When emotions are running high all around, it can be very easy to split into a space where everything feels like an attack, and you attack other people too. From there, it is difficult to go back because, like it or not; words hurt just as much as actions sometimes.
There are many reasons why people split up; it might be infidelity, it could be that they have fallen out of love – and there are a million reasons in between. But in the end, married or not, untangling your life from someone else is hard.
And while you might not always feel like keeping cool, calm, and collected – it is best long term. We often underestimate the complexity of divorce and separation – in both practical and emotional terms – but keeping it amicable is in everyone's interest.
So what can you do to manage things from your side?
Everyone is impacted
While you might, and should be, concerned with how you will move forward, if you and your partner have been together for a long time, friends, family, children, and pets will all be impacted.
Many will have plenty to say, as well as and you might find yourself having to explain more than you want to. Alternatively, if you are the partner who is being left, you might be looking for answers.
There are a lot of feelings from a lot of places, and while you are the most important, expect more people to be hurt.
Sometimes ahead of making any firm decisions, you will need to build a support network to get your thoughts out. The network can help you make plans, but do expect some people to try to talk you out of the decision – the best people in your life will ask for you to look at things in different ways.
Support is vital for both parties and talking through things without blame and accusations is helpful.
What is fair?
Over the years, there have likely been some changes to work, savings, who stays with the children the most, and so on. This can impact heavily what is fair for each of the parties. It is possible to make many of the negotiations yourself, or if you can discuss things in a civil manner, you may be able to come up with a plan before anyone heads to a solicitor.
Think about what you want here – children to be happy and secure, both to have some financial comfort and somewhere to live. When you have lived and taken care of each other for a long time, that should still be something you both want to happen.
And if you do find yourself on the receiving end of a vicious lawyer, remain composed and move forward with the idea of what is fair (even when that is really hard).
Expect that there will be arguments, but how you deal with them will make a difference. Try to avoid getting into verbal fights; instead, try to make sure things are written down – or know when you shouldn't be responding. Instead of being tempted to sink into name-calling and laying blame (even if you are angry), opt for compromise, compassion, and honesty.
Breaking up a relationship, or being broken up with, is one of the hardest things to go through in life – because life as you know it changes. Try to be as kind to yourself as you can be during that period so that you can move forward in a healthy way: Making Self-Care A Priority.