Ending a Relationship
30-Day Plan to End Your Marriage
How to Begin the Process of Divorce. Deciding to divorce someone is seldom an
easy choice. Most of us cling to the hope that we can fix any love relationship, however rocky.
Ending a relationship is very hurtful, especially
a marriage with long-term hopes and dreams.
However, if you've definitely decided you can't build a successful life with your mate, you must speak up and
proceed with the inevitable.
You'll need to tell your partner you want a divorce, and manage emotional and practical matters as well. Your
toughest challenge may be this: How will you keep the tension from escalating out of control? Even the nicest
people, when ending a relationship, can turn nasty.
Ending a relationship can trigger feelings of rejection, shame, and fear for both partners. Divorce talk can
suddenly turn your life into a war zone.
Once love ends, officially marked by the decision to divorce, you and your partner will start acting out a drama
that's uniquely your own. Thinking through the details is very time-consuming, so pace things accordingly when
ending a relationship - and definitely do get help.
You can take actions over the next 30 days to prepare yourself for what may happen next. While you probably
can't finalize a divorce in 30 days, given state laws and all of the details you'll encounter, you can get things
Above all, you'll want to create a divorce that "works." This means you want an amicable ending to your marriage
in the public sense of things. When ending a relationship, you may hurt like hell behind closed doors.
Realistically, a public divorce calls for some good acting to cover up your pain.
Many couples threaten to divorce, argue and make up, finally decide to divorce, and then drag in family members
and friends to take sides when ending a relationship. They create a divorce fiasco. You don't want that if you can
If you're certain about ending a relationship, take steps to do it as painlessly and successfully as possible.
Stay proactive and do your homework - versus throwing verbal daggers at each other day and night.
Ending a Relationship Requires
Extreme Emotions Will Affect the
You'll need to discuss with your partner, before ending a relationship, how to take care of children, pets, the
house or apartment, so it's best to get started with these things now. Try to create a divorce that doesn't take up
all of your emotional reserves and years of your life. This means that you'll act in a dignified way while you're
in the midst of ending a relationship, avoid arguments if possible, and stay fair in what you ask of your
A divorce will involve both of your families and close friends, plus your children and the social networks in
your community. Speak and act in ways you will be proud of when ending a relationship - versus slamming your mate
in public. Try to de-escalate emotional upheaval and stabilize this extremely stressful time by thinking and acting
in ways that don't make things any worse.
The following tips can help:
♦ Take time in preparing how to confront your mate. Rehearse
your words before you have the all-important "I want out of this marriage" conversation. You'll need to sound very
sure of yourself when ending a relationship, but you should try to avoid extreme emotions. Speak your desire for a
divorce in very logical terms that sound kind and fair.
♦ Expect emotional backlash when ending a relationship. Your
mate, if he or she is normal, will have some type of emotional reaction - which might include anger, fear, or rage.
Or, if your partner has known the divorce was inevitable, he or she might cry or withdraw emotionally.
♦ Don't try to fix feelings. When ending a relationship, you
can't simultaneously set a boundary ("I want a divorce") while taking care of your partner's feelings too. You are
speaking up for your own needs, so you can't really smooth out your partner's.
♦ Give your mate time. Too much discussion isn't good right
away. Offer to discuss the matter again in 24 hours. Allow your partner to collect his or her thoughts when ending
Here is an example of how to speak up when ending a relationship: "We've had some good times and bad times
together. We've really tried hard to hold this marriage together. But, I feel it's in the best interest of us both
to get a divorce. I'd like to make that happen and be very fair to you in all respects." Use words that feel
natural to you.
Maybe your mate has cheated or used alcohol or drugs. Don't hammer on those facts now. Don't perform a character
assassination when ending a relationship. Simply state that you want out of the marriage. Do not get into the
reasons you want out - or you'll ignite an argument and maybe make things worse.
Each partner involved in ending a relationship must manage his or her own feelings and reactions. All you can do
together is figure out how to divide up assets and govern anything involving children and lifestyle concerns that
will involve both of you for some time to come.
"You can't go wrong by playing fair," says a divorce attorney who says he's witnessed all types of divorce.
We'll call him John.
"Some of my clients practically turn into criminals trying to hide assets, bank accounts, and furniture when
ending a relationship," says John. "It usually gets pretty ugly, but I advise people to focus on what's fair to
Prepare for the Worst When
Ending a Relationship
Manage by Facing the Truth
and Staying in Reality
Divorce is a fear-driven episode in one's life. When couples divorce, the all-consuming fear for each individual
is that he or she will wind up with fewer assets or loss of rights over the children - not to mention the fear of
never finding love again.
It's very possible that one's partner may actually abscond with the family pictures or good wedding china. If
you fear your mate might run away with precious family photos, you might hide them temporarily, but preserve your
own character and integrity by dividing them up properly as things progress.
"You don't really know your mate until you divorce him or her," says John. "Divorce will test your own
character, too. It can be tempting to turn into a real fighter. Just make sure you're fighting fairly, because
after things cool down, you will probably still need to maintain a civil relationship with your ex. If you can't do
this after ending a relationship, you'll always stay emotionally entangled and unable to really move on with your
Depending on your mate's nature, when ending a relationship, try to define what's acceptable to you in terms of
the financial picture. He or she might start fighting to keep you away from the bank accounts or threaten you in
some way that's unfair. Don't kid yourself about who your partner really is. Violent people don't turn into saints
when divorce looms, so act and plan accordingly.
