Your mother loves him. So do your sisters. Your friends are equally charmed by his mild-mannered nature, diligent attentiveness to you, and strange love of The Notebook. Even your father is accepting of the man in your life (incredibly).
One problem: you're about to break up with him. Shock will surely run rampant through your circle. Your friends will criticize you endlessly and your mother will warn that you'll end up alone. Even your dog will shoot you a look of deep regret. Regardless, you have your own reasons to do it. Now, how do you go about breaking the news to your family and friends without receiving the backlash? Follow these keys to breaking up with a popular partner while keeping peace and order within your family and your life:
Remember, it's your life. Before you even leave him, prepare your loved ones. Sit them down and tell them you are about to make a major decision that will impact your life. Reiterate to them that you've thoroughly thought it through and that you're committed to your choice to walk away from your partner. If they begin to disagree, simply hold up your hand. Say, "It's my life, my choice, and I know you love me enough to respect it."
Don't reveal why. You don't owe explanations to anyone but yourself. Now is not the time to admit to your best friend that you actually caught him cheating with his secretary or reveal to your mother that, in fact, he's gay. Keep the details of the reason for your breakup to yourself. Don't volunteer information, as this will convolute the situation further and even degrade your partner to people who have grown to love him. Plus, the more you explain the details to others, the more they will bombard you with their advice, theories, and suggestions. This will only serve to confuse and upset you. Chances are that with a pending breakup, you're already going through a tough time. So no need to make it harder on yourself by inviting in the voices of outsiders. State that you have valid reasons to leave, and leave it at that. What you should explain to them, however, is how and why you'll be better off without him.
Don't bring it up unnecessarily. Your family and friends may be disapproving in the beginning, but they'll understand eventually. There's no reason to bring up the subject, especially if they don't. Keep old memories and stories about the relationship to yourself right now. The less you speak about the relationship or the breakup, the less you will have to bear condescending conversations.
Ask him to respect your family's space. He may have become best buds with your brother, but that can pose a problem because it continues to guarantee him a seat at the family table. Ask him politely but firmly to cease contact with your family members: not to check up on your mom, go golfing with your dad, or have a drink with your cousin. Plus, it will be difficult for you to carry out a breakup if he continues popping up at gatherings or family events.
Stick to your decision. Nothing looks worse than initiating a breakup then running back to your ex. At first your family and friends will be surprised, but then they'll accept your actions. At that point, it becomes downright hypocrisy to get back with the partner whom you just swore you need to escape. If you are ready to end the relationship, stand impeccably by your decision. That you are a mature woman who honors her word will command respect from your loved ones.
No breakup is easy, but a breakup in which your family and friends have become attached to your partner is a truly difficult feat. Nevertheless, the opinions of others fail in comparison to the fact that you are taking a step towards securing your own joy and fulfillment. Drown out external voices and follow through on your intentions.
To pain-free breakups,
To learn more about The Karma Queens' Guide to Relationships, click here.