Tuesday, January 4, 2011


The Saturday before Christmas, I sat on the Barrister’s couch while he made us a cappuccino – a tradition of ours. The song “Why” by Annie Lennox played on XM radio as he busied himself boiling the coffee and frothing the milk.

Truth be told, I had been struggling in the relationship for the past couple of weeks. As I sat there, the lyrics from this song resonated with me:

Why can’t you see this boat is sinking

Due to the Barrister’s work travel schedule, we had spent a lot of time apart in December. Friends and family had encouraged me and said, “Distance can make the heart grow fonder.” They told me stories of how time apart strengthened their relationship. They grew closer as a result. They grew stronger as a result. I clung to these words and hoped it would be the case as the Barrister would be traveling every week from December – mid-May.

But when we were apart, I felt so lonely. It was so hard on me when we were apart, but it didn’t seem to bother the Barrister – or if it did, he couldn’t find the words to tell me. On this cold December morning, as that sad Annie Lennox song played, tears filled my eyes and spilled over onto my cheeks and I cried in front of him for the first time and told him how hard it was for me when we were apart.

Let’s go down to the water’s edge
And we can cast away those doubts
Some things are better left unsaid
But they still turn me inside out

This display of emotion prompted other conversations throughout the weekend. Conversations about what I wanted out of a relationship. Conversations about priorities and careers and family. Conversations that confirmed what I had began to fear over the past weeks – that we were not right for each other.

This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I’ll never tread
These are the dreams I’ll dream instead
This is the joy that seldom spread
These are the tears…
The tears we shed
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head

I was filled with a sense of dread, but I knew what I needed to do. I cared very deeply for the Barrister, but we have different relationship needs/expectations. I really wanted him to be the one, but I knew I deserved more. So on the Monday before Christmas, we parted ways. There is no “good time” for a break up, but the week of Christmas is a pretty craptastic time. However, I didn’t think it would be right to pretend everything is ok just because it was Christmas when I knew in my heart that we should not be together.

I don’t blame his travel schedule for the break up – I think it just put a magnifying glass to some flaws in our relationship.

I’m proud of myself for choosing to walk away – for putting my wants and needs first and recognizing that we were not right for each other, and that our differences were irreconcilable. In the short term, it would have been easier to stay with him as I did love spending time with him. In the long run, though, I would have been short changing myself.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks, but it gets better each day. While our relationship may seem brief to some people, I fell hard and I fell fast. I did not talk about him much on this blog but he was a very big part of my life for the last 3+ months.

I have no hard feelings towards the Barrister. We ended things before any feelings of anger or resentment had a chance to develop. I still care for him and wish our story would have ended differently.

Why is a question I have asked myself a lot over the past weeks.

Why do I keep getting my heart broke? Why do others seem to find their true love so easily and at such a young age while I continue to struggle through these break ups. Why does it have to hurt so much?

Tell me…

But I just spin in circles when I ask questions like these. I am working on accepting the fact that I don't have all the answers.

But when I find myself feeling down, I pull up this quote found on this lovely blog.

And it gives me hope.

* Lyrics are from Why by Annie Lennox...


Emily Jane said...

That's a perfect quote. You know I'm extremely proud of you for choosing to walk away and trust me, I've asked myself "why" many a time over the years while my heart got broken and beaten along the way - but I like to think of it as a necessary thing in order to learn the lessons to prepare us for what's coming. I know if I hadn't gone through the heartbreak, I would've been content to settle, and I also wouldn't have had such appreciation for the good. Going through the heartbreak allowed me to see clearly what wasn't right for me, so I was in a better position to know what was. It's just a matter of patience, and all will happen in the right time <3

Mandy said...

Moments when I read something like this post, I wish I had all the money in the world to just fly to you and give you a hug. You are so strong and such an amazing person. I'm incredibly proud of you for listening to your heart, even though you knew it was going to be hard.

Love you.

♥ Marcy ♥ said...

I love that quote! Hang in there girl! Praying for you ;)

J said...

I am so sorry to hear about this Lisa but it is for the best. Breakups are the worst. I know that there is some one out there that is perfect for you! And I hope that you find him soon!

Kyla Roma said...

I'm so glad that you've chosen to be true to your needs and take care of yourself rather than hope that he'd change or learn look out for you instead. It's so hard, but I just know that you'll find so much strength through this. You're so amazing Lisa, I wish I was there to give you a giant hug <3

Raquelita said...

Breakups are tough even when you know it's the right thing and there's no ill will. Hang in there!

Unknown said...

Still I sent up my prayer
Wondering who was there to hear
I said "Send me somebody
Who's strong, and somewhat sincere"
With the millions of the lost and lonely ones
I called out to be released
Caught in my struggle for higher achievements
And my search for love
That don't seem to cease.
-- "The Same Situation" by Joni Mitchell

My songs are from an earlier generation.

Know that you are loved dearly.

Jess said...

I love, love, love this quote. And, I also love that you had the courage and the strength to realize something wasn't making you 100% happy and doing what was best for you.

I really do think everyone comes into our life with a purpose. And, I really do think when that right person comes, it's going to make all the heartache all that much more worth it. I'm thinking of you!

Amber said...

Ahhh you did such a beautiful job with this post. I love it.

Just remember that not every woman is as strong as you or strong enough to walk away from a relationship that's hurting them. Give yourself credit for that.

So proud of you! Love you!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...


Leigh said...

Breaking up is never easy, but you had the strength to realize that this relationship was not fulfilling your every need. That shows that you have not lost yourself and that you are stronger than you think you are! Big hugs!

