How do you face the reality in what was to be forever, ending?
A male friend called me the other day to ask when is enough, enough? Having made the call myself.
For me it was when I was at breaking point. I knew I would probably go a little crazy and feared I was about to hit a scary level of emotionally damage that would change me if I stayed in something that was hurting so much.
When I knew I had given my all to make it work and there were no changes to behaviors I was informing and had shown were tearing me apart. After six months of this, and knowing I was about to reach that breaking point, all I could do was walk away.
I made sure I had given everything I could so when the cycle of emotions that follows the break-up, when you know the craving of giving up the habit that person was in your life comes, I could remind myself of the point I was at – it had to be enough to get me through wanting to run back, it had to be enough to keep me strong and true to the decision.
I had to have done my best and know it in my heart, so should people go into verbal mud slinging, I could endure knowing, even if it was only me that knew, that I had done the right thing for us, for me.
Once I got to that point it dawned on me and I knew it was all I could do for both of us. I loved my partner enough to leave, as whilst I needed to leave for me, I knew if we both weren’t going to work at this anymore and continued to hurt each other, it wasn’t what either of us was worth.
The point when you make that decision comes with some shocking awareness, it was truly the saddest and shocked I have ever been. If you arrive at this decision prepare yourself to see it through, because it isn’t fair on anyone to go back and forth and play with feelings. Make the decision and move forward with it as quickly as you can still providing your partner enough time to come to terms with the decision before you begin to divide assets. If you have exhausted talks and advised what you need and the needs aren’t being met your partner will hopefully understand later, even if they are dumbfounded when the decision is made.
Far more hurt with creep in the longer this stretches out and I have seen in other break-ups that didn’t make the break in lives, living arrangements and assets soon after, turn nasty and greedy.
Be prepared for it to turn into the most nasty war you could imagine—because I have seen people go from saying they don’t want to hurt and just want the best for the other, to taking them for everything, in a matter of months. Yes be nice, but be prepared as soon as you can be.
Get legal advice if there are lots of assets involved even if you agree, just to have it all signed off. Note to your partner how you want to make sure it is fair and you understand you are both emotional right now.
Get counseling for yourself; talk it through about how you feel and how you will manage yourself especially during those moments of doubt when you put the rose colored on.
Then allow yourself to hurt. Allow days when you just cannot get out of bed and your chest feels like it is collapsing. When those cravings come and want to run back, push through this, know it will pass—it was a person you most likely spent everyday with and that will create a big void in the beginning.
But know that void will be filled with wonderful new people in time and that this will help you grow. Remember that just because things didn’t work out like you planned, it doesn’t mean that cannot be better than you could ever imagine.
Photo – Peter/Flickr