Relationships are contracts, whether or not legally sanctioned. They represent negotiations and deals, the details of which often change over time. If the parties cannot adjust to the inevitable changes, the relationship most likely will end.

We’ve all heard stories about endings: bad news delivered in anger by text message or by email; people who never saw it coming; drug or alcohol abuse; affairs; ultimatums issued; tears shed; people who try when it’s too late; people who give up because it’s too hard to continue trying. The list of examples of relationship endings is endless, and the decision to end the relationship is totally personal.

But once the decision is made to end the relationship, then what? Essentially, the original contract must be revised. New terms must be negotiated to address the assets, the debts, the children, the taxes, the frequent flyer miles, and the holiday decorations. These negotiations do not have to be adversary. Every day people make the decision to end their relationship, and every day people make the choice to do it peacefully instead of with hostility.

Ending the relationship peacefully is always the better choice, not only for stress management, but for economics. More and more people are realizing that anger leads to litigation which leads to excessive time and money spent. There is an easier way.