I’d Like to Break Up With My Husband, Please

When we were in high school, Chris and I were the King and Queen of breakups.  We broke up several times.  And it was never just a little “I need my space” thing.  It was colossal fits of jealous rage that may or may not have involved theatrical lighting at certain points.

Wanna know a secret?

I sort of miss the break ups.

Last week on April 29 Chris and I celebrated our eleventh year of being together.  We’re not quite sure where that date came from, but it is engraved on the promise rings we wore from April 29, 1999 until the day we got married when we switched those silver bands out for platinum wedding bands.

Eleven years together is a long time.  And when you factor in that three of those years were in high school and everybody knows that high school years are like dog years, it is really more like 29 years together.

And while I think we’ve done a pretty good job of keeping things interesting, occasionally, I miss the drama of a good, dramatic break up.  Not so much the pain and heartbreak that my little high school heart could barely take, but the part that comes right as you are breaking up with someone and then the three or four days afterwards.

When Chris and I would break up, it usually went like this:

1.  Huge, raging fight about something stupid.

2.  After a day of cooling off, the breaker upper would come back to the breaker uppie and explain calmly and rationally why they wanted to break up.  And then there would be sweet tears of goodbye, long professions of our unconditional love, and the promise of bigger love ahead for both of us.  (We were in high school, remember?)

3.  That’s when the contemplation would begin.  The breaker upper would then sit alone for three or four days, reminiscing about the breaker uppie, remembering happy times and the reasons that we were together in the first place.  While this is happening in one house, the breaker uppie sat at their house – crying – and playing love songs and kissing photographs of the breaker upper.  (Remember.  High school.)

4.  After 4 or 5 days, the breaker upper would stop by the house of the breaker uppie and profess his or her undying love and apologize for the huge mistake they made.  At this point, the breaker uppie would pretend for five minutes that they had to think over whether or not to get back together.

5.  We’d get back together.

That break up pattern had everything a teenager needed in life: drama, emotion, and an irrational, unexplainable connection with someone else. And, to be honest with you, sometimes I need those same things in my marriage.

The other night we were watching some show on TV that I can’t even remember now, but there was a woman who was dating this guy and some other guy kept trying to jump in and steal her and finally after a little while the boyfriend made this gallant gesture in an attempt to keep his girlfriend.

I turned to Chris and we had the following conversation:

Me: If someone tried to steal me from you, would you try and get me back?

Chris: Steal you?

Me: Yeah, you know. Like, take me from you.

Chris: Like a kidnapping?

Me: Noooo. Like, you know, they tried to get me to leave you. Would you try and get me back?

Chris (after thinking for a minute): Well, did you want to leave or were they making you? Cause if they were making you, then it’d be kidnapping and I’d call the police.

The conversation went on for 15 minutes and it ended with me storming off. And Chris calling after me, “What’d I do?!?!”

See, after a good break up, you spend days professing your love.  Sometimes you get flowers.  There’s lots of good kissin’.  For those few days, you see your relationship with fresh, clear, wide eyes.  And who doesn’t love feeling loved like that?

Don’t get me wrong. I totally wouldn’t go back to high school and I love where my relationship with Chris is today. But there are times when I wish we could just break up for a day or two so that we could get back together again.

I guess the trick to keeping that fresh, I-can’t-live-without-you feeling in my marriage is to redefine what a break up is. In high school it was a statement that said “I don’t want to be with you anymore.” Now, I think a break up should say more of “I love you so much that I sometimes I forget what it feels like to love you because I’ve gotten so used to loving you.”

Yeah. Sometimes I need one of those break ups in my marriage.

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39 Thoughts to “I’d Like to Break Up With My Husband, Please”

  1. My mother gave me the best advice when I got married, and I live by it.
    I will always love you, now and forever, but today and right now, I don’t have to like you.
    So when I get that ‘I dont’ like you feeling’ I tell my husband to go away, I don’t like you.
    Haha and it works, he usually comes back about an hour later and makes it all better. 😀

  2. AMEN! I love the marriage break up phrase. The days after a good fight are sometimes the best.

  3. Gina B.

    Oh, the delicious drama of a high school break up. I had the most volatile relationship my junior/senior years of high school and I know exactly what you’re talking about! The giant fights! The professions of undying love! The perfect behavior for a few days! I miss that stuff sometimes. The high highs and… well I don’t miss the lows…

  4. Hahahah I must admit – I miss this also. 🙂 It kept things exciting!

  5. I’m not religious, but I thank the sweet Lord that I never went through that sort of high school shenanigans. I saved that stuff for college. After all, I am convinced that no one of the opposite knew I was alive until 1997.

