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Why your family is wrong about your ex - By Dr. Stan

It happens all too much. You breakup with your partner, you confide too much in family and friends, then when you go to work things out everyone looks at you like you have 10 heads. Sigh.


You want your family’s love and support, yet they are unable to offer it. I will say this now, and return to it later — the biggest lesson here is to set limits on what you share with your family (and your friends) about your love life. This is important to remember for the future. As tempting as it is to communicate everything to your family, they know nothing about the true inner-workings of your relationship, how much love you share, your ex's amazing attributes, and every dynamic at play. All they know is your complaints, rants, and tears. They are the most biased people on the planet, which is never a good thing.


Your family (and friends) do not like or love your ex like you do. They're not losing sleep about the breakup. Sure, they are upset to see you down, but that is where their pain truly ends. It is impossible for them to feel that deep, empty, hollowing pain that you feel. If your ex fell off the face of the earth today they wouldn't even take notice. Not only are they biased in this situation, you not being with your ex affects their lives in 0 ways : so writing them off is as easy as saying "They weren't good for you, it'll get better."


What you need now is damage control. Sit your family down and have a talk with them. Explain that you have three things to say: First, you need them to support you as you find your way in this relationship, and that you appreciated their help in the past, and would like to be able to count on their support for the future. Secondly, I would let them know that your ex wasn’t the only one at fault for the breakup, that you bear some of the responsibility, and that the two of you are trying to piece things together because you realize how much you care for each other.


Finally, I would be blunt and tell them that they are distancing themselves from you by not supporting you. You thought you could rely on your family, people you care for deeply, and they are backing away. Ask them to give you the benefit of making your own decisions and finding your own joy in the world. Their disapproval will only hinder you and your ex's recovery, which can cause strong resentment to your family.


Back to my opening statement. The lesson learned here is to limit what you share with your family about how the relationship is going, not going, floundering, etc. You are a grown woman and get to make your own choices and reap the benefits of them. Your family only wants the best for you, but their opinions are too biased, which never helps.