WTF: My Parents Broke Up When My Boyfriend And I Did

by Ella Lee Zant
Mauro Grigollo

When you get sick, it's pretty amazing to be forced to sit down, drink soup and truly think about the shattering remains of your life.

Sadly, in accordance with this vast breakup epidemic, I lost the person I loved and will love for the rest of my life, only to have my parents get divorced a few weeks later.

The hopeless romantic in me died, but I'm still here, still fighting because it's all I can do. It's all anyone can do, especially if you have bronchitis.

Somehow, while blaming myself for the destruction of my relationship and the separation of my parents, I was able to gather up every reasonable piece of hope I had left and move on.

I had to step up and parent myself through my breakup because my parents were going through their own.

Essentially, this is what I've come to realize:

I am neither to blame nor am I responsible for the behavior of others

I always saw myself as the catalyst who set the tone for others to respond or behave in a certain way. But ultimately, I have no control over anyone's actions.

What I've begun to understand is that you can't force people to do what you think is right. They have to genuinely come to that conclusion in their own time, and with their own interest and intention to do so.

It has to come from their own inherent system of values, and not your suggestions or complaints.

I know I am not responsible for my breakup or the separation of my parents.

I may have been a catalyst in both situations, but I am not responsible for their choices and how they chose react to their given situations.

Surely, my ex could have handled things with more maturity and honesty. My father could have handled things more diplomatically, and my mother more emphatically.

But just because I know how they should have behaved in order for the situation to best resolve itself, it doesn't mean that was going to happen.

People are who they are, not versions of who you think they should be.

I did the best I could for all of them, and I refuse to take on the burden of their choices. I have the will to do better for myself, and now it's up to them to find themselves.

Depend solely on yourself

As I just mentioned, you cannot rely on another person to perform as you would. You cannot depend on someone to make the same sound judgement as you would.

Therefore, you cannot depend on other people to grant you the security and happiness you need because ONLY YOU know how to give it to yourself.

I cannot stand to see people waiting for the other shoe to drop. No one can live like that.

You have to take the shoes off wherever they're hanging, and walk around in them like an adult who is in charge of his or her own life.

People don't owe you anything

I thought my ex owed me the love and affection I deserved because I had loved and adored him.

I was willing to sacrifice everything for our relationship, but what I failed to see was that it was my choice to do so. Choosing to love him was my decision.

Demanding that he owed me the same adoration for a choice I had made isn't love; it's a trade of services.

Some people don't know how to love. Some people can't express it. Some were not structured to love, and they are incapable of giving others the love they need.

But what good is love you have to demand, anyway?

You made your choice to love, now deal with it. People neither owe you anything, nor do they need to uphold a persona of who you need them to be.

You simply love them for their good and their bad, and you live with it.

But, you owe it to yourself to not let these realities make you give up.

Be your best product

Working to become your best self should be the main goal we all aspire to attain. Even though we cannot be perfect, we can always become better friends, leaders and citizens.

And when we do become our strongest selves, we get to share this wonderful end product with someone else.

You can't give someone half a product or a product you don't truly believe in.

You might have to spend years remodeling your product until you're genuinely content with it, and only then can you sell your product to customers and feel great about it.

Now, if a customer isn't interested or doesn't like your product, you won't take it personally or become offended. You built your product from the ground up, and you are happy with it. That's all that matters.

Your target customers will come around to purchase it, and it will be worthwhile in the end.

You can only be your own best friend

Seriously, even your best friend doesn't know you like you do.

You will always have your best friends, the ones you've known your entire life and effortlessly click with. But, there will come a time when you go through an adversity they cannot deal with.

They are going to want their fun and joyful friend back, not this new and miserable person.

Your friends are not dedicated to making you better; they have to do that for themselves.

This is your job. You are the only person who won't ever give up on you. You are your best friend (if you choose to have such a relationship with yourself).

It's unrealistic for partners — or even parents — to be your best friends because they are not you; they have their own issues and their own subjective views.

Only can you truly know yourself and your reasoning.