How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

If you’re in a toxic relationship, please know that you are not the only one — and you won’t be the last, unfortunately.

A relationship should make you feel secure, respected, happy and cared for. On the other hand, a toxic relationship makes you feel insecure, drained, and depleted, almost as if anything you do isn’t good enough.

No one deserves to be in a relationship where nothing seems to be good enough for the other. What makes this especially difficult is when you still love this person despite how awful they may make you feel at times.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were able to control our feelings for another? I know I would have liked to control my feelings in different relationships.

But imagine how dull life would be if you had that ability? You wouldn’t grow or experience the things that mold you into who you are today. This is why you deserve to be free of this toxic relationship you’re in. To be free and be you with someone who values and appreciates it.

It’s important to emphasize the concept of reciprocity. If you’re the only one giving and never receiving, it’s a one-sided relationship and isn’t fair to you. It’s hard to see a toxic relationship because sometimes, love is blind.

It won’t be easy and it won’t heal overnight. You will feel pain and hurt. You may feel guilt. Do not let that consume you to the point of going back to someone who you’re fully aware is not good for you in your life. But listen, here, beautiful one, the sun will shine again soon.

If you’re ready to leave someone you love because you know it is toxic for the both of you, read on for some suggestions and guidance on how to leave a toxic relationship, especially when you’re still in love with your ex. It will be hard and some days will be better than others, but the pain is temporary.

Here’s a list of suggestions and tips on how to leave someone you love that is toxic and unhealthy for you and your life:

1. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

You don’t have to justify your decision to leave to anyone. Just remember that you know it is an unhealthy and toxic relationship and will not ever be good for you.

2. Know that you deserve the best.

Remind yourself every day that you deserve better and that sometimes, love isn’t enough when you’re not getting your needs met in the relationship.

3. Accept that they won’t change.

It’s been a while and your partner hasn’t changed. So what makes you think they’ll change months or years down the road? Do you really want to wait and see when you’re most likely going to end up disappointed?

You’re better than that and your partner should know this by now.

4. Know and accept that it will hurt and that you’ll feel pain and sadness.

Make sure you stay fully aware of this fact. It’s a loss and you need to grieve in order to start the healing process. If you stay aware of the possibility that it may get worse before it gets better, you’ll undoubtedly have the strength to get through it.

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5. Cut off all communication with the other.

You will not be able to fully grieve and heal with the toxic person a short phone call or text away. It will be hard. But realize that the pain you feel is temporary and if you stayed, the pain would more likely than not be permanent.

6. Explore the reason this toxic person was in your life and what lessons you learned.

What did you compromise in the relationship that you refuse to in the future? What are you willing to compromise in a relationship? Find the lesson in the pain and your healing will begin.

7. Know that it is okay to still love the person from a distance.

You are able to care about them whether or not they’re in your life presently. But with that, remember why they’re not currently in your life and what led you to end the relationship.

8. Accept that you could not control your partner’s actions or behaviors.

The only thing you have control over is how you act, behave and respond to others. You were never going to change your partner and they weren’t going to change if they hadn’t shown signs of improvement yet.

9. Know that it may feel as if leaving feels just as bad if you stayed.

In order to combat this feeling, make sure to live in the present and not the past. It’s easy to take a trip down memory lane and remember all the good times. But if you remain present, you’ll continue to be aware of all the reasons you didn’t stay.

You can leave the person you love because they are toxic. It doesn’t mean you are abandoning them or don’t love them.

It means you’re taking a stand for what you want and deserve in life. It means being with someone who brings out the best in you and supports your aspirations and dreams. It means you’re not willing to settle for anything but the best.

Love is blind. It distorts our perceptions of what is actually happening with what we want. We also don’t want to believe that someone could be this unhealthy and toxic for us.

The thought alone brings tears to your eyes. Again, I promise you the sun will come out again and you’ll notice it shine brighter than ever. It may not be tomorrow or the next day, but it will come out and when it does, you’ll understand that you did what you had to do to live life for you.

Brittney Lindstrom is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.

We all know that staying with a toxic partner is a surefire path to misery, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to let go.

If you are in love with someone, your first instinct may be to forgive them when they hurt you, and just hold on and hope that things will get better.

Your head may be telling you to leave, but your heart wants you to stay.

Why Love Is Blind

How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

Maybe you fell in love with someone who seemed kind and caring at first, but then turned out to be toxic and abusive. You aren’t alone.

Try to take comfort in the fact that most of us have our share of unhealthy relationships. There’s no instruction manual when it comes to love; lots of us make mistakes.

