Ending any form of relationship can be difficult, including toxic ones. But it is very possible to get out of a toxic relationship for good with a few pointers and determination.
Toxic relationships are not worth fighting for because they end up leaving you emotionally drained, scarred, and empty. If care is not taken, you may carry the battle scar into a healthy relationship and ruin someone who has nothing to do with your bad experience.
The best thing to do when you see signs of an unhealthy relationship is to walk away as soon as possible to avoid being permanently marked by the unpleasantness.
Unlike healthy relationships that add value to our lives, a toxic relationship bases its existence on manipulation, fear, gaslighting, and harsh rules.
And when you finally walk away, you may find yourself trying to understand where it all went wrong and whose fault it was that things did not work out the way you think they should.
Leave the blame game. No need to point fingers at whom or what the problem was. If you point at the other person, it will not change what they are doing to hurt you. And if you blame yourself, you will only be living in the hurt and doing more damage to your self-esteem.
You are already on the right path by figuring out that you are in a toxic relationship. But the question is, are you ready to let go for good? If yes, read on! Hopefully, these steps will help you reclaim your sense of self.
Lots of people do not know what signs to look out for in toxic relationships; thereby, they wonder what they might be doing wrong to make their partner angry or dissatisfied with them. They stay and hope to do better with the relationship.
Here are signs to look out for if you find yourself making excuses for your lover:
Harsh Mode of Communication
Pay attention to the way you both converse. A toxic partner will often see your opinion as a challenge to their control and will turn hostile if they feel their control of a conversation slipping.
You Don’t Anticipate Seeing Them
Do you find yourself dreading being around your partner for fear of their mood swings? Do you find yourself emotionally drained every time you are around them? Do you breathe easy when they are not around? You are most likely in a toxic relationship.
Having to handle the emotional roller coaster that comes with being around a toxic person is bound to leave you exhausted.
Another red flag of a toxic person is someone who always wants to be in control of every part of your life. They have no respect for personal boundaries. They have standards they feel you need to be up to. They tell you what to wear or eat in assertive manners; order your food for you at restaurants when you are out, etcetera.
If you notice any of the above signs of toxicity and need to walk away, here are 8 things to do.
How to Get Out of a Toxic Relationship For Good
1. Seek Help
Read and educate yourself on steps to take if you want to walk away from your toxic relationship for good, and be very resolved to stand by your decision.
Family and friends can also be a great support system while you sort through your emotions.
You can reach out to a therapist or even a counselor on how to break away without lasting effects on your mental health.
What matters is to have a good support network. Toxic people like to alienate their partner, so the more people you have around you, the harder it is for your partner to alienate you when they notice you want to move on.
If you’re being abused in your relationship or suspect you are, consider contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They provide support at no cost.
2. Forget Making Your Partner Change
One of the delusions people in toxic relationships have is that they can eventually make the toxic person change when they invest more of themselves in the relationship.
Lots of people will search for how to fix a toxic relationship rather than how to walk away from one.
But what we mostly forget is that people only change when they see the error in their ways and choose to change, but how do you change a person whose character and behavior are toxic?!
Yes, they promised you they’ll do better, but how many times have you heard the same line?
You have to accept the truth of the matter. The earlier you leave, the better it is for you to save yourself from heartaches and misery.
3. Don’t Expect Closure
Life is not like most movies with happy endings. Toxic relationships usually lack closure because the toxic person rarely ever sees anything wrong in their actions and behavior and will not apologize for hurting your feelings.
And if you ever get an apology, it will be because they do not want to lose their power over you.
You don’t deserve to be treated poorly, but the best thing you can do is close that chapter genuinely on your own and move on.
You can try writing your feelings into a letter you don’t intend to send. It will be a medium to help you pour out your hurt and disappointment. You can decide to burn them off when you no longer feel the need for them anymore.
Related: 10 Smart Ways to Handle a Toxic Boss
4. Re-create Your Identity
You have to come to terms that you are no longer in that toxic relationship; that is, face the reality that you are free.
You were a human with dreams and values before you entered into a bad relationship. Reclaim your being and work on yourself.
Forgive yourself and remember that sometimes, to be a better version of yourself, you may have to go through some toughening periods.
5. Grieve For What Should Have Been
Before we all enter into a relationship, we have a dream or wish of how we want it always to remain good and wax strong. But it isn’t always the case, and that’s okay.
What’s even more okay is to mourn the loss of that relationship. Write a diary, cry your heart out, sing along with all the heartbreak songs you hear, wrap yourself in a blanket, and just let it all out.
Grief is an essential part of the process, and the more you avoid it, the more you may find it difficult to move forward.
Remind yourself that your whole life does not have to revolve around another person.
6. Maintain Separation
It can be tough to detach yourself from someone with whom you’ve come to form a pattern, but it is necessary if you want to move ahead.
It will be beneficiary if you let the separation happen swiftly. Both parties will have time to heal and face a new reality that way. You may even come to form some unlikely friendship in the future, but for now, rip the band-aid from the wound and let it heal.
Another way to maintain a clear separation from someone who is being toxic is to discard or temporarily clear away things that may remind you of them.
You can have a friend hold on to them for you until you can look at them again without breaking down, donating, or throwing them out.
There’s no reason to call your ex asking how they are coping, don’t call to check up on them at all, and neither should you pick up their calls. Don’t check the pictures, or better still, delete them. Unfriend them from your social media platforms and mute mutual friends pending the time you heal.
7. Make Spontaneous Plans
Because you’re still grieving your relationship, making any sort of plan may be the farther thing on your mind, but having something else to look forward to is a way to get out of the spunk.
Planning will help you feel grounded and excited for the future. You can split the plans into two phases. The near plans can vary from weeks to a couple of months, and other plans may vary from a few months to years.
What matters is for you to have something to look forward to when you wake up every day. Before you know it, you will feel a lot wiser and stronger.
8. Make Self-Care a Priority
Letting go is not an easy decision to make if it involves something or someone we care about. We get so wrapped up in trying to move on from a person that we ignore our emotional and physical health.
One way to shift focus back to your well-being is to try new regimes and figure out what works for you. For your emotional healing, you may try to pick up a hobby you discarded or a new one you seem interested in.
And for your physical and overall well-being, you should get enough rest, eat nutritious meals, pamper yourself with massages, and end with exercising your brain and body.
For many people, ending a toxic relationship for good bring about a sense of loss; Loss of support, loss of identity, and everything normal.
It is not surprising to feel confused, angry, and emotionally drained. However, you shouldn’t have to go through these feelings blindly.
You can channel these feelings into something positive if you can follow some or all of the above tips. Focus on developing self-love, it won’t be easy, but it will help you move forward. You deserve a happy and healthy life!
Photo by Tess WB on Unsplash