ALWD Question #18 - Breaking Up is Hard to Do?

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ALWD Question #18 - Breaking Up is Hard to Do?

Unread postby Liz » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:42 am

Pg. 225. JJ: .....we’d taken things as far as we could, and there was nowhere for us to go. That’s why everyone breaks up, I guess: bands, friends, marriages, whatever. Parties, weddings, anything.

Why does this happen?


NOTE: this is our last question before the Thanksgiving Holiday. We will continue where we left off on Sunday, November 27.

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Unread postby lumineuse » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:20 am

I think there are a number of reasons. People grow and change in different directions and at different rates. Other people enter your life. Your personal circumstances change. People go into relationships with expectations that are not met. All kinds of reasons.

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Unread postby Bix » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:42 am

lumineuse wrote:I think there are a number of reasons. People grow and change in different directions and at different rates. Other people enter your life. Your personal circumstances change. People go into relationships with expectations that are not met. All kinds of reasons.

There really are all kinds of reasons, or else we'd all still be happily together with that first true love - you know, the one who was just perfect and whom we loved more than life itself and would continue to love until the end of time, etc., etc. JJ says something a little later on the bus, when Jess is still trying to zing them all with her comments, that usually you could bounce her barbs back at her but "none of us had the energy." I think it takes energy to keep a couple or a group together. And everyone involved has to commit at least some energy to that goal. As he says, they had "nowhere left to go." If you are going to try to hold something together when you reach that wall, all parties have to put some energy into deciding where to go from there and how to do it. And if that doesn't happen, then it breaks apart.

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Unread postby Liz » Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:15 pm

I agree, Bix, that you all have to put the energy into it and want it to work. I think the common bond is important, too. If you start a relationship due to a common bond, and that bond is no longer there, then the reason for the relationship is no longer there--unless another common bond is formed. And as Lumi mentioned people grow and change at different rates. It is hard to continue a relationship when you are not in the same place, have the same goals or have common interests.
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Unread postby fansmom » Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:46 pm

I agree, I think it happened in their case because the ties that bound them were so thin to begin with. Since all that united them was their suicidal unhappiness, when that unhappiness was gone, there were no ties left.

I don't think it happens to everything. Again, I agree that it happens if you don't put any effort into keeping the ties intact. Entropy can be a powerful force. (From dictionary.com: The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity.
Inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society.)

I can give two examples from my activities this past weekend. I saw a friend I've known for 20 years, and you'd better believe we've both changed in that time. She's on her second husband (this one is much better!), we've both had kids, we've moved homes . . . But we have fun together, so we make an effort to find time for each other regularly. (BTW, she doesn't understand JDOCD at all, poor thing. :-? ) The other example was a party we had that "broke up" not because we'd gone as far as we could go, but because it was nearly 2 am. Sometimes things have to end whether you're ready or not.

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Unread postby Endora » Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:09 pm

I think it's harder to explain why some friendships go on. When you see how many things in life change, it's amazing that you can be friends with the same people year in, year out. Perhaps friendship will go the way of marriage, and become increasingly not for life.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:20 pm

I have many different friendships. I have a group of friends that has been together since junior high school and we are still close and see each other several times a year. We are more like sisters now, really. I had close friends that I made when my kids were involved in different activities that I still correspond with but we are not as close. I think the common bond is a factor but for some reason certain relationships survive even if the bond doesn't. I don't think it's inevitable that relationships end, but I do believe they need nurturing.
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Unread postby fansmom » Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:28 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I don't think it's inevitable that relationships end, but I do believe they need nurturing.
Perhaps JJ was just not a nurturing person.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:13 pm

fansmom, I think he needed to be on the receiving end! It may also be a function of age and wisdom...not that I have either you understand... :eyebrow:
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Unread postby DeppLovesBananahs » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:05 pm

I think break-ups happen because of breaking points. Band members tend to get full of ego, do you ever notice that when bands break up, shortly after one of them goes solo? I always hate that, its like a slap in the face.

I can't stand when break-ups happen. When it comes to relationships, I don't really know why they happen. Some might get bored with the person, but that could result of laziness. They're not willing to understand the problem, so they leave. It's a shame, especially when its a marriage, and there's kids involved. (I should know, my parents have been seperated/divorced since I was in 1st grade)


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Unread postby Theresa » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:08 am

I don’t agree with JJ on this one -- not everyone breaks up. I have a friend of 33 years, and though our relationship has changed over the years, she is still a friend, more like a sister, really. And my parents have been happily married 47 years. But I’ve known people who I’ve lost touch with, who are no longer in my life. I think maintaining a relationship takes work, compromise and a willingness to adjust.

I’m reminded of a scene in the movie “The Preacher’s Wife”, between Julia and the angel Dudley. Julia asks Dudley, What do you do when the flame goes out? And Dudley’s answer, You don’t let it go out.

That’s what it takes to keep a relationship or a friendship from breaking up. And each person has to decide whether or not that relationship is worth the effort required. Some things end, but not everything.

And this didn't answer the question at all, did it? Sorry, I think I went off on a tangent.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:42 am

theresa wrote:I don’t agree with JJ on this one -- not everyone breaks up. I have a friend of 33 years, and though our relationship has changed over the years, she is still a friend, more like a sister, really. And my parents have been happily married 47 years. But I’ve known people who I’ve lost touch with, who are no longer in my life. I think maintaining a relationship takes work, compromise and a willingness to adjust.

I’m reminded of a scene in the movie “The Preacher’s Wife”, between Julia and the angel Dudley. Julia asks Dudley, What do you do when the flame goes out? And Dudley’s answer, You don’t let it go out.

That’s what it takes to keep a relationship or a friendship from breaking up. And each person has to decide whether or not that relationship is worth the effort required. Some things end, but not everything.

And this didn't answer the question at all, did it? Sorry, I think I went off on a tangent.


I think you answered it quite well, theresa! I don't think JJ had done enough living yet to realize that not everything changes. Plus he was mourning the loss of his band which had been such an important part of his life.
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Unread postby nebraska » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:44 pm

I do think nothing stays the same. Life is not stagnant, people are not statues. You have to decide if it is worth the effort to move with the flow. I do think sometimes relationships need to end -- I am thinking here of a friend who moved away for a while and returned to the area a completely different woman from the one I had loved as a really close friend; I was not able to make the changes she needed me to make to maintain the friendship, so I had to end things before I destroyed even the good feelings of the memories from better times. And yes, the good relationships that deserve to endure do take work -- but I have to agree with his observation that sometimes there is nowhere left to go and it needs to be over.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:47 pm

I agree, nebraska, sometimes things do have to move on. It sounds like your friend was a little too self absorbed when she came back if she couldn't see the importance of the friendship you two had before.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Liz » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:02 pm

And then there are superficial reasons why people become friends or lovers. And when the newness wears off, they find there was nothing of substance there.

In the case of the four main characters, their common bond was the fact that they met on the roof because they all wanted to jump. I think they clung to each other because they needed each other in order to work through what they needed to in order to move on. I think that once that happened the friendships would end. The problem with that is that some people are more ready to move on than others. I think that we all meet people that we have something in common with at a certain stage in our lives. They give us what we need and we give them what they need. Once that is over (as in the case of friendships with parents of our kids' friends) we move on. I'm not saying it has to happen. But in a lot of cases, it does. :-/

And I think I'm now rambling.

BTW Theresa, I think you did answer the question.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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