Attraction is a mysterious process. You may recognize that someone is bad news, yet feel drawn to them regardless. Your friends might have warned you about them, but something compelled you to stick with your new relationship.

Sometimes, it’s impossible to understand what brings two people together, and you need to accept that you might never know. Don’t berate yourself for falling for the wrong person.

Why It’s So Tough To Walk Away

How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

Perhaps your partner was charming when you started dating, and made you feel like the luckiest person on earth. There’s no feeling quite like falling in love.

In the whirlwind of a new romance, we tend to ignore early warning signs and red flags such as a quick temper or jealousy.

When the honeymoon period wears off, both members of a couple start to show their true personalities. In a good relationship, they start getting to know and appreciate one another in a deeper way. In a toxic relationship, destructive behaviors and traits bubble to the surface.

You may discover that, when your partner is no longer trying to impress you, they resort to verbal abuse when they don’t get their own way, or that they don’t give you any privacy.

Unfortunately, it takes only a few months – in some cases, just a few weeks – to become attached to someone. This means walking away isn’t simple, even when you know that they treat you badly.

Understand That There’s Someone Far Better Waiting For You

How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

To free yourself from the relationship, you need to realize what it’s costing you to stay. Taking a new perspective can give you the strength you need to move on.

In staying with your toxic partner, you are sabotaging your chances of finding meaningful love and a healthy relationship. You need to believe that the world is full of people who can offer you so much more than an unsatisfying, soul-sucking partnership.

Yes, ending a relationship is hard, but standing in the way of your own happy ending is a greater tragedy. Clinging on to something that won’t work is a waste of time.

Accept That Your Partner Probably Isn’t Going To Change

How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

It’s a hard truth to swallow, but you need to accept it – you cannot afford to hang around in the hope that they are going to see the error of their ways.

Yes, people can change, but they need to make the decision for themselves.

You can’t force your partner to be a better person, to stop abusing you, or to treat you with respect. In fact, the more you push them to change, the more they might rebel.

Don’t waste your time with someone who plays these kind of games. Once you appreciate this simple truth, it becomes easier to move on.

Accept The Pain

How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

As we all know, life isn’t an easy ride. We all have to experience pain and suffering, and there are few things more excruciating than a traumatic breakup. You’ll need time to process the end of your relationship, and that’s perfectly okay.

Well-meaning friends may encourage you to get over your ex by dating other people, but wait until you feel ready to meet someone new. Of course, you can also stay single and focus on your personal growth.

Keeping tabs on your ex or trying to stay “friends” will only result in more anguish. Implement the no contact rule and stick to it.

Remember, you are strong. Millions of people have survived toxic relationships, learned from them, and found love with new partners.

Sit with your emotions, and accept that you will feel an emotional attachment to your ex for a while. One day, you’ll be able to draw on your experiences and use them to build a relationship that nurtures your mind, body, and soul.

You might feel trapped by the soul-crushing grind of working a 9-5 job, hating every single minute while you are in the company of people that you despise, and what’s even worse, who bore you completely, but there are also fleeting moments here and there that remind you what life is truly about. All the grim and dark will cease to exist once you fall in love. It’s not that the world will magically transform overnight, but for all intents and purposes, you’ll feel like it had.

Unfortunately, the very source of your felicity could prove to cause you some other emotions, such as sadness, or even outright fear as well. We are not talking about the fear caused by the growing suspicion that you might not be perfect for each other, after all. Those situations happen, and although they are often described as “heart-breaking,” once you part ways, eventually, you’ll look back and think of it as a responsible decision.

Unfortunately, even though you might realize that the best way to proceed would be to call it quits, leaving a toxic relationship is not easy, especially if you are still in love with the other person. Below you will find how to go through this process relatively unscathed.

How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

The Myth of Sisyphus

If you are trapped in a toxic relationship, you might find out that the story of Sisyphus bears quite a lot of resemblance to the situation in which you are in. Sisyphus is bound to repeat the same task – rolling a rock up the mountain’s top over and over again for all eternity. When it seems that he is just near the top, the rock rolls down again, and he has to begin the process right from the start.

Leaving a toxic relationship is hard because although deep down, you might be aware that you’ll end up hurt, either physically or mentally, there are still good moments. You might hate them for what they have become, or maybe they have always been like this; it’s just that despite the intense hatred, there is still a lot of love involved as well. We think that humans are relatively reasonable – somehow, we’ve managed to get to the moon but also create fidget spinners or design websites with sex stories, such as https://omgkinky.com/.

However, despite our incredible abilities, when emotions are involved, our analyses stop being so accurate. Even though you know that they are hurting you and are unlikely to change, you still love them, which is why you choose to cling to the 1% chance that things will become different soon. It’s really not that weird – such intense emotions are accompanied by powerful chemicals being released in your brain, making the cold calculations all but impossible.

