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Going through a break up is like hanging from a cliff. You start grabbing at anything to pull you back. A flimsy branch; the flat ground; the old t-shirt you left at her house. If you’re going through a divorce the goofy stuff you’re clinging to is just on a larger scale: the dog paintings you bought at the flea market; the couch that no one sits on.

Sometimes people fight over material things as a way of holding on to the relationship. Subconsciously having that bad relationship of fighting is better than having no relationship. By continuing to find something to fight over, the relationship still exists. Once there is nothing to fight over, they’ve lost that hold on the other person.

I used to keep face wash and moisturizer at my ex-boyfriend’s house. And probably a tooth brush, too. But that’s it. I didn’t have anything of value there. I had the same face wash and moisturizer at my own house, and honestly, if he’d lost it, I never would have cared. But when he dumped me, I never wanted anything more in my life. And to feed my obsession, instead of asking for it, I waited … and waited … and waited to see if he’d bring it to me, but he didn’t. So I convinced myself he must be keeping it to make me ask him for it.

After a while I convinced myself he would refuse to ever give it back. Anger began to build inside of me. “How DARE that sonofabitch keep MY Aveda face wash? He’s probably given it to some new girl to use!,” said the PG-13 version of my inner monologue. I finally got so furious I sent him an angry email demanding he bring me my face wash.

He did. Immediately. My balloon was popped. It was over. I felt like someone let the air out of my chest. That was it. There was nothing left connecting me to him. There was no reason anymore to talk to him. He could officially be done with my crazy ass.

They say the best way to take control back from someone trying to control you, is to let go of the thing they’re using to control you. In my case, I was trying to keep a hold of that relationship by having face wash at his house. Just by having it there. Once he gave it back, he cut that tie. I could have taken the control back of my own life by just letting him keep that stupid face wash and forgetting about it.

Be willing to let go of the material things. You may be thinking, Yeah but yours was just face wash.  Mine is valuable. I need to fight for this. No you don’t. You can’t take it with you when you die any more than I can take my face wash. It’s all face wash. Buy a new one. Why do you want it anyway? It’s got memories of the ex attached to it. Be honest with yourself. Why are you really fighting over that stuff? Trust me when I say you’ll be much happier in the long run if you let it go. (Elsa, amirite?) You’ll feel empowered, and the ex will probably be hurt that you were able to let go so easily, so that’s at least one benefit, right?