There are some people who go through a long term relationship that lasts for years, but it doesn’t end up in marriage. There are plenty of reasons why it doesn’t happen, even if the couple truly loves each other, but there comes a point when you are just wasting each other’s time. Ending a long term relationship is not easy, but staying with someone and hoping that things would change is even harder.
There are people who can’t go through marriage even if they are already cohabiting with their partner for years. People with relationship type social disorders such as love avoidants and people with Asperger’s syndrome are especially prone to it.
Things to consider when ending a long term relationship
There are two sides to every story, and when a long term relationship has gone stale, either one or both of the partners are no longer interested and only keeping up appearances just to stay together.
1. Talk about your marriage and relationship
Some couples assume that because they have been together for a long time, they can predict each other’s thoughts. This assumption is almost always wrong. Communicate with each other and talk about your relationship.
2. Can you easily divide your assets?
Couples in a long term relationship, especially those who are cohabiting may have invested in physical assets together. That may include, their home, cars, financial instruments, and other material wealth that may require a long and messy procedure to separate.
3. Do you have children or pets?
Unlike material wealth, pets and young children are indivisible. Are you ready to put their lives in the ringer to separate from your partner?
Signs a long term relationship is ending
Ending a long term relationship with someone you love is not a decision you should make lightly. If you still love the person, then there is still hope that things would turn out for the better. But it has to be a two-way street. If the person you love is having an affair and you are the third party. That is a valid reason to end it, especially if it’s been going on for a while.
That aside, regardless of the reasons, there are many signs that you are close to ending a long term relationship. Here is a short list.
1. You no longer communicate
It’s not just about a deep discussion on the meaning of life and your hopes and dreams, you don’t even do small talk about the weather anymore. You subconsciously avoid speaking to each other either to prevent arguments.
2. One or both of you think about having an affair
If you no longer have an emotional attachment with your partner, ideas such as having an affair start to fill your thoughts. You miss that warm cozy feeling and seek out others that makes you feel loved and secure. It’s even possible that you or your partner has already found someone else as your emotional blanket. Even if there is no sexual congress that happened (yet), but you, your partner, or both of you, are already committing emotional infidelity.
3. Sex has become a chore
Other than less frequent sex, one or both of you avoid physical contact with each other. If you do end up sleeping together, it is boring and tasteless. Simple flirting is gone, and playfulness has become annoying. There are even times when you would rather eat a bug than have sex with your long term partner.
Ending the relationship peacefully
If you or your partner shows signs of ending a long term relationship, then it’s time to either make it or break it. A lot of couples go through rough patches especially in the 4th and 7th year. If you already resolved to end it then, here are things that you should do to ensure you don’t end up spending a lot of money for lawyers.
1. Make a proposal favorable to the other party
You can’t say you want to break up, and then keep the house, the car, and the cats. Even if they originally belonged to you, your partner should have made a significant financial and emotional investment over the years in maintaining all of it, including the cats. If you’re thinking about being a selfish prick and kick out your partner while keeping everything, then you better have a good lawyer.
Having your cake and eating it is a hard road. Ending the relationship in that manner will end the romance, but your relationship won’t end until you get a court order. Conceding favorable conditions right away prevents a messy breakup, and you can still walk away as friends.
2. Have a plan
If you plan to move out of the house and leave the kids, think about the other domino consequences, and make sure you made prior arrangements to cover the gap.
Moving out of the house is easy, but you would still need somewhere to sleep and prepare for work tomorrow. Sleeping in your car and taking a bath in the office is a bad idea. It’s important to have a detailed plan on what to do after ending a long term relationship. Simply walking out and knocking at your friend’s door an hour later might result in unintended consequences.
3. Discuss the matter face to face
Sending a text saying you want to break up is cowardly and disrespectful to the person who gave years of their life to you. Breaking up is never easy, but having a civil relationship with your ex, especially if you have children, is important for everyone’s future. The first step into a peaceful coexistence after ending a long term relationship is a respectful breakup.
Do it in private and never raise your voice. The reason why most people chicken out from breaking up face to face is it only ends up in a huge argument. However, if you have resolved to end the relationship, then there’s really nothing to argue about.
Coping with ending a long term relationship is also a lonely and difficult road. Maintaining at least a neutral relationship with your ex can help both of you move on.
5. Move out immediately after breaking up
The last thing you want to do after ending a long term relationship is to continue to live together as if nothing happened. The person who proposed the breakup should move out and handle dividing your assets and other common property. If you have children, start discussing the arrangements and make sure the children are aware of the situation.
Don’t just break up and then believe you’re free to do whatever you want. That is true to some extent, but not to children and common assets like a house. Remember that mentality is flawed, it works both ways. You still need to cooperate to some extent until everything is settled.
Ending a long term relationship is never an easy task, but there are a lot of cases when it’s the right thing to do especially if one or both of you is a narcissist, abusive, or already in a commitment with someone else. You’re objective is to make sure the relationship ends peacefully. The ripples that you create don’t become a tsunami, drowning everyone around you.