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How to End a Relationship

There is no easy way to tell someone you no longer want to be in a relationship with them. Many of us make the decision but find it difficult to act upon. Instead, our decision emerges in different ways – we become moody, distant, start drinking too much, staying out late, all in the hope that our partner will take on the job of ending the relationship, so we don’t have to play the bad guy.

This highlights one of the main reasons why it is so difficult to tell someone you are leaving a relationship – we all want to be thought of as the nice guy – we want to be liked even when we might be breaking someone’s heart. Yet, there is no room for kindness when breaking up a relationship. In fact, kindness can sometimes offer false hope to your partner and end up simply prolonging the agony.

Instead, you must focus on the bigger picture, adopting a more mature form of kindness, which means announcing the breakup as emphatically and hard-heartedly as possible. There must be no room for the hope of a potential reconciliation. In this respect, any attempt to be kind can lead to confusion over your intent.

When ending a relationship, try to avoid any element of blame – do not list your partner’s short comings but do explain why together you were not a good fit. Be honest about your own failings and how they contributed to a mismatch between you, “I am controlling, oppressively tidy and a workaholic and found your relaxed attitude to household chores and lack of ambition too challenging to cope with.”

Even though you might be the one instigating the breakup, this will help to highlight a joint responsibility for the breakdown of the relationship, instead of resorting to the blame game. In time, an acceptance of this shared culpability will provide a stable platform for you both to move forwards.

Often what people struggle to let go of, is not the person they are losing, but the vision of a future lifestyle together. If you can help your partner, see that the fundamental problems between you would be part of that future, it can also help you both to move on.

However hard you try to minimise the heartbreak, unfortunately you cannot avoid the pain for yourself or your partner. Take courage and remember that if the love has gone, the real kindness for you both, is in separating.

If you are thinking of ending a significant relationship in your life and would like some advice, Tisshaws offer a no-obligation initial consultation of up to one-hour for £50 (incl. VAT). This will give you the opportunity to explore the impact separation and divorce will have on your specific circumstances. Please fill in the contact form below or call us on 01444 472700.

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