When you’re with someone who doesn’t care about you, treats you badly, or is even abusive to you, it’s a no-brainer that you need to get away from them ASAP. However, it’s not always that easy. Maybe you live together and you can’t afford to move out. Maybe you have kids together and worry that splitting up would screw them up. However, the truth is that whatever is standing in your way isn’t bigger than your need for self-preservation. Here’s how to get out of a toxic relationship once and for all.
- Be honest with yourself. The first step to changing any major part of your life is to be honest with yourself. Why do you want to leave? What is it about your partner and the relationship as a whole that’s not serving you anymore (if it ever was)? Why is it vital that you get out now? How is staying in this situation making you feel? Doing a major, in-depth check-in with yourself is the first step towards a better life.
- Let your friends and family know about your plan to leave. Before you make the move to get out of your toxic relationship, make sure you confide in those closest to you that you plan to do so. This is both for safety purposes as they should be aware what you’re doing in case something goes wrong, but it also means they can be there to support you during and after the process.
- Build a separate safety net. If you’ve been financially dependent on your partner, begin to save money if possible, even if it’s only a couple of bucks a week. You want to have a pot of money available to you so that you can secure your own housing and look after yourself after you get out of your toxic relationship. It also helps to build a safety net of people (see above) that can support you in any way they can as you make this important change.
- Tell your partner how you’re feeling if it’s safe to do so. If your partner isn’t abusive and your safety isn’t in question, let your partner know why you find the relationship toxic and why you’re leaving. Everyone deserves that even if they wouldn’t offer you the same in return. Be firm and open about your feelings but don’t give them space to try and change your mind. This decision is final.
- When you leave them, cut them off. Once you get out of your toxic relationship, that’s when the real healing begins. Make sure that you delete and/or block your ex on every possible method of communication so that you can be totally free of them. Out of sight, out of mind really does apply here – you need them out of your life for good so you can make a real change.
- Seek professional help after the relationship ends. If your relationship was extremely toxic, you may find it beneficial to seek professional therapy once you’re out of it so that you can process the experience and your feelings about it as well as gain vital coping strategies and methods for avoiding the same kind of situation again in future. You’ve got this – good luck!