8 Tips to consider before you end your relationship after lockdown.
Apr 12, 2021
There’s been a staggering increase in the number divorce inquiries around the world since the first lockdown last year. UK family law firms have reported an increase of more than 40% since last March.
There’s no denying that lockdown has been challenging for everyone. It’s proved to be ‘make or break’ for many relationships. For some couples, the opportunity to spend more quality time together has been welcomed and it has helped them to reconnect and brought them closer together. For other couples however, any issues they may have had before lockdown, have only been exacerbated by being forced together 24/7. Add to that financial pressures such as redundancy or furlough (a word most of us had never heard of before last year), working at home whilst home-schooling the kids, a lack of personal space at home and no outlet to release the tension by meeting up with friends, and it’s not surprising that many couples have decided to call time on their relationship.
Ending a long-term relationship is a traumatic and stressful event in anyone’s life, second only to the death of a loved one. If you are thinking about ending your relationship, my advice would be this - make sure that you are completely confident in your decision and have no doubts before you put the wheels in motion. The last 13 months have been unprecedented and a huge challenge for all of us. Let things settle down and reset before you take any action.
Before you make the final decision to end your relationship, here are 8 tips to consider:
- Don’t rush into your decision. Take some time as we come out of lockdown and return to some sort of normality, to take stock of your relationship. Consider whether it really is over, or if there is a chance it could be saved. Delay making any life changing decisions and instead, reflect on what could be done to save your relationship as we come out of this stressful time.
- Make a list of everything that’s not working for you in the relationship. Try and look at this objectively, without the emotion. Is this just a bad patch you’re going through that’s been exacerbated by lockdown? Or is it something more serious that’s been going on for some time now? Are the issues significant or could they be resolved?
- Think about your own behaviours. Are there any of your own behaviours that you could change that would evoke different responses in your partner? You can’t change your partner, but you can change your own behaviours. Often just changing your own behaviour can result in a completely different response from your partner and the issue becomes resolved.
- Communicate with your partner. Set some uninterrupted time aside to tell them how you’re feeling about your relationship and ask them how they feel. Really listen to what your partner has to say, instead of interrupting and thinking about what your response will be. Listen properly and give them your full attention. Can you put together a list of things that you can both agree to work on to try and make the relationship work over the next 3 months?
- Imagine your life without your partner. What emotions does that bring up for you? If you decide to stay, it must be because you want the relationship to work rather than being scared of being on your own.
- Reset your boundaries with each other. This is not easy to do, but with commitment from both of you, it can have a huge impact on your relationship. Agree with each other what is important for you in your relationship. How do you want to be treated and spoken to? What do you need and want from each other? How do you want your partner to show their love and appreciation for you?
- Show your appreciation and gratitude. It’s only natural that we start taking each other for granted after a while, but that doesn’t make it ok. Research from Positive Psychology shows that gratitude is the single most powerful way of increasing happiness. It helps you tap into a more positive mindset instead of ruminating on all the negatives in your life. Take some time out every day to think about the positives you have in your life and everything you have to be grateful for – including your partner. If you can, start showing your appreciation for your partner and tell them what you’re grateful for on a daily basis and notice the positive impact this has.
- Prioritise each other and your relationship. Relationships take work and commitment from both partners. It’s too easy to get stuck on the hamster wheel of life and then realise your relationship is right down the list of priorities. Make the effort to spend quality time together, whether that’s a regular date night or something else you both enjoy. Try and rekindle the romance if that’s something that’s been lost between you.
Making the decision to end a marriage or a long-term relationship is not something to be taken lightly, especially given the additional stresses of the last 13 months. In 2014 the Daily Mail surveyed 2000 divorced men and women and a shocking 50% of them said they regretted their decision to divorce. More recent studies confirm that the number is between 32% and 50% and that the people interviewed wished they'd worked harder at their marriage and stayed married. Make sure you do everything possible to make your relationship work before you decide to leave, so that if you do leave, you can do so with no regrets and not become one of the sad statistics above.
If you’re going through a divorce at the moment and struggling to cope you can download my free gift to you – 10 Simple Secrets to Let Go of Heartbreak & Start Moving on With Your Life After Your Divorce.
I'd also love to invite you to join my free Facebook group – The Breakup and Divorce Lounge. It’s a community of women all in the same situation who can support and encourage each other in a safe and non-judgemental space. https://bit.ly/thebreakupanddivorcelounge