If your mate is reasonable, you might say, "I cannot afford to keep the house. But, if you will help me find an
apartment for myself and the children, this would be good." If you need money to keep you afloat until you can
manage better on your own, say so.
Do say, "I will need some financial support from you to manage."
Don't say, "I'm not asking for anything in terms of money." Think long and hard before making such blanket
statements. Even if you have the higher-paying job, you might be carrying a larger amount of total debt after
ending a relationship. So speak up and ask for what's fair to you in the long run. Your attorney can help, but take
time to work this out in your own mind. No one knows your life and lifestyle as well as you.
When ending a relationship, try to recognize the pain for all concerned. Stay in reality about what's going to
hurt which people. For one thing, your friends know that no marriage is fail proof - including their own - so the
fact you're divorcing will make them feel less secure too. Some people will start to throw blame at you or your
spouse. Some will try to talk you into staying together. When ending a relationship, try not to take these
responses to heart.
You'll know when divorce is inevitable when you each want different things out of life. Your overall plans for
self-fulfillment don't match with your partner's. This doesn't mean that either of you is a horrible person. It
simply means that a lifestyle that pleases both of you isn't possible.
When ending a relationship, allow yourself to grieve your lost hopes but do look at the best traits of the
person you're divorcing. Speak up to the people around you and acknowledge those traits in your soon-to-be-ex. Your
children, especially, will hear this and respect you for speaking the truth.
Pay Attention to Legal Matters
When Ending a Relationship
Hire an Attorney Respected by Your Peers
The first order of taking care of practical business in ending a relationship is to locate a good divorce
attorney. Ask someone connected to your court system to recommend a lawyer respected by others in the court system.
You do not want a lawyer who is a bully or tyrant. He or she will not receive the respect needed to navigate you
through shark-invested waters if things turn really ugly.
Depending on your relationship with your partner and your state laws, both of you may utilize the same attorney
when ending a relationship. If your division of assets and concern for the children is mutually acceptable, there
is no reason your divorce should involve the costs of two attorneys or turn ugly within the legal system.
Borrow good books on divorce or go online to buy a book on the legal side of how to fight fair when ending a
relationship. Focus on getting your fair share of the bank accounts and assets when ending a relationship. Don't
allow emotions to cloud your judgment.
"It took me a couple of years to work through my divorce emotionally," says a banker we'll call Tom. "No sane
person can get over a divorce so quickly." But Tom goes on to say that focusing on protecting his assets had to
take priority over everything.
"I worked for my now ex-wife's father," says Tom. "Getting my fair share of the family business and stock was a
delicate negotiation. My civility paid off, and I got my fair share."
If you stay centered on what's fair when ending a relationship - looking out for what sounds reasonable to your
ex as well - you can devise a financial settlement that works. Every case is different. Start making lists of
assets such as bank accounts, your living expenses, future financial needs, and personal items of value to you.
Making lots of lists will help you envision how your mate will look at matters too.
Try to ask important questions of your partner when ending a relationship. Asking, "What kind of lifestyle do
you see for yourself in the near future?" is a reasonable question. Or asking, "How do you see us divorcing and
feeling okay about our financial picture individually?" is a good way to open a dialogue.
If you're divorcing an angry, hostile person, this conversation is much harder - since he or she will probably
not worry too much about your pain. However, keep stating that you don't want to become lifelong enemies under any
circumstances. If you do keep that kind of hate rolling along, you will always be "emotionally married" or
We all know individuals who have never detached emotionally from their ex after ending a relationship - even
after both have remarried and the children are grown.
Talk with your children and family members about keeping things civil. For example, you might tell your kids, "I
hate the fact that Daddy and I are divorcing. But treat him with respect and don't take sides. We wouldn't want you
to do that."
Focus on the Future in Ending a
Make Lists to Track Your Progress
Buy a large notebook to write to-do lists during your 30-day plan to end your marriage. Write down "actions to
take" and "people to call." The following four-week timeline will help you prioritize when ending a
Week one: Ask for the divorce and contact an attorney right away. If possible, have a
consultation with the attorney even before you ask for the divorce.
Week two: Start the process of moving to your new home or apartment. Or, help your mate
move out. If hostility is part of the picture when ending a relationship, ask a friend or family member that you
both trust to be present while you divide up some of the furniture and personal items.
Week three: Make lists of your assets and try to define what's fair financially for each
partner to receive or keep. When ending a relationship, stay in touch with your attorney's office by phone and meet
with your lawyer no later than the third week.
Week four: Begin twice-weekly chats with your soon-to-be ex by phone or at a restaurant to
define how you want to proceed with the divorce. Avoid being alone together out of the public eye if possible,
since when ending a relationship, tempers will likely flare.
The moment you know you're ending a relationship, get busy taking care of yourself. Each day, meet a friend for
coffee just to chat or go for a long walk by yourself. It's always good to consult a trained professional to guide
you as well. Use your notebook to start making notes about the new direction you want your life to take.
You'll need to plan how to put together a new life - which might be much better in lots of ways than the life
you've had with your ex. So, start writing down your plans for finding a new home, packing, moving, and making the
divorce final. A Professional Life Coach can be a terrific help
Never hurry to sign the final paperwork, since you'll need at least four to six months to figure out if you're
getting your fair share of the assets. And, in some states, you cannot divorce for a year after filing. But by
sticking to a 30-day plan to begin the process of ending a relationship, you can facilitate the divorce and
carefully figure out your next steps. For additional help in not only surviving your divorce but navigating your
way through it with dignity, contact us for an appointment.
Call for a free coaching session today
The first call is free and there is no obligation.
Call (805) 964-6574
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