Deciding to End a Relationship

deciding to end a relationship

Breaking up can feel like such a huge decision

The nuances of deciding to end a relationship are many and I cannot possibly cover it all in this one episode. Some of you have relationships that are legally and physically easy to get out of so it is only the emotional considerations to weigh. Others of you have your financial and social lives wrapped around your partner, including the fact that you are raising children and pets together. This complicates matters further.

When there are strong ties emotionally, spiritually, socially, and materially, being the one to decide to break up can have you feeling guilty and uncertain. It is a confusing time and often people are clear they want to break up before they are ready to lose all of the connections, and subsequently feel unclear.

Divorce is crushing for everybody involved. Since it affects other people (whom they love) beyond the couple, it is usually not a decision people make lightly. When end a relationship via divorce, you may find that the people around you might be judging that you haven’t tried hard enough, but they haven’t lived in that relationship like you have.

Break ups are complicated

What complicates breaking up even further is that we often feel a deep soul connection with people–a connection that we feel beyond our understanding. No matter how bad it gets, this connection is hard to walk away from. This connection is intense but it doesn’t mean we have to spend the rest of our lives with that person. It may be a sign that you had work to do with this person in this lifetime, but that work may be done now.

Sometimes people stay with someone far too long when they know it’s not feeding their soul because it is so hard to leave.

I put together this episode to help you start figuring out if you should stay or if you should go. Here are four questions that you can ask yourself if you are trying to decide whether or not to end a relationship:

Deciding Whether to End a Relationship

Tweet: It is time to break-up? #itscomplicated #brokenheart

If you’re not happy in your relationship, it affects your mind, body and soul. Here are four questions you can ask yourself to get started in thinking about your future.

1. Am I staying because I don’t want to be alone? 

We always think that it’s this person or nothing. That’s just not the case. The other possibilities are unknown and scary but definitely not nothing.

2. Am I beating myself up? 

If you are being too hard on yourself for failing at a relationship, this might be getting in the way of your efforts to work on the relationship or decide to leave. Self-judgment is distracting. Making the decision to leave a relationship, or to stay, doesn’t mean failure. It means you’ve made a conscious decision.

3. Am I afraid of what other people think?

If people react badly to you breaking up with someone that they love, it’s more about their emotional issues than it is about you. You can’t change people so dwelling on this is not helpful.

4. Is there an imbalance of power?

Does your partner use power to control you or situations? This could be very subtle or outwardly violent. If this is the case, get yourself some support so you can see the situation from a new perspective and decide what to do.

Please share your break-up stories and be sure to include you break up decision-making process!

9 thoughts on “Deciding to End a Relationship”

  1. Great tips, Jodi. I like your questions. Actually, fear of other people’s reactions can be really hard especially ending a marriage. Divorce is what I like to call the BIG break up. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made but the best in the long run. There is fear but I remember feeling lighter in some ways, too. Great video! I love your video series, they’re so effective.
    lisa thomson-the great escape recently posted..Dear Lisa, Reader QuestionMy Profile

  2. For long relationships, people usually break up 1 to 2 years after they should have done so. Long after the signs were there, and long after everyone around them knew that the relationship wasn’t working. Do what you can to shorten those miserable 2 years — couples counseling first. If that doesn’t work, then pack up and leave. Do as little emotional damage to each other as you can. DON’T say certain things — just don’t. Wish them well.

