As Neil Sedaka said back in 1962 Breaking Up is Hard To Do. All these years on, he remains to be right. The circumstances that get couples to the point of wanting to end their relationship are many. The thought may be driven by one or both of you and can leave you feeling frustrated as if you are out of control of your own destiny and at the mercy of your partner?s good (or bad) will.
Whereas the environmental factors ? such as the separation of assets and finances - can be dealt with through lawyers, mediators and where necessary the court system, it?s the emotional elements that may need managing the most if both of you are to feel like you will survive by the end of it all.
It?s not just about how you divide the parenting, it?s about how you manage your feelings about your ex for the sake of your children and their relationship with both parents. It?s not just about who gets the house, it?s about dealing with the fact that the home you shared with someone you once loved is going to change. It?s not just about who gets to ?keep? the friends, it?s about how you will cope when you see your ex with their new partner at a mutual friend?s gathering.
All of these situations have an emotional impact on you that can feel like coping with a life or death situation. In fact, research by Holmes and Rahe back in the 60?s is still considered definitive today in how it contextualises the impact of divorce on a person?s health. It found that divorce was the second most stressful life event, second only to the death of a spouse. Separation came third, higher up the list than imprisonment! So it?s no doubt that if you?re thinking about ending your relationship you?re probably feeling highly stressed about it which is likely to be taking its toll.
Speaking to a counsellor to help you through it
If you?re having thoughts about ending your relationship, it?s easy to forget that at one stage you and your partner were lovers. No doubt you got together based on a mutual attraction and things that you admire about each other, along with thoughts of creating a happy life together. The prospect of divorce or separation can ice over these once warm feelings. But it?s by looking at the relationship you once had that you can start to understand what may have gone wrong and restore a mutual respect for each other moving forward, even if it means the relationship still has to end.
It?s possible to work with a therapist to put an end to the cycle of blame and recrimination you may find yourself stuck in, and instead, express, explore and finally emancipate yourself from the situations you felt imprisoned by during your relationship. You may find that, with the help of a neutral third person, it?s easier to not only talk, but also listen to the opinions of your partner and see your difficulties through a new lens. By doing this you may be able to gain insight into how you both contributed to the break up, even if this is hard to admit. By doing this you allow yourself the opportunity for your personal emotional development and give yourself the chance to move on in future to a healthier, happier relationship. It?s not easy, but it is worth it.