Ending a relationship

Ending a relationship is a very stressful event in anyone’s life.

If you have ended a relationship, you may have a confusing range of painful and distressing emotions and reactions.

Normal reactions

At times you may have felt:

  • rage and anger, guilt and remorse, or relief
  • fear, insecurity and rejection
  • ambivalence and confusion

You could also:

  • experience high and low mood swings
  • eat too much or not enough or drink more alcohol
  • have nightmares or sleeplessness or feel extremely tired
  • feel unable to function normally
  • have a sense that this can’t be happening

All of these reactions to ending a relationship are normal, and for most people they settle down. If you feel unsafe or feel things are getting out of control and, especially important, if you feel you aren’t looking after your children, it’s time to get help.

You could get help from family and friends, from a counsellor or from your GP. You can also phone the Family Relationships Advice Line on 1800 050 321.


Ending a relationship always involves change and loss. The changes may affect your:

  • partner, children, friends and relatives
  • familiar roles, routines and place of living
  • full-time parenting role
  • emotional and financial security
  • lifestyle
  • sense of who you are
  • dreams and plans for the future

During this time, try to look after yourself. You will have a lot to work your way through, but make sure you eat well, get some exercise, spend time with friends, and do things that take your mind off your worries and anxieties.

The good news is, given time, most people face these intense feelings, manage the changes and go on to lead fulfilling and happy lives.

About Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia is a community-based, not-for-profit organisation with no religious affiliations.

For over 70 years, we have been supporting children, adults, families and communities.

As a federation of Relationships Australia organisations in each state and territory, we have over 118 service locations across the country, with our National Office based in Canberra.

We provide a broad range of services including counselling, family dispute resolution and mediation, family violence prevention, support and recovery services, and mental health services.

Our services are for all members of the community, regardless of religious belief, age, gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle choice, cultural background or economic circumstances.

Relationships Australia receives funding from the Australian Government, as well as state and territory governments, and other sources.

Next steps

For more information on our services and how they can support you, or to find your nearest centre:

  • Call 1300 364 277
  • Visit www.relationships.org.au

For 24/7 crisis support:

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800