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Unsure how to break up respectfully
thank you for finding the bravery to discuss your issue here. Trying to find respectful ways to assert boundaries or respectfully depart emotional situations is always extremely challenging, and to be honest, hurtful for us too. As you stated yourself, it is not as if you don't care at all, and guilt, shame and sadness make these journeys so trying and hurtful sometimes.
I have no doubt that many of your peers here will want to offer support and kindness, but may I also recommend a talk to Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277, who might be able to lead you into more confidence, awareness and certainty. Mensline (1300 78 99 78) might also be a genuinely great resource for this. As always, reach out to us here, at anytime 24/7, and thank you for your courage in our community!
Hello Terry, you can still love somebody but you can't live together.
If she has noticed you may have changed in any small way, doesn't mean she still doesn't love you, but you are allowed to say to her that because of ------------ you need to move on, but we can still remain as friends.
Hello Terry, you have been with her for 4 years and now you have chosen another path, but thoroughly enjoyed the time with her and now believe it's time you begin another journey.
We can still contact each other if that's what you would like, because there is an opportunity for me to move forward, but I have to go by myself, and what we have been through together should encourage you to do exactly what you have always wanted to do and hope you can increase your knowledge to better yourself.
There’s really no easy way to do this, this will obviously break her heart. But you need to be true to yourself and there are respectful ways to do it. I think just by basically letting her know that you both need to have a chat and by sitting down and telling her how you feel. How unpleasant it becomes will be largely dependent on how she reacts when she’s hurt, she may become incredibly angry and want to blame you for everything under the sun. Or she may be upset but also mature enough to acknowledge that you can’t stay in something you don’t feel. Try and answer any questions she may have as sensitively as you can at the time to help her get some closure. And explain what the plan is going to be as far as moving out etc and give her some time to process things if she needs. I commend you on reaching out to find ways to kindly break up with a person, that is far more consideration than most people get!!
Hello Terry, yes I agree with you, but know that it's never easy, now she can have a think about how you feel and it's possible she may decide to move on herself and have a thought about how else it could have been handled.
You have done well.
After 4 years, it is likely not to have escaped your partner's attention, despite appearances, that the last year has been tough, and sometimes we press on regardless in the hope of getting through - denial can but prolong the inevitable.
Now is a time for grieving and reflection - anger and betrayal, mixed emotions of trust, futility, and relinquishing longer term hopes can't simply be dispensed with quickly.
Perhaps, in time you can better express yourself in person and elaborating on the substance of your email to clarify any ambiguity or confusion.