A partner is meant to provide love, support and help you to evolve as an individual and a couple. But when you find a relationship lacking all these and maybe even a source of pain and fear, it is time to consider your options. Here are ten steps to get out of a relationship and reclaim your life.
- Be honest with yourself
If you are even considering whether you should get out of a relationship, chances are something has been happening for quite some time to make you feel upset. Ask yourself some basic questions like do I feel energized or drained after I spent an hour with my partner? Do i want to spend time with him/her or do i feel like i have to? Do i go to my partner looking for a response that i never get? Do i come away consistently disappointed by his/her comments and behavior? Finally, am i giving way more to the relationship than my partner? If most of the answers to these questions are ‘yes’, maybe it is time to look after your own emotional needs.
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- Keep a record
If you are still undecided whether you should opt of this relationship, start keeping a record of things in this relationship that make you feel consistently bad. It could be the thought that you are weak and scared of striking out on your own or the feeling of worthlessness and shame that you are suffering from. If you find your emotional log consistently featuring negative self-perception, then you can be pretty sure you are enmeshed in a bad relationship.
- Identify what could be keeping you back
All relationships, even unhappy ones, offer certain perks or else why would anyone continue to put up with them. So consider that could be keeping you tied to your partner; it could be for instance the comfortable domesticity you share even though there is no love or it could be that your partner make you feel attractive and sexy again even though this doesn’t keep him/her from disrespecting you or putting you down always. Determining what, specifically, you are getting from this relationship will help you to gauge if the perks are worth the constant unhappiness and perhaps help you find other sources of self-validation.
- Fill the void
A failed relationship is sure to bring about a kind of emptiness that almost threatens to such you into nothingness. In order to keep from keeling over, it is necessary that you find alternative sources of peace and wholeness – it could be anything from an interesting hobby to traveling, renewing contact with old friends and family, hugging your pet dog, meditating and even retail therapy – like picking out the juiciest orange you can find.
- Build a support structure
Ending a relationship is one of the loneliest experiences and there is no reason why you should have to go through it alone. So as you opt out of a relationship, invest time and effort in building a close circle of family and friends who will provide you with emotional support as well as a positive outlook. reach out to them and ask for help through these difficult times. Chances are that people close to you already know how unhappy you are in your present relationship and so don’t hesitate to surround yourself with people who really care about you.
- Take the plunge
Once you are emotionally ready to put an end the relationship, convey it directly to your partner. Unless you fear for your physical safety, do it personally – breaking up by email, text or even over the phone should be avoided as far as possible. Be prepared for an emotional outburtst or even emotional blackmail from your partner in an attempt to keep you back. Convey your views in a calm, succinct manner and then allow him/her to respond. Hear whatever they have to say but don’t get trapped in a volley of accusations, counter-accusations and justifications. Keep in mind that you have made your decision and are here simply to convey it to your partner.
- Allow yourself time to grieve
Even if the move to get out of the relationship has come from you, it is sure to bring its share of pain. So allow yourself a few days to mourn the loss of the relationship. Pull down the blinds, put on some soulful music and have a good cry. Do whatever is necessary to work the misery out of your system. But avoid drinking binges, drug-taking or any other risk-taking behavior.
- Reward yourself
Many a time it is difficult to leave an unhappy relationship – opting out seems too much effort and it is easier to lapse back into the way things were. In order to prevent this from happening, reward yourself with something nice after each stage of getting out. For instance if you have been able to go on a whole week without calling or mailing your recent ex, treat yourself to a brunch at your favorite delicatessen.
- Get busy
One of the best ways to leave behind an unhappy relationship is to get busy. Go back to work if you had taken a sabbatical after the breakup or sign up for that overseas workshop if they are still recruiting. In fact even the otherwise mind-numbing routine of a domestic life – taking out the trash, shopping for supplies, filling up the gas tank – can motivate you to continue with your regular life and thus come out of your house, instead of giving way to loneliness and depression.
- Avoid rebound relationship
Once out of an unhappy relationship, you may be raring to get back to dating scene. But remember, rebound affairs never work because you are just not emotionally ready for a new relationship. And even if you are not serious about it yourself, it is grossly unfair to the other person who may not be aware of your real feelings.