From Break Up Land

by mssinglemama on January 6, 2011

The one thing I absolutely love about owning a Web design, SEO and Social Media business is the variety of people I meet and interact with every day.

First, there are the three guys in my office. Their humor throughout this entire thing has been incredible and I don’t feel alone in the least. However, they have to put up with me suddenly erupting when I open John’s Facebook profile and read a happy comment about this or that. A stop at a bar or a game. Or some joke. Drives me absolutely nuts. And I have no idea why. He’s entitled to move on. Typically I am more composed, relatively speaking of course because I’m always a bit “energetic”.

But it’s only been two weeks and when I read one of his updates I feel like a mad, crazy person who can’t get a grip. Suddenly I’m saying things and and flying off the handle in front of the guys.

“You know,” they say. And then something absolutely hilarious spills out and we’re all laughing hysterically. Suddenly I feel better and get back to work.

And then there are my clients. Many of them I’ve come to know on a personal level, or it feels like I have because I love them so much. One, Columbus caterer Rich Rores, aka “The Sandman” or as I call him – my personal buddha – said to me, “Get back to normal. I don’t like you like this, all hating on men.”

“I’m not hating,” I tell him. “I am venting my emotions. I like to let them all flow out instantly. This way they don’t grow stale and rotten and then sneak up on me later.”

“I know,” he says, “You’re absolutely right. That’s the best way to do it, the healthiest way.”

And then there’s a single mom friend of mine who I met months ago when John and I were still together. She’s incredibly independent and content. You can just tell… she has the single motherhood thing down pat.

“Dude.” She says Dude a lot. And I like that about her.

“Men are overrated. I know it’s crazy but I’m happy single. I enjoy my life. I get the boys to myself and we get to do whatever we want, whenever. We don’t have to check in with anyone. And, besides, I don’t want some dude laying on my couch all of the time. Eeewww. No way, man. That’s just gross.”

I laugh at the image of some guy laying on her couch. On her couch. Not anyone’s couch, but her couch in her super cute downtown townhouse, where clearly there is no room for just any dude.

Later this week during coffee with a happily married colleague of mine she said, “I was there once too. When you’re comfortable and you just think ‘this is it, I’m happy and I’m comfortable, this is what it is supposed to be like’ and then you realize. ‘No, this isn’t right.’ It took me five years. I was with him for five years.”

Five years.

“And now I’m with my husband and I am so incredibly in love. It’s like night and day.”

And finally there’s my favorite person of them all, my dream man – Mr. Benjamin.

Since John’s good-bye, Benjamin has not asked about him once. He hasn’t even asked about Murphy. He also has been flourishing in school. A few weeks before Christmas, Benjamin’s teachers pulled me aside for a meeting about his behavior. He was acting out, rebelling, saying bad words. I was completely distraught over it. We had no idea why. I told his teachers, “We just moved in with John three months ago. Things are going great. I don’t know what it could be.”

I thought. He has a Dad now. He should be perfect. We have a ‘normal’ family.

Well… apparently, Benjamin could sense something I couldn’t and his teachers say he is back to his normal self. My sweet, sweet rambunctious and happy little boy. Seeing him so happy, seeing this visible change in him has been more than an eye opener it has been completely and entirely liberating.

Apparently Benjamin doesn’t take to “normal”. This is our normal and we’re fine just the way we are.

—–

P.S.

I’ve been too busy/coping to pimp our upcoming Sway Workshop. But it’s in two weeks on January 20th at Experience Columbus. The entire Cement Marketing team will be there to teach attendees about social media and SEO. If you can’t come, spread the word for me and share the details with your friends and colleagues.

Related posts:

  1. And then we break up.
  2. This land
  3. Single Mom S.O.S. – Explaining a Break Up
  4. Online Dating Etiquette: How to break up…virtually.
  5. How to get over a break up.

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A very good question. | Ms. Single Mama
January 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Poppy January 7, 2011 at 12:03 am

Ugh, must be hard to check his profile on Facebook! Last time I had a break up there was no internet. I think I am feeling grateful for that..

