When a Partner Says It’s Over

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“To fall in love is awfully simple, but to fall out of love is simply awful.” ~ Bess Myerson

The ending of a relationship can be like a death, particularly if you did not want it to end, and most particularly, if you did not see it coming. When someone dear to us dies, there are stages in the grieving process that most experience. There may be shock, disbelief, denial, anger, sadness and many other emotions, and one may cycle through all of them many times before finally reaching a place of acceptance.

The same thing happens when a partner drops the bomb that he/she is leaving. First comes the shock and disbelief, and then there maybe a stage of bargaining. One may attempt to talk the other out of leaving, citing the many good things about the relationship, or promising to change in ways that will make the other happy.

One may even go so far as to question the sanity or emotional stability of the one who wants to leave. This may be an indication of some denial going on. Rather than accepting that a partner has been quite unhappy for a long time, it is easier to believe there is something wrong with him or her.

The truth is that generally, when someone announces that the relationship is over, a lot of thought has gone on for a long time prior to the pronouncement. Likely the thought has been there for months, if not years. This can be hard for the recipient of such news, because the one leaving has had a long time to prepare for, and accept the ending of the relationship. That person has slowly been letting for a long time, and so is further along the process than the one who has just found out.

It is hard not to fight for someone you really love, but in reality that person probably gave plenty of feedback long ago about what was missing, or was making him or her very unhappy. Likely the message was given repeatedly, and either ignored or not taken seriously. Finally, the only course seemed to be to give up.

Whatever love or hope there was, now dies.

It is fair enough to ask the person if there is any chance at all to save the relationship. If you get a clear message that the partner is ready to move on, then you must do what you can to move towards acceptance. This may involve psychological counseling, for it is certainly a major life change. It is a difficult time for certain, and it is equally certain that your partner cannot be the one to help you through it.

Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.

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