If you love to watch EastEnders or Coronation Street, then it is understandable why you might think that relationship breakups are all caused by one partner cheating on the other. Usually, there are screaming matches involved, occasionally clothing is thrown from a second-floor window and every so often it even leads to murder.
In reality, a relationship breakdown is much slower. It is a journey that a couple goes on and although it can feel very sudden, when you look back over the years, you can pinpoint the moments the cracks started to appear.
The media often portrays single women as a bit hopeless. She cries all the time into a Kleenex and needs a constant supply of chocolate. However, more and more frequently, it is the women, the wives and the girlfriends, who are making the decision to leave.
I see it quite often in my coaching work. These women are not leaving for somebody else; they still love their children and care for their partners. But they are women who have come to the realisation that their marriage no longer serves them and staying would negatively affect everyone who was party to that relationship.
The ladies who are leaving their relationships are ordinary women. They have tried for years and years to keep the relationship going but just felt that “something” was missing. They may have even tried relationship counselling.
The breakup of a relationship is incomparably painful. If there has been a betrayal and your partner has left for somebody else, it is accompanied by an intense feeling of loss. But what happens if the betrayal doesn’t involve another individual? What if you are in a relationship, where the only person that has been betrayed is yourself?
Staying in a relationship which does not satisfy you emotionally is draining. Your partner may be perfectly lovely and they might never have put a toe out of line and yet somehow, and you can’t explain it, it just isn’t enough for you.
In my book, Suddenly Single, I introduced readers to Jennifer. Jennifer was the eternal optimist. She had always managed to make relationships work, long after they should have been over. She was always willing to give a relationship “one more go”.
She had met her husband, Scott, at University after going through a breakup. It was a classic rebound. Despite knowing deep down inside that Scott wasn’t the right partner for her, she had suddenly been married to him for 13 years and had two children.
At her 14th wedding anniversary, she decided that she could no longer betray herself and made the decision to leave. It was another two years before Jennifer took action.
When a woman decides that she is going to leave, she spends a long time worrying about it. It is far from a “spur of the moment” decision. She questions herself; she feels lost and alone.
However, when all is said and done and time has passed since the breakup, the woman is able to regain something of her former self. She has taken a step to show herself love and respect. Indeed, a Telegraph article has revealed that women are happier being single than men are.
Denise Chilton is an Executive Business and Life coach, accomplished author, speaker and entrepreneur. She worked for in corporate banking for more than 15 years before launching her own coaching business in 2010. She has built a business working with women who want to make a change in their lives, empowering them to experience life to the full.
In 2017, she published her first book Suddenly Single: How to overcome heartbreak and find your way to a new happy ever after. Suddenly Single is a guide written partially from personal experience to help women to heal healthily after a significant relationship comes to an unexpected end.
Denise was also awarded ‘Mentor of the Year 2017’ by the Northern Power Women for her work with women in underrepresented industries like STEM.