Ending Relationships – Learn to Leave

On this video, Alan Robarge, Relationship Coach and Psychotherapist talks about creativity and the art of leaving relationships. He presents different styles of leaving and how many of us fail to prepare an end, specifically how we want to show up and how we want to approach the process. When we contemplate how to end, we realize that there are a range of options available to us. This range of styles runs the gamut from kind, compassionate, reasonable to a bitter, angry, dramatic.

One obstacle to ending with grace is that the ending is often one-sided. We want our partner to participate in closure and work out the goodbye together. This desire is unrealistic. Chances are if partners have the skills to create such an intentional, caring ending, then they would possess the skills to offer repair and save the failing relationship.

When relationships begin we over time invest in deepening our connection slowly to our partner. This is the purpose of a courtship. Additionally, we would benefit from doing the same thing when exiting a relationship and when creating closure. Perhaps we can call that a closure-ship. If both partners are not participating, then a closure-ship will not happen. It is often due to being denied this conscious ending of goodbye that triggers much anger, resentment, and confusion.

We have to work to give ourselves a meaningful closure on our own and with others outside of the relationship. We can do this through creativity, imagination, and the use of ritual. We can do this by finding a community of like-minded people who also are going through the same thing as well as working with a skilled therapist or grief counselor.

When grieving the end, we can benefit from being conscious of the five phrases that many of us need to explore as part of our healing journey. The five phrases are the following: I’m angry, I miss you, I’m sorry, Thank you, and goodbye. Two additional phrases also sometimes come up here: I love you and I forgive you.

Using creative expression is a way to help us process grief feelings and make meaning out of our losses. Creative expressions such as painting, drawing, dancing, scrap-booking, etc. help us create rituals. We also can explore differences between grieving and mourning. Grieving is our inner world experience of emotions and thoughts that capture the range and totality of our process. Mourning is the outward expression of our grief through activities and behaviors that afford us the vehicles to move through the grief. Acts of mourning give us something to do and create experiences out of the grief.

Thanks for watching this video.

To learn more about working together go to www.alanrobarge.com

I offer Attachment-Focused Relationship Coaching and Psychotherapy for Individuals and Couples. I work with adult clients dealing with relationship challenges or failures, lack of purpose, emotional-developmental trauma, and loneliness. I help clients solve problems, feel feelings, and get unstuck. I work with clients both in the US and Canada via telephone and video-conferencing.

There are other ways to get involved with my work:

Join the community, Improve Your Relationships: www.alanrobarge.com/community

Join a 5-Person, Video-Conferencing Better Relating Support Group: www.alanrobarge.com/groups

Join the secret Facebook group, The New Love Addiction, open to only 100 people: www.alanrobarge.com/nla100


Alan Robarge
Attachment-Focused Psychotherapist and Relationship Coach