By Jennifer Craven
As the age old saying goes…breaking up is hard to do. But sometimes it’s the only way.
Anyone who has gone through a breakup knows the physical, emotional, and mental turmoil it takes. I had never experienced such devastating feelings than when I recently broke up with two men—at the same time.
Call me a hypocrite, but I didn’t consider it cheating. My husband knew. He certainly wasn’t thrilled about it, didn’t condone it, and repeatedly commented on the unhealthy indulgence of my activities.
“Go ahead,” I would say to him. “You can do it, too.”
“I love and accept you as you are,” he would reply. “But I obviously don’t need the same things as you.”
Nonetheless, it continued. I couldn’t stop. From my first meeting with each of the men, it was an instant attraction—one that became an obsession. Daily, hourly, my mind would wander to them, wishing we were together. At the height of our relationships, we would see each other- somehow- every day.
Being with them was an escape from the bland routine of life. I would savor our moments together, until our time was up. Always too short. Never enough.
After daily meetings, I came to the realization that my fixation was doing more harm than good. This has got to stop, I told myself. It’s not healthy. It’s not fair to my family. I don’t like who I am anymore.
But breaking up was harder than I ever imagined. Everywhere I looked, one of them was there. I’d see them at the grocery store, the gas station, even at friends’ houses. Torture, plain and simple.
My husband, the ever-supportive, understanding and compassionate man than he is, promised to help me break this cycle.
“I’ve lost control when it comes to them,” I confessed. “I just can’t help myself. I find myself wanting them more and more.”
“What about once a week?” he suggested. Clearly he didn’t understand. No, it needed to be cold turkey.
My decision was made. The last time I saw each of them, I said what I knew needed to be said.
“You can’t be in my house anymore,” I admitted. “I’d like to say it’s not you, it’s me. But it actually is a lot about you. You’re amazing. Sweet. And I love when we’re together. But you’re just not good for me anymore. I want to live a healthier life, have a clearer mind. And that means that we need to break up.”
It’s been six months, and I still think of them often, miss the way they made me feel. But I know that was a façade. The truth is, I’m better without them. I longingly find myself tempted to stalk their known hangouts, but self-control gets the better of me.
Breakups are hard. Hearing their names alone causes a physical reaction I cannot explain. So I’ll only say them once. Goodbye, Ben and Jerry, I will miss you.
An ice cream lover in mourning
About the Author
Jennifer is a mom to three young children who enjoy leaving socks around the house and dropping goldfish on the floor. Her work can be found at The Washington Post, Scary Mommy, Her View From Home, Motherly, and Huffington Post.