The ending of a serious relationship often brings with it intense feelings of pain, anguish and fear. Rarely is the ending done by mutual agreement although both parties often know that the relationship has struggled for some time.
How do you leave someone who doesn’t want you to go? What do you say? Frequently, the partner will demand to know ‘why?”
For a start, you need to be honest not humiliating; firm not faltering; clear not confusing.
In many cases, when presented with the reasons “..why..?” the mate will want to engage in a re-negotiation of the relationship dynamics….. “I will stop drinking”, “I can change how I talk to you”, “I will do whatever it takes”. What it takes is courage to respond to these entreaties with a clear “No, I’m done”.
It is unrealistic to want your partner to just accept your decision effortlessly and go along with a quick dismantling of the relationship - emotionally, financially, physically and socially. The situation is even more complicated when there are children to consider.
There will be pain. Often, for both of you.
Generally, the exiting partner has little desire to cause or create more pain in the leaving process. This can lead them to waver in the clarity of their resolve to leave. Remember - firm not faltering; clear not confusing.
One of the common entreaties or offerings is that “we can still be friends”. Rarely is this a viable or healthy proposition. It usually delays - if not derails – the healing process because it fans the flames of hope “….if he/she sees me often enough, they might fall back in love with me” or “…if I stick around enough, they’ll realise what they’re missing…. “ .
Nor can the departing partner be the “go to” person if there is an issue like a burst pipe or urgent online bill to be paid. This just delays the necessary movement to singlehood resourcefulness.
Research suggests that it often takes approximately two years for individuals to recover from the ending of a significant relationship. To push for ‘friendship’ too soon simply sets up unhealthy patterns that can ultimately undermine both people. Maintaining healthy boundaries is a must for a viable future relationship.
For many, there is no acceptable answer to the question “why”. The reality is that it takes two to make a relationship but only one to end it. A person has the right to leave a relationship that no longer supports them – as harsh as this may well seem.
The bigger question is this: “Does one person (Bruce) have the right to expect their partner (Betty) to sacrifice her life on the alter of his happiness?”
The healthy answer is “no”.
Remember, be honest not humiliating, firm not faltering, clear not confusing. Be true to yourself.