Nora said...

This is a beautiful, honest post about love and what we need in relationships. I think all too often people settle or think that it can get better; you gave him a chance (many actually) and you did the best thing for yourself you could have: respected yourself. You know that you deserve more and better; that doesn't take away the pain and hurt but putting your needs first and loving yourself more is important. I'm proud of you and always here for you. And like everyone else, wish I could be there to give you huge hugs and drink lots of wine. So in other words, when January rolls around? Prepare yourself. Lots of hugs and wine, k!?

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Wow. You are stronger than me. I have a hard time walking away like that. In fact, it's why I've ended up in relationships for longer than I should have. Kudos to you.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Ending a relationship takes a lot of strength, and you are a strong person for doing what is best for you and your heart. Each relationship helps you grow and teaches you something that will be of use when you meet Mr. Right.

Marlys said...

My dear daughter, what a beautiful, honest, heart-wrenching post! As you know, we are always, always here for you, and am so glad you were able to blog about this so quickly. I really do think it will help in the healing process. Keep praying for God to take good care of that someone special who you WILL meet someday! To repeat the words of Barb, "Know you are loved!"

Erin said...

I know I already emailed you but I just had to post on the blog to state again how proud I am of you! I'm proud of you for doing what you KNOW is right---even if it's hard. I'm proud of you for being brave enough to share your open heart with your readers----It's not always easy to do that---but your words could be JUST what another person needs to read to help them! I know I've shared with you many times how I was once a girl in your shoes. My life changed when I least expected it---. And I know I appreciate what I have right now SO much--because of the difficult days I faced in my past. This experience will help you grow---and just know that whenever you have a tough day---you CLEARLY have a ton of people who love and care about you and will do whatever they can to help you get through!

crystal said...

Oh Lisa, Im so sorry, I wish I could give you a hug. Its a horribly painful situation, but you are taking care of yourself! You ask why you keep getting your heart broken and why others seem to find love so much easier, its because you are not settling. You know what you want and need in a relationship and you are holding out for that, its hard and it means that you have to go through pain, but it also means that it will be that much more worth it when you find someone who is worth your love and time!

I love love the way you incorporated the song lyrics into this post. Im inspired :) so here is my message..

"Sometimes seeming happy can be self-destrucitive even when your're sane" -Brandi Carlile (of course!)

You are listening to your emotions, and as painful as that can be, you learn and grow the most that way. Hang in there hun!

crystal said...

Oh and ps: I am in love with that quote blog, thanks for sharing!!

abbi said...

Hang in there, I know it's not easy but it sounds like you were strong to know it wasn't right for the long term.

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Wow... we had the exact same thing happen at about the exact same time. I completely understand where you're coming from and how you were feeling. It is so hard to find a guy that will just tell you how he feels. HARD! You did the right thing though and I am glad things are getting easier for you. That quote is so comforting! :)

Stephany said...

Oh, Lisa. This just breaks my heart. I am so sorry you had to end your relationship, but it seems like it was the best thing for you to do. I hope that I will have the strength and self-knowledge to end a relationship that I know, in the long-term, wouldn't work out. Sometimes, I wonder if I would settle because I've been single for so long. I love, love, love that ending quote. It's absolutely perfect. :)

qwerkyqook said...

A very honest and heartfelt post Lisa. Take it from someone who has stayed in relationships way too long, you did the right thing. You're gut is right and you made the correct choice. Falling hard and fast is a good quality. IT means your heart/soul is open and willing to love and take people in. I think that's a beautiful and very human quality. Don't lose it!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

That's an amazing and very appropriate quote.

I'm very proud of you for walking away when you knew you had to, not sure many others would be that strong.

Here is my attempt to answer why for you... (not that I'm any kind of expert on life haha)

#1- Some people will settle for less than you will.

#2- Many people will find the right person early, but then will find they are not the right person many years later. By then they have kids and its a great big mess!

#3- Some people are just lucky. But in the end I think you will be. I know you will be.

Love you!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Great post, Lisa. I love that quote at the end. For a long time I also felt the why me and WHEN will I find him? Trust me, you will. Because you are amazing and smart and beautiful, the right guy is going to come along and not let you walk out of his life.

Becky said...

Hard, sad, but so so proud of you. For realizing and admitting now this wasn't right - love you babe.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Good for you for doing what was best for you even though it was hard. You are brave and strong!!

aimee said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you are hurting, but like everyone else has said...you are amazingly strong for walking away from something because you knew it wasn't the best situation for you. So many other people would have stayed in that relationship and just settled. You're awesome and God has BIG plans for you!!

Amy said...

I know it's tough, but you're so WISE to leave instead of getting more wrapped up. It will all work out in the end, I just know it.

Meg said...

you a STRONG, BEAUTIFUL woman and you will find someone that lets you be that--enhances who you are in every way!
not many people can walk away!
that proves how much you know yourself and how strong you are!

Sarah said...

Aww, I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you, but I really think you should be so proud of yourself for being able to do the right thing for you both. And that quote? Perfect.

Kari Ayers said...

Lisa - I'm so sorry that things didn't work out for you this time. I know you will find him though. I'm proud of you for knowing what you want and not settling for less. I love that quote too. Have you heard the song that it's from? GREAT song...here's a link to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=New8i_eX3x8&ob=av2nl
Before the Morning by Josh Wilson
You'll be in my prayers dear cousin.

Linda said...

Oy. Heart pangs.