7 Steps to end a bad relationship

By | August 5, 2013 | Love & Relationships

7 Steps to end a bad relationship | The Momiverse | Article by Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.

Once a relationship starts turning bad, you can feel it in your gut. Most of us override that feeling with rationalizing and justifying why we should stay because we’ve 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. You must take that dreaded leap into reality and take the necessary steps to get out.

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.   Be prepared to discuss your reasons.

In breaking up you’ll have to have, yet another, repetitive conversation regarding the unresolved issues which have been tearing the relationship apart while being clear you are no longer willing to try, communicate, or discuss these issues further. You don’t have to expend energy proving yourself. You simply need to state your 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 your partner. It simply means the relationship itself fell grossly short of meeting your needs and you’ll no longer be in something that leaves you in emotional drought. You’ll no longer settle for less than you want or deserve.

4.   Set boundaries on the break-up talk.

Breaking up can get you sucked into feeling bad for your partner. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into talking about the breakup over and over for your partner’s “closure.” There’s no better closure than being clear with your partner about your reasons for ending your relationship. After that, it’s up to them. Let him or her know after this conversation there will be no more discussion. You’ve provided all the information he or she needs.

5.   Don’t leave false hope.

There’s really nothing healthy about phasing out a breakup. The grey area is unhealthy for everyone, especially the person who still wants the relationship. Your partner will hang onto anything. If you really love yourself and have love and respect for your partner, make the breakup black and white so all can heal and move on.

6.   Expect your partner to have certain reactions.

Your partner will most likely react with shock, questioning, sobbing, anger, arguing, begging, negotiating, stalking, or even lashing out at you in humiliating ways, like showing up in places unexpectedly and uninvited.

7.   Distance yourself.

It’ll be emotionally difficult, but you can’t contact them or go to the places where you used to spend time together. Delete your partner from all social media where they can check up on you or you on them. In essence disappear. Your ex may try to get in touch right away but at least six months of total silence should happen before resuming contact, if at all. Each of you will need to time to heal and adjust. Contact within the first six months will only set both of you back. It’s ok to have a love for this person, but accept your choice to move on.

It’s extremely painful to leave relationships, even when you know it’s in your best interest. It’s very easy to get stuck in hope, but be assured that often hope is dope. Like any other drug, hope can take you out of reality and keep you stuck in the fantasy of what you may want the relationship to be. If you’re not happy, and this lack of unhappiness has been persistent in the relationship, then it’s time to make a change.

Little Life Message:   Whatever we let go of will soon be replaced by something good or better. Have courage.

What else would you add to this list?

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Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.

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. Get her free article on Five Ways to Make Love the Common Ground in Your Communication. She is also a featured expert on a variety of national websites and has a successful practice in southern California. Receive free insights from Sherrie and get involved in her Facebook community with others looking to improve their relationship. For more information visit SherrieCampbellPhD.com.

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