Deciding to end a relationship can be a very difficult journey. It can feel quite confusing, scary, as well as, physically and emotionally destabilizing. These feelings often lead a person wondering if “they are doing the right thing” and if so, “What is the best way to end it”, if there really is a best way?

Ideally it would be good to end a relationship on good terms and without too much drama and pain.  Unfortunately, the reality is that ideal endings to a relationship don’t happen very often. Instead, relationships often end badly, leaving behind feelings of anger, hurt and sadness. 

Much of this anger and sadness comes from our struggle with co-dependency in our relationships. When we enter a relationship we are often attracted to people who we feel complete us in some way. Ever notice that introverts and extroverts tend to hook up quite often.

When we enter the relationship feeling like the person feeds us in ways that we are not capable of giving to ourselves we immediately start off the relationship surrendering our freedom and creating an expectation that the other person is obligated to live up to for the longevity of the relationship.

When this dynamic is set up all it can lead to is frustration and disappointment. It binds the couple to an agreement that eventually leads to stagnation to their individual personal growth. These unspoken dependencies cause us to have hurt feelings if they are not continually fed and /or lived up to by the other person.

Often times when we ourselves are going through our own personal journey of growth, we look towards the other person to help fix the emotional pain that our path is pushing us through. Frustration comes in when the other person is not there to support us with the thing we need to make us feel safer during these times of emotional transition.

We feel alone, isolated and angry at our partner and we begin to change our perspective on “who they are”. We start to notice what the person is not bringing to the relationship and their inability to help us feel better. We have all heard the example having the fight about the dishes, when what we really want to know is that the other person cares enough…to do the dishes.

With this need, and shift in perspective, we find blame in every little detail and are unwilling to allow for the other person to have his /her full journey in their life. We become dominating, and controlling as our lack of self reliance creates a need for an addictive fix to end our emotional discomfort.

The traps of societal norms also feed into our dependencies with the roles we are programmed to play. The idea that men are suppose to be strong and stable, while women sacrificial and supportive, leads us to believe that we are deserving of these traits from our partners. The truth is men are not always strong or stable and women are not always willingly supportive.

We are all individuals, mapping out our life through our current desires, understandings and choices that we make each and every day. It’s messy, complicated and incomplete, but that is what truly makes life worth living.

So, if you feel in your heart that your relationship is over and are just trying to find the right way to end it, then keep in mind that this person is one that has given you their love and has shared a big part of your life, and that is a gift in and of itself, because none of us are easy. 

Take care to find the right time to talk to your partner openly and honestly. Be clear for yourself as to why you want to leave and let them know exactly how you are feeling. It’s important that your leaving is about you, even if it is due to infidelity, your decision still needs to be for and about you. Not about the action or who’s to blame.

Let your partner know your true feelings but don’t start the blame game. In a relationship we are all responsible for our choices and actions, and the situation up to this point has been created by both parties involved, both in attitude and actions, along the way.

If the breakup comes as a shock to your partner then they will have a thousand questions running through their mind, so the clearer you are, the more responsibility you take, and the more you can explain to them, the better.  Explaining your feelings and your decision to your partner, in a clear, calm and deceive way, will also help you to know in your own heart that you are making the right decision.

 If you still feel the need to blame your partner and there is still a lot of heated emotionality, then perhaps what your feeling isn’t about breaking up but about a need to feel justified. That is a need only you can fill by looking deeply at your part of the story and clarifying for yourself what needs are not being met and how you can meet those needs for yourself. No one can justify your feelings, but you.

You never know, if you sit down and talk about how you are feeling, without blaming, you might even come up with another solution rather than just ending the relationship completely. Don’t be afraid to think outside your own box. Perhaps you can spend some time apart to think things through and evaluate your situation before making a final decision one way or the other.

Perhaps you can agree on separate counseling to gain clarity on your needs and release your own personal areas of resistance. Or perhaps co-counseling together to help you both get clear on what  each of you are struggling with and to redefine your goals for the relationship. Much of the time our conflict is about a clear open line of communication.

If you’re the person choosing to end the relationship you can still have feelings of confusion, sadness and loneliness when it’s over.  Just remember, that there is no wrong or right choice. It is always okay for your choice to be solely based upon your desires and your values that protect those desires and it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but you. We walk through many doors in a lifetime, only you know when it’s time to open the door, and when it’s time to close it.

If you are in a relationship that you are struggling with please feel free to share in the comments below and I will answer any concerns you wish to share.