We don’t claim to know the shortcut or a recipe for a potion that would allow you to stop thinking about all the possibilities. You will hear that you have to get away from them as quickly as possible and accept the pain that is ever-present in this process, but that’s not really helpful – what are the alternatives?

However, what we suggest is to cut-off the contact altogether. Delete their phone number and block them on all social media. Sure, for a long time, you’ll burst out crying when you hear certain songs played on the radio, or even when you feel a gust of wind while walking on a particular forest road. We know how it feels; we’ve been there.

And let’s be honest: parting ways is not that difficult. After a day or two, you might feel a little better, and you might even think that you are past this unfortunate situation. However, remember all the powerful chemicals that had been released in your brain when you were near them? The similarities to drug addiction are numerous: when you’ll feel especially down, controlling yourself and not giving in to the urge to contact them will be extremely difficult.

You know that it won’t be worth it in the end, but considering the long-term effects doesn’t always work. Drug addicts know that what they are doing isn’t healthy – it’s just that you can rationalize that the present moment is all that exists.

That’s why, once you get out of the toxic relationship, we recommend stuffing your schedule with as many activities as possible. Book clubs, gym, or even checking if every single item from Wendy’s looks worse in real life than on the pictures – the options are endless. It doesn’t really matter all that much what you choose, as long as your mind doesn’t have enough time to wander aimlessly.

Conclusion

Time heals all wounds – those on our body, but also on our psyche. A week or two might not be enough, but eventually, you will occasionally get excited again, maybe while you are reading a book, or when you go out with friends and the music in a club is just great.

However, right now, you need to regenerate. Ideally, you would do that by being active, but don’t be too hard on yourself, even if, at times, others might act cruel toward you, at least you be nice to yourself. And trust us, this too shall pass.

How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

If you’re in a toxic relationship, please know that you are not the only one — and you won’t be the last, unfortunately.

A relationship should make you feel secure, respected, happy and cared for. On the other hand, a toxic relationship makes you feel insecure, drained, and depleted, almost as if anything you do isn’t good enough.

No one deserves to be in a relationship where nothing seems to be good enough for the other. What makes this especially difficult is when you still love this person despite how awful they may make you feel at times.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were able to control our feelings for another? I know I would have liked to control my feelings in different relationships.

But imagine how dull life would be if you had that ability? You wouldn’t grow or experience the things that mold you into who you are today. This is why you deserve to be free of this toxic relationship you’re in. To be free and be you with someone who values and appreciates it.

It’s important to emphasize the concept of reciprocity. If you’re the only one giving and never receiving, it’s a one-sided relationship and isn’t fair to you. It’s hard to see a toxic relationship because sometimes, love is blind.

It won’t be easy and it won’t heal overnight. You will feel pain and hurt. You may feel guilt. Do not let that consume you to the point of going back to someone who you’re fully aware is not good for you in your life. But listen, here, beautiful one, the sun will shine again soon.

If you’re ready to leave someone you love because you know it is toxic for the both of you, read on for some suggestions and guidance on how to leave a toxic relationship, especially when you’re still in love with your ex. It will be hard and some days will be better than others, but the pain is temporary.

Here’s a list of suggestions and tips on how to leave someone you love that is toxic and unhealthy for you and your life:

1. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

You don’t have to justify your decision to leave to anyone. Just remember that you know it is an unhealthy and toxic relationship and will not ever be good for you.

2. Know that you deserve the best.

Remind yourself every day that you deserve better and that sometimes, love isn’t enough when you’re not getting your needs met in the relationship.

3. Accept that they won’t change.

It’s been a while and your partner hasn’t changed. So what makes you think they’ll change months or years down the road? Do you really want to wait and see when you’re most likely going to end up disappointed?

You’re better than that and your partner should know this by now.

4. Know and accept that it will hurt and that you’ll feel pain and sadness.

Make sure you stay fully aware of this fact. It’s a loss and you need to grieve in order to start the healing process. If you stay aware of the possibility that it may get worse before it gets better, you’ll undoubtedly have the strength to get through it.

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5. Cut off all communication with the other.

You will not be able to fully grieve and heal with the toxic person a short phone call or text away. It will be hard. But realize that the pain you feel is temporary and if you stayed, the pain would more likely than not be permanent.

6. Explore the reason this toxic person was in your life and what lessons you learned.

What did you compromise in the relationship that you refuse to in the future? What are you willing to compromise in a relationship? Find the lesson in the pain and your healing will begin.

