Breaking up can be difficult to begin with, however, adding a child to the equation can make it that much more complicated.
Many times couples wonder if they should stay in a “loveless” relationship in order to keep the child happy. The answer to this is no. Your child will be affected by the decisions that you make inside or outside of the relationship. Instead, being mature adults and handling the breakup as civil as possible is the best outcome for everyone involved. Here are some guidelines on how to do this.
Evaluate the Relationship
Be sure that you are not acting on rash emotions. Have you considered counseling? Are the problems you’re having long-term? Are you and your partner willing to change? After evaluating the situation you’re able to determine which the best path is for you. Do not make this decision alone as you did not make the decision on your own to begin the relationship in the first place.
Discuss the Spilt
If you both decide it is in your best interests to move on then take the time to talk about the fact that you are breaking up. You want to discuss how it will affect your children, financial responsibility, personal property, visitation schedule, and much more. Whether you are married or not it will be important to discuss all the topics listed above. By talking it through you are able to stay on the same page and remain civil.
Talk to Your Children
Unless your child is under the age of 2 they will likely see the changes happening. Therefore, you need to talk with them before going through with the split. As parents you want to explain that it is not their fault. Often times children feel that their behavior is the cause of breakups. Share your plans for visitation and even express that you still care for each other as parents. Make the conversation age appropriate for best results. Be prepared to answer questions and comfort them if they need it.
Integrity, self-love and remaining neutral
Never ever talk badly about your ex around the kids or even while you’re still together! Their father (or mother) is part of them and even if you believe they were the one who did something wrong or is at fault, it’s important to remain neutral. Sometimes sharing your lessons or realizations can be helpful, although it’s important how you impart that information. Even if something terrible happened, i.e. you or the children were abused – be mindful how you discuss it. Choose to empower your children with powerful and precious life lessons, allowing you to be authentic and coming from a place of love. Talk about self-love and self-belief, healthy boundaries, perhaps discuss what’s a healthy relationship, what really matters.
After Breaking Up
After you’ve done the process above and have broken up you will probably feel some form of emotion. Whether you feel sad, angry, hopeless, or clueless it is important to get it out so that you don’t carry it into your next relationship. You might consider consulting a coach or counselor who can help you in healing, learning and improving yourself. Most don’t like to admit it but broken relationships are likely caused by both parties, one way or another you’ve contributed. Finding out what’s going on inside of you and how to change it can work great.
This process will not be easy, and depending on your child they could really be affected by the change. Always keep an open mind with your child, discuss any concerns they might have, and if necessary get them professional help as well. Sometimes children won’t just tell you they are hurt by the breakup, but will begin to act out and harbor feelings. Professional guidance might be needed to get them through. In the end, both parties remaining civil and having the common interest of loving and caring for the children will make breaking up much easier and the healing process much more achievable.
I believe everyone can breakup well.