  6. Kat

    I totally second this motion. Not that I want to break up with the hubs, but I do miss the renewed feelings of love afterwards. Something about owning a house and being legally bound that prevents you from breaking things off “for good” 2-5 times a year.

  7. Yes! I totally agree with that last line I love you so much that I sometimes I forget what it feels like to love you because I’ve gotten so used to loving you.€

  8. Sometimes I feel that not having the option of walking away from the relationship makes fights worst than they would be in high school. People sometimes feel a little trapped, when people feel trapped they feel defensive, when people feel defensive fights get worst, when fights get worst people are more likely to not come back after a break up. So yeah, married break ups may rejuvenate the relationship, but they are also more risky in my opinion.

  9. I miss the part of breakups where I would go and get my haircut and buy a whole new wardrobe. I no longer have an excuse to shamelessly waste money now that I am married. Maybe I can convince the hubby to break up with me for a day so I can squeeze in a shopping trip?

  10. GJones

    I love it, that was one of your funniest (while still being totally true) posts yet. Your statement about high school years being like dog years in a relationship made my day! Thanks Katie!

  11. Ana

    I completely agree with this post! My boyfriend and I have been dating for 8 yrs (still not married!) and two of those years were in high school so I remember the dramatic break ups! And I miss the flowers, extra compliments, and extra lovey dovey kisses! Even though I am not married yet.. I don’t think the bf would appreciate a breakup right now.. but he needs to step up his game and bring me some flowers! 🙂

    1. allison

      I’m in the same boat as you! Except it’s been 7 years. I’m hoping for a ring, not just flowers! 🙂

      1. Ana

        haha I feel you on the wanting a ring SOON! 🙂

  12. Michelle

    I just put Henry down for a nap. Brewed a fresh pot of coffee and got my computer to read your blog. AND I LOVE THIS POST! Seriously, I can totally relate. I do wish for some drama or something like that every once in a while. While marriage has it’s total bonuses (knowing who you are waking up next to), the break-up feeling and “new boyfriend” feeling only come a few times!!!

  13. I can totally relate to you. I have been married to my husband for 9 years, together for 11. We were high school sweethearts as well. We were never one of those couples who broke up on and off again. I never quite understood why people did that. We only broke up with him once after our one year anniversary together because it was getting so serious and I needed to make sure he was “the one”. Two weeks later we were back together. But I do miss that feeling after the break up of stepping back and giving a good, fresh look at the relationship. The conversation you had with your husband watching tv? That is word for word how my husband would have responded. LOL! Having a 21 month old doesn’t give us much alone time just the two of us but when we do, those feelings resurface all over again and we are dating again just the two of us. Thanks for keeping it real in your posts 🙂

  14. Haha! This was so funny!

    One a side note…My hubby and I celebrated our 8 years together on April 29th! What a coincidence! 🙂

  15. Well, inquiring minds want to know – if a man was trying to kidnap you, would Chris intervene?

    ‘Cause I’m hoping yes.

    1. Katie

      I’m still not sure… I’m checking the fine print in my marriage license though. I’m sure there’s something in there about protecting against kidnapping.

      1. Jessica W

        Just do what I do. Anytime there is a dispute like that I tell Matt “It was in the vows” since we were both so nervous we don’t really remember exactly what was said. 😉

  16. This post reminded me that when my now husband and I first got together I was actually living with another man (we had JUST broken up and still sorting things out.) My husband would quote the J.T song, “If that’s your girl bettah watch your back” and tell me that he felt justified swooping in and “stealing” me cause I wasn’t as appreciated as I should’ve been in that relationship. After so many years I had forgotten about that and it’s hard to believe the man who now passes gas in front of me once felt that way about me… LOL. Thanks Katie, now I can’t wait to get home and thank my husband!!

  17. Debbie

    With three past divorces between us and a complicated blended family arrangement, my husband and I don’t dare have “breakups”. Do what you need to do to keep your marriage fresh, but be careful. And FYI, my husband would totally smack down a kidmapper, forget about calling the police. LOL.

  18. Katiebrown

    Sorry this is not related to your break-up. I just saw your twitter update that Tyler Florence annoys you. That Giada lady annoys the crap out of me!! Everytime she says Moootzerayylaaa (supposed to be mozzarella) I want to throw something at the tv!!!

  19. Katie, this is such an important post! Marriage is not easy and I love how well you share the ins and outs of your marriage with Chris. You’re talking about the good and bad of routine. Even though your marriage is wonderful and good and happy, sometimes you still need to be reminded, in a dramatic way that makes you sit up and take notice, that Chris is head over heels in love with you and you are with him, too. I’d advise against the drama of a breakup and suggest that you simply climb out of the rut of everyday happy marriage (which isn’t the worst place to be!) and enjoy a day or evening of puppy-love emotional dramatic marriage, just the two of you, to reconnect and remember how important you both are to each other.

