One of the most important things you can do when separating is to communicate clearly and calmly with your partner.
If the break-up is coming from you, be clear about your decision to end the relationship. If it’s coming from your partner, take some time to pull your thoughts together, get support and work out what your next steps should be.
At this point it’s crucial to recognize that you and your former partner may be in different stages of acceptance of the situation.
Be prepared to approach this life change with as much understanding and flexibility as possible.
Counselling and mediation are useful tools to help you both clarify your thoughts and expectations. Being articulate and realistic about what you want will be a big help when it comes to agreeing on the outcomes of your separation.
If you have children together, it’s important to talk to them about the end of the relationship. It will be one of the hardest things you have to do but having these discussions calmly and amicably will have a big impact on how well your children handle the separation.
Talk to your children about the change of situation in a way that makes sense to them. Encourage them to ask questions, and to communicate their feelings and concerns with you. If possible, both parents should bring the news together to the children, taking care not to assign fault or demean each other.
Be prepared for anger, tears, blame and confusion. If your children are young, there’s a good chance you’ll have to explain what’s happening again and again.