Breaking up is a challenge. If you happen to live with your partner, breaking up can be even more difficult. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional separation, but with physically separating your lives as well. If you’ve lived together for any period of time you have shared possessions, financial obligations, and may even have pets or kids in the mix.
Breaking up is made all the more challenging if you are engaged to be married or if you’ve tried to end the relationship before. Oftentimes living together can cause you to hesitate when thinking about ending the relationship because of the challenge you both face disentangling yourselves from your partnership.
Here are a few things to consider before breaking up with your partner:
- Where will you live?
- What stuff will you keep?
- Do you have shared debt?
- Do you depend on one another financially?
- Can you afford to move out?
- How are you going to break up with your partner?
- Do you have a support network of family and friends?
If you are seriously considering breaking up, you’ve likely thought about all the ways you could hope to continue making your relationship work. Some relationships are able to be fixed, and your temporary feelings of discontent go away. Other times, these feelings are not so easy to miss.
Before you break up, it’s also important to think about how this will affect your partner. Have you both tried to make the relationship work? Do either of you still want to make the relationship work? Will they be blindsided by the breakup? Have you considered couples therapy?
If you do have any doubts about your relationship, this is a serious thing. You don’t want to keep living with someone who you aren’t supposed to be in a relationship with, nor do you want to keep moving forward in a relationship with someone you aren’t meant to spend the rest of your life with. In the long run, breaking up now saves a lot more hurt than it causes.
If you aren’t sure if you want to break up permanently, consider a trial separation. Living apart can sometimes allow you to clarify your feelings for one another and show you whether or not you want to make this relationship worth or break it off.
If you have decided to break up, remember to do it graciously. Discuss your thoughts with your partner. Have trusted members of your social circle with you if you think the breakup could go badly. Don’t ghost your partner, change the locks, or make them feel worse than they already feel because of the breakup. Be honest with your partner about why you want to break up. Are you in love with someone else? Are you unhappy? Are you going in different directions?
Don’t try to make things better for your partner- let them feel what they need to feel. Don’t make yourself into the victim or blame them for ruining the relationship.
If you and your partner are in the midst of a breakup, here are a few things to consider:
- Make a list of your joint financial accounts, as well as insurance policies, credit cards, and other shared documents. Make sure to close these or take your name off of accounts you no longer want to be a part of. Separate your financial obligations from theirs to make it easier to see what you need to take care of moving forward.
- It’s important to financially plan for your move; you might have to find a new place to live, or your partner may require help moving out of your shared home.
- Get legal advice if needed, especially when dealing with shared property, children, and other financial assets.
If you’ve been in a relationship for a longer period of time, you may have shared family and friends who feel awkward picking a side. It might not be possible to completely avoid your ex-partner in your future life, so figure out a way to deal with their presence as amicably as possible. Learn how to be civil, if nothing else. Don’t make any enemies in the wake of your breakup, as many relationships find their way back together in some way. Try not to be negative about your partner, especially to shared family and friends.
Breaking up is hard under the best of circumstances, but can be made all the more challenging if you live together. Remember that breaking up is difficult and allow yourself to feel the way you need to feel without giving yourself a hard time about it. Move through the process of ending a relationship in your own time.
Time will heal this breakup and make the separation of your lives hurt less. Remember that ending a relationship that isn’t meant to be will hurt less now than it will in the long run.