So glad you have supportive people at work who make you laugh and that Benjamin is doing so well :)

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Elizabeth January 7, 2011 at 12:15 am

I can completely relate to how you feel about seeing his facebook. My ex left me five years ago while I was pregnant. We had dated for a long time, so it wasn’t a fling.. He has never met his daughter (his choice, not mine). But, even now, if I look at his facebook page and see how happy he is, it makes me angry and sad. For so long I wanted (expected) him to be miserable. I was miserable. He should feel the same way. It killed me that he wasn’t feeling the pain I was feeling.

For my own sanity, I blocked his facebook page.. Sure, I still have the urge to check every now and then.. but blocking it made it a little tougher.. Hopefully I would come to my senses before I looked. Five years later, I still feel that pang of sadness and anger if I look at it.. But it has lessened significantly..

Your pain will lessen with time. But until then, keep venting! Like your client said, it is healthy. Know that you have so many readers, friends and of course family who care about you.

~ Elizabeth

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Amanda January 7, 2011 at 12:26 am

The facebook blockage may sound harsh, but I think it may be a good idea. Remaining on good terms is one thing, but having to constantly see his status updates and outings and such is another.

My two favorite quotes when my daughter’s father and I ended our relationship:

“This too, shall pass” -Persian proverb
“In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” -Robert Frost

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Christina January 7, 2011 at 12:47 am

I agree– block the facebook… it’ll sting at first, but it will eliminate those heartsick, gut wrenching awful feelings. Also, I think guys cope with saddness differently than girls. Just cause he’s posting things like everything is fine, definately does NOT mean he’s fine. I’m happy for you that Benjamin is doing well. Hang in there girl. :)

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Anjolie January 7, 2011 at 1:05 am

The little man says it all…

And when the right guys shows up, he’ll let you know about that too.

Much love from a longtime silent reader. :)

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Ricci January 7, 2011 at 1:10 am

Due to dangerous things with my ex, I HAD to block his facebook. Yeah, he moved on in two weeks, and since got married and has more kid with his new wife. It still pisses me off that’s he “seems” so happy. You just have to remember, humans can fake just about anything. You venting is awesome, cause then when you feel like getting back out there, you’re not bitter. Trust me, he’s as sad as you are, and if not, if definitely wasn’t meant to be. I should know…….lol

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Sheila January 7, 2011 at 2:14 am

Kids really are super intuitive, more than we give them credit for! I’m glad Benjamin is doing amazing, and you will be as well, before you know it!

I agree with everyone – block his Facebook account!

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Martini Mom January 7, 2011 at 3:25 am

Glad to hear Benjamin is doing so well. (Though, based on my own experiences, it would’ve been perfectly normal for him to be acting out after the move in with John even if it HAD been right. That sort of thing is a big, hard adjustment for a kid, even when it’s the right adjustment.) As for him not asking about John, I was going to say something to that effect in a comment on your last post, and I just didn’t get around to it. Kids have this miraculous out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing that helps out tremendously in these types of situations. I am the child of divorced parents who both remarried… and both divorced again… and had lots of significant others (some live-in, some not) over the course of my childhood. I survived many, many break ups in my parents’ lives. I LOVED some of those significant others to death. But after the break ups? I barely missed them after the first week or so. That sounds terrible doesn’t it? But kids are just… different. Their worlds are different, their sense of time is different, and – I think this is one of the biggest things – they’re *used* to not having control over their lives; they’re *used* to having to accept the circumstances that are handed to them. Obviously this varies from child to child, and from relationship to relationship. I don’t mean to suggest that children are never upset when their parents’ relationships don’t work out. But I do think that we as single parents fret and fret over protecting our children from our relationship fall-outs – and we *should* – but our children are usually much stronger and more resilient than we give them credit for.

In other words, Benjamin will be fine. Better than fine. And so will you. But… maybe lay off the Facebook for a while, mmkay? ;)

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Momma Sunshine January 7, 2011 at 5:27 am

I think “un-friending” him, just for now, is the best thing for you. That way you don’t have the option of checking his profile, and you can move on, too. Then, at some point in the future, you can “re-friend” again. Or not.

