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When a Relationship Ends

heart rock on broken rocks
Coping with a breakup and exploring separations.


If you are a civilian separating from a military member, you may feel like you are losing part of your identity or like you are no longer part of the military community; please know that you can still reach out to the Family Information Line for support while navigating this journey. You may also find it helpful to explore informal support groups, such as those on Facebook.

Look into the various pathways to an amicable separation. Take the time to research all of your separation options, and then discuss these with your past partner.

Understand the potential ramifications. Review relevant and military-specific information related to separations and divorces. Explore the possible impacts on CAF pensions and insurance benefits.


Rely on a network of support. 

Surround yourself with those who support, value, and energize you. 

Reflect on your feelings.

Understand that it is okay to have different or changing feelings, while also recognizing the signs of depression. If you’d like to talk with someone, Family Information Line offers free, confidential and bilingual support. 

Prioritize self-care.

Invest in getting to know yourself outside of the relationship, whether it is through reading, journaling, therapy, or self-reflection. Try to avoid unhealthy coping strategies which can be destructive in the long term. 

Allow for a cooling off period.

Don’t try to become friends with your past partner right away and remember that you can thrive on your own.

Examine what you can learn from the relationship.

Reflecting on the relationship and your role within it can help turn emotions like anger and shame into a commitment to grow. 

Reach out for formal support.

Explore the range of supports available to you through CFMWS and the wider military community.


If you have children together, focus on forming a new relationship as co-parents that centers on what is best for the children. 

Low conflict between parents is important for children's well-being after separation or divorce. Conflict creates a climate of tension that can be harmful to children, even if there is no physical or emotional abuse.

If there are safety concerns or a risk of family violence, explore specific support resources available to you.

If you feel you or your children are in immediate danger, reach out to the Military Police or local police.

To help you find child care solutions, particularly for occasional or emergency needs, contact the Family Information Line or your nearest Military Family Resource Cente.