“I Feel I’m Trapped, but I Can’t Say What Went Wrong”

Have you ever felt a fear of closed place? For example, when you got stuck in an elevator and are forced to be there for an hour, not knowing how to get out. Sometimes I felt that way in everyday life.

We tend to be anxious to fall in love once and live with that person all our life. Love fever can last for fairly long: a year, two, three. In this time you can marry and deliver a child. And then, at some point, you might think: “What do I do with this man?”

The first thought to occur is “Why do I no longer care about the relationship that used to be so important to me?”

You begin to surf the Internet, invent motivations, but in your head are sullen thoughts: I’m trapped, I can’t take it anymore, everything’s the same, there’s no choice for me. And this last thought is most awful: you begin to feel like a victim. If you live with those depressing thoughts for quite long, you may turn into a psychomasochist and even begin to derive pleasure from being a victim.

“You should have thought better, before starting to live with that person,” you will say and not without reason.

But Clever Elsie syndrome is hardly the solution — it may lead to the fear of having a relationship. When I experienced a breakup, I read a lot of books on psychology and ceased to blame myself for being unable to save the relationship. After all, we’re all only humans, we change, grow and learn something.

Even though a couple lives together, both are growing differently, so they are changing differently. The same is true of relationship — it grows, develops, and dies out. Once I accepted this fact, I felt relieved — I ceased to feel like a betrayer and tell myself that things were going to get better.

But in my case it was a mutual decision. It’s sad when one partner makes up their mind to break up, but the other is not ready for it and resorts to various tricks. He/she is reluctant to believe it and starts to “fight for their happiness.” Yet, there’s actually nothing to fight for — the other has made the decision, and such behavior brings only disappointment.

One who tries to preserve the relationship uses a variety of means, from convincing to blackmailing, which results in the fact that once close people become enemies. That person fails to admit that those manipulations result from not a great love for the partner but from the bruised ego. “What? He wants to break up? Now, I’ll show him who he loses!” Well, the experience of my former female friends proved this was a road to nowhere.

Unexpected solution

I prefer the modern approach: celebrate your breakup like you celebrated your wedding.

To end on a positive note, as it were. Here’s a sort of script: gather your friends and let them give you gifts. Someday you’ll look at them and reminisce: this tea service we were given for our wedding, and this set of pans — for divorce! The friends will raise glasses and wish you happiness apart from each other.

The compulsory condition will be an acceptance speech prepared by both for their ex-partner. Something like “I part with you with a light heart,” “Thank you for all those years…” You should tell about good experience you’ve got from this relationship: what lesson you took, what positive emotions you felt, what learned. It’s supposed to work like absolution. In spite of the bitterness of breaking up, when you want to forget everything you had, there remains much in common between you.

The truth is that every year we lose more friends than we make. So why not stay friends with your ex?