worst? The breakup of the couple or the breakup of the couple's families? This is a new concept to me and have found it very difficult to understand why families must feel the need to punish one person for not wanting to be in the relationship anymore. Can't we all just get along?!?


It has been a whirl wind of stress and anxiety in my home these past few months. As always I spend time at the close of each day to reflect on the events and try to categorize them and file them away for safe keeping. This has been a difficult task for me to accomplish lately, so many things that have gone awry and so many confusing incidents and actions that have left me with no answers to some of the most simplest of questions. This is something I do not take lightly. I'm a scientist of life and can not stand not to have or be able to find the answers that I seek. I've desperately been trying to grasp at inconsequential straws within the parameters of my thoughts, trying hard to make sense of this chaos that has surrounded me.
I've written a great deal about my life, about happiness, being complete, and ultimately accepting who we are as human beings. I've been open and honest about my sexuality and who I am as a woman, mother, and a significant other. I've sat and pondered the mysteries of love, romance, sex, and how they all pertain to my life and what I need and want in order to be truly happy. And yet, with all this thinking and writing I have still come up with more questions. Still, in the dark of the night while staring at the stars I've felt loneliness and sadness creep into my heart and felt a deep urge to be held and to cry until I have left it all behind me.

The Split

My ten year relationship split was nothing really comparable to the heart ache and trauma that others have endured. Though there has been awkward moments, fights, some violence, and a great deal of emotional and mental manipulation on his part, we have managed to come through to the other side with perhaps a tiny bit of respect for the other. He is moving out in two weeks, finally, after over a year of fighting over the home and the possessions, we have both won a mighty battle. He has bought a house and new furniture and I am able to retain the family home.
This was not a feat easily won. And I am positive the battle has not yet ended. Perhaps between the two of us it has, we have said and done the things that needed to be done. We have drafted legal papers and both have a lawyer on standby just in case the other decides to pull a fast one. But it has come to my attention that, although, we are happier and much better apart, there are certain people that feel the need to punish me for not wanting to be with him. This baffles me. If two people are entirely and utterly miserable in each other's presence, and need to be apart and away from each other, why is it of such great importance to make one person pay? Why is it that when a relationship ends one person must reap the benefits while the other must suffer the consequences?

My Family Dynamic

In my family break ups are honestly quite simple, irregardless of how long the couple has been together or how awful the relationship was. Perhaps I was raised in a family of free love and forgiveness but peaceful breakups just seem to be normal to me. Each of my three sisters have been through a divorce and a failed long term relationship. They have all had children with the respected ex-husband and have all lived to tell a tale far different than the one I am living.
Our family stayed on close terms with the ex's. Friends. There was peace on both sides and there were never harsh words ever spoken. My family respected the fact that the relationship did not work, but that this man was still the father to these children. I'm not saying the break ups were entirely peaceful. I've heard my sisters on more than one occasion complain about certain aspects, or behaviors of the ex. But all in all, there has never really been much tension. The ex's were still welcome in my parent's home. They were still able to call my father or my mother and ask for advice or help. And they were able to stay in touch with any one of us if they so chose.
This is normal behavior to me. My family just understood that sometimes people can't be together. We all remained friends in the end. When I broke up with my ex, this is what I had envisioned, what I believed would happen for us. Alas, I was a fool to be blind to the fact that other families are not the same as mine.
This is where I become confused and baffled.

His Family Dynamic

I was with my ex for ten years (including the year we have been broken up but still living in the same home). Ten years means 10 years of family gatherings, ten years of getting close to his mother, his sisters, and his brother. Ten years means that I have been an auntie to his nieces and nephews since the day they were born. Ten years is a great deal of history and companionship, not only with my ex but with his very close and tight nit family. They have supported me and been there when my parents died, they have been there when my children were born, and they have been a source of comfort for all of us in the home. They also accepted my first born son even though he was from a previous relationship.
Of course his family wasn't all as supportive and nice as the rest. He does have one sister that has, for ten years, made my life hell and tried to drive me off. But she has been of no consequence to me, ignoring her and just living life anyways, forgiving her of her nasty ways has been how I've dealt with her and her antics.
This break up brought about a new issue that I had not considered before. It was as if overnight I had gone from being a human being with a heart and soul to being the spawn of satan (his mother literally called me that after she barged in my door the other day). His family suddenly felt I needed to suffer and pay. For what I do not know. This is how confusing this is to me.

Family Breakup

I can't explain how any person could go from caring to cruel in such a short amount of time. How these people could know me, be there for me, and understand and love me to suddenly accusing me of being something I have never been. The accusations and the comments that have flown around about me and the type of person I apparently am have nearly brought me to my knees in anguish on several occasions. They knew about the break up when it first happened, and were fine with it. It wasn't until my ex bought his house that suddenly things went nasty.
I have never spoken ill will towards any of them. I have cared deeply for them, loved them and had treated them as if they were my own family. They pretty much were. They have always been able to text me or call me if they needed my help in some way and I have always answered their call for help. I have been there for them in any way they have needed me to be. And I would have assumed that this would show them my true character and nature.
Alas, they have so quickly forgotten all that I have been to them. They have somehow twisted everything in my life to make me seem un-naturally mean and cruel. Even going as far as to state that my own parents hated me because of how evil I am, and that my own biological mother gave me up because she hated me, and now they see why.
So why this sudden change? Why, so quickly, must they decide to not only side with my ex (wouldn't expect them not to) but to try and convince him that I am the monster and he should come after me for everything? In my personal opinion this goes farther than just being a supportive family. This is pure punishment for not staying with him. I may not have had the most nasty breakup with my ex, but it is very clear, I am having a nasty breakup with his family.

Can It Be Resolved??

This whole concept leads me to questions on how to break up with a family. It never occurred to me that by ending things with my ex, I must as well end things with his family. My family doesn't work like this. In fact, they are still friends with him on Facebook. They still text him from time to time to see how he is doing through all of this. When I talk to them the are very sure to continue to remind me that he is the father to my children and that we must remain friendly and peaceful.
Why is it that my family can be so supportive to both of us, so understanding that we do not belong together while his family feels the need to punish me for not being the right woman for him? Are they more hurt that we don't work or are they more hurt that I am not part of their family anymore? I still could be. I'm an easy going person, I wish no harm to these people. I care for them and love them because they are part of who I am today. I wish I could call his mother and ask for help when I'm at my witts end with the kids. I wish that when he was acting so stupid and abusive I could let them know so they could knock some sense into him. My family would do it for him.
Am I living in a fool's thoughts? Is this so radical that it is not a possible way of living? They have gone as far in the past as scaring off potential suitors and making me seem like a monster. I spend so much time alone and sad these days because of the things they have said and done to me. At this point, I hope that when my ex moves out they will bow out as well and leave me alone for good. I can only wish on the stars that they don't try to seep their negativity into my children's minds and that they can at least keep the nasty comments about me to a minimum when in the presence of my sweet angels.
Is it ever possible that this "breakup" of the family can ever be resolved?


Breaking Up, Breakups, Family Influence, Family Relationships, Heartbreak

Meet the author

author avatar Empress
I write and have published poetry and was editor of the school newspaper all through highschool. I can write a variety of different genres from articles to novels

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
15th Jul 2013 (#)

Obviously Sue , your ex's family are at fault with their accusations , but I can only suggest that you keep your head down , say very little , and wait til the dust settles , as we say ... I a few months I pray all this nastiness will be behind you for good . Don't speak against the family , so then your children will see that you are not the same .
God bless you
Stella ><

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