You know something is wrong between you and him, so do you just pull the trigger, kill this relationship dead and move on?
No, take a moment. Look at what you used to have between the two of you and what you’ve got now. Make a list of where you two have gone off the rails. Seeing your problems in black and white helps you put things in perspective.
The next question to ask yourself is do you want to put things back on track? If you think with some tweaking, you can get your relationship running smooth, then it’s worth doing, isn’t it?
You’ve assessed how you feel, now for the tough stuff. Talk to him about the way you feel and the changes for the worse you’ve noticed. Even if he’s neglecting you, there may be a relationship worth saving.
Guys get wrapped up in their own lives and that makes them dense to everyone around them. They may not be aware they’re doing you harm. Also, guys aren’t talkers. His turning away from you could be indicative of his fears.
He may be worried things are moving too fast and this is his way of slowing things down, or it could be something outside of your relationship that’s sucking up his energy. Either way, get to the bottom of the problem. But if you’ve tried getting through to him, and you’ve tried to make changes for the better and it’s all failed, then breaking up may be the best way to go.
Hopefully, he’ll respond to you pointing out that you two are in trouble, but there’s also a chance he’s not interested and he doesn’t care. Then, whether you like it or not, you’ve hit the end of the road. If it isn’t working for you, then go.
Check your happiness barometer. If the needle is pointing to storm clouds all the time instead of the smiley sunshine face and you can’t see a way of swinging it back, then you’ve got a problem.
Breaking up is never easy and requires thought and strength. It’s going to leave a wound, but you’ll eventually heal. Here’s how to break up with someone:
1. Make a clean break.
OK, you’ve decided it’s over. You want to start fresh and meet someone compatible. This is the real tough bit: actually ending it. It’s not going to be fun, but you have to be courageous. You have to actually say the words, “It’s over.” There can’t be any confusion. There’s no good way, but some ways are better than others.
2. Be direct about your intentions.
If you want to end the relationship, tell him face to face. No text messages. No post-it notes on the refrigerator for him to find when he comes home to an empty house. No letters from lawyers. (The only exception to this rule is if you suspect he may become violent.)
Don’t be ambiguous. I can’t stress this enough. Too many women don’t want to hurt their man’s feelings or try to soften the blow, so they wrap the discussion up in vagaries. They say things like, “Things aren’t working out right now, but that doesn’t mean I’ll always feel that way.”
Thus, he walks away thinking he’s still got a chance when there isn’t one or wondering whether the relationship is really over. The more humane thing is just to say it straight. Don’t disguise what you mean.
3. Pick the perfect place to end things.
Choose a place for the breakup where both of you are comfortable and there are no distractions. This may be in your home, but your home can dilute the importance of what you’re saying. Your home is a familiar place and the breakup loses significance. It can be seen as just another argument at home.
Instead, take him somewhere quiet you can talk. Steer clear of restaurants, because if it turns into an ugly scene, no one needs to see it. And don’t take him to one of his favorite places to do it either, or broadcast it over the public address system during a Yankees game. That’s just cruel.
4. Tell him what went wrong.
You guys didn’t work, but hopefully he can learn from his mistakes and succeed with someone new. And again, it removes the element of ambiguity. You’re leaving him because he never does anything for you, he doesn’t pull his weight, he’s inconsiderate of your feelings, he’s unsupportive of your career, he demeans you in public, etc.
Whatever the reasons, tell him what they are. This isn’t so you can be vindictive, but as I’ve said before, guys aren’t mind readers. He may not even be aware of his behavior. Now, this isn’t an excuse, but if he isn’t aware he should know. You might even ignite an epiphany. He might surprise you and want to change his ways.
Of course, if you catalog his shortcomings, be prepared to receive a list of yours. Don’t get angry or defensive, just listen. There may be some valid points in what he’s telling you.
5. Be an adult throughout the process.
Don’t tell him it’s over by introducing him to your new man or having one of your friends or family members tell him. Breaking up is bad enough; it doesn’t need an element of revenge.
Also, keep it civil. That’s easier said than done, but if you take a methodical and reasoned approach to breaking up with him, it’s harder for a war of words to break out. It won’t enable you to leave with smiles and hugs, but at least your CD collection won’t be thrown out. At the end of the day, you may not leave as friends, but you should be able to bump into each other on the street and be pleasant.
This post originally appeared at YourTango.