7. Know that it is okay to still love the person from a distance.

You are able to care about them whether or not they’re in your life presently. But with that, remember why they’re not currently in your life and what led you to end the relationship.

8. Accept that you could not control your partner’s actions or behaviors.

The only thing you have control over is how you act, behave and respond to others. You were never going to change your partner and they weren’t going to change if they hadn’t shown signs of improvement yet.

9. Know that it may feel as if leaving feels just as bad if you stayed.

In order to combat this feeling, make sure to live in the present and not the past. It’s easy to take a trip down memory lane and remember all the good times. But if you remain present, you’ll continue to be aware of all the reasons you didn’t stay.

You can leave the person you love because they are toxic. It doesn’t mean you are abandoning them or don’t love them.

It means you’re taking a stand for what you want and deserve in life. It means being with someone who brings out the best in you and supports your aspirations and dreams. It means you’re not willing to settle for anything but the best.

Love is blind. It distorts our perceptions of what is actually happening with what we want. We also don’t want to believe that someone could be this unhealthy and toxic for us.

The thought alone brings tears to your eyes. Again, I promise you the sun will come out again and you’ll notice it shine brighter than ever. It may not be tomorrow or the next day, but it will come out and when it does, you’ll understand that you did what you had to do to live life for you.

Brittney Lindstrom is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.

Beware of hasty decisions when you’re unhappy in a relationship.

No list is long enough to capture the many reasons why men and women become unhappy in relationships, although most reasons can be boiled down to a few basic themes: too much conflict, not enough physical or emotional stimulation, and so on. For men and women who become unhappy within a relationship, they often consider only two clear-cut options: stay in the relationship or break up. I’m here to suggest another alternative when the need applies: learn how to emotionally leave a relationship while physically staying in it.

If you’re unhappy in your relationship, it’s usually not a good idea to end it quickly except in cases of abuse or other extreme conditions. Too often, people break up impulsively and then later realize they regret it. (Enter hooking up with the ex, stage right). You probably know a few couples in your personal life — or can cite some celebrity examples — where their on-again, off-again dynamic suggests a fad going in and out of style. If men and women would learn to be more careful — and strategic — in their consideration of ending the relationship, relationships overall would be healthier, and there would be a lot less getting-back-together emotional drama among couples. Simply put, when you’ve been unhappy in a relationship for a while, you should come up with a plan to improve the relationship or consider ending the relationship.

Making sure the relationship is truly one you should end takes time. The first step, of course, is to identify which problems or behaviors from your partner bother you the most, and then have a serious talk where you outline what you need to change. In fairness, this process requires that you be open to listening to the problems your partner has with you, too. After a serious heart-to-heart, you need to give your partner a few months to work on the things you want to change.

I wish the first step was the only step couples ever needed in order to repair their relationships. Unfortunately, problems often persist as people frequently don’t want to do the dirty work to change. If you’ve given it a couple of months and the problems still persist, what should you do? End it?

For couples who have been together a long time — say, several years or longer — it’s often not a good idea to end the relationship even after a few months of not getting along. Having spent a significant chunk of time together, it is sometimes best to detach — or leave the relationship emotionally — without initiating a full-blown breakup. So, how do you leave someone emotionally while staying put?

Presuming that most long-term couples live together, leaving the relationship emotionally involves some crucial changes to your behavior that will impact the overall relationship dynamic.

Question: Do you say, “I’m leaving the relationship emotionally?” Do you tell your partner what you’re doing?”

Answer: Don’t announce your thoughts or plans to detach emotionally. If you are asked, respond in an emotionally neutral tone — because that’s how we feel when we detach — and say, “I’m just taking some time to think about our relationship, and I’m also taking care of myself by focusing on [insert work, school, going to the gym, etc.].” Remember, this is isn’t a game. You detach not to elicit attention but to gain clarity on where the relationship is headed.

Sex and Physical Touch

If you are leaving the relationship emotionally, let me be clear about the boundaries: no sexual contact of any sort, ladies and gentlemen! If you break this rule, you simply cannot emotionally detach from your partner.

Socializing Together

When you leave the relationship emotionally, understand that it means that you are still technically in the relationship. This phase doesn’t mean that you’re free to seek out new partners or sexual trysts; it means that you are free to spend more time without your partner by your side. During this phase, you don’t watch your favorite television shows together, go to parties together, or share upsetting experiences from your day. During this phase, you need to get those needs met by friends or family. What can you do together? You can share meals at home, discuss superficial events of the day, and cover all the day-to-day planning and errands. The key difference is that a detached individual engages in pragmatic activities with their partner — but stays away from all of the emotional ones.

