Long-term relationships require compromise, commitment, and work from both partners. They can be very rewarding, but they require a lot from each person. It’s no wonder that breaking up and ending a long-term relationship is so hard to do.
When you’ve been with one person for a long time, your lives become intertwined, and so when you separate for good, it’s important to untangle your emotions, as well as your finances and accounts.
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1) Take time to mourn, make room for change
Whether you like it or not, you’ve changed since that relationship began. We all do. You don’t have to pretend it was all bad; hopefully, there were a lot of good times. It is normal to lament over lost opportunities or moments, but they have passed. If you bury those feelings away, you may find yourself reliving them later. Give yourself some time to reflect, to be upset, and get past them.
It’s also important to prepare for change. Regardless of why the relationship didn’t work, it isn’t healthy to remained focused on the past or how things were. You’re no longer with that person, and while there may be some new challenges, this is also an opportunity for you to focus on your career, spend more time with friends, take up a new hobby, or devote more time to your health and well-being.
2) Untangle accounts, update passwords
Go through your bank accounts, credit cards, websites, apps, phone codes, pass codes, security systems, camera systems, video game accounts, shopping sites, entertainment sites, payday loan places and anywhere else that could potentially still have the other person listed as an approved user with approved access to your information, your money or your ongoing habits.
It is a tedious and time-consuming process, and no one wants to do this after a break up. However, it’s worth the trouble. This is the smartest and best thing that you can do for yourself right now. Even if you are confident that your ex would never take advantage of you or do something to hurt you, it happens.
Don’t take the risk. By changing your passwords, and their access to previously shared resources, you are sending the message that you accept that a change has occurred, the relationship is over, and you are taking proactive measures to protect yourself and your assets. You do not have to notify them of these changes, but it is essential that you make them as soon as possible.
3) Start a journal
A journal can be of great assistance to keeping track of your obligations, your ex’s obligations, the needs of your kids, appointments, medications, finances and the interactions that have positively or negatively influenced your family unit. You should keep track of anything that you feel is important to refer to later on, or that you want to ask your legal team.
There are no set minimums or maximums for the information you put into your journal. In fact, there are no rules at all – it’s your journal. However, I would strongly suggest that you keep the following in mind:
Another party (judge, lawyer, investigator, mediator, officer, etc.) may someday read your journal or parts of your journal. Therefore,
- Whatever you write should be honest, accurate and fact-based;
- You should include dates and times where they are known;
- You might want to use clean language;
- Try to stick to facts rather than speculations or what you believe others are doing.
A journal can be used as evidence or included in disclosure, so make sure it says what you really want it to and not what you felt for a few minutes when you were angry.
How long should you keep records in you journal? That depends on you. You can end, pause or restart whenever you feel that it’s helpful, useful or necessary.