Ending a relationship is a decision not entered into lightly, or without concern for any likely consequences. Whether a relationship has reached a natural point of attrition, or whether it’s end is more sudden, there are certain questions you are likely to to contemplate before making a final decision.
“What Do I Want?”
An important part of the process of understanding the end of a relationship is figuring out what it is you want from the relationship. If you have children, this is likely to be considerably more difficult.
It can be handy to create an inventory of wishes regarding the future of your relationship – whether or not you decide to end it. Write down any concerns, questions or ongoing issues which persist in your mind and find the time to address each one carefully.
“Can I Talk About It?”
Finding the time and place to initiate a conversation where you air your thoughts is perhaps the hardest first step you can take.
A professional counsellor can be a good first talking point. Offering you a neutral set of ears and some tested coping skills, a counselor can help you gather your strength so that you can best process your next steps.
Seeking legal counsel is another wise early step (if you have family, a Melbourne-based family lawyer is a solid recommendation) and can help you understand the myriad legal issues of importance likely to influence and affect you decision.
“Is This About Something Else?”
Once you’ve taken an inventory of your concerns and had the time to air them with a professional, it could be time to consider other extraneous issues which might have had an effect on your relationship.
Do you have young children? Is there a person/persons outside of your relationship who is interfering or causing issues?
Addressing and answering these questions can help you find the root of larger problems. It can help you to find ways to address moving forward – even in the case you end the relationship.
“Would I Be Better Off Alone?”
One of the most natural questions to ask in a time of distress is whether or not you will be ok. Especially when the event causing the distress is over. In the case of a relationship ending, the question is often whether or not you will be better-off outside of the relationship.
This is a question that can only be answered by your individual set of circumstances. If you’re in a relationship which causes you emotional or financial distress, that question might be easier to answer. If you’re in a relationship with children or considerable financial assets, that question might be harder.
“Do I Have A Strategy For Navigating Difficult Conversations?”
Starting the all important ‘we need to talk’ conversation is very, very difficult. Especially if you haven’t been forthright in indicating that you’re seeking relationship counsel.
The conversation where you broach ending the relationship should be taken in a comfortable, neutral space, where neither party is outnumbered or alienated.
Make sure you have ample time set aside for conversation. Also a way to end the conversation in case it takes a dramatic or uncomfortable turn. Having a strategy devised where you can exit if things don’t go as planned is important.
“Do I Have Support From Friends & Family?”
Having a trusted friend or relative within easy reach is an important self-care measure. You may find their initial support comforting, especially if the conversation didn’t go the way you had planned.
Try to be open with your loved ones and let them care for you while you plan your next steps. You may find the recovery time helps you recharge and take stock.
Choosing to end a relationship is a difficult and often uncomfortable life event. Giving yourself space, time and the counsel of professionals can help to uncover your true intentions and feelings. It will also help you move forward and make a decisive next step.