There are a million reasons why relationships end, but infidelity, bad timing and lack of chemistry are probably the most common. For whatever reason, ending a relationship is one of the most difficult actions you will ever have to take, and the longer the relationship lasts, the harder it gets. Unfortunately there is no easy way to break up with someone; there is a way to do it gracefully, with maturity and respect.
Acknowledge the Problem
How do you know when your relationship has hit a dead-end? Sometimes the answer is obvious. Other times you may not be so sure. Here are some signs that it is time to end your relationship:
You always feel frustrated.
You find reasons to spend time apart.
You wish your relationship was more like the way it was in the beginning.
You changed your values, beliefs or goals to accommodate your partner with the hope that the relationship would get better. It didn’t.
You have drastically changed your appearance so that your partner will find you more attractive.
You have cut off close relationships with friends and family members to be with your partner.
You are being physically, emotionally or sexually abused
If you and your partner are constantly fighting, if you don’t share the same beliefs or goals, and (especially) if you are being abused, it is time for your relationship to end. But what if you are stuck in a mediocre relationship? On a scale of 1-10, your relationship is a six. Should you risk what you already have in the hopes of finding something better? Only you can decide. But the bottom line is, a relationship should add to your quality of life, not take away from it.
Make a Decision
Make sure that you assess the issue from a clear, rational perspective. Never make a decision when you feel angry. Take the time to consider the consequences of all your possible actions – especially if you have children together. Ending a marriage is not the same as breaking things off with a guy you’ve been seeing casually for a few months. Whatever you choose to do, you must be confident in your decision.
Of course, once you know that you have to break things off, do it. Some people will stay in a relationship for months or years after it has gone sour simply because they don’t know how to end it. But it isn’t fair to either of you to stay in a relationship that is going nowhere.
Anticipate their Reaction. There are four main reactions that you can expect when you break up with someone:
Silence (sometimes followed by your partner leaving)
Sadness and crying
An outburst of anger or rage (sometimes dangerous)
Questions about your decision
Think about which of these reactions you can expect from your partner and how you will deal with them. It is a good idea to prepare yourself for any and all scenarios when ending a relationship.
Find a Neutral Setting. The best place to have “the talk” is a private, neutral setting. Find some place where the two of you will have the privacy to freely express yourselves and show your emotions. On the other hand, if you are afraid that your partner may react violently, definitely end your relationship in a public setting where you can call for help if necessary.
A few other faux pas to avoid: Never break up with someone at work. And avoid at all costs ending a relationship over the phone, via email or with a “Dear John” letter. You’re not in high school. If you are going to end a relationship with someone, have the courage and the decency to do it face to face.
Choose Your Words Carefully. Some people feel that a relationship is a gauge of their own self-worth. If someone breaks up with them, it is because there is something wrong with them. In reality, relationships rarely end because there is something “wrong” with one or both partners; they usually end because the spark just isn’t there.
Prepare for Backlash. Your partner may be so devastated by your break-up that his only recourse is to hurt you in return. It’s an immature reaction, but we’re all human. If your partner starts throwing out verbal and emotional slings and arrows, resist the temptation to fire back. Understand that he is only trying to hurt you because he feels hurt. Be the bigger person and hold your tongue. If that doesn’t work, just walk away.
Don’t Blame Yourself. You are ending your relationship because it is the best move to make for both of you. If you are addressing the situation honestly, without placing blame or judgment on your partner, there is no reason to feel guilty. You are attempting to end the relationship as painlessly as possible. But the truth is, his feelings will probably be hurt. Just know you are not obligated to take responsibility for his feelings. All you can do is be honest with him and with yourself. In the end, you have to do the right thing.
Make a Clean Break. A few days, weeks or even months after your break up, you may start to reminisce about your ex-partner. You may start thinking about all the good times you had, or wonder what he is up to. These are normal and natural feelings, but it is important not to act on them. There is a reason why you ended the relationship in the first place, and starting things up again will only reopen old wounds. Keep your distance, at least for a few months, until you can get back on your feet. And no matter what, do not drink and dial. Booty calls are strictly off limits.
Allow Yourself Grieving Time
Demonstrate civility. Be kind and respectful in person and in writing.
Don’t spread lies. The truth comes out in the end so you will look worse if you spread lies.
Display poise and maturity. Don’t let your ex’s family or friends bait you into a fight. Maintain your dignity.
Practice generosity. Agree to split your accumulated assets equally.
Exhibit empathy. Be willing to spend some time communicating to your ex in the initial phase of the break up. It takes time to process sometimes.
Use a prepared script. Helps the anxiety stay at a minimum.
Know when to ask for help. Use a mediator if it gets ugly.
If you have children put their needs first.
To contact Kimile Pendleton visit www.HealTheFamilyNow.com