This is fourth article in the series Turning Four Of Life’s Lemons Into Lemonade by writer Kara Masterson. Previous articles are Turn A Job Loss Into An Opportunity For Success and The Car Crash Lemon. Read on to learn about The Break-Up Lemon.
The end of a long-term relationship is never an easy thing, no matter what the circumstances surrounding it. Even if you’re the one initiating the break-up, you’ll probably still be rocked by doubts, second-thoughts and all of the accumulated memories and emotions attached to your old partner.
Whether you’re racking your brain for a reason not to end it, or reeling from the news your partner just sprang on you, this is a life-changing event that is going to take you some time to process. There are a few things, however, you can do to help you manage the situation and manage the pain.
No matter which side of a break-up you’re on, there are often some tell-tale warning signs a relationship is coming to an end.
First and foremost on this list is the loss of communication.
Healthy couples communicate. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed if you don’t talk as much as the couple next door; every couple is different so you should never compare yourselves to your friends or neighbors.
You probably have a normal routine of communication though. When that normal starts to shrink away to the bare necessities is when you should be worried.
Another major tell for the end of a relationship is a dwindling sex-life.
This goes hand-in-hand with the third indicator, which is spending more time apart than together.
If you or your partner are spending more and more time at work, at school or with other friends then you probably won’t have great communication or a great sex life.
You might experience one or all of these temporarily during very busy times of your life. If, however, you find that all three are true and have been for weeks or months, something probably isn’t right with your relationship.
Recognizing these tells can help you make strides to salvage your relationship, or at least begin to emotionally prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
The Moment of Truth
Arguably the worst part of any break-up is the moment when you and your partner actually have to talk about it. If you’re lucky you’ll both already be on the same page.
More often than not it will come as a blow to someone involved. Being told someone you’ve loved for years is leaving your life is an incredibly painful thing.
It can make you feel like life isn’t worth living. Remember this feeling will pass.
It might take a few weeks and a few gallons of ice-cream before you even begin to feel human again, but you’ll get there. It isn’t easy to be the one ending the relationship either, even if the relationship desperately needs to end.
Breaking up with someone who has been physically or emotionally abusive can be frightening. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible.
Whichever side of the coin you’re on during this conversation, do your best to stay calm and level-headed.
Some of the words you may be tempted to throw at your partner in this moment will haunt you and fill you with guilt. You can explode at your pillow later on if you want to.
You definitely won’t regret being civil during this conversation.
Handling the Aftermath
Depending on your situation, this might be a long-term deal as well. If you had children with your ex then you may have a custody battle to fight.
Your children will likely want to spend some time with both parents. If you were legally married then you’ll have to work with your spouse to file a divorce.
If there’s already tension between you this can be extremely tricky. You may want to consider hiring an attorney like Jeffery N. Novack or someone similar.
If you go this route, you should try to find a lawyer who has handled divorces in the past. Whether you’re working through a divorce, managing split custody of children, or simply leaving a long-term lover, moving on will take time.
Don’t try to rush the process.
A rebound relationship like this often has shaky foundations, which can lead to you ending up in the same situation you’re in now a little ways down the road. If you’ve been out of the relationship for a month or more and you’re still hurting and having trouble moving on, you might want to talk to a counselor.
Going through a break-up is always rough. The longer you were together the harder it gets.
Hopefully, this advice will help you move on in a healthy way, and in good time. Remember not every relationship can be saved.
Sometimes when your world crashes down around you it makes way for an even better one.