The point of a relationship is support, nurturing, caring, affection, fun, intimacy and above all love. But many relationships devolve into a war of enemies instead of a pursuit shared by loving partners. If you’ve done everything you can to reinvest in a relationship, but nothing is working or you are the only one trying, it may be time to let go of that bad relationship.
First, realize that a relationship is merely a psychological and social construct. There are no wires attached. Sure, if you are filing for divorce, or if you cohabitate and share a bank account there are going to be logistics to work out. There always will be. But by and large it’s all in your head, and the head of the other person. Once you start thinking of the relationship as over and start making plans, planning out the steps, and begin to execute them, viola it’s over. If you want to let go of a bad relationship, start thinking about it as over. That’s the first step. Make sure you outline clearly why it is ending. Have it clear in your mind. Lots of people will be asking why it ended. Your significant other will want to know too. Start making plans on how to address the issue with them. You want a clear go-to statement in your head because if they are manipulative or persuasive they may start trying to convince you to stay. Having a clear reason and clear cut incidents to call to mind will help you stay true to your decision and not back pedal, only to go through the same process again later.
Decide to what level you trust them. People break up for different reasons. Was it infidelity? Just falling out of love? Was there abuse? Or is the relationship just not going anywhere? A breach of trust is the worst kind of breakup. They may have stolen, lied or cheated. With this situation you have to be particularly careful. If you have a joint bank account and you think your soon-to-be-ex might clear it out, take your money out of there first. Secure any valuables you have at their place or if you cohabitate. Wait until they go out first. You’ll have to be sneaky but it’s better than getting ripped off. Don’t get revenge by stealing their stuff or taking their money. You will hurt your own reputation. It might be illegal. And then instead of standing up for you people will think that you are the bad guy. If your significant other is abusive or manipulative and you just can’t seem to shake them, elicit the help of a friend. Have them with you when it is time to break up or go over their place to get your stuff. If even this won’t help, clear out your stuff when they aren’t home. Then call them when they get home from work and explain to them what is happening and why. You don’t have to do it in person if they are going to hurt you or suck you in again. They don’t deserve that respect. You are doing it this way to protect yourself. Next grieve but don’t get stuck in it. Let it unravel naturally. Then work on healing.