Asking for Help

Especially when you live with someone, occasions inevitably arise when you need to ask your partner for help. In the past, when you were in the relationship emotionally and physically, it was expected to ask your partner for help when you needed it. Going forward, there may be a time when you need help with the computer or you want another person’s opinion on something. If you leave the relationship emotionally, you must go to others for help instead of your partner, particularly when the help you need takes the form of emotional support because you’re upset about something. When you detach from your partner, you don’t ask your partner to emotionally soothe you. Who knows, you may get that support back if you and your partner ultimately determine that you can come back together and function better than you were before. Until then, it’s time to look elsewhere for help.

What Happens Next?

Once you’ve made the major changes to emotionally leave the relationship (e.g., you’ve stopped being sexual and socializing together), you will embark on your detached journey. Sometimes, initiating detachment will only last a couple of weeks before your partner starts changing for the better. In this case, you can choose to dip your foot back into the relationship waters and see if the changes are lasting. Sometimes, however, you may need to be detached for months or even longer before you feel that things have changed enough to justify coming back together emotionally. On the other hand, sometimes after the detachment, you or your partner will realize that there’s little left to the relationship and that it’s time to move on.

Conclusion

Leaving a relationship emotionally is not the ideal practice, but detaching in this way can sometimes help to make you feel more mentally organized during a stressful time in a relationship. Ultimately, the important point to remember is to never rush making a big decision.

How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

When you first realize your relationship is toxic, it’s like a light bulb goes on.

All that stuff he does to you isn’t just the normal behavior of a guy who gets irritated and loses his temper sometimes.

It’s the behavior of someone who’s controlling you.

He knows exactly what he’s doing.

Oh, sure, he blames it on you. He says that you made him do it. You pushed him too far. You’re so awful and horrible that he has no choice.

And for a long time you bought it.

You believed that if only you could do better—if you could avoid those topics that set him off, if you could criticize him less, if you could let him make all the decisions—then you’d both be happy.

Because your relationship is so, SO good when he’s happy.

You see so many amazing qualities in him. You see the man he could be. He’s just got this little problem—he doesn’t seem to like you very much sometimes.

Is that a deal-breaker? Can’t you fix it?

Or is it time to find a way out?

You’ve Got a Problem

Maybe you’re just starting to realize the damage your relationship is causing.

This pain you’re in isn’t okay.

It’s not normal. This isn’t how love feels.

When you love someone, it makes you sick to hurt them. Sometimes you can’t help it—we all have tempers, and we all make mistakes.

But what we don’t do is find petty little ways to put our beloved down. We don’t say something mean right when they’re happy. We don’t keep them in their place.

If (1) your guy is doing that to you and (2) he feels entitled to keep doing it, then you’ve got a problem.

Your problem is that you’ve got to find a way to leave him…

And it won’t be easy.

#1. Find an Ally

Leaving a toxic relationship is not like leaving a normal relationship.

A normal guy will let you go, because he respects the fact that you’re your own person and he can’t control you.

A toxic guy will try to destroy you if you leave him.

Because, in his mind, you belong to him. You are an extension of him. Losing you is like losing his car. He may not like you, but he owns you, and he gets to decide what to do with you.

That’s why the first thing you need to do, before anything else, is find an ally.

Your ally will be someone who is going to remind you why you’re leaving this person. They’re going to give you somewhere to stay. They’re going to commit to listening when you call them crying at 3am or break down because you don’t know if you can do this.

This will take time.

You’re not going to just leave him and everything will be fine.

You’re going to leave him, and things are going to get worse for a while. THEN they’ll get better!

But you need to have your strength and support system in place so that when things do get worse, you’re prepared.

Make sure your ally is prepared, too. It may take months before the dust finally settles.

2. Make Sure He Can’t Get to You

Second, you need to plan a way that you can go “no contact.”

When you leave a toxic relationship, you can expect repercussions. Right now, your guy is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Sometimes he’s wonderful, and sometimes he’s just awful.

It’s heartbreaking to know that the minute you say you’re going to leave him and he realizes you’re telling the truth, you will have lost that lovely side of him for good.

The person that will emerge may be so awful, and so ruthless, and so determined to destroy you, that you can’t believe it. Sure, he was bad to you before, but now he’s your enemy.

I think that’s the hardest thing of all: to know you have this enemy now, and he was the man you once loved and would have loved forever. How is that even possible?

Toxic relationship mess with your head. Everything you thought was real and true turns out to be a lie.

So you need to keep yourself safe, physically and emotionally.

And the best way to stay safe is to eliminate his ability to contact you.