Do what you need to do for your own sanity.

**hugs**

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Star January 7, 2011 at 6:22 am

In the relationship I am in, I absolutely adore the man but the best part about it is how he absolutely adores me back. I’ve realized that I’ve NEVER been with someone that loved me back! They all “liked” me and treated me as such and I put out so much love back and I thought that was fine and normal. Well, it was Nothing like being adored. I read a book about what makes a marriage last and the number one thing was cherishing your partner. I can honestly say that I feel cherished. He said he never felt this way about his ex of 12 years. They were “fine” for 12 years!!!! He said he was happier with me from the beginning than he ever was in his marriage. He talks about it all the time like he is so amazed because he always had thought he had a good marriage. You will find someone who cherishes you. You deserve that and so does Benjamin. It is the most wonderful experience. Until then, know that we, your biggest fans, cherish you :) . Btw…I second the unfacebooking for now. You need some space to heal.

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Anna January 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Well said. Being cherished is an amazing thing. I wonder how I could have lasted 10 years in my marriage without it.

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Everyday Adventures January 7, 2011 at 6:44 am

You got it down right, MSM. There’s a sisterhood of single moms. No words need to be spoken; a simple look can do the trick and we know when a friend is missing her kids, feeling lonely, rebellious, mischievous or crazy. We see each other struggle with the kids driving us crazy, but missing them terribly when they’re at Dad’s. Awesome writing. Ben is your man.

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fraizerbaz January 7, 2011 at 7:50 am

I’m not sure if everyone who said to “block” his Facebook profile means to “HIDE” it or “REMOVE FROM FRIENDS” – you can do either. If you chose to “HIDE” him from your newsfeed, he’ll never be the wiser, and you can always un-hide him later on.

I chose to “REMOVE FROM FRIENDS” (un-friend) my last ex, and it’s a good thing I did, because he turned around and got married to someone else within a year and a half after we broke up. LOL :-)

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Sara January 7, 2011 at 8:24 am

Oh MSM, Facebook can really be the devil sometimes! After 8 years of marriage my almost ex left in February. He’s already in a new relationship and gotten the new girlfriend pregnant, she’s due in July. I “blocked” him on FB a long time ago, so I couldn’t see him and he couldn’t see me. To “un-block” him it takes 24 hours to see him again, so by then I figure I’ll have come to my senses. His girlfriend on the other hand, has her page wide open… ultrasound pictures and everything. Every few days I find myself compelled to look (kind of like staring at a bad accident as you drive by!), even though I know its going to upset me. But after a few minutes of rage, I remember how 1. unhappy I was with him and 2. how naive they are being bringing this new life into the world under their circumstances. (The poor child is going to need a lot of love and support!)

Like someone said earlier, humans can fake anything! So if you do look at that FB page, remember that even if he’s out their living it up now it will eventually catch up with him. People don’t get over love within a few days! Be proud of yourself for dealing with your emotions!

Keep on keeping on, you are such an inspiration! :)

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Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

I know this might be painful to do, but maybe you should delete him as a friend for awhile? You can always add him back down the road when you have healed a bit from this. (if you want to). You could explain to him why you are deleting him (if you feel you need to give him an explanation). I just think no good can come of seeing someone’s facebook updates after a break up because it’s too painful/raw at that time…

You are doing amazingly well, though! You should be so proud of yourself. I am glad you had a great support system. And how interesting that Benjamin is doing well…. Hmm… Kids are more perceptive than we think they are, I guess!!

