Ending a relationship can be a very difficult thing to do for a lot of couples; however, some relationships can be further complicated by the manner in which the breakup occurs. It is important to react in haste, by abruptly ending a relationship following a heated argument. Make sure you have thought through your decision to end the relationship and you are doing so for personal reasons not as a result of the opinions of others. Do not use the threat of leaving as a tool to get your own way in an argument, obtain unfair leverage, or as a means to control your partner.

Most partners will want to end their relationship or marriage as smoothly as possible, even if both partners appear to be falling out of love with each other or are no longer in love. Unfortunately, ending a relationship when the love has gone may not be as easy as you might think. Some partners may realize they no longer are in love but cling to each other out of familiarity, necessity, or feeling of obligation. That being said, the longer it takes to end a relationship that no longer contains love and warmth the more damage it causes to partners dignity, self-image, and self-esteem. This has long-term consequences for both mental and emotional adjustment and well-being. The longer it takes to end a relationship that no longer has a future the longer it will take for partners to move on.

Although, the breakdown of a relationship typically occurs over time do not assume your partner will be expecting it or in agreement with your decision to end the relationship. Some partners may struggle with struggle with the perceived loss of time (feeling like they may have spent unnecessary time in the relationship when they could have been spending the time elsewhere), loss of opportunity (they could have been dating or meeting someone else), financial loss (harboring negative feelings they have invested financially in the relationship or marriage, e.g., purchasing a shared home, vehicle, etc.), social loss (losing friends or family as they focused more on their romantic relationship), etc.

Some reasons why a breakup become increasingly complicated and messy include; not being clear about your reasons for wanting to end the relationship, delaying or failing to have a conversation about the state of your relationship, unexpectedly being told the relationship is over, failing to give your partner sufficient opportunity to talk about his or feelings pertaining to the relationship, a sudden inexplicable change in a partner’s attitude, unexpected disappearance, starting an affair, deliberately making your partners life miserable so he or she will end the relationship rather than ending the relationship honestly, using the children, etc.

The Worst Ways to End a Relationship Include:

  • Texting you desire to breakup
  • Writing a partner a letter or a note ending the relationship
  • Leaving a breakup voicemail
  • Pulling a disappearing act
  • Refusing to talk to your partner or answer questions
  • Having someone else break the news of the breakup to your partner
  • Do not post your desire to end the relationship on social media
  • Do back out of ending the relationship out of fear of having the conversation
  • Engage in blaming behavior

There is no right or wrong way to end a relationship, but some strategies prove more effective than others. Taking your partner by surprise, for instance, seems particularly harsh, mean, and uncaring. However, endlessly ruminating with each other about where you see your relationship headed only prolongs the agony. Your ambivalence about ending things can lead you to waver back and forth, putting you and your partner in limbo.