How to Go “No Contact”

You’re going to need to figure out how to shut down any avenue where he can get at you.

Change your phone number, if at all possible.

Change all your passwords immediately, in case he’s found any of them out.

Block his email address or set up a filter to divert all his emails into a folder where you don’t have to see or read them.

Block him from your social accounts and lock down your privacy settings.

Consider whether you have mutual friends who might pass information on to him. You might believe that they’re your friends, too, but when there’s an acrimonious breakup, people take sides.

To the best of your ability, create a situation where he cannot contact you or find out information about you, even if that means taking a break from social media for a while.

When You Can’t Avoid Contact

For those of you who are leaving a toxic marriage, or who share a child with this man, or who have financial affairs to sort out, strict “no contact” is going to be impossible.

You’ll want to limit his ability to contact you to email—phone only in an emergency—and then not read those emails yourself.

Instead, pass them over to a friend you trust completely, who can read them for you and tell you what you need to know.

You don’t need his nastiness. You just need the facts.

#3. Get Professional Help

Finally, you’re going to need professional support.

If you’re going to divorce him, get an experienced lawyer. Don’t try to do it on your own.

Remember that he will use anything and everything as a weapon against you.

You still remember how lovely he is when he wants to be, and it will be hard to lock him out and give up on that dream for good. But a lawyer will help you.

Get a therapist if you can, someone who specializes in abusive relationships, because you’re going to need to rebuild your sense of self that he’s destroyed.

There are some wonderful organizations that offer free therapeutic support to victims of domestic violence. See if you can find one. Remember that domestic violence includes verbal and emotional abuse, not just physical abuse.

And don’t ever feel weird about calling a domestic violence helpline. Calling that number shouldn’t be scary. Just think of it as gathering more information.

You can also find a domestic violence forum. When you read other women’s stories that are so much like your own, it can really strengthen your resolve to leave.

So there you have it. The 3 most important things you need to know about leaving a toxic relationship are:

  1. Find an ally.
  2. Plan for “no contact.”
  3. Get professional support.

And if you want to find out more, these articles might help:

How to leave a toxic relationship when you still love your partner

In This Article

Leaving a toxic relationship, whether with a partner, friend, or family member, is one of the most difficult things a person can do.

However, it is also one of the best things you can do for your emotional and mental health and overall well-being. It can be difficult to know when a relationship has reached a level of toxicity, when is leaving the best option, or figuring out exactly what steps to take to leave.

While every relationship is different, there are some things that are helpful when you choose to leave a toxic relationship .

Read on for 6 tips on how to leave a toxic relationship –

1. Make the decision to leave

It sounds simple, but making the decision that it’s time for you to leave is the most important step as you exit a toxic relationship. Decide that you are going to leave and know that you deserve better than what is happening in this relationship.

Depending on your circumstances, whether you live with a partner, have children with your toxic soon-to-be-ex, or have to continue working with the toxic soon-to-be-ex friend — the specifics of your plan for leaving will look differently.

But, leaving any toxic relationship begins with the decision that enough is enough and that it’s time to seek a way out.

2. Seek help

After you’ve decided to leave, it’s time to seek help and resources to put your plan in place.

Reach out to friends and family members who will support you and may be able to offer any material support you might need. Working with a therapist may also be helpful as you leave and in the aftermath.

If you don’t have access to a therapist, check with your workplace to see if you have an Employee Assistance Plan that offers a limited number of free sessions. If you need help with housing, transportation, and other daily needs, explore whether there are local or state services.

Above all, make sure you have a support network. Toxic people like to separate their victims from sources of support. So, marshall your support network around you.

3. Accept that leaving will hurt

Even though you’re ready to leave the toxic relationship, leaving will still hurt.

Accept that fact and give yourself permission to feel the pain and sadness. Often, a toxic partner , friend, or even family member can become the entire focus of a person’s life.

So, walking out of the relationship will hurt no doubt. But, give yourself credit for being willing and able to do what’s best for yourself, irrespective of the fact that such a step is likely to cause pain, even if it is for a short term.

4. Let it out

Give yourself a safe space to express your feelings. This can be journaling, blogging, drawing, or talking with a trusted friend or a professional. Allow yourself to express the full range of emotions you’re sure to be feeling – anger, sorrow, grief, elation, hope, despair.

Cry as much as you need or laugh as much as you want. Keeping the feelings in or denying them just increases the time you’ll need to heal.

Exercise, especially the vigorous ones such as using a punching bag or dancing, can also be a great release. And this is definitely one of the best tips on how to leave a toxic relationship and survive the aftermath.

