When You Know It’s Over But Can’t Say Good-Bye

Sometimes you know things you wish you didn’t know – such as the fact that your relationship is over. And, sometimes you can’t say good-bye because it hurts too much.

Even though you know your relationship has to end, you may be scared or reluctant to let go because you think you’ll never learn how to stop crying when it’s over. Or maybe you’re worried about how your boyfriend, friends, children, or even your coworkers will react to the breakup.

Here’s what to do when you know it’s over but you can’t say good-bye. You won’t find it easy, but you will learn that you’re not alone. And, you may discover a source of strength, courage and freedom that you never knew you had — or that you forgot existed!

I was inspired to write this article because of a reader’s comment. She’s been having an affair with a married man for a long time, and she knows her relationship is over. She can’t say good-bye, but she knows deep down that it can’t continue the way it’s been going.

Here’s what she said:

“My married boyfriend and I attempted no physical contact for a few weeks,” says Arlene on 5 Ways to Stop Obsessing About Him. “I told him it’s a good idea and he should work on his marriage. He decided it’s unbearable and he loves me so much that he can’t be around me without wanting to touch me. Says his life will never be the same since he’s found love with me. Our connection is too intense and he will never feel that for his wife. However, he still feels such guilt that he doesn’t know what to do. He says he thinks he’s selfish and should just be satisfied with his friendship with his wife, but he can’t let me go. I’m not sure what I want anymore. I’m so confused.”

If you’re cheating in a relationship, you’re destroying your soul. You’re sinking into a black pit of despair that’ll be hard to climb out of. And, something is wrong when a man tells you that he loves you too much to be around you! This isn’t just a sign your relationship is over, it’s a red flag or warning signal that you’re wasting your time.

When You Know Your Relationship is Over…

It’s time to let go of what was, so you can accept what is.

Figure out what you’re holding on to

Why are you staying in this relationship when you know it’s over? I understand how hard it is to say good-bye to someone you love — or once loved. It hurts because we were created for unity and connection, not breakups and heartache. We were made to be together.

What are you holding on to? Take time to think about why this relationship is so hard to let go of. Make a list of 10 reasons you can’t let go. Are you holding on because of fear, insecurity, guilt, or desperation? Maybe you’re scared you’ll never be loved again. Maybe you don’t know how to say good-bye even when you know it’s been over for months or even years. Maybe you’ve never learned about relationship closure or letting go of someone you love.

Learn how to deal with your obstacles

When you figure out why you’re holding on to a dead relationship, you can learn how to get past the obstacles holding you back. For example, if you can’t say good-bye because you’re scared of an unknown future, you can start coping with the uncertainty. If you know it’s over because your boyfriend is abusive or an emotional volcano, you can get help coping with men who are angry or controlling.

Pretend you’re a detective working on an unsolved love mystery. Who or what do you need to take care of in your life? Something is keeping you stuck — but you have access to the power you need to overcome whatever is holding you back. Your job is to figure out why you can’t say good-bye when you know it’s over. Nobody but you can do this.

Use your head, not your heart

When You Know It's Over But You Can’t Say Good-ByeYour heart is deceptive! Your heart will take you places you shouldn’t go, and keep you stuck in relationships that shouldn’t have started in the first place. Your heart can’t be trusted because it’s easily tempted and unable to think for itself. Your heart leads you astray, which is why you can’t rely on it. You can’t follow your heart, my friend, for it will lead you places you should never go. You must guard your heart, but never rely on it to help you make good decisions in your relationships.

You’re stuck in this relationship because you’ve been following your heart. When did you first know it’s over? A long time ago. Why can’t you say good-bye? Because your heart keeps leading you astray. It’s time to stop listening to your heart and leaning on your own understanding. If you had the strength and willpower to say good-bye when you first realized it’s over, you would’ve done it long ago. But you don’t, so you need to find a better source of wisdom, power, and strength.

Get back with God

You were created for a purpose! God loves you, and wants you to become who He created you to be. And deep down you know you’re not fulfilling your purpose in life. If you were doing what you were created to do, you wouldn’t be stuck in a relationship you know is over. If you were connected with God, you wouldn’t have such a hard time saying good-bye when you’re unhappy in a relationship.

