Chapter 3 - Situations Subchapter: Breaking up


  • There are no rules for knowing when it’s time to break up, just as there are no rules for why you and your partner decided to begin the relationship. It is personal to the both of you.
  • Many different factors can influence the decision to end a relationship: loss of affection, conflicts with friends, family or cultural pressures, changed values and goals, moving away, negative feelings about the relationship, experience of abuse in the relationship.
  • Whatever the reason for a relationship ending, and it may not be just the one, it might be a combination of factors, once the decision is made to end a relationship it is best for everyone’s well-being to just get on with it.
  • As difficult as a break-up conversation might be, it must be done and if possible, should be done respectfully.
  • It’s ok to be upset about the end of a relationship, but it’s not ok to lash out and punish or abuse your ex.
  • Recovering from a break-up may be a slow and painful process that relies on the support of good friends and family.
  • If the relationship was significant and long-term it’s a good idea to have a conversation about the future and how the both of you can navigate it in a way that’s respectful to each other.
  • When the decision is made to end a relationship it’s often a good idea to make a clean break.
  • No one should have to endure an abusive or violent relationship. Whether it’s physical violence, emotional abuse, neglect, or something else, there is help available to end the violence or end the relationship.

1800RESPECT is the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. Open 24 hours to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.