My mood went sour and surly this week. Maybe it’s because we’re officially entering the Dog Days of August. Or maybe it’s because several of my friends find themselves stuck in an endless down-cycle, a death spiral that is also known as Breaking Up a Long-term Relationship. Whatever the reason, thoughts about the end-game of love have been kicking up divots in my head lately.
I’ve observed a lot of breakups among my friends over the years. I’ve even initiated a few, myself. From those observations, I’ve composed a composite list. (Oh, and before anyone starts screaming at me in the comments, of course—of course—I know that men their own reasons for dumping us. But you can assume that this particular list is the equivalent of Girl’s Night Out, and we’re all already two Fuzzy Gimlets to the wind.)
Here, in no special order, are the Top Ten Reasons why women I know have broken up with their men (Note that specific circumstances have been altered to protect the innocent and the guilty):
1. He exhibited symptoms of chronic MIR, aka Male Irritation Syndrome.
(If you want to see a hopeless case of MIR, observe any NY cab driver at a traffic light.)
2. He made a joke at my expense in public, one too many times.
3. He replaced too many loving gestures with sarcastic come-backs (closely related to Reason 2).
4. He took some photos for our friends, but then he charged them for the film.
5. He forgot that passing gas (in either direction) is something best reserved for the restroom.. He especially forgot this when we were out together in public.
6. He kept doing that thing that I knew he did when they first got together. But then he kept on doing it. And for some stupid reason, I thought he wouldn’t.
7. He commented on famous women’s bodies in such a negative way that I became convinced I would never live up to his standards.
8. If he become aware of reason Number 7, he never did anything to convince me otherwise. And then, I stopped caring.
9. He loved me, but it turned out that he resented my (fill in the blank: dog, child by a previous marriage, parents). And worse, he didn’t bother to hide it.
10. All of the above.
Okay, I know this post makes me and my home girls sound like a bitter ball of bile. Really we're not—I’m just reporting from the Recently Broken-up battlefield..
And I know that, to woefully misquote some Russian author—Tolstoy, I think—“happy relationships are all the same. Unhappy relationships are each unhappy in their own way.” It takes two people to break up any relationship, and there’s plenty of just cause to spread around.
But I would love to know—what was your most noteworthy reason for breaking up with someone? Or, if you’re really feeling brave, tell us: Why did they break up with you?