There is no going around it: breakups are dreadful. Even if they are handled with empathy and compassion in the most amicable situations, they can cause grief, heartbreak, depression, and all kinds of negative emotions. No doubt, going through them will harm your emotional well-being and your self-assurance. Ending a relationship is especially tough when you cohabitate.
Deciding to move in together is a big step. That means you have pretty strong feelings for each other, great future plans, and a lot of things in common. You have probably already established healthy, clear boundaries and set up your living space. But being on the same wavelength is sometimes simply not enough.
Even the strongest relationship faces challenges and can lose its spark over time. Love cannot overcome every obstacle. And the fact is that staying in an unfulfilling, unhealthy relationship can be worse and more hurtful than breaking up when you live together. Let’s look at how to make your breakup process less stressful and easier.
How to break up when you live together?
Calling off a relationship when you live together can be challenging and complicated to handle. But don’t worry; that’s absolutely normal. Living with a man or a woman you love, respect, have a deep bond with, and have similar beliefs and opinions with isn’t just sharing a living space; it’s sharing the deepest intimacy, mutual desires, and expectations. It can be a great way to deepen commitment, strengthen your connection, develop a stronger relationship, increase intimacy, and gain opportunities for self-growth. You may feel blessed, over the moon, and on cloud nine. But where love lives, so does the risk of its ending.
Some people, no matter how much and how long they love each other, simply are not suitable. Unfortunately, this usually becomes clear after they start living together. No matter the reasons and circumstances, breaking up with someone you live with requires good preparation because you also have cohabiting at play. Preparing can help you feel less anxious and more clear on your reasons.
Once you make your decision and feel ready, you should make some sort of plan. It’s important to consider the feelings and needs of your partner, especially his reaction.
Let’s take it step by step.
1. Get ready
First and foremost, whenever you feel unhappy or unsafe, you should always do what is best for your overall well-being, both physically and emotionally. If your relationship leads to feelings of unhappiness, depression, or unsafety, you should not compromise.
It’s important to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for a breakup. Evaluate your relationship.
Observe what you have done to work on your relationship and all the problems you have had. Remember who you are and envision yourself happy. Have a plan for where you will stay and enlist a support network of people you trust.
2. Decide what to say
Even if you make up your mind, you may still be unsure of how and what to say. Always be kind but honest. Do not soften the blow with white lies. Speak from your heart. Let your partner know what really went wrong.
Try to keep things simple; long explanations won’t actually help. Do not accuse your partner, or worse, do not blame yourself. If you are not on the same page anymore, say that openly and clearly.
Explain that you do not have the same priorities or interests in a way that reflects your needs, not his faults.
3. Have pre-breakup talks
In order to avoid feelings of remorse and guilt, give your partner some warning. The winds of change have already begun to blow in, so tell him that you would like to talk about your relationship.
This can be a chance to address problems you have, talk about your feelings and expectations, and if you both want to save your relationship, discuss what you can do to make things better.
4. Set up a time to talk
There is never a good time for a breakup, but try to choose a low-stress time to talk to your partner.
If he is dealing with issues that require his full attention or are a source of stress, it may be better to wait a couple of days, but not longer.
Delaying will only make things worse. This is crucial if you are in a toxic or abusive relationship.
5. Give your partner a chance to talk
Do not forget that you once had a man you loved and respected in front of you, so listen to him empathically and answer his questions. Let him express his feelings, but avoid unproductive conversation.
During the conversation, your partner may feel ruined, angry, or confused. You should prepare yourself well in order to navigate your communication in a respectful manner.
6. Talk about how you will part ways
One of the steps in answering how to break up with someone you live with is talking about practical matters, especially if you have shared bills or common property.
You should decide how to divide up the belongings you purchased together. It can be really overwhelming, so you should give each other time and space.
It’s crucial to set timelines if one of you will move out. The time before moving out can be hard, challenging, and confusing. It’s important to handle the situation as adultly, wisely, and calmly as possible. Try to keep communication channels open, set clear boundaries, and stick to them.
7. Surround yourself with people you love and trust
Even when you make the final call and initiate a breakup, it can cause a lot of distress and grief. You will probably need emotional support. Friends and family members you trust can hold you up, encourage you, boost your self-confidence, offer you a place to stay, or help you move out.
Having a social circle is very important if you have an abusive partner and are worried about your partner’s reaction.
Do not forget that you have shared your lives, home, future plans, intimacy, dreams, and expectations. It’s vital to communicate respectfully. Try to end in peace, even if you feel angry or sad. Stay calm, be clear, and be kind. It does not mean you have to let your partner shout at you or be abusive. In that case, stop the conversation, go for a walk, and seek external support.
