Leaving a long-term relationship is essentially the basis of a divorce. It’s not easy to do it, even if you don’t want to be in a relationship any longer. Your lives may be intertwined, making it difficult to break out of the relationship without damaging family relationships, friendships and other relationships you have.

On top of that, a divorce comes with the knowledge that neither person will be better off. Dividing marital assets can leave both parties with less. Even if it’s for the best, this can be a hard pill to swallow.

How can you leave a marriage the right way?

When you speak to your spouse, you have to be firm and make your wishes known. This is not the time to question your actions or to give them a false sense of hope. If you want out, say so, and be clear. If it’s just a separation you want, say so. If it’s divorce, make it clear.

Another thing to do is to be firm about how you’ll interact in the future. If you have children, you need to say whether you want to participate in events as a family or not, for example. Explain what you’re willing to do first, so your spouse has a good idea of how you’ll act in the future.

You should also make sure you are steady. Even if the other person tries to convince you that this is not the right choice, you have to make the choice that is right for you. Establish your boundaries during divorce, and make sure they’re firm.