How to break up in 3 steps

Part 1, Part 2

Oh the pain and awkwardness of breaking up! I so understand your question, from my professional as well as personal experience. Therefore I'm going to help you discover how to break up confidently in 3 clear steps with grace and compassion.

Stages of a break-up

How to break up. Distressed woman.
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The ending of a relationship happens in different stages.

  • At first you notice a vague sense of discontent, stillness and perhaps even loneliness at times. 
    You feel in your heart that things ought to be different, but perhaps you accept them as 'normal' up and downs.
  • Then you become increasingly aware that you're no longer happy.
  • Over time that feeling increases and you begin to imagine what it would be like if you were to break up and go your separate ways.
  • The next stage is you give up dealing with your relationship problems as they now seem impossible to resolve.
  • And one day you find yourself looking at your finances and secretly scanning the papers for somewhere else to live.

How to separate - in 3 clear steps

My advice on how to break up in 3 steps will help you navigate the process of ending your relationship or marriage with relative ease and grace.

However sad and difficult, we have to accept that endings happen.

I want you to do it well so that you and your partner hold on to your dignity.  A cleaner ending makes for a faster recovery:

  • fewer arguments
  • your children's well-being protected
  • less damage
  • less pain - believe me!
  • a manageable lawyer's bill (if you need legal advice)
  • enough energy left to invest in your future

Of course, I am assuming that you are totally sure that you want to split up from your partner or spouse.

If you're not sure you are doing the right thing then I recommend you do my Relationship Test.


I used you site for advice on ending a new relationship where I was more involved, but the guy just wanted a fling. Very helpful - thanks.

- Carole

Be clear about why you are breaking up

You need to be absolutely clear about your reasons before you talk to your spouse or partner about breaking up.

We’ll talk later about how and when you might start the conversation.  For now, just trust me, think about the answers to the questions on the next page and write them down.

These answers will help you prepare for that stomach-churning conversation when you tell your partner that you want to break up and separate.

You'll be ready to articulate exactly why you are breaking up. Believe me - you'll be asked!

If by any chance you want to get some personal advice, you can get that right now on my page Online Relationship Advice. There are qualified counsellors/therapists ready to chat with you.

Oh... one more thing...

What was your dream?

Communication Kit for Couples

Remember that the ultimate reason for breaking up is that your dreams have been shattered. Those dreams were part of the story you told yourself about what life should be like.

We're not talking reality here. We're getting to the core of who youare: your expectations, your perceptions, your assumptions, your feelings and thoughts about life - including the people around you.

I know this sounds deep, but taking responsibility for that will help you do the best possible ending.

Should you still be unsure about what to do, I recommend you reinvest in your relationship with my Relationship Makeover Kit. It will help you focus on other things in your relationship instead of all the trouble. You can have deeper, more meaningful and also fun conversations that may just save your relationship.

Break up advice in three steps

Read on...

Part 2 with Tips on how to break up - in three effective steps and minimise the pain of the ending.

Part 1, Part 2

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Image courtesy of: Michael Korchia