If Getting Out Of Your Toxic Relationship Feels Impossible, Read This

You know you need to end the relationship but it seems impossible. You have a dog together and maybe a house or car. Your friend groups are integrated or maybe you work together. It might be tough to walk away but it’s not impossible—here’s how to do it.

Establish a support system. The very first thing you need to do is find people you can trust who aren’t tied to him in any way. This is the time to pick up the phone and call your BFF, your mom, or even your Aunt Susan. Spill the beans on why you think your relationship is over and ask for their help and support. You need someone you can go to that’s only going to support you and what you want; someone who isn’t looking out for his best interests, only yours. This is a good time to enlist the help of a therapist, if you don’t already have one.

Gather information. If you guys own a car together, make some calls to your bank or dealership to see what your options are. Same goes for your lease and your joint checking account. You need to know what you’re dealing with and what choices you need to make. Once you’re armed with all that information, you’ll be in a better place to deal with everything head-on.

Make a plan. If breaking off your relationship seems daunting, having a plan will help. The next step is to sit down and go through everything you learned. It’s likely that you’ll have to make some tough choices here. Are you willing to break your lease? Can you afford the apartment on your own? Who’s better equipped to take care of the dog? Will you have to buy a new car or can you use public transportation? What about the emotional side of things? Is your support system in place? Think about all of this and come up with a concrete plan of action.

Make peace. Make peace with yourself, with your friends, and with him. Focus on letting go of what you wanted your future to be and work on accepting that it isn’t going to work out. Accept that you’ll probably lose some friends in the process. Remember that he’s probably going to be mad and that you didn’t do anything wrong. Make peace with the past and accept the apologies you never got and aren’t going to get. It may help to write a letter to him and burn it, journal about your feelings, or talk things out a with a therapist or a friend.

Put your plan into action. Maybe you need to save up some money or get a better job. Maybe you need to see your therapist and go over how the break up is going to go. Maybe you need to just sit and cry. Whatever it is, go ahead and start working on setting yourself up for the solo life.

Just cut the cord. Eventually, you’re going to have to end things. All the planning in the world isn’t going to help you with the part where you just have to go through with it. You’re going to have to say the words “it’s over.” Now’s as good of a time as any, so go ahead and tell him it’s over.

Take some time to focus on yourself. Don’t talk to your ex after you’ve broken up. Instead, work on establishing your new life. You’ll probably be busy moving or redecorating your new place, so use this time to make it into a new home for yourself that makes you feel good about you. Do all the things you couldn’t do when you were together—buy a fluffy pink comforter or cook the dinner that you loved but know he hated. Break out your journal and take the time to really work through your feelings. Now is the time to make sure you’re really taking care of yourself.

Move on. It’s easier said than done, sure, but this is it. The hard part is over and now comes the extra hard part. You need to focus on making a new life for yourself. Don’t rush back into dating if you don’t want to, but do start to think about getting back out there. You’ve been through a lot, so go easy on yourself. Focus on what makes you happy; join that club you’ve always wanted to or start up a new hobby. This is your life, after all. Get out there and live it.

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