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I remember sitting in my father’s living room circa, oh, I don’t know, 1981? 1982? I’ll say 82. Pressed firmly inside the VCR was Cinderella (I used to watch it incessantly). It evoked so many positive emotions – love, hope, happiness. The damsel overcomes fear, hierarchy and reality, to walk happily ever after alongside Prince Charming. A lovely story but, as we grow older, we realise that these fairy tales are just that – stories… unrealistic representations of what we want life to be.

So, what do you do when your relationship is less of a Cinderella story and more of a Rihanna and Chris Brown affair?

We’ve all been there. Heck, you could be there now. Your gut, your brain, your heart – they’re all conflicting and conspiring against you. The breakup of a relationship is always tough, but sometimes knowing when to pull the trigger is even tougher.

Don’t worry, The Bored Wives have you covered.

When You Know

You’re taking a peek at his laptop, browsing his phone messages when he’s not looking… you don’t trust him as far as you can throw him. Then there’s those little niggling things that have all of a sudden become a bigger issue – he’s not washing the dishes and you’re more than happy to start a war over it. It happens. Heck, spend enough time with anybody and you’ll grow to dislike them in some form or another.

Where this lack of trust came from? Maybe he spent one too many evenings out “down the pub”; maybe he’s no longer eager to spend any time with you, and those cute little signs of affection that were ever present when you first starting dating are now long gone.

But, more importantly, you can’t see a future with him anymore. Your relationship is no longer intimate, no longer romantic, and you’ve come to realise that there’s too big of a difference in your priorities and values. It might be kids, it might be marriage, but whatever it is, you can’t help but feel a certain distance that didn’t exist before. Bummer.

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Dealing With It

I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately there is no easy option, just a load of really crappy ones. It’s almost always awkward, difficult and uncomfortable. But, and there is a but, there are ways to get through it all whilst maintaining a degree of mental and emotional stability (I think).

First things first, be sure that this really is what you want to do. Breaking up with your partner only to have feelings of regret months later isn’t what you want. Distinguishing between a bump in the road and a bond that just won’t heal is key. Sit him down and try to talk through your issues – it might turn out that he’s just been completely oblivious the whole time (let’s be honest, men are often completely clueless at gauging your mood).

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And then? Well, if my relationships have taught me anything, it’s that timing is key. Has he got a big birthday weekend coming up? Delay telling him. Has he got a holiday booked for next week? Delay. Delay, delay, delay. You’re gonna hurt him already, no point having him hate you completely, right? There’s no need to be the bad guy here.

Instead, deal with it as amicably as possible. Wait for the right moment and, for the love of God, don’t send him a text, email or Facebook message… do it in person. If you’ve got kids, all of the above becomes even more paramount – you’re trying to end a relationship, not destroy a family.

Afterwards? Take a break, go out, meet with friends. It’s ok to lean on others during times of emotional weakness.

Ice cream, Netflix and Magic Mike? See, it gets better.