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lmt January 7, 2011 at 11:06 am

Men process break ups very differently then woman. Men (o.k.–I am generalizing I know) don’t say things like “I am so confused about my feelings” “I really f’ed up this time”. ON some level I am sure JOhn know he looks like a bit of a schmuck in this situation–he got engaged, bought a house with and moved in with a woman and a little boy and then said oh wait this isn’t for me. I am not saying this to slam him but he must on some level feel a bit schmucky about the whole thing. He let the situation get way out of hand and really hurt two people because he did not speak up sooner. ANd then he knows you are a blogger and maybe even reads what you have been writing–nothing bad, purely honest and quite respectful toward him but I think a guy in those situations probably puts up a bit of a front of “Yeah I’m cool with everything”. Maybe looking at his facebook comments in that light will help although I do agree at this point it is probably tortuous to even look and if you can bring yourself to do it maybe you should block him. HOwever, even though I do not know him at all I doubt he is all fine and dandy right now.

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Ms. Single Mama January 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I know you’re all right. That’s why I feel like a crazy person.

I know he is hurting just as much as we are. I know that his Facebook updates are just that – not reflective of how he is feeling AT ALL.

It’s just another piece in this day-to-day break up recovery process that baffles me. I try to always step outside of myself and the situation, it helps me to laugh at everything and also clearly see when I am misguided or overreacting. Now, that’s not to say, I still down overreact or act like an asshole sometimes. I definitely do.

I am expecting my brief anger stage to blow over soon and we’ll stay friends on Facebook. I haven’t checked in 48 hours and won’t be again.

We both know this is for the best. And so the anger is more at the situation, not at him. I just wanted to note that. John is a great guy, and it took courage for him to stand up and profess his true feelings, even if they were ill-timed. At least he didn’t wait until after the wedding.

And I am not faultless either. There were things about our relationship that I kept brushing under the rug.

Thanks again for all of your support and for letting me vent virtually.

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Single Mom in New England January 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I would love to read an article about what it’s like to go through a breakup in this age of digital immediacy. I, too, went through a big breakup last month and the constant connection that technology affords us has also created a total void in my life. Posting on Facebook about ‘couple time’ is one thing, but now my im button never lights up on my phone, and when I see his name come up on yahoo chat at work, I can’t ‘chat’ anymore. I miss that constant connection and it has really created a hole in my heart that I never anticipated! Darn technology

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Anna January 7, 2011 at 8:35 pm

This would be interesting to read about. My man is older, and doesn’t text or facebook. In fact, when we started dating, he didn’t even have the internet! We don’t even talk every day. He lives 900 miles away, and we talk just about every other night on the phone (and call them “date nights”). I think it enhances some of the anticipation and romance in our relationship, NOT having that constant and instant communication. Of course, I can call him any time I’d like, but this way supports our independence in our own lives, as well.

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lmt January 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I agree it would be an interesting article–. My husband is not into texting or ichat or that kind of stuff and at first I was sort of put off but now I like it. In other relationships I felt it lead to oversharing of almost every feeling before anyone even processed what they were thinking and it definitely makes breakups more difficult in some ways. I definitely really had to try and control (not so successfully at times) my silent cyber stalking impulses.
By the way MSM– GIve yourself TIME. Being friends right away is rarely possible and can lead to more conflict and whatever waves of emotion you are feeling may take some time to subside (as unfun as that is to think about and be patient with). DOn’t be to hard on yourself if your anger/sadness/whatever hangs around for awhile of sneaks back up on you when you least expect it. I find healing really hard but rushing through it never works. Although I am sure hugs and snuggles with your little guy help.

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Sarah January 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I just caught up reading your blog from before the holidays and was startled/devasted to read of your breakup. I actually feel sick to my stomach re-reading your entries. . .
Your life is so similar to mine it is crazy!
Without getting into all the crazy details let me tell you . . .you and Benjamin will be FINE . . . actually you will be more than fine.
I know it.

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charity January 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I second, third, and fourth the blocking facebook thing. When my ex and I broke up (it was the healthiest, least dramatic breakup ever) I defriended him and blocked him immediately. When I was over him I emailed him to ask how he was doing, but haven’t requested or unblocked him.

To be honest, I avoid my boyfriend’s page too. Primarily because I’m the jealous type and don’t like looking at the thin non-moms in his friend box.

