Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — I finally did it!!!! I broke up with my assh*** long term (relationship). Now we’re divvying up property. The fights are starting all over again. Help! — Fractionator
It sounds like congratulations are in order for successfully completing one cycle in your lessons. The trick for you two (and individually) is not to repeat the same trial-and-error homework but to repeat the successful outcome — in your case, a mature ending of something that was no longer serving you. Do the same thing with your things. After all, they are only as potent and valuable as you your selves assign and infuse them with. Keep the power you give freely to the things low, especially as to your emotions they represent (i.e., “That CD you bought me on our first date is mine,” but only because you are still attaching the old sentiment of his taking care of you to the plastic disc, etc. Fill in your own actual emotional ties). Set up rules before re-visiting this property division task (involve an impartial third party, if necessary). Agree to divide things fairly by BR and AR dates (Before Relationship and After Relationship), receipts, and/or any other empirical, pragmatic data or reasoning you can agree to.
Lastly, the other grey-area items should be put in the middle of the living room and “auctioned” for (I’m suggesting reasoned (vs. argued in the aggressive sense) for; best rhetoric prevails) in front of a pre-determined, mutually agreed upon impartial third party. All decisions final.
Lighten your spoils to move on fully,
Congratulations on standing up for you! Don’t stop now! Parsing out property is no easy feat! There will be times that you must lay down a firm boundary and stake your claim and others when you will need to concede. The key to successfully “divvying” up the property will be your own presence with yourself and what you refuse to let go of and what you are ok with handing away.
Before your next “splitting up the goods” meeting, write out a list of property and star those items that you believe will be contentious creators. Decide ahead of time what your best outcome would be. BE FAIR!! Do not decide you need the thing you know your partner wants most. That will only cause more contentious moments. Decide what items you need to move away or be paid for giving away. For backup, create a second list of negotiating items—those items which you know your partner wants, you don’t care about that you can hold back as bargaining chips to negotiate for the pieces you really want.
Remember, in the end you would be better off walking away from a bunch of property littered with negative associations than putting yourself through hell for CDs or an arm chair. You are more important than any store bought item. In the end, you could just ask for a payout for the bulk of items and start fresh.
You have already started the process of taking care of you. Keep going!
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