5. Think of the benefits

It sounds silly, but think of the benefits of leaving the toxic person. What can you do now that they never let you do, or made you feel bad for doing? It can be as frivolous as sleeping diagonal on the bed or ordering anchovies on the pizza, or as serious as traveling abroad or going out with friends.

Make yourself a list of all the things you’ll be able to do, all the things you won’t have to do or deal with anymore, and all the reasons your life is better without this toxic relationship in it.

Read it over often. You can even post reminders to yourself on post-it notes around your home, or send yourself reminders on postcards in the mail.

6. Give yourself time to heal

Even when you’re the one to initiate a break-up and leave a toxic relationship, you will need time to heal. Give yourself time to heal from the damage caused by the toxic relationship as well as from the pain of the break-up.

Take time off from work if you can, even if it is just for a day or two.

Allow yourself to eat food that sounds good, to rest as much as you need, and to be good to yourself. Bodywork, exercise, and time outdoors can all help, as can time with friends, snuggling with a beloved pet, and engaging in hobbies you enjoy.

You will heal. It will just happen in its own time.

Try these six tips on how to leave a toxic relationship, and you will get to know how easy it is for you to severe the malignant from your life and survive the aftermath of it.

Breaking out of a toxic relationship is the best thing you can do for your soul. But is there a peaceful way to end this rough ride without the emotional trauma that it leaves behind?

Ending a relationship is not a happy ending but if you are looking to get out of a relationship then it’s better to solve this amicably with your dignity intact. This will leave a positive impact on the life ahead.

Everyone deserves to be loved and if you are not getting that from your partner then it’s better to end it here and seek it elsewhere. We have tried to help you get through this painful process by sharing our views on how to peacefully get out of a loveless relationship.

Accept your Share of blame

You may not want to listen to this but you have to share the blame when it comes to being toxic in a relationship. Whatever your responsibility was including reaching out for a consensus on mutual disagreements or communicating when things were not right, you can’t escape this fact that you were a part of this. You have an equally effective role to play and you are accountable for that role. Do some introspection and vow not to engage yourself in a toxic relationship ever again, because you are worth more.

Learn to let go

It is not easy to surrender someone that you have held near you in a long-term relationship. It is indeed a difficult thing to do but more important is the realization that your relationship with your ex was not meant to be. Even if you have to use a spouse monitoring app like Xnspy to know about his lies and cheating or bear his physical abuse, you have to sometimes force yourself to get out of that toxic “arrangement”.

In such a relationship, any blow could be unexpected but you still want them to stop hurting you. You want to understand you and change. But nothing affects them no matter how much you love that person. When nothing works against such a person, then remember he/she is not worthy of this royal treatment from you. You need to get that person out of your life. Find the strength to get yourself out of it and move on.

You merit a better life/ you merit someone better in life

Loving someone is not worth it if your partner is not reciprocating equally. This is like putting all your hard work in a dead thing that cannot be resurrected. No matter how hard you try and the tears you put it in, this relationship will never be the same again. In doing so, you are not only wasting your time on the wrong person but also preventing the right person coming your way.

How can a new person come into your life when you have already someone to fill that space?

You must realize that you had to clear that dead wood in your life for the new flowers to blossom. You had to let go of that relationship. It is highly likely that the next person in your life could be the one that trusts in love. If you are an optimist, then believe that someone much better is out there for you. You may not know who they are and where you would find them, but that someone is waiting for you to let go of that relationship so that he/she can come into your life.

Don’t wait for your partner to change

Perhaps it will be your biggest mistake to wait for a person to change who has been mistreating you for years. This is where you have to take charge of your life and decide what is best for you. Relationships heal when the guilty partners accept their mistakes and show the will to mend their behavior. They may make promises and their intentions could be genuine but the truth is that it will all be the same after a few days. Especially if the person has not fulfilled the past promises.

So you don’t have to wait for that person to change. Instead, change has to come from within. You don’t have to force it, it will rise within you and convince you that your time with this person may be over. Our clouded judgements may hold us their prisoners but regardless of what we think, some relationships are not just meant to be.

You control your happiness

After all that you have endured in this turbulent relationship, there is still life ahead. Believe that taking back control starts with you. You don’t have to go through this alone, you would need support like everyone else. There will be people out there that can help you. Seeking help from your close friends and family members can get you back on your feet. You have to overcome that situation to start a new life in which you can enjoy things that you used to love. No more worries about the future. Get that off your chest, make the hard choice, and you are one step closer to a happier tomorrow.

