The end of a relationship is never easy, even when the decision is mutual. However, if your partner has been thinking about it for a while and you’ve only just found out, or you have discovered they are involved with someone else, there are an enormous number of additional emotions to cope with.
Emotions are complex, and it can be challenging to comprehend why someone’s feelings have changed. If your partner has announced the relationship is over, asking them to explain directly what’s wrong (and therefore how you can fix it) rarely works, neither does blaming them for their feelings or behaviour.
Relationships end when people believe they can’t love each other in the way they each feel they need. Attending Mediation can be effective in working on the practical side of things, including finances, arrangements for children, the family home, how you will communicate and whether you’re thinking of a permanent or trial separation. Some clients choose mediation, whilst also working with a counsellor on the emotional issues.
Conflict Coaching can help if you and your partner find yourselves caught in an ongoing cycle of blame and recrimination, achieving nothing other than further upset and stress. Working to calm the conflict can bring about a level of understanding, allowing you to move on to Mediation and identify, discuss and agree practical solutions.
Other Help Available
Consulting a Relationship Counsellor either by yourself or together, can help you understand how you’ve reached this point, help you focus on what you need for the future, and help you decide how best to handle any ongoing relationship, particularly where children are involved. If you are both willing to listen, hear what the other is saying and work towards change, a relationship counsellor can help, whether the end result is reconciliation or moving forward with dignity and understanding.
Coaching can help you with insights and tools to manage your own immediate reactions to situations and give you space and encouragement to help you plan how to reach your longer-term goals. Learning and practising mindful meditation has been proven to have lasting effects on self-management, feelings of stress, hopelessness and anxiety and can help you stay calm and focused in difficult situations.
Consulting a Counsellor or Psychotherapist can help you mourn the loss of a relationship, process any trauma and come to terms with the possibility of a new and different future. Family, friends or faith leaders may also be available for either or both of you. A friendly, non-judgmental ear can be invaluable in helping you organise your thoughts on the future of the relationship. It can also provide a safe place to vent when you’re feeling upset, frustrated or angry and let you explore whether, what, and how changes can be made. However, if your chosen listener struggles to keep confidences, maintain a neutral stance or is too emotionally involved and ready to assign blame, you are far better off seeking help elsewhere.
If it feels like you have no one you can talk to, the Samaritans offer a free and confidential service.
You can find more information on how to access these kinds of help in the resources section of this website.
If money is in short supply, reading or listening to audio books and articles can be helpful in making sense of what is happening, the way you’re feeling and what you can do to help yourself.