Ending a Relationship with Grace and Gravitas
There are many reasons relationship have ended for me. Primarily I knew it was over for me. I wasn’t concerned that it was not over for the other person. As a matter of emotional survival I had to move on.
In retrospect I can see through the prism of professional and personal experiences that ending relationships can be accomplished with kindness and understanding. Although this is rare, it is possible.
In the various articles I have read on this topic the commonality is first to determine what is the right time to leave. I have an issue with this. The “right” time to leave implies absolute certainty. If we wait for this absolute we can remain stuck in ambivalence for years.
A practical criteria is assessing what is best for you at this point in time. We can make good decisions but not predict the outcome.
Make a list of pros and cons. Give a numeric value to each item. Our partner may have many sterling qualities but have they have even one that you cannot tolerate it is not a workable relationship. Now evaluate your list.
Keep a journal of unhappy days and happy days. Look at this after a month or two. What I am really saying here is do not end relationships impulsively. For you to feel confident about your decision it needs to be a consciously thought out process.
Don’t behave in ways to make your partner end it. People will find fault and behave poorly rather than have the courage to say they are unhappy and it is time to go separate ways.
Of course, if violence is involved you must keep your decision secret and arrange for a safe place to go for you and your children.
Consider all your options. Separation can help both of you to cool down and experience what life is like not living together.
Counseling can help the two of you share negative feelings without defensiveness. It may be that one partner is determined to keep the relationship together and the other is leaning toward ending it – in which case, an ending without rancor may not be possible.
You must think through financial matters and know what you are entitled to and responsible for. Divorce usually reduces each partner’s standard of living.
Make a budget of what you will need. Saving money for your getaway is a good idea maybe. Finding work sounds good, but it may prejudice the court that you are not in need of rehabilitative alimony. Most importantly seek legal counsel.
Be careful of leaving one relationship for another. If you have an outside emotional or physical relationship it will blind you. Making decisions blindly is a terrible idea.
Your feelings are as important as practical considerations for ending a relationship. If you feel more lonely with your partner than when you are alone, it may be time to end.
If you do not trust your partner either because of infidelity or other secretive ways, you cannot be comfortable. Human beings require consistency and reliability to feel safe. There is no way around that. You deserve that.
When ending a relationship understand that you are saying good-bye to what is good as well as what is bad. Even if you are the one making the choice there will generally be a grieving process. Endings are never easy and they are sometimes necessary.
In my own experience I have learned many things – one of which is how to very quickly spot when relationships are entered into or breaking up for reasons you will regret.
If there is something about your partner or spouse that doesn’t sit quite right with you – or if the relationship is setting off a warning bell here and there – let’s examine why. I’ll help you determine, with a clear and objective perspective, what’s happening and what you should do about it.