How to End a Relationship When Your Partner Still Loves You

How to End a Relationship When Your Partner Still Loves You

It is crucial that you stay calm, self-accountable, and supportive. No matter how much pain your partner is in or how he or she comes back at you, do not change your position or make promises you cannot keep just to make the situation easier. Stringing a partner along when you are certain about leaving can be tormenting, even if it makes the moment more bearable.

4. Offer to do whatever you can to ease your partner’s distress over a traumatic loss he or she cannot stop.

Ask him or her to tell you if there is anything you can do to ease the situation. Some partners may want you to leave immediately, some will want you to stay in hope that you will change your mind, and some will leave you and seek refuge elsewhere. Depending on how long you’ve been together, there will be more complications to sort out and memories to put away. Even when the personal part of a relationship ends, there are attachments to friends and family, shared possessions, or even mutually beloved pets that can prolong the process of separation.

Your partner will likely go through many rounds of pain, anger, confusion, pleading, and grief. He or she will bring up the situation over and over, trying to make sense of what has gone wrong. You may get asked the same question repeatedly or get endless phone calls and texts. Be courageous and compassionate without giving your partner any false hope.


5. Learn from what has just happened.

Search for what you might have seen earlier had you been more aware and discerning of your partner’s needs, and your own. Know that it is so much easier to be fully authentic from the beginning. You could have known better had you understood yourself deeply and could have predicted your own capacity to sustain intimacy. No matter what has caused this painful situation, you don’t want to rack up points for who was right or who was wrong. Negative judgments of yourself or your partner will only keep you from knowing how to do it better the next time.

Make some sacred promises to yourself that you will learn from this experience and be more open and communicative with your next partner about who you are, what you need, and what you can contribute.

Written by Randi Gunther Ph.D.
Originally appeared in Psychology Today

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How to End a Relationship When Your Partner Still Loves You
How to End a Relationship When Your Partner Still Loves You

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