When a breakup lacks a villain

In a perverse way, sometimes the toughest end to any relationship is when there are no villains and nobody to blame. Photo: TWTC

LOS ANGELES, August 24, 2013 — Like flowers, all relationships die. If a couple is lucky, the relationship dies when both participants die within minutes of each other in a shared bed after several decades of happy matrimony. Most of us are not so blessed. Breakups are often followed by resentment, anger, and in the worst cases, recriminations.

When the blame game begins, the next step is to divide up everything from possessions to friends. One ex of mine no longer sees my friends because they said, “Eric, we got you in the divorce.”

Yet what happens when there is no villain? In a counter-intuitive way, this type of ending to a relationship can be the absolute worst.

One woman I dated was simply amazing on every level. She was smart, kind, sweet, funny, sexy, and adorable. She was beautiful inside and out. We had more in common than I have ever had with a woman. We both liked football and had shared political opinions. She was unpretentious, simply a genuinely sweet girl.

It was not enough. We didn’t make it. To call it an official breakup may be inaccurate because we never declared we were a couple. We were “dating,” and then we were not. Yet the pain that came after we stopped dating was every bit as real as an official breakup.

To say why it ended would provide clues as to this woman’s identity. We share mutual friends, none of whom had the slightest idea we were dating. We kept everything very private.

Compounding the hurt only makes matters worse. Baseball player Joe DiMaggio was seen as the epitome of grace and class by zealously guarding Marilyn Monroe’s privacy when they were a couple. Even after their affair ended, he protected her honor.

So what does a man do when he loses a woman who has done nothing wrong?

There were no villains. There was no abuse. There was no cheating. There was no fighting. Every moment spent together was joy. It had to end because the differences required for this romance to lead to marriage were greater than we could both overcome. Had we taken the situation further, the potential pain in the future would have been far greater.

She wants to be friends. So do I. Yet that may be unrealistic, especially in the short-term.

Making the situation better or even bearable may be impossible. Yet making it worse cannot be allowed to happen. We both care about each other, and people who care for each other should not tear each other’s eyes and hearts out.

It would be easier if she was a terrible person, but no amount of creating a cartoon villain out of thin air would make it so. She is a spectacular woman, and both of us will make somebody else very happy one day.

So while the first day of not being in each other’s arms was far from ideal, the best gift to give to this woman is the truth. If these words inspire other men and women to say the same things to each other after the time together ends, all the better.

Now that I am free to say what I really think, here it is.

To (name redacted),

“I will never say a bad word about you. Ever.

You are amazing, and I wish it had worked.

You are one of the best people I have ever met and you will always have a special place in my heart.

Every word I said to you was genuine, and it still is.

I still care about you and have no regrets about our time together.

I will always care about you and wish you the very best. You deserve the very best because you are the very best.

I know you feel the same way because you told me so. I believe every word you ever said to me.

I adore you. Take care and be well.


While we all want our next relationship to work, the least the next woman could do is have the decency to be a villainess in case it does not work.

Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” 

Republican Jewish brunettes may follow Eric @TYGRRRR EXPRESS

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Eric Golub

Eric Golub is a politically conservative Jewish blogger, author, public speaker, and comedian. His book trilogy is “Ideological Bigotry,” “Ideological Violence,” and  “Ideological Idiocy.” 

He is Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1990. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Judaism, and his MBA from USC. A stockbrokerage professional since 1994, he began blogging on March 11th, 2007, the three year anniversary of the Madrid bombings and the midpoint of 9/11. He has been inflicting his world view on his unfortunate readers since then. He blogs about politics Monday through Friday, and about football and other human interest items on weekends.



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