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

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.

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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…


Imagine TEXTING your way to a better relationship - or even getting your ex back! Text Chemistry: A Simple Way to Use Text Messages to Strengthen Your Relationship.

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