Interestingly, most of her friends felt that her boyfriend was not right for her, but for June, a marketing executive, this came as a sign that she should stick closer to her man.. FILE PHOTO
Interestingly, most of her friends felt that her boyfriend was not right for her, but for June, a marketing executive, this came as a sign that she should stick closer to her man.
“I thought he was the one for me and I desperately wanted us to last, but life had other plans,” she says.
June conceived. While it was not planned, she did not think that it would become a problem seeing as they were both settled in their jobs and in love — or so she thought.
In fact, when she broke the news to her boyfriend she expected him to man up and formalise their relationship. Instead, he denied that he was responsible for the pregnancy, broke up with her, and quickly moved on to another relationship.
Breakups are difficult and when one is in the throes of heartbreak, it is hard to perceive it as an imminent blessing.
Sometimes this fact only becomes clear when you find happiness again. June agrees.
“I was hurt. I cried myself to sleep for weeks. I thought that my son growing up without him was the worst thing that could happen. But this breakup gave me a chance to meet a loving responsible man.
I feel that even if he hadn’t disowned the pregnancy, he wasn’t invested enough in the relationship and he wouldn’t have been a responsible father.
A long-term relationship with him would have been riddled with fights and heartache,” she says.
Trail of tears
“I am grateful I was left in a trail of tears,” says Ruguru, 27, who agrees that a breakup is not necessarily a bad thing.
In fact, in hindsight, her getting dumped was a huge blessing. She saw from the onset that her ex, a man she dated for three years, had a fiery temper.
He would snap at the slightest provocation and channel this rage to whoever was with him at the time. His closest friend tried to talk her out of the relationship but she would not budge. She did not imagine that he could hit her.
“He left me for my friend in a very dramatic fashion and then broke her arms four times just a few months later. That was when I knew that I had dodged a bullet,” she says.
These two accounts are proof that while it might feel like the end of the world, a breakup does not necessarily signal the end of happiness. It is apparent that letting go of a relationship may be the best decision that you have made yet, but this does not mean that breaking up will be any less difficult.
According to marriage therapist Ezekiel Kobia, regardless of your ex’s character, a split can only be a good thing if you can learn something from it.
To be able to learn, you must get to the point where you can admit to yourself that there would have been a lot of misery in the future of that relationship.
“Mourn the end of the relationship; that is important. Then change your way of thinking. Isn’t it better to suffer the short-term pain of a breakup than to wait to make a permanent bond with a person who will cause you constant pain?” he asks.
Susan Elliot, in her book Getting Past Your Breakup, writes that the end of a relationship turns into a blessing when you are able to learn your worth and improve your life with lessons learnt from the split. Ruguru, for instance, now knows that abuse, whether emotional or physical, is a deal-breaker for her.
Sometimes it is not your former significant other who is the problem but you. If the breakup helped you recognise this, take responsibility and change accordingly. According to Elliot, this would be a blessing.
Dodged bullet or missed chance?
It became obvious for June and Ruguru that their breakups were a good thing. Sometimes, however, a dodged bullet is not so obvious, making one drag out a relationship or even go back to a love that one is better off without.
Is your breakup a blessing in disguise or are you missing out on love? Take this quiz to find out.
Read each statement and answer truthfully according to your situation or how your ex reacted to things.
Strongly agree – 3 Disagree – 2 Strongly disagree -1
1. The breakup helped you clarify who you are.
2. In the course of the relationship, more than one close person voiced their thoughts that the relationship was not right for you in one sense or another.
3. After this breakup, you are now clear on the things that you can or cannot take in a relationship.
4. When you broke up, close friends and family sighed with relief.
5. While the relationship was functioning, your intuition told you that this man was not right for you.
6. It hurt when you first broke up, but you now feel as if you have found inner peace.
7. It was difficult to get your needs met in that relationship.
8. Who you were before that relationship and who you were during the relationship are vastly different.
9. There was a very little room for forgiveness in that relationship.
10. You have met your ex’s new love and instead of jealousy, you felt pity.
21-30 — The end of this relationship is what is best for you and deep inside you know it. Take control of your life and with your newfound clarity, work towards a more functional relationship.
11-20 — Depending on whether or not this relationship was abusive and on the circumstances surrounding the breakup, there is a chance that the other little issues that you had may have been worked out.
1-10 — You seem to have been in a relationship where you were happy and satisfied. If the reasons for your breakup are reconcilable, you may be missing out on a chance at love.