Andrew Carroll is a trained professional counselor who has been helping couples in dealing with their relationship issues. He is a relationship and marriage expert and has greatly helped couples in resolving their commitment and emotional problems for many years. He has vast experience and has been in the field for over a decade. He not only gives great relationship advice but is an expert in how one can remain in a healthy and loving relationship.

It might be one of the hardest things to do, but leaving a toxic relationship preserves your self-respect and dignity.

I have been in my share of toxic relationships in my life. In fact, most of them were like this. From the outside looking in, you might think it’s easy to leave these unions, but it’s not. Leaving a toxic relationship requires planning and tact. It’s far from easy but it’s necessary for both your physical and mental health.

Why is leaving so difficult?

Leaving a toxic relationship is so difficult because it’s usually not all bad, all the time. What I mean is that toxic relationships operate on extremes – there are really good times paired with almost unbearable intervals.

Just when you think things are horrific, your partner will switch it around and make things good again. Leaving a toxic relationship is so hard because you really don’t know what to expect from one day to the next. This type of relationship will leave you confused.

Here’s how you can break free

Breaking free will not be easy. In fact, it could quite possibly be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. All the good memories sprinkled among the dysfunctional episodes will make you question your desire to leave.

Fortunately, if you stand your ground, you can make the change. There are a few ways you can do this.

1. Keep a list

One thing that happens when you’re in a toxic relationship is your perception gets skewed. Family members and friends often notice toxic traits before you do. Have you noticed how a friend tells you that he notices negative things about your mate, but then you counter that with a random good quality in your mate’s favor?

For instance, your friend may say your girlfriend is manipulative, and you say, “Yes, but she has a good heart and I understand why she reacts in certain ways.”

What you’re doing is making excuses for her behavior. If you keep a list of all the negative things your friends and family members notice, and then be honest with yourself about these things, you might be able to see a bit clearer.

This helps you see things from a logical standpoint and not a biased perspective out of codependency. Over time, if your negative list gets too long, you will be able to make an important decision about how to leave the toxic relationship.

2. See leaving as good

Leaving a toxic relationship is not easy because, for some people, being alone is frightening. If you find yourself staying just because you’re afraid of being on your own, then you are definitely staying for the wrong reasons. One way to learn how to leave a toxic relationship is to see leaving in a different light.

Leaving a toxic relationship doesn’t always mean going through a negative consequence. Sometimes leaving means a brand new start. If you learn to see ending a relationship in this manner, you will never again hesitate when it’s time to go.

3. Fill the voids

Even toxic relationships have good sides. This is one reason why so many people decide to stay in these unhealthy marriages and such. So, in order to understand what’s going awry, you must first understand what things you can do for yourself or by other means.

Say your boyfriend is making you feel bad about yourself, but yet, he’s a good confidant and works hard to help you meet your financial obligations. Just because he has these good traits does not erase the way he verbally and mentally abuses you, and you must weigh these things fairly.

You must realize that you can find support from others and you can meet your own financial demands. All this can be done without having to endure insults and demeaning behavior from your mate. Learn to fill the voids and you will learn how leaving a toxic relationship is the best possible action.

4. Surrounded by positivity

When you realize that leaving a toxic relationship is a priority, you should make another smart move. Make sure you surround yourself with positive people to help you get through the ordeal. During the leaving process, your toxic partner may take several actions to stop you.

They may even promise to be a better person and treat you better. The truth is if they can do this now, why didn’t they practice this behavior before?

Your positive friends and family will help you remember why you are making the decision to leave. They will help you stay strong and keep you occupied so you cannot be further manipulated. This may be a fragile time in your life and you will need a good backbone of friends and family.

Support of this nature will also help you feel less alone while trying to transition to a different lifestyle.

5. Affirmations

Just in case your support team is limited, you will need a backup arsenal of positive affirmations. Yes, they do sound cheesy at times, but let me tell you something, they work! When you start to say negative things about yourself, you can transform those words into positive mantras.

For instance, if your toxic partner always said you were selfish, then counter that with, “I have a healthy love and appreciation for myself”.

Now, you must remember to check yourself when you truly are selfish, but there is nothing wrong with having a good self-image and caring about you and your possessions. So, when it’s time to go, speak only positive things over you and your life.

Write your mantras in a journal, post them on your refrigerator with a magnet, and even put them on slips of paper at the edge of your mirror so you can appreciate yourself while reading them. It works, just try it, and it can help you move on.

Just leave if it’s time to go

When you realize there is more negative than positive emotions coursing through your relationship, then it’s time to consider a new life. Don’t let weaknesses keep you bound to someone who really doesn’t care for you.

Instead, do self-inventory and find out why you’re allowing yourself to stay in an unhealthy and toxic relationship. When you see the truth, you will be set free!