How to End a Relationship That Isn’t Good for You 9


On my article about living in a bad marriage, a reader asked how to end a relationship. Here are a few ways to break up gently and cause as little harm as possible to the person you once loved (and possibly still love!).

Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Susan J. Elliott will show you how to work through grief, move past fear, and take back your life. You’ll learn the secret to breaking the pattern of failed relationships, and what to do when you can’t stop thinking about your ex, texting, calling, checking social networking sites, or driving by the house.

The bad news is that there is no easy, simple way to end a relationship. It hurts, no matter how gentle, kind, loving, and thoughtful you are. Even if your partner knows that breaking up is the right thing to do, both of you will still hurt for awhile after the breakup.





If you’re ending a relationship because your partner has emotional health issues, you may find How to Break Up With Someone Who is Depressed helpful.

The good news is that you’re ready to take the next step. It’s time to put an end to this relationship, and start thinking about moving forward in your life.

How to End a Relationship

Accept that everybody hates good-byes. “Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together?  I guess that wouldn’t work.  Someone would leave.  Someone always leaves.  Then we would have to say good-bye.  I hate good-byes.  I know what I need.  I need more hellos.”  – Charles M. Schulz. He was the creator of the Peanuts family – and maybe he created Lucy, Snoopy, Charlie, etc because he needed a group of people who would be his forever.

Expect pain when you end a relationship. On How to Break Up With Someone You Don’t Love Anymore, I encourage painful honesty. Say something like, “I don’t know how to say this because it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but there’s something you need to know.” You don’t have to be brutally honest; you just have to be authentic. This tip on how to end a relationship is so that you don’t go into the breakup expecting it to be easy.

Remember that short-term pain is better than long-term pain. What is it costing you to put off the breakup? How long have you been avoiding this? You’re searching for tips on how to end a relationship because it’s getting more and more painful to stay together. It’s time to take the next step – and remember that this short burst of pain is better in the long run than drawing the agony of the relationship out.

Bite the bullet, and just do it. “Biting the bullet” means enduring a painful, unpleasant, difficult situation that is unavoidable. Unless you want to stay in this relationship – obsessing about how to end it – you need to bite the bullet. There is no good time to end a relationship, and there are no words that will ease the pain of the breakup.

how to end a relationshipSolidify your reasons for ending the relationship. It feels horrible, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to break up! Sometimes we stay in relationships long after they’re over because we’re scared to hurt our partners, scared to be alone, scared of starting over. If you want to know how to end a relationship gently and lovingly, you need to first figure out your reasons for wanting out.

Focus and own your feelings and actions. Don’t blame your partner, no matter how blameworthy he or she is. When you break up, take responsibility for your actions and feelings in the relationship. Say things that represent how you feel – not how your partner has been acting. For example, “I feel lonely and isolated when I spend most of my time alone” is more effective than “You’re never around for me – you’re always at work or with your friends.” Let your partner blame you for ending the relationship. After all, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is, does it? What matters is that you’re free.

It’s important to start thinking about how you’ll feel after you end the relationship. Read 5 Ways to Fill the Void After a Breakup.

If you have any thoughts on how to end a relationship, please comment below. I can’t offer advice, but you may find it helpful to share your experience…




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9 thoughts on “How to End a Relationship That Isn’t Good for You

  • Cristhel Ferraren

    I already did these steps for ending a relationship that isn’t good for you, but the problem is the guy he can’t understand why I’m breaking up with him . He didn’t care for his self he just want to stay in a relationship with me even if i don’t love him anymore.
    Its being unfair for me, its not loved its selfish, its OBSESSION !

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear hint,

    If you end this relationship because your boyfriend isn’t good for you, then you’ll grieve the loss. It’s painful to say goodbye, even when you know he isn’t right for you. It’s normal for you to feel sad, to cry, and to grieve the end of this relationship.

    If you stay with your boyfriend, you’ll continue to feel sad and mad every time you talk. The feelings will get stronger, and you and he will fight. You’ll lose sleep, and you may even end up hating yourself for continuing to stay in a relationship that isn’t good for you.

    What do you think would be a better decision for you in the long run?

  • hint

    i do “love” my boyfriend… im still confuse like were in a long distance for almost a year but lately everytime we talk on skype i feel sad and mad at him for no reason… and when i tried to break with him it hurts soo much that i cry… what should i do?

  • Laurie Post author

    Knowing how to end a relationship is never easy, no matter how badly you’re treated. It’s a huge decision that requires a big dose of faith, courage, and daring!

    My first step is always to figure out the “what.” I almost never know the how. To be specific, I don’t know how I’ll end a relationship…I just know what I need to do.

    I often start by talking to people I trust. And I’ve always called out for help, to places like social services or women’s shelters. I tell them the truth: I don’t know how to end a relationship that isn’t good for me. I ask for help.

    And somehow I get the help I need.

    What will your first step be?

  • Carol

    My husband tells me when I put make up on I look like a clown
    He yells at me all the time if I say or do something he dosent like
    He says he cant have sex with me because iam to old I smell. But wants me to do him. We have been togather for 28 yrs. I want out but dont know what to do.

  • Laurie

    Maybe the decision about whether and how to end a relationship isn’t something you do alone. Maybe the best way to proceed is to sit down with your partner, talk about what’s missing, and decide together what to do.

    Ending a relationship when you have children is painful for everyone…and sometimes a divorce causes more pain and problems than working through the tough middle of a marriage.

    What is getting in the way of you talking to your wife about your marriage?

  • Bryton

    Thank you so much for this info on how to leave a relationship. i love my wife and it hurts to put a BUT.but there is a but coz we just dont feel like before anymore…i love my kidz and her but i dont feel loved anymore so i need help so i can jus move on.Bryton

  • JJ

    Screw that , if the person that your breaking up with is lying pill popping addict who disrespects you and stills from you , why the hell would I extend them the courtesy of telling them . Just pack ur sh*t and bounce without saying a word.