If you are stuck together for a while after you end a relationship, set clear, hard boundaries.
Breakups usually bring out a lot of guilt for the partner who makes the decision. Always remember that you made your decision for a reason.
How to know when it’s time to end a relationship?
The fact is that almost every couple goes through rough patches. At some point, you may wonder if your relationship is a good fit. There are always indications that your relationship has run its course. If you recognize some of the following signs in your relationship, it’s time to go separate ways.
Physical or emotional abuse
Any kind of abuse is a clear sign that your relationship has become toxic. If your partner attacks, frightens, controls, or isolates you, you should end that relationship and seek support. You may even have to deal with jealousy every single day. Keep in mind that mental and emotional abuse are as harmful as physical abuse. Be careful, and remember that you deserve to be treated with care, love, and respect.
You do not trust your partner
You should feel safe and secure in all aspects of the relationship. Trust is a crucial part of it. Doubt and questioning your partner’s reliability lead to conflicts and negative emotions, even depression and anxiety.
Your major values do not match
There are plenty of couples with different political views or religious beliefs. Different values in a relationship all come down to communication. If you communicate and disagree disrespectfully, especially on major values like having kids or not, you should consider reviewing your relationship.
You do not care or put in the effort
When you stop being interested in your partner’s life, interests, daily routines, or feelings, it means only one thing: things have cooled off. Everyone has down days in relationships, but they shouldn’t be consistent or permanent.
You do not like yourself
A healthy, loving relationship that is built on mutual respect and affection should bring out the best in you. If it brings out the worst, you should end it as soon as possible. In a healthy relationship, partners love, respect, and support each other.
There are plenty of other reasons, of course. You may not get your needs met, and you need a more fulfilling relationship. Maybe your partner is constantly belittling you instead of boosting your self-esteem. If you have unresolved conflicts or a lack of compromise, trust, and empathy, you should say goodbye to this relationship. Personally, no matter the reason, feeling unhappy and unsafe is enough to make you split with your partner.
How to get over a breakup?
Breakups are hurtful, messy things. They can seriously affect your emotional and mental well-being. It can be challenging to get through one as it brings a host of emotions: sadness, grief, guilt, anger, or shame. It can lead to anxiety and depression.
Ending a relationship is hard, but recovering is even harder, especially when you break up with someone you cohabitated with.
It can be quite hard to get over someone you used to see every day, share a home with, and have future plans with.
Grief is a natural response to losing someone you love. Everyone goes through this process in their own way, and there is no “normal” amount of time to grieve. But if you understand and accept your emotions, seek support, and take care of yourself, you can heal.
- You can use the following tips to help you move on:
- Practice self-care
- Seek support
- Do things you enjoy
- Surround yourself with people you love
- Keep busy
- Feel your feelings
- Be patient and kind to yourself
- Do not jump into a rebound relationship
- Get rid of painful reminders
- No-revenge postings on social media
- Create new memories
And process, process, process. Focus on yourself. Cultivate self-compassion and self-validation. Embrace your sensuality and practice self-love. Express yourself; write, sing, or paint. Even if you make the final call, it’s natural to be upset.
Allow yourself to feel all emotions; go through the eye of the storm. Maybe during a breakup harsh things were said that is making you question yourself, your life choices, whether you are a good person, your femininity and more. But always remember why you did that, toss those thoughts aside and if you perhaps need to heal your wounded feminine energy, we covered that topic as well so you can do that step by step.
Expect healing to take time. It requires patience and effort.
The crucial thing is to be sure of yourself. You want out. And that is OK. No matter the reasons. But first, prepare yourself, make a plan, write down your thoughts, and enlist your support network. Once you make a decision, do not delay it, but be careful. When you just spring it on your partner, his reaction can be unexpected. It’s better to let him know in advance that you want to talk about your relationship. If you are in an abusive or toxic relationship, just go somewhere safe. You owe your abuser nothing, especially explanations.
Be honest and clear. Do not leave room for speculation. Keep your conversation simple and be kind as much as you can. Attempt to let empathy be your guide. Focus on the logistics.
Probably neither of you can move out straight away; set hard boundaries and house rules. Always remember that your relationship was strong and deep, so for the sake of the old days, behave in a respectful manner.
Take care of yourself. This will help you cope and handle all difficulties. If you need it, you can consider professional support. Talk to people you trust, especially someone who has been through a similar experience. Do not be ashamed, and certainly do not blame yourself. Breaking up with someone you live with happens everywhere.
People usually change when they are in a relationship, mainly when they live together. Take some time for self-reflection. Do not be afraid to start a new life alone. And always remember that sometimes you must leave, not for self-image but for self-respect. Read this again!