When a (long term) relationship ends

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Ending a long-term relationship means having to deal with the tricky questions of...

  • whether or not to stay in touch
  • whether or not to get legal advice
  • managing your emotions
  • supporting your children

I cover

Do you need legal advice?

Before you take any action though, be sure that you've had legal advice, if appropriate. Particularly if you've been living together, you're likely to have joint assets. If there's any chance that you might get into difficulties about that, make sure that you are aware of both your legal rights.

You'll find further info here: finding the Best Divorce Lawyer for Your Money

Staying in touch - is it worth it?

Do you need to stay in touch with an ex when you're ending a relationship? What are your own expectations of how long you'd want to carry on seeing your ex-partner?  

If you're hurting, and/or your marriage or relationship was full of conflict, stress and perhaps even abuse, you may be having a hard time deciding what is best.

How long you need to stay in touch and the quality of contact depends on a number of factors.

It speaks for itself that if you have children, you need to be prepared to be parents together for the rest of your life. (And incidentally - any future partners will need to know that you come 'as a package'). If your children are still young, clearly there's likely to be regular contact to ensure that their needs are met.

Here are a few more factors that have a bearing on the length and quality of your contact after you have broken up:

  • the length of your marriage or relationship - it can be difficult to let go and get over it
  • the intensity of your relationship -  you can't be together and you can't be apart
  • the geographical distance - if you've had a long-distance relationship you may have already felt quite separate for some time
  • how secure or insecure you each feel as individuals - how difficult and stressful is it for each of you to be independent
  • how secure you felt in your relationship or marriage - if you feel generally insecure, you may find it difficult to let go however much the relationship was damaging for you
  • how easy it is to divide your assets and whether or not it requires a lawyer
  • the legal advice you have both received - sometimes the manner in which legal advice is conveyed is less than optimal!
  • the state of your financial affairs and how much stress that causes you
  • how you negotiate the division of your possessions - delays, misunderstandings, avoidance, legal advice, promises not kept - and so on - all have a bearing
  • whether or not either one of you is intent on point scoring - please don't do this though!
  • whether or not one of you wants revenge (trust me, this is pointless!)
  • whether or not you questioned your relationship compatibility right from the start

I hope you'll think these things through really carefully.  A ‘good’ ending - relationship breakup - will help you both to recover and move on much more quickly and healthily. 

I'd really love you to explore other related pages on my site too. It takes only a little time and can save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

Why staying in charge of your emotions is important

Of course it's very likely that you and/or your partner are going to be emotional at the end of a relationship. It is expected, though, that you'll experience a different mix of emotions. Much of it depends on how your relationship ended.

However, I have some advice for you that may save you heartache and money.

  • Don't say you're leaving in a fit of anger - the damage may be permanent without intention!
  • Don't say it's over in the hope your partner will do what you want her orhim to do.
  • The moment you hurl accusations at someone, their ears close.
    Don't be surprised if you feel that your partner doesn't seem to listen.
    He or she may be unable to hear what you're saying, because of the way you're saying it. Do have a look at How You Can Improve Your Communication.
  • The more emotional we are as human beings the less able we are to make sense of, or understand, things. In other words - the more emotional we become the less intelligent we are at that moment.

Just remember that what you blurt out when you're distressed, obsessed, hurt and/or angry could cost you dearly during a divorce process. You may just be adding to your lawyer's bill...

And if you have children, then your emotions will affect their stress levels too...

Your children's stress and distress about your separation

End a relationship: 3 children walking away

If you're ending a relationship with children involved, I have more information for you on other pages. There are links just a little further down this page for you.

However, just for now, I'm sure you're already aware that it doesn't matter to your children if you're married or cohabiting. It really does matter if and how you end your relationship or marriage.

A separation will without doubt hurt your children - but how much and for how long depends on you and your partner. I know that deep down you didn't expect me to say anything else.

Each of them (if you have more then one) will hurt in a different way - depending on their age, their relationship with you and your partner and your relationship history.

How you end your long term relationship - your and your partner's behaviour - is going to make a huge difference. So, please do all you can to create a good ending. Try not to add to whatever conflict there may already be and expose your kids to further damaging rows.

Be sure to get the right legal advice with reference to your children.  Remember though, that unless there is violence or abuse, your children need you both.

You can find more information on my pages: Children in the Middle and How Does Divorce Affect Children.

Finally - when ending relationships...

By reading all of the pages in my series of articles on ending relationships you'll hopefully have picked up some tips that you weren't aware of before. I so hope they'll prove useful to you.

By really thinking through what my advice for ending relationships and acting on it means for you, you'll have increased your emotional intelligence - never a bad thing!  

I really hope that all goes as well for you as can be expected under the circumstances.

I recommend the hypnosis downloads: Ending a Relationship and Getting Over a Relationship to help you manage the ending and calm your emotions (link to FAQ about hypnosis and downloads).

When it's all over, you'll need time to recover, but you will 'blossom' once again.

Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4

Blossom - end a relationship and you'll blossom again

Related Articles

How to stop Arguing
What Happens in Marriage Counselling?
Before you Divorce - Here Is My Advice
Divorce Advice for Men
Infidelity Warning Signs

Images courtesy of: VA State Park Staff and Eddy