Support versus Advice- The quintessential grey area of life;
Support, the bastion of positivity in any situation. Where an individual will find solace in knowing another has their back. Its appeal is inherent in its neutrality that makes it welcomed by all in any situation. A person can vent about anything without judgment supported by knowing they can lean to any extent on another.
Advice is defined by its predominantly unwanted aspect. A point found in the veiled judgments that goes hand in hand with it. In some situations it is brilliant;
-An accomplished dancer in the Latin style advising how best to perfect ‘Sliding doors.’;
-A respected pro sportsman giving pointers to how they achieved this status to promising youngsters;
-A mathematician tutoring in calculus;
Etc, etc, etc....
The sticking point is being an advocate of giving it when it involves emotional issues.
This came home to roost for me in the wake of my marriage split. A union that lasted nearly 21 years and all who viewed it from the outside perceived as the ‘perfect marriage.’ A perception that underpinned the reactions that followed.
Few could understand the ‘why’ of the split so tried to seek it out. Either in a blatant manner or a feely/touchy way that was just as irksome. This was tolerated for it was from people directly in our lives. The line in the sand that was crossed was when it was revealed as an ‘information collection’ pursuit that led to advice being given;
- How you feel, and how you should be feeling;
-The way you are acting as opposed to how you should be acting
- I am here for you, but, I am not really here for you as I am imposing my unwanted opinions on you;
- You REALLY need counselling to get through this for it worked for ‘Joe Public’;
All these thoughts imposed. Despite the person lacking a full appreciation of how I was truly feeling, my-ex wife and the true reality of the marriage behind closed doors. Which led to the eventual end to it.
It reached an almost perverse and surreal level in the workplace after the bush telegraph kicked in and my split became known. I would be sitting alone enjoying my morning coffee or eating my lunch and a work acquaintance (fucking do-gooder!) would join me.
‘Sorry to hear about the split of your marriage.....
How are you feeling?
I had a recent split and I found this useful to get over it......
Keep in mind how your children are feeling about it, and make sure you look after them. Children are vulnerable after their parents split.....
Spiel follows......I really hope this helps (patronising rub on my back), I am here for you if you need any further help in getting through it....I am here for you....’
During this, I thought to myself;
‘ I do not remember ever asking you to ‘be here for me’....
The penny that dropped was the ‘Me versus You’ dynamic that rages. It is valid in any emotional issue. When it pertains to the legacy of a break up, it bites.
The key point is how much break-ups resemble a form of grief in their uniqueness. The unexpected nature devastates you in so many regards. Many aspects that you struggle to fully process. Which means you might need to embrace denial in the interim to go on for your life does not get put on hold even through you are brought to your knees.
Like grief, you have lost what you had and everything you might have. In the dark of night you find this very hard to come to terms with. Let alone reconcile.
How can any individual, whether they are directly, or indirectly in your life know what you are really feeling inside?
It points to the height of ignorance with arrogance running shotgun. The immediate point is you as an individual.
Show me a person who can accurately read another individuals mind and I will find, and then become a champion in leapfrogging unicorns without getting spiked!
The side bar is the thoughts on the split.
Whether it was expected or a shock?
A move made by you or your ex?
In either, you need to find absolution. Which can be nigh on impossible. Just revert back to the correlation with grief and how much of a factor regret plays. The things that could have been said as well as the ones left unsaid. The chance for this is gone for it is over.
If you try to revisit them after the split, the usual reaction is why you have waited till now which diminishes any credibility in them. A bit like being caught out and saying ‘sorry’ for you know it is the thing to say. So very reactionary that is scoffed at in real life unions.
Lastly, kids, and even pets are a huge factor. A split leads to being deprived of either on the 24/7 basis that was so the pulse in your heart. Now you constantly miss beats for you are without them. This resembles death through a thousand cuts, every moment of every day.
You want to have contact, need to seek out how, and are worried about how much you will be given. As well as the terms of the contact because it relies on reaching an agreement with your ex. As well as your children who you might have hurt very badly wanting to see you. And then ratifield in Court.
If your marriage ended on bad terms, this is never easy.
If you have been kind enough to read this, your first reaction might be that I need counselling. Due to it being obvious, that even six years on from the split that I am still fucked up in so many ways.
My response is this is the worst type of advice. Keep in mind that counselling is not readily available for all due to the financial constraints that they might be under. If it is an option it once more taps into the fact that no other can fully understand how you are feeling to advise a means for you to feel better. Even a professional, who is respected for their Academic level and has counselled many. Due to every individual being different in how they think, process and react.
If they can facilitate expression, and one to vent, how can fully know what one is truly feeling and then adequately counsel?
The bottom line if you have a loved one dealing with a break up is always support to the hilt, but never ever give advice.
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