Are you on speaking terms with God? Where does He fit into your life, your relationship, your plans for your future? If you’re not Blossoming in your life, it’s because you’ve left God out of the picture. If you’re not happy or settled, it’s because you’re trying to manage life on your own. You’re trusting your heart to lead you…and you’ll always be disappointed because your heart isn’t wise or trustworthy.

Trust in the Lord, and lean not on your own understanding. Take your relationship to God. Ask Him to help you say good-bye when you know it’s over, and to bring you through the outfall of a broken relationship.

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you below! Your big and little comments are welcome below. Tell me why you can’t say good-bye when you know it’s over, and how Jesus fits into your life and relationships.


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6 thoughts on “When You Know It’s Over But Can’t Say Good-Bye”

  1. True the heart can deceive us. Our heart feels the emotion. Our mind has the intellect and knows when it’s not a good situation. My heart finally lined up with my mind and Im getting free. It was a long road for me. The lord told me months ago “you shall know the truth and that truth will set you free”. The scales are falling from my eyes and I’m seeing things in the light of the truth. I see now how unhealthy the relationship was. I also know that there are spiritual components and soul ties that keep us tied to an unhealthy relationship. Take for instance the familiarity of a disfunctional childhood. There is a fine line between our past and who we grow to be. There is comfort in familiarity even if that familiarity of the past was destructive. Recognizing that certain behaviors exhibited that excite us may not necessarily be love but a familiarity or familiar spirit operating. Being able to differentiate the truth from a lie of the past (or familiarity) is what will help set you free. To Him be the glory. I’d like to recommend a book that helped me in my journey “The Betrayal Bond” There IS hope!!!

  2. I have to ask God to help me let Tony go. I’m the one who was married to him for 32 years. We have been broken up for 16 months. He left me for another woman and a different life. I still love him so much. I think I always will, even though he’s hurt me so much. It is so hard to let go. This has effected me so much. I ended up in mental health unit in hospital for the last 3 weeks due to depression. Its so hard to go on without him. I was so used to us being together for all those years. I have to ask God to help me let go. I should do that, hey? Will I ask him every day?

    1. Donna,
      You’re going to be okay. Cry out to Jesus every day. He’s right there beside you. Your heart and mind will come into agreement and you’ll see the truth. Sometimes we have to walk a road we didn’t choose but you’re not alone. God is with you. Even when you don’t feel it. You didn’t deserve or expect this but you’ve got to walk it out. God has something better! A great plan for you. Read betray bonds. It shed a lot of light on things and has given me perspective. God bless you!!

      1. thank you Colleen. I’ll keep trying. Really nice of you to take the time to reply. I really want to feel ok again – it’s just so very hard. thank you again, Donna

  3. Hi Laurie, I have been struggling with this for quite some time now…I have been in the same stages of grief (anger, delusion, and bargaining for a year now) and I cannot say goodbye to the man I love and have loved for 4 years– he was my everything. Technically we “broke up” a year ago, but I fight to keep him in my life. We still love and are in love with each other, but we both know that circumstances really do not permit us to spend our lives together, at all (especially his circumstances in life which are extremely difficult, and I am moving away). I fight and struggle to still take what I can get, I cry to see him and he gives in… but I know that if I really loved him completely I could accept that we cannot be together.

    I am scared of the pain that accompanies saying goodbye, the finality of never being able to hold him again, to kiss him, laugh with him.I was so blessed to have such a love, and I find it so unfair it cannot continue. I am over 40 years old and I have never been so in love and I am terrified of that emptiness and heartbreak that comes with letting go (and I know I should)…the memories, the fear of that loss. I already feel a huge piece of me, of the person I knew, shattered. I am scared.

    You said:
    “If you had the strength and willpower to say good-bye when you first realized it’s over, you would’ve done it long ago. But you don’t, so
    you need to find a better source of wisdom, power, and strength.”
    Hopefully in that space of acceptance I have to arrive to ( last stage of grief), I will find a new way to live and love myself , as you say. To trust that God will help me to feel okay again. But I know that complete acceptance comes when I will not see him and that is hard to look towards. Thank you for your articles, you appeared to me when I asked the internet “How to move on from someone you love”.

    1. I’ll be praying for you Cayte. Don’t even consider your age. God knows the number of our days. You’re young and you’re beautiful! 💕 One day at a time. Be easy on yourself. Cry out to Jesus and think upon Him when you find yourself obsessing over this man and the past. Take your thoughts captive. You can’t drive a car looking in the rear view mirror. Jesus loves you so much!!