Once a relationship just isn’t working anymore, we can feel it in our gut. Most of us override that feeling with rationalizing and justifying why we should stay because we have already invested a tremendous amount of time, emotion and energy. These defense mechanisms come from fear. However, they can only delay the truth for so long, and then we must take that dreaded bite into reality and take the necessary steps to get out.
Here are seven steps to help you get out of an unfulfilling relationship:
1. Be clear on the reasons
Recount the number of times the same issues were brought up over and over again with no real movement from our partner to make the necessary changes. When we argue over the same issues again and again with no resolution, we can be sure this relationship is not the one we are looking for.
2. We must be prepared to discuss our reasons
In breaking up we will have to have yet another repetitive conversation regarding the unresolved issues which have been tearing the relationship apart, while being clear we are no longer willing to try, communicate or discuss these issues further. We do not have to expend energy proving ourselves. We simply have to state our decision.
3. Focus on the relationship, not the person
Just because the relationship didn’t work doesn’t mean there was something inherently wrong with our partner. It simply means the relationship itself fell grossly short of meeting our needs and we will no longer be in something that leaves us in an emotional drought. We no longer settle for less than we want or deserve.
4. Set boundaries on the breakup talk
Breaking up can get us sucked into feeling bad for our partner and we can allow ourselves to get sucked into talking about the breakup over and over for their “closure.” We ultimately cannot give a person better closure other than being clear with them that the relationship is over and our reasons for ending it. After that it’s up to them. Let them know after this conversation that there will be no more discussion. We have provided all the information they need.
5. Don’t leave false hope
There is really nothing healthy about a ‘phasing out’ breakup. The grey area is unhealthy for everyone, especially the person who still wants the relationship. They will hang onto anything. If we really love ourselves and have love and respect for our partner, we will make the breakup black and white so all can heal and move on.
6. Expect our partner to have the following reactions…
Shock, questioning, sobbing, anger, arguing, begging, negotiating, stalking, or even lashing out at you in humiliating ways, like showing up in our space unexpectedly and uninvited.
7. Distance yourself
It will be emotionally difficult but we cannot contact them or go to places where we used to spend time together. Delete them from all social media where they can check up on us or us on them. In essence — disappear. Our ex may try to get in touch right away but at least 6 months of total silence should happen before resuming contact, if at all. Each will need time to heal and adjust. Contact within the first 6 months will only set both back. It is ok to have a love for this person, but we have to accept we have chosen to move on.
It is extremely painful to leave relationships, even when we know it is in our best interest. It very easy to get stuck in hope, but be assured that often hope is dope and like any other drug it can take us out of reality and stuck in the fantasy of what we may want the relationship to be. If we are not happy, and this lack of unhappiness has been persistent in the relationship, then it is time to make a change.
Little Life Message: Whatever we let go of will soon be replaced by something good or better. Have courage.
Dr. Sherrie Campbell is an author and a licensed Psychologist with more than nineteen years of clinical training and experience. She provides practical tools to help people overcome obstacles to self-love and truly achieve an empowered life. Click here to get her free article on Five Ways to Make Love the Common Ground in Your Communication. She is a featured expert on a variety of national websites and has a successful practice in Southern California. Receive free insights from Sherrie and to be involved in her Facebook community of others looking to improve their relationship. For more information visit http://www.sherriecampbellphd.com/.