Leaving Toxic Relationships

You’re in love, but your relationship has become toxic and can’t continue. Maybe you’re lying awake night after night, mentally rehashing the fights. Or, maybe you can’t understand how your partner can so easily ignore how you feel, and why your partner won’t change. Or, you’re wondering if you were ever truly loved at all.

The pain has become unbearable. If you don’t end things now, you might completely lose yourself. You have already tried literally everything you could to save the relationship, but nothing has worked. You know the time has come to end it, but the thought of being alone is terrifying.

Why does it have to hurt so badly?

Letting Go

Learning how to let go of someone you care about is extremely difficult.

Many people must accept that their relationships just are not meant to be. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes, one partner is cheating, or often lies. Or worse, there may be physical, verbal, or emotional abuse involved in the relationship. (An important note: If you believe you’re in a dangerous situation, seek help right away.)

Usually in toxic relationships, it doesn’t matter how much the partners love each other. It doesn’t matter how hard they’re trying to make it work. If it’s toxic, nothing will work. Nobody is worth losing yourself over, and it’s time to end the relationship. It’s time to find the strength to get out of it and move on with life.

You Deserve Better

Simply loving someone else isn’t enough to make the relationship succeed. The love needs to be reciprocal; if you’re not receiving love in return, the relationship is going to become toxic and is not going to succeed.

By wasting time on the wrong person, you’re preventing the right person from coming into your life. How can they come your way if the space is already filled? It’s time to let go.

Don’t Count on Your Partner Changing

Waiting for your partner to change is probably the most significant mistake someone can make when electing to stay in a toxic relationship where they’re being mistreated. It’s difficult to accept, but you must come to the realization that the only person you can control is you. The other person in the relationship need to face their own mistakes. If they don’t want to change, it’s most likely that they won’t. They may make promises and vow to turn things around. In the moment, they may even be genuinely committed to their intentions.

But especially if you’ve been through this all before, and they’ve made the same promises before, they probably won’t change this time around, either.

Personal change can not be forced. It must originate within. If it doesn’t, it’s likely that things will not work out. It can’t come at the request of someone else, and it can’t be coerced. Nobody will genuinely change for someone else, and some relationships just can’t be fixed.

It Will Hurt

There’s no easy way around it: ending a romantic relationship, no matter how toxic it is, is going to hurt. A lot! But the pain won’t linger forever. No matter how much you want to deny it, the passage of time will help you heal.

The relationship may have started off in a healthy way. But as it became more toxic, you forgot how to live for yourself. Instead of the other person being a part of your life, they’ve become your life.

When the relationship first ends, you will likely miss the feelings of being wanted and desired. You’ll long for the close and intimate moments you used to share. But getting yourself through that initial pain and discomfort of being alone is usually the most difficult stage. Working through the pain instead of avoiding it will limit the likelihood of your feelings coming back later on to haunt you.

So once you get through that initial stage, things will becomes easier. And the lessons you have learned along the way will allow you to grow stronger and to become a better version of yourself.

Crying It Out

When you’re feeling pain, the best thing you can do for yourself is to release it. Don’t try to hold it in.

Our culture expects us to show that we’re strong, even when we are in the midst of dealing with a tough situation. But that doesn’t make us strong. The more we try to hold our pain in and try to prove that we’re strong, the worse we will feel. This will lead to us feeling stress on top of the pain.

So what should we do? Try crying. Cry as much as you need to. Cry like a baby. Don’t hold anything back; just let it all out. Crying can help with the healing process. Trying to show that you’re strong will just stress you out.

Stop trying to pretend that everything’s okay. It’s not.

Let the tears keep falling until they dry up on their own. The tears may last for days or for weeks, but you will certainly feel like a new person when they end. You will feel less stress. Your thinking will clear, and you’ll realize that things aren’t nearly as bad as you thought they were.

You may even start to smile again! It may be over something as seemingly insignificant, like how the clouds are dodging the sun as it shines in the sky. You’ll find you aren’t in a dark place anymore. You’ll feel like a new person.

Spend Some Time Away

You may feel like the end of the relationship is the end of the world. But it’s not.

Your mind attempts to play tricks on you, and you start to believe the lie that it isn’t possible for you to be happy again. But it is!

As mentioned above, the best cure for pain is the passage of time. Day by day, things will get easier. Taking the time you need to rest your mind, your heart and your soul gives you the opportunity to heal, and lets you get to know yourself again.

Maybe there’s an activity you enjoy doing, or a hobby that you love. Maybe your involvement in the toxic relationship prevented you from doing those things. Well, take the time now to do them! Do what you enjoy. And really get involved. Let yourself focus fully on what you’re doing.

Eventually, you’ll find that you’ve been thinking less about the relationship. It won’t leave your thoughts immediately, but over time, it will. And even though that relationship didn’t work out as you may have planned, you will come to the realization that you can still enjoy your life.

Reclaim Your Control

Taking your control back begins with you. Your life is not over. You can get through it; you are able to overcome the situation. The load on your chest has been lifted. The tears have stopped falling.

Try to imagine being happy again, and that you’re enjoying doing the things you used to love doing. You can be content in the present and not worry about the future. You will realize that you deserve better than what you had. It may be difficult to imagine, but it is certainly possible.

Everyone needs help at one time or another. You don’t have to go through this alone. If you’ve recently ended a toxic relationship, or if you’re still in it, there are people out there who can help you. Seek help from your loved ones, a professional therapist or counselor, or a clergy member. They can help you recover and get your life back on the right track.

 

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