He delivered the “talk”, what should you do?

You have probably been having problems for some time. You disagree a lot, maybe fight, he seem distracted and takes ages to return your calls. Recently, things between you have deteriorated rapidly and none of it is instigated by you. Chances are he is preparing for the “talk”.

The “talk” can take many forms. He may be man enough to sit down with you and give you the real reasons why he is breaking up with you. Don’t hold much hope for this happening however. More than likely, he will say things like: “it’s not you, it’s me”, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me”, “I am depressed, nothing makes me happy”. Empty, cowardly statements that leave you none the wiser.

Then, there are the ones with the truly unacceptable behaviour such as ending a relationship via text, email or WhatsApp, or even simply doing a runner and ghosting you.

Whichever way the “talk” is delivered, you will be left sad, upset and nursing a broken heart. Your hopes have been dashed, a hole has opened up in your life and nothing will be the same again. Yet, almost immediately after the surprise of the door closing behind him, comes hope that it is not final, only a bump in what is destined to be a forever relationship.

Having said that, the “talk” is the best opportunity you will get to fully understand what happened with your relationship and this is the best time to take advantage of this opportunity. Most women, however are in a state of shock and here is what they do instead:

• Try to change his mind. The natural response to this will be for him to stick to his guns and defend his decision

• In between sobs ask him why, oh why does he want to break up. In defence, he is now furiously thinking of even more reasons to breakup with you than he already has

• Pretend that this came out of the blue and they are totally surprised

• Promise that they will change, and all will be well again. This of course confirms to your partner that he is right to be breaking up with you because you are indeed the problem that needs to change.

• Break out into accusations and hysterics. Men hate both of his reactions and again you will be confirming his decision as correct.

Instead you should do the following:

• Take a deep breath and gather your wits. Maybe walk to the kitchen and get a glass of water to steady yourself, or find another way to buy some time to think about what you want to say.

• Through discussion and while remaining calm at all times, let the problems surface one by one. Are you on the same page? Are you surprised by any issues he is raising? Take your time during this step. You want to walk away crystal clear as to why he is breaking up with you. It is a terrible feeling, post breakup to be left wondering about what happened and to be speculating about this and that and “if only”.

• Are these issues insurmountable? Be honest? If you think that there are realistic fixes to the situation, make sure that you discuss them at this stage. Let him tell you why he believes otherwise. Again, if you do not go over this step at this stage, the opportunity to clarify will be lost and you will find yourself in the middle of the night looking at the ceiling, sobbing and wondering.

  • Tell him that you understand his points and would like to think about what he said. Ideally you want to win some time to process the conversation and for him to rethink his decision based on your calm, rational and wonderful reaction. He may, however, be unwilling to drag this on, and if this is the case, do not argue. You will not win this one. If he agrees, there is a chance that at the root of the breakup was a misunderstanding or something that can be changed. If this is the case, give him the time he needs and cut your fingers off before you start calling, texting and otherwise badgering him to let you know what he is going to do. The minute you do that, it is well and truly over.

Author of the Dream series for women, I love to help women find happiness.

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