  3. Hi Jodi,
    I’ve been in a relationship now for almost 5 years and I’m torn with my emotions about leaving him; we are engaged but I chose to never marry him because he has already been married and has 2 children and I knew I would not have children with him. I think for me I’m battling several things (1) when I met him shortly after he lost his job and was living with his mother who had cancer and I thought at the time it was a nice thing for him to be there for her because of her illness but it was also helpful for him financially due to the fact that one he wasn’t working and two he still had to pay child support. At this time I didn’t really look at the BIG PICTURE because I recently had left my job and was now enrolled in a fastrack Nursing Program. We shared nice times in the beginning and then in April of 2014 his mother passed away and he really didn’t have a place to stay so my aunt who had a business in Pa asked him to run it so he jumped on the opportunity; I later followed months later in Sept 2014 to live with him. I was troubled many times because now I was noticing a not so nice personality that I didn’t notice before; in addition I must let you know that I gained like 50 pounds being with him because when I’m not happy on so many levels I EAT away! Ok that was hard to admit but I’ve done that in the past and fell victim to my eating my unhappiness away. I also like to point out that in Dec 2014 I attempted to take the NCLEX RN and didn’t pass it; I know it was the extreme anxiety and pressure of wanting it so bad because I wanted to get on with my career that I created severe anxiety. So because I didn’t pass I worked at my aunt’s store to help my fiancé out what a BIG MISTAKE THAT WAS; he had a bad habit of putting me down in front of employees and even my family members (I’m still angry over that) because even till today when my aunt will bring something up he says she is just trying to break us up because she feels he isn’t right for me! I’m really hurt and I confronted him about everything I don’t like about how he has treated me and he apologized but now I’m really trying to make the best decision for myself should I stay with him because I love him or leave to fulfill my life and take the opportunities that may come with not knowing. I know I’ve loved him and have sacrificed my life for him allowing him the opportunity to have a paying job because of me and NOW he is trying to make me happy by saying he will take care of me. I want to believe him but am still not sure if he is capable of doing it??? My aunt at this time after 1 year he has been running it the chance to buy the business as she really doesn’t want to invest any more $ into it. He presently has asked his sister for the $ so I still don’t know what will become of it?
    As for me my career of nursing is still pending as I’m awaiting my results from the exam that I took on November 24th as I did it the grueling way and didn’t pay for quick results as I was too scared to find out; so I opted to wait from the board to hear on a response anywhere from 2 to 30 days; everyday is a torture waiting for the mail because if I get a letter which is the Candidate Performance Results then that means I didn’t pass. I glow just thinking on how great I’m going to be at Nursing and I have a nice opportunity in NJ to obtain a job once I know my results; the truth is when I think about going back to NJ it gives me that motivation and excitement of advancing my life where here in Pa where I’m currently living I really HATE but my fiancé reassures me that we don’t have to stay in this area but my BIG PROBLEM IS STILL WILL HE BE ABLE TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT ME? I know once I know where my career is going I am a workhorse.
    Right now he is working another job and trying to show me that he is a hard worker and he is going to take care of me. The truth is that I don’t BELIEVE HE will be able to buy my aunt’s business and run it on his own financially??? I’m scared can you help guide me on what my next step should be?
    I know I need to talk to someone soon I am going to make an appointment asap.

    1. I’d love to talk if you wanted an appointment with me.

      The decision is not if he can support you finacnially, because you will eventually get a job in your field. But the decision if he is the right man for you overall.

      Hope you find clarity! Thank you for sharing with all of us!

      Best to you! Make this your year!

  4. Breakup indeed a hard decision specially if you already have children to support. I think the best thing to do is to think million times before deciding to enter marriage or getting pregnant because not just the both of you will suffer but your children.

  5. Breakups are challenging. As you explain in your post there are so many variables to it. Self-judgment is a big one. We are raised with the concept that romantic relationships should be life long; therefore we judge ourselves and feel as if we have failed if we do not achieve the happily ever after.
    In my case, I decided that it was time to breakup when my partner started to complain about everything I was or I was not. I realized he was not happy in the relationship. I was heartbroken at that time, later I realized it was a good decision to divorce.

  6. Great topic, Jodi and one we get a lot! And to dovetail on your excellent points, especially the imbalance of power, many people we’ve worked with have slowly experienced what we refer to as an “identity erosion.” It often takes people who knew the person well to see that they have lost little pieces of themselves along the way in their relationship.

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