Even when you know someone is terrible for you, it can be scary to break things off with a partner who isn’t making you happy. That’s especially true when you already share so much together or have developed a dependency on them. The truth is, it’s better to be happy — even if that means struggling for a while. Here are things you’ll want to remember when you leave your toxic partner for good.
Things would never have gotten better.
People don’t change unless they want to. And even when they say they want to change, they probably won’t put in the effort. If you’re with someone who treats you like garbage, they’re probably not going to have an overnight revelation and become a whole new person in the morning. The only way to fix the situation is to replace the person you’re with. Next time you wonder whether or not you made the right call, think about the countless arguments you had with them over the same thing. Had you not left, you’d probably be rehashing that fight right now.
You’re more valuable than they led you to believe.
There’s a good chance that your now-ex tried to undervalue you throughout the relationship, or even make you feel “lucky” that someone like them took a chance on you. This is straight-up manipulation. They know they’re abusive, and are trying to drill it into your head that you’d be foolish for leaving.
There’s nothing wrong with therapy.
It’s not wise to jump into another relationship immediately after leaving a toxic one. It’s much better to take the time to work on yourself. Otherwise, you may end up accidentally sabotaging a situation that’s actually quite healthy and loving, just out of fear that he or she will turn on you the way your ex did. Therapy is good for everyone. Consider booking an appointment and talking to someone who’ll help you become an even stronger person.
Your true friends will be happy for you.
If you were in a toxic relationship for a long time, it might have impacted your friendships. True friends will understand, especially if you give them a heartfelt apology. They’re also the best people to lean on when you’re starting to feel unsure about your decision. Trust what they have to say.
Your hard work will pay off.
If the two of you combined finances or lived together, it could have made leaving even harder. Suddenly, you have a lot of responsibilities to keep yourself afloat. Just remember — things will be hard, but as you suffer through some financial setbacks, you, as a person, will rebuild into someone far more confident. These life experiences will help you grow, and you’ll be a lot happier down the line.
Blocking them is the right move.
They may try to keep playing mind games or call to “check up” on you. This isn’t normal for exes — they’re just trying to weasel their way back into your life. The best thing to do is block their number, unfriend them online, and make a clean break. If you’re worried because the communication they try to send is threatening, take screencaps and bring them to the police.
If you have to move back with your parents for a little, there’s no shame in that.
They love you and want the best for you. Plus, it’s not permanent. It’s just until you get back on your feet and can save up for your own place. It might be a little embarrassing, but it’s worth it if the alternative is sharing a lease with someone toxic.
It might take some time to get over them.
Even if they were mean, obnoxious, or abusive, it’s natural to take some time to process the end of your relationship. This was someone who you considered to be your partner for a long time, so no matter who they were, ending it can be emotional. Just remember that it’s not your brain telling you that you made the wrong decision — it’s your heart trying to heal.
The longer you stay, the harder it is to move on with your life.
People find true love at all ages, but the longer they’re stuck in a toxic situation the older they get — and the more rundown they feel. If you didn’t leave, you would be stuck where you are, wondering where your best tears went. Even if it took you a long time to sever ties, congratulate yourself for making the move and putting yourself first for once.
You’re not alone.
There are so many people out there who have dated people similar to your ex. It’s unfortunate but true. It might make you feel better to connect with someone who knows what it’s like and develop a friendship. They’ll help you see that life goes on, and healthier connections are possible. Feel free to reach out to a network, or read some books about toxic partners that’ll help you move forward.
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