  20. I don’t ask those sorts of questions anymore. They usually end with my husband saying “I hope someone tries to steal you, then I can find a hot 18 year old blond who doesn’t tell me what to do.”
    Then he goes and sleeps on the couch without me telling him to. He knows how I roll. (And he’d miss me if I was stolen).

  21. i love you and i love this post.

    unfortunately, when my husband and i had a fight last night, it was verrrrrrryyyy similar to the high school break up scene you described… hmmm…

    i can’t wait to read this to Jeff.

  22. My husband and I have been together for 5+ years (though married only 11 months) and I definitely have days where I feel this way too! We never broke up in those 5 years, but our relationship definitely had more dramatic ups and downs than it does now. When we fought in college, Joe would feel so guilty afterward that he’d be especially thoughful for the next several weeks. Now that he’s stuck with me, though, he doesn’t seem to view any of our fights as disasterous to our relationship so after a quick apology, he pretty much forgets they ever happened!

  23. First, let me tell you that my husband and I have also been together since the beginning of time . . uh, I mean, high school. This summer it will add up to 12 years together and 4 years married.

    And second, let me say that I find it very strange that sometimes what you write can make absolutely no sense to any rational person and yet, dude! I totally get it! 🙂 Hmmm, what does that say about me?

  24. Angela

    You have no idea how much I love this post.
    This Friday, it’ll be and my boyfriends first anniversery together, and the fact that we haven’t had one of those dramatic break-ups yet blows my mind.

    And high-school relationships should be measured in dog years!! ‘Cause it feels like forever.

    But I can totally relate, there are so many rough patches, and then things feel perfect and new and wonderful again when we work everything out.

    Hahaha, this is one of my favourite posts.

  25. I may or may not be checking in during work, and this post made me laugh out loud (it’s ok, it happens frequently with others in the office too, so no one thought I was THAT weird). I adore this post – it made me so nostalgic for high school (though I wasn’t really in many relationships at all, and anything resembling this for me was actually college) and for the early craziness that I think a lot of relationships are. How do you know it’s for real if you don’t get absurdly crazy oh-no-you-didn’t jealous at least once? 😉

  26. Hmm, Chris doesn’t seem particularly concerned by the idea of you being kidnapped…

    Your description of high school break ups sure brings back memories!

  27. Michaela

    WOW! well for one, i vividly remember you writing about your 10 year anniversary last year, and Chris’ darn good public apology after! that was just around the time your blog became a must-check-every-day one so happy anniversary for me for finding such a hilarious read! (and you for writing it, but lets face it, who has the harder job here? :P)
    and my partner and I got together right at the end of highschool, and our first maybe 18 months was FULL of those screaming, crying, flowers, picnics, i’m dying, calling friends, but now i love you…. type dramas. It was only about a year ago (we’re almost at the 4 year mark now) I stopped and thought- funny, when did that stop?
    What I miss about high school is the ‘does he like me? doesn’t he?’ dramas as well. That excitement that ‘oh-my-gosh-he-touched-my-hand’ which can need recapturing in the times of ‘if-you-think-i’m-even-washing-my-hair-when-i-have-my-comfy-trackpants-on-you’ve-got-another-thing-coming.’

  28. Heather M

    There are times when I truly can not remember a time without my husband. It’s a crazy and frightening admission at times – both because we haven’t been together all that long – 5 years together and 3 married (this August) BUT it feels much longer, in a good way!! 🙂

  29. LMAO – I asked my husband the same question after reading this and all I got was “Eventually”

  30. Jessica W

    I love any of your blog posts that I can email to my husband with the Subject “See! It’s not just me!”

  31. Maybe just try leaving to go somewhere really fun for a bit without him, you would both miss each other but you would be too busy having fun to care and he would need to profess his undying love for you because he can’t handle the day-to-day mundane without you. Win-Win. I am thinking Hawaii. I could go with you for moral support. I am supportive like that.

  32. savannah

    this really hit home for me! i’m not married but i’ve been feeling sort of the same with my boyfriend. Now I definitely DON’T want to break up, but i want us to remember how happy we are together and that we really do love each other more and more every day. I saved your last paragraph on Stickies on my desktop to remind myself of it! thank you! 🙂

  33. dave

    Good post !!!

  34. My children were staring at me because I was laughing outloud at the breakdown of the conversation between you and Chris! I always ask my husband outlandish questions and he NEVER gets what I am asking! I could just hear him trying to get clarification on what “steal you” meant! LOVE IT, as always.

  35. ME TOO!! 🙂

    Although Farm Boy and I only broke up once and it lasted for 12 hours…I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes you want to hear just how much they love you and that they haven’t forgotten how much they love you.



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