Managing the aftermath of leaving one for another
December 17, 2010 12:13 PM Subscribe
How do I leave my SO for someone else in the least awful way possible?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (45 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
First things first: I'm not asking for advice about whether or not I should do what I'm thinking about doing. That's something I have to wrestle with on my own. What I am hoping for is to get perspective from people who have been in this position about what happens during and after making a decision like this.
Short version of the story: I've been with my current SO for a little over a year, and we've been steadily making progress towards making this IT for both of us: a life together, marriage, kids, and everything. We're great together, and I think this person would be very surprised for things to end. I would have been too, until a few weeks ago.
I've met someone. I wasn't looking, and in the normal scheme of things, wouldn't give anyone a second look even if I felt some tug of attraction. But this feels different. Edge of the cliff different. And I feel like I might just have to jump off.
I've never in my life imagined doing something like this. It's the exact opposite of the way I live my life.
Nothing has happened. Cheating isn't an option for me, and being with a cheater isn't an option for this other person. But we've talked about what we're feeling and what would happen if the circumstances were different.
If this happens (and it's still a big if), I know there's no way to make it easy on my SO, but I wonder how I can make it less horrible than it could be.
And then there are the friends and family I feel like I'm shocking/disappointing/hurting as well. How do I explain myself to them? How do I accept responsibility and pave the way for them to accept what happens?
I know I'm omitting some details, but I really do want to know about other people's experiences with this rather than advice about my specific situation. Ultimately, that's a decision I have to make for myself.