Breaking up is one of the most heart-breaking processes to go through. And if you are the one deciding to end the relationship, the decisions and events that follow are that much harder to make and get through.
When emotions are raw and running high, it’s very difficult to keep your dignity intact when you are hurting so much, but if you are left with no other choice other than ending the relationship and with an overwhelming need to meet your own emotional needs, you should know when the best time to walk away is and hopefully part amicably (if conditions are right).
Fighting for the relationship
If the relationship has been a long term relationship, a marriage of many years or a partnership you thought was going to last a lifetime, both parties are going to be in shock and feel emotions of loss and pain, so it’s very important that you have explored every other avenue possible in order to get the relationship back on track again before you just jump ship.
So often relationships are just going through a drifting period, where couples have drifted apart due to work, family and life pressures, but when couples get their eye on the ball again, they find that the relationship was worth working for.
Make sure that you have explored options like therapy or relationship counselling before you walk away – relationships are not easy, but you have to really ask yourself if this is what you want and make sure there is no alternative before packing your bags.
Should you leave?
Here are some fundamental signs that your relationship is toxic and that you should leave:
1. Your Partner Doesn’t Respect You
This is a non-negotiable thing in any relationship. If there is not respect you cannot expect to get anything else. Unconditional everything – especially respect is the foundation on which any relationship is built on
2. Your Partner is Physically Violent
This is a no brainer people; we don’t hurt the people we love and we certainly don’t physically attack them or threaten them with physical violence. If your partner has hit you - you were only a victim the first time, the second time you are a volunteer. Don’t just leave - Run faraway and never, ever look back
3. Your Lie for Your Partner
When everything has to be a secret about what they do and what they say, because you know your friends and family will disapprove is a number one reason to leave. Get out and don’t waste your life trying to be with somebody like that
4. Your Partner is Possessive
Possessive and jealous behaviour has everything to do with their own insecurities but they will take it out on you. It will start interfering with your entire life and put your job on the line when they phone you there incessantly and check up on you or arrive unannounced to see if you are there. This kind of behaviour only gets worse, never better
Broaching the subject
This is a very hard part – you need to think long and hard about what you want to say, how you want to say it and prepare yourself for an emotional outburst from the other person which will not allow you to finish saying what you want to.
Make sure that you have written your points down, because under emotional strain you get flustered and then the entire situation ends up worse than it should have been in the first place.
Be kind and gentle and don’t attack the other person’s character, be careful to point out the behaviour and how it affects your emotional needs and how it is not meeting them at all.
Take responsibility for your part in the failure and breakdown of the relationship and don’t pass the blame entirely onto the other person. A relationship is not able to function on its own, nor is it able to breakdown on its own; it does really take two to tango.
Set up a meeting between the two of you but don’t give the other person too much warning – chances are they already know what is coming, so don’t make them sleep on it, that’s not fair at all. Pick a time where you will not be interrupted by anything or anybody, get a baby sitter for the kids if need be – you both need some time to offload some emotions and tell each other what you need to without having to make dinner and finish homework in between.
Before you take any steps to end your relationship you may want to get some legal advice that will be able to inform you about what happens next – even if you are not married there may still be legal implications in terms of property and contents of homes. And if there are children from the relationship there will most definitely be legal and monetary implications and both parties need to do the right thing for everybody involved.
Find out from a reputable lawyer about your rights and responsibilities – so that you know where you stand from the start.
Your partner may not want to accept the reasons for ending the relationship and their distress can be excruciating. Remain calm and repeat your reasons clearly and don’t expect a rational or logical response from them at all. Allow them some time to gather their thoughts and get some support. But don’t at any time start a fight, or pick on them – it will only make things that much worse.
Don’t end a relationship in a public place
Don’t inform the other person of your intention to leave by means of a text message or email.
Don’t walk out of a relationship just before your partner has a big social or work event or about to write a big exam.
Don’t start an affair in the hopes you will get caught and your partner will leave you first – that will make things so much worse.