MANILA, Philippines – This week on #AskMargie, clinical psychologist Dr. Margie Holmes talks about something that is never easy to do - ending a relationship.
This week’s episode is all about the painful process: being dumped or being the one who does the dumping.
I asked you to share what signs there were/are that the relationship was about to end:
Madonna Fajardo, Rowena Viloria, Dave Leprozo Jr all said: Problems in communication.
Aida F. Santos: When someone becomes much more interesting than you or he/she is not interested in what you do, stays out too much, irritable when you're together. When I explain why I think we're drifting apart and s/he says it’s all in my mind.
Danilo Galang: Pag may nabitiwang masasakit na mga salita na mahirap nang bawiin.
Rho Clemente: Excuses, excuses and excuses not to connect or be with you.
Carol Esguerra Colborn: Indifference comes very much later. Disillusionment starts long before that. It builds up in trickles.
Maureen Jean Lara: When one of them is no longer honest (caught or not), the relationship should end. A relationship is built on trust, and when trust is no longer present, what then could the relationship be based on?
Vicente Rafael shares a sign no one can miss: Vicente Rafael: Catching them in bed with someone else, and having her (or him) say, "wait, let me explain."
So? What to do when communication breaks down, accusations made, and harsh words never apologized for?
The unanimous verdict was: End the relationship. It’s painful, but if the relationship needs to be ended, it has to be done. Then move on.
For example, Desiree Sison relates a story of a breakup gone wrong: I dumped somebody after a two-year relationship and he came barging into my office one day making gulo and even wanted to hit me. Fortunately, security came and dragged him out of the building. The experience taught me one thing: Never to divulge where you work to whoever you are with at the moment.
Anonymous shares: The guy knew that I was going out with someone but he was so persistent to the point of saying "Kahit dalawa kami sa buhay mo. I don't mind if I'm not your priority!" Hindi ko alam kung maaawa ako sa kanya or get worried because he might do something bad. I felt terrible for a while.
Alfie Mella shares the lessons he learned from being both the dumper and the dumpee:
Alfie Mella says: On being dumped, of course, it was very painful, a bit embarrassing, and annoying. Initially, I was angry at the situation and even with the person. I thought, why dump me when I was the best man for her and I did all my best for her?
However, after a while, after I had really analyzed the entire relationship--I realized that the breakup was normal. Because I started to see the faults of both--mine and hers. The little misunderstandings that were being cast aside in the beginning but that simply grew into resentment in the long run.
It's hurtful, a blow to one's self-confidence, but the best way to look at breakups is that--regardless whose fault was the cause--you and the other person/s are simply not good to be in that kind of relationship.
Let’s move on to your questions.
So why does being dumped hurt so bad?
Happily, Alfie Mella and Trixie Cruz provide credible answers:
Alfie Mella: Many people feel devastated because they feel that they have to start all over again--finding another person, investing time, energy, and even money again.
Psychoanalytically. Adolescence—ready to move out but want the unconditional love experienced with Mom. Well, if one is duped or doing the dumping, obviously the love isn’t unconditional. Realization of that is painful—that you will never have that kind of love again…welcome to the real world,…
and it’s good cause treat each other with respect, and, if lucky, genuine affection and love.
And just to make you feel less sad, the unconditional love of a mom doesn’t last forever,..usually for a poor helpless baby, once you’re in your teens, smashing your car and not getting any repercussions? No way!!
Anonymous asks: Is there a less-hurtful way of dumping someone?
Dr. Holmes: You can try, but being dumped is a painful process no matter how much you try to sugar coat it: “I need space” or, the silliest one of all, (IMHO) “It’s not you, it’s me”
Several have used this as an excuse NOT to dump the person but carry on with another (in secret): Not good. Not unless you are a selfish SOB to begin with and just need this as an excuse to philander.
Accept it: There is no absolutely painless way to dump someone. The most you can do is to try and be as decent, truthful and clear about it when you do.
Here’s a question from Aya: How do you move on from being dumped?
Dr. Holmes: with great difficulty, but…you can,…even if it’s slow and even if it’s one step at a time…(12-step program of AA helps a lot). And why not? Put negatively, Love can be like an addiction and the more needy you are, the more of an addiction it is.
Put optimistically, the more your loved one and you shared more worlds, the more difficult to fill those gaps left… As Kahlil Gibran says: The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
And realize that, occasionally true joy is NOT to replace the former loved one asap, but to get to know yourself better.
That’s it for today.
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