Breaking up with someone can be a hard thing to do, and even if it seems right, there is always an element of doubt and uncertainty involved. Am I making a mistake? Should I just see if things will get better? How will I cope by myself? These are just some of the questions that go around and around in the mind when confronted with the situation.
It is not intended of me to give direct advise on what to do or not. The following blog is a collection of useful tips that have helped people in the past to deal with difficult break ups. Please be aware that counselling is not about giving advise or telling people what to do. Most counsellors will not give such a direct advise during counselling sessions.
Dealing with difficult circumstances
Of course, breaking up with someone is made all the more complicated when houses, marriages and children are involved in the equation. Despite the complexity, though, you should still ask yourself the fundamental question of – Should I be in a relationship with this person? If the answer is no, then you need to consider what to do next. Whilst it is only natural that close members of the family and friends might be asked for their opinions and thoughts on the matter, it might also be helpful to see a counsellor as well.
Talking to an impartial, independent-minded person with counselling skills can be a great help either when considering breaking up with someone or just after you have. This way, you will be able to get off your chest all the thoughts and feelings that have built up, without feeling guilty about burdening someone that is near and dear to you.
If you have decided that the best course of action is to break up with someone, then there are several steps that you can take to make the process easier on yourself. Some of these may seem obvious, whilst others may appear to be hard. However, once the decision has been made to break up with someone, your concerns should be with how best to protect yourself emotionally during the process.
How to go through all this?
The first step is to make the split up as amicable as possible, this is especially important if children have been involved in the relationship. It benefits no one if there is a hate filled atmosphere and acrimony.
The second step is to avoid looking back on what was, and instead look forward to what is yet to be. You will be beginning a new phase of your life, so face it with optimism and positivity. Whilst it is only natural to be sad during a break up, don’t let being sad rule your life.
The third thing to consider is your support network, and who they will be. You may get on well with your partner’s sister, for example, but it is unlikely they are the best person to be relied upon during any separation! It is important to have people to talk to, and so you will need to work out those close friends and family members you can turn to, whilst keeping in mind, it is better not to lean on any one person. The services of a counsellor may also be very useful.
The fourth step, should be to keep reminding yourself that you need to put yourself first. Whilst you may not wish to see a partner hurting, they are not your responsibility. Keep yourself as your priority. They should have their own support network to rely on, and you do not need to be a part of that.
Minimise the impact
Once you have broken up, you should try to minimise any contact with your former partner as far as possible. If you have kids together, you will clearly have more contact with them than if you did not. However, any contact should be done on a professional – arms length – basis. It may be extremely tempting to contact them via Facebook, text or emails, but avoid it whenever possible. Nine times out of ten, you will end up arguing, feeling frustrated or both. Text or email a friend instead!
If you have just broken up with someone, then try to avoid leaping straight into another relationship. It is not to say that it is wrong, but there is a strong possibility that your judgement may be clouded due to the situation.
No right or wrong
There is, of course, no right or wrong way to go about breaking up with someone. One thing that might be a good guide though, is to break up with someone as you would wish to be broken up with. No one wants to be hurt unnecessarily, and it is better for everyone involved to separate as painlessly as possible.
If you feel you need to talk to a counsellor about your relationship problems, I am a gay Counsellor offering counselling in London Waterloo and counselling in London King’s Cross. Both stations are within 5 minutes from central London. Contact me to arrange an introductory counselling session in Waterloo or King’s Cross or to ask me any question.