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Lesli January 9, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Hi old friend. I was so sorry to hear about all this from another single-mama friend. Hang in there–you can get through this. And by all means, PLEASE, de-friend him for now. You will make yourself crazy looking at his FB page whether it’s every few days or every few minutes. Not long ago I looked at my ex-husband’s FB page for some crazy reason–and for his profile pic, it was a picture of him and his recent bride on their wedding day. We’ve been divorced nearly five years and it still made me tear up. Do yourself a favor and just delete him….you will be stronger for it and you can always add him back.

I wish you and Benjamin the best….be strong.

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Halee January 10, 2011 at 4:38 am

Glad to hear you sound like you’re healing :)

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sara January 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Does it bother you that John is probably reading all this right now? That’s the first thing I thought of when I read your post about the break up. Do you sometimes find yourself writing things in these past few posts for his benefit at all? Like so he sees how well Benjamin is doing or how “crazy” you are at the moment by things like checking out his facebook?

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Annnan January 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH….. regarding Benjamin? You’re in DENIAL.

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Q Turner January 11, 2011 at 8:13 am

At least it seems like you’re moving on well. Remember that moving on with vigor and sass will make him even crazier than he makes you!

And I really like your thought about letting the emotions explode and go as you feel them. Insulating and denying will just make you even crazier, only you won’t know it.

Here’s to sunnier skies ahead!

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Tinderbox January 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm

It’s likely that Benjamin was seeing your extra attention going to JB that would otherwise be going to himself, hence the acting out at school.

If you do Facebook-defriend or block JB down the road, you might warn him so he doesn’t take it wrongly as a hostile or petty act.

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Sam Bishop January 29, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Hi Single Mom,

I feel like I’m a newly single mom even though I had my child 2 years ago single. Right after I had her I met and feel in love quickly. Up until a month ago I was suppose to marry this man that my 2 year old girl grew up calling dad, the man whos son I saw as my own, the house that I had lived in, the routine I had gotten to love and appreciate, were all stripped away from me. I understood why he did it but I don’t if that makes any sense. My daughter asks for him daily and wants her brother and puppy. I still take her over there once or twice a week to see him. It’s getting hard because now he is taking this girl out on dates. I can’t help but ask about her but at the same time I don’t even want to know. It hurts me he moved on so quickly…like he didn’t even blink about our break up. I’m just trying to be the best mom for my girl that I can be but I feel like I messed her up by letting her think she finally had a daddy and now he is gone. I can’t get use to being alone, I don’t sleep…in fact I hung out with him last night and purposely fell asleep watching a movie just so I could get a full night’s sleep. I miss him, I love him, and I’m hurt by him…how do you do it?

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junctionmama January 30, 2011 at 11:15 am

I have to comment on your story about Benjamin’s behaviour change. My daughter (3yo) reacted badly when her dad moved in with his gf. There is absolutely nothing wrong with daddy’s gf, except that my daughter’s time alone with daddy was now very limited. The change in her behaviour was instant. And since then, dad has tried to do things alone with her as much as possible.

Like you, he thought that he would be providing a more “normal” living situation for his daughter and that she would be happier.

And that is a common mistake single parents make. We project onto our kids. We are the ones who want a “normal” family and we think that our kids are going to be screwed up if we don’t provide that for them. Wrong. Kids need love, consistency and stability. And a strong and happy parent.

About FB, I agree with pp’s. Don’t torture yourself. Remove from friends.

Keep your chin up. And allow yourself the time to heal.

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M!SS Natalie February 21, 2011 at 3:56 am

OMG I JUST had to delete my recent ex for this very reason!! Seeing his FB statuses talk about “how fun” his weekend was or how he was gonna kick so and so’s ass in raquetball just killed me!! He was carrying on on FB as if nothing had changed, nothing sad had happened in his life. All the while my cousin tells me “it’s obvious you’re going through a break up based on your FB statuses.” I’ve even had to hide some of his friend’s status feeds so it doesn’t hurt. Tonight I even asked a friend “why does it bother me that I see that his friend’s had a super fun party over the weekend?”

So happy I found this site tonight. That’s all I can say :)

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