How do you say “I don’t love you anymore?”
Do you want to end your long term relationship – but have a fear of expressing your true feelings to the other person? How do you say “I don’t love you anymore?” Do you feel your relationship has gone stale, there is no passion and the love has changed? Maybe you are now irritated by the person you once ‘fell head over heels’ in love with all those years ago. What thoughts are running through your mind prior to the build-up of this announcement for ending?
Identify your feelings
Firstly, try to understand your possible thoughts and feelings:
- Guilt - over wanting to end the relationship but not wanting to hurt the other person and seeing them suffer from upset and anguish. You know this is going to drop like a bombshell, you feel they will not take this well and you begin to feel guilty. They are kind, considerate and loving towards you but your love for them has changed.
- Financial implications – thoughts about the affordability of living apart and where to live. Considerations of alternatives but to live back home with parents could be a strain and working out rental payments for living accommodation elsewhere can be costly or simply out of the question.
- The children - how will this affect our children? Wondering about the impact on the children and other family members is a question that you will churn over and over in your thoughts. Then beginning to think of practical arrangements of shared parenting, routines and fracturing of extending family dynamics.
- Worry – uncertainties about what others will think about you including family members on both sides as well as joint friendships. Will everyone class you as the bad one for instigating the ending?
- Sadness - feelings of loss and sorrow. Often an overwhelming feeling of sadness can be present about the ending of the relationship we once had. We go through the emotions silently on our own with a deep pain in the passing of what we once held dear to us.
- Doubt – is this really what I want? Sometimes we can think we want something to end when actually we just need to inject some time and effort into the relationship and likewise our partner needs to do the same.
Stop! Think again... could this be something you regret further down the line in years to come?
Secondly, think of an alternative course of action before you make your final decision:
Perhaps it’s time to think about relationship counselling, either as a couple or just for yourself on a one-to-one basis. Couple counselling by Zoom is on offer by many counsellors if face-to-face is not accessible.
Maybe your relationship can be saved and you need time to reflect and work things out. The person to help you to do this is a qualified counsellor or therapist. You will be able to talk in confidence and express your feelings of guilt, worry, sadness and doubt.
Sometimes we are convinced we need to take a certain course of action but reflection and investment in talking therapies can bring about change that we have been yearning for. Couple counselling has proven to be an effective way for couples to rekindle their love and passion for each other again. A counsellor will be there to help guide you and might also suggest some small tasks to work on between your sessions. You could very well be surprised in the change in your feelings and the outcomes for both yourself and your partner.
Alternatively, couple counselling may reinforce your feelings of wanting an ending to your long term relationship but this will give you time as a couple to express your feelings in a safe place. In addition, perhaps this will give your partner time for them to process the implications of change.
Lastly, be honest and sincere about how you feel:
Honesty and choosing the right moment is important for you to give your partner time to absorb what has happened. This news could very well be a shock to the person and tumbling thoughts might make them react in numbness, fear or even anger. Show some consideration when you deliver this news to them and not when there is an important event coming up for them the next day.
You have to prepare for this so pick a time when you know they will be able to perhaps talk through how they feel with their family or friends in the first instance if this is their choice. Be thoughtful and understanding if they react with tears, anger or being clingy. After all, you have already begun to grieve for your long term relationship, whereby it may just be their beginning.
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