Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you were on the road to marriage. Ending the relationship with your fiance can be difficult and painful, but can have a positive result in the end. A research study published in the January 2007 issue of the Journal of Positive Psychology found that most people experience positive emotions and growth after a breakup. Leaving a troubled relationship will provide opportunities for both of you to grow as individuals and may save you the heartache of divorce down the line. There are steps and measures that you can take to make the breakup less painful for both of you.
Choose the right time and place to end the relationship. Don't rush into breaking up in the middle of an argument or when your fiance is preparing for a big day at work. Pick a day, such as a Friday, that will allow him time to mourn and regain his composure. Have the conversation in a quiet place with minimal distractions where you can have a private conversation.
Talk to your fiance about why the relationship must end. Be specific and give concrete reasons, such as "we have different values and life plans," rather than "we're just not meant for each other." Avoid bringing up issues from the past or placing blame. Stick to the bigger issues in your relationship, rather than the small annoyances.
Be prepared for things to not go as planned. Anticipate that your fiance's reactions may be unexpected and can range from anger to relief. Expect that your own reactions might not be as you expected. Have a plan in place in case you find yourself getting upset or too emotional while having the breakup conversation. Practice deep breathing, visualization and relaxation techniques prior to meeting with your fiance.
Set clear boundaries regarding future contact. Avoid giving your fiance false hopes by agreeing to meet or encouraging communication after the breakup. Continuing contact will only revive painful memories and strong emotions. In a study published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology, researchers found that participants experienced physical pain and distress when looking at a picture of their ex.
- Keep your breakup caring, compassionate and honorable so that you both leave with a positive memory of your time together.
- Journal of Neurophysiology: Reward, Addiction, and Emotion Regulation Systems Associated With Rejection in Love
- The Journal of Positive Psychology: Addition through Subtraction: Growth Following the Dissolution of a Low Quality Relationship
- Psychology Today: The Thoroughly Modern Guide to Breakups
- Psychology Today: "It's Not You, It's Me" Pseudo-Compassionate Break-up Lines
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