Hurt By Partner Breakup

Question:

I have a coworker who used to be my partner in business. The co-worker needed to make more money so he took on another job and left me handling most of the load in our partnership. This went on for quite sometime until I voiced how I felt, and at that time I was very angry and hurt and felt I was really being taken advantage of by someone I thought would never have done so.

After I voiced my feelings, the coworker broke the partnership and removed his items in the middle of the night before telling me. I returned to the office to find an empty desk and the ex-partner now has a new partner. Needless to say I was crushed again and hurt to the bone.

Now the ex-partner/coworker will not speak to me and leaves the room when I enter and totally ignores me. I sent a small note and a gift saying I do not wish him any harm, but nothing. I feel so humiliated in front of others being treated this was when I feel I did not do anything to deserve this. I also know this person says things that are not true. Management is basically letting it work itself out but it does not seem to be happening. I am sick of it and don’t know what to do anymore. Please give me some advice.

Signed,

Humiliated


Answer:

Dear Humiliated:

What was done is done and you did your best to patch it up. Perhaps all you can do now is to learn from this. Partnership maintenance and dissolution is akin to marriage maintenance and breakup. Unfortunately, those who enter into both partnerships and marriage too often don’t hammer out agreements on how to deal with conflict and separation. Often it is not until entering into a second marriage that an individual, who has had a difficult divorce, insists on a prenuptial agreement and comes to an agreement with the one who will soon become a marital partner about how to communicate about sticky matters such as money, division of labor, sex, children and relatives and conflict. Your ex-partner has moved on and he treats you as though you are dead meat. So accept that. Don’t beg or whine to others. You do not have to behave coolly to match him. Just smile and greet him even if he turns his head, but move on, too. If your business depends on a partner to succeed, get one. This time invest the time needed to think through and talk through what a partnership means–division of labor, handling of money, and most of all the dos and don’t of communication between you. If you can learn from this past unhappy partner breakup, I predict you will come to appreciate the deep meaning in my close: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Will you keep us posted on how things are going or you after a few weeks?

William Gorden