Managing Stress: Ending a Relationship
It may be time to move on from a relationship when:
- Unhappiness with the relationship persists for a significant amount of time.
- There is unresolved conflict.
- You are staying in the relationship to avoid hurting your partner.
- It seems as though trust cannot be rebuilt.
- You are considering pursuing a relationship with someone else.
Some individuals stay in a relationship because they are “afraid”to be alone—even when there are no feelings of love for the other person. Using a relationship as a security blanket to protect you from loneliness isn’t fair to the other person and doesn’t give you an opportunity to grow, learn about yourself and find out what you need. If you’re in that type of situation, ending the relationship might be best for you and your partner.
ENDING A RELATIONSHIP
Ending a relationship is a hard thing to do. There could be feelings of guilt, fear of emotionally hurting your partner, fear that your partner may take it the wrong way, or it could be that feeling of wondering if you did everything possible to save the relationship.
Although ending a relationship is easy for some, for others it can be a difficult thing. If you feel it is the best option for you, then you need to follow through no matter how difficult the process may be. In some instances you may find that your partner feels the same way, and in others your partner doesn’t realize what’s going on. Holding on to a relationship that is over will only make the relationship worse and become more of a strain on you and your partner’s life. If ending a relationship were the best thing for you, then it would be the best thing for your partner.
- Be honest—with yourself and your partner.
- Be respectful—end it clearly and compassionately.
- Be clear. Don’t expect your partner to know what is going on. Explain the situation and your feelings fully.
- Explain how you want the relationship to end (friendship, no contact, etc.).
WHEN THE LOVE BUG STRIKES AGAIN
Every relationship is a learning experience. If one does not work out, use what you have learned in the next relationship. It’s also important to remember that every relationship is different—with various strengths and weaknesses. Avoiding comparisons between one relationship and your current situation will help you focus on the benefits you’re experiencing today.
Relationships are a healthy part of life. Enjoy it when it is right for you and when it is not, don’t worry. The best is next to come!
IF ABUSE IS INVOLVED
With the term “abusive”, many individuals think of being hit or punched, but abuse can come in many forms—from verbal abuse to preventing other friendships and activities. Sometimes it is difficult for the person in the relationship to realize that it is abusive. Some of the following questions may help you assess your relationship.
- Does your partner reduce your self-esteem?
- Do you feel threatened or afraid of your partner at any time?
- Does your partner try to control your decisions and your life?
- Have you lost all your friends because of this relationship?
- Has your partner ever hit you, pushed you, or forced you to have sex?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to speak with a professional about your relationship.