Monday Ranting: The Break…Up

It could all be so simple...

It could all be so simple…

News spread ‘cross the innawebs expeditiously over the season of giving that, Dwyane Wade fathered a baby while he and now fiancé, Gabrielle Union, were on a break. Word? Word! As an aside no one ever believed the “break” when the story hit the news. I suspect infidelity resulting in a skank’s pregnancy broke them but I could be wrong. In any man’s river, Wade sired a son with a long time acquaintance friend – also know as a jump off, skeet receptacle, woman of ill repute, Olivia Pope & Associates, or just a whore. Pick your poison! This had me in my feelings. Not because I care about basketball players and their wayward peens or even B-class actresses and their ever dying ovaries, it got me thinking about this thing we do called dating and mating, how men and women cope in relationships, and the true definition of a “break.”

Like for realsies, what’s a break? Are there rules and hashish? As a couple do we sit down and decide that what was once an us is now just a you and I? Do I have to take my toiletries out of your bathroom cabinet or is it cool to pick them up later? If there’s a holiday approaching, does my semi-Present get an invite? Are we allowed to tell mutual friends or just agreed upon relatives? I need instructions, because I’m concerned and confused. Where does the break-up, begin and the break, end? I need to know my boundaries so I can push them to the limit. That’s just how I roll.

But in all seriousness – I’ve only had one break in my entire quasi-adult life and it didn’t end well. If I’m completely honest that hashish went way left and it had me out here very much verklempt and all the way in my feelings. Guilt from the break ate at me to the point where not telling may have killed me. When the Future Ex Husband touched me I felt dirty on the inside because my flesh betrayed a promise we’d made to one another. But that commitment, that promise, that fidelity, that exclusivity, was before the “break,” so technically my feelings of betrayal were simple projections of an over active mind. But were they? Does a break mean that you are not bound to the promises made in your relationship? Does a break mean you forget the time spent, the plans made, and the dreams dreamt together because you’re in the midst of a five-letter escape? Does a break allow you to dismantle a union your separation is meant to repair?

So many years later those questions occur to me but in the midst of the break it didn’t. At the time my actions felt appropriate and right and all the way legitimate until I looked in the eyes of my Future Ex Husband and a wave of furious anxiety, panic, and guilt knocked me breathless. It consumed so much of my thoughts and time with him that eventually the betrayal spewed from my lips and landed in his lap. Without his words I knew he’d broken our exclusivity too during the break yet I’d forgiven my Future Ex Husband on my own terms and loved him the same. I owed him the truth in spite of my disloyalty. And even though I could handle his indiscretion he could not mine. We tried after that but the break was the beginning of our end. The activities of our separation rotted our relationship from the insides and all that was left between us was a past of what could have, should have been. And when he left me I was numb. It took a long time before I rubbed that numbness from my veins.

What I learned through that experience and some others that don’t deserve ink, is that men and women operate quite differently in relationships. We love different. We show affection different. We break different and we repair different. Our ability to manage and handle emotional pain is different. We are just different. It made me realize that men expect from women in relationships things that they are unable, incapable, and unwilling to give. And that is a pill worth swallowing if you are going to date and mate in the 2k14. If nothing else resonates you have to know that we are different when it comes to dating and mating.

D. Wade’s situation isn’t unique. It is one that men acknowledge as tomf*ckery but in the same breath expect Gabrielle Union will accept. I’ve had conversations about it a time or two and beyond men who feel women are inherently beneath them (misogynist) or men who feel that being a man grants them a lane of acceptable f*ckshyt behavior (arseholes) I have yet to hear anything short of bullshyt that makes any of this acceptable. Granted I am one woman and my experience is singular. Maybe there is a man out here who if the tables were turned would propose to a female who had another man’s baby while on a break. A man emotionally strong enough to sit face to face with another man’s child fathered with his Present during a period of separation. A man willing to love another man’s baby created in passion while his love simmered on the back burner. THIS is what men expect from women and I have yet to encounter that man.

Didn’t Jay-Z, the great poet laureate that he is, pen the line, I was just f*cking them hoes I was gone get right back. This is the quintessential guy line of the century. Unfortunately what’s good for the gander is rarely good for the goose. Women are not allowed that same acceptable f*ckshyt behavior. Must have something to do with the good girl bad girl dynamic that still lives strong. Men refuse to accept that between good girls and heaux all women dwell for a saint is just a sinner who fell down. Right? Right! We all fall short of the glory and if men expect that women will and should forgive and forget their disloyalty they too should be willing to ante up! Personally I’d prefer a world where these types of things didn’t happen but Utopias don’t exist and happily ever after resides in fairy tales. Not to rain on parades but the real world is rife with heartache and pain. Some we swallow but others live in Technicolor reopening wounds that never quite heal.

But this post isn’t about another sad love song. I am a believer in love. Not love conquering all but I do believe that love is a strong enough force that it allows women to accept some shyt. But accepting f*ckshyt comes at a cost? I often wonder who pays those debts? Anyway Lovelies, you tell me. Do men require things of women they are unwilling to give themselves? Are women forever relationship masochists? What does it mean to be on a break? Are folks free to do them while in break status sans consequences? As always speak on it in the comments, to share it to care and hashish.

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