Being in a toxic relationship is draining and painful. You don’t feel worthy and you feel miserable more often than not. Still, when you’re in love or when you’ve invested a lot of time and energy in a relationship, it’s so hard to find the strength to leave. Listen to me: you can do it. You already have the strength within you—you just have to find it. Start by doing these things.
Stop rationalizing bad behavior.
If you’re reading this, you already know you’re in a toxic relationship (probably). You could likely list off the behaviors you notice someone doing that causes the toxicity, right? Well, stop rationalizing it in your partner. When they talk down to you or are mean, don’t explain away the behavior by claiming “they’re working hard” or “they’re having a bad day.” Admit that the behavior is not OK. You don’t deserve that kind of treatment.
A toxic person will expect you to do everything for them. They’ll blame you for how they’re feeling or accuse you of doing things to them. Don’t let them. Put yourself first for a change. Stop avoiding doing something for fear of upsetting them. If you want to do something like go out with friends, just do it. Don’t let the person you’re in a relationship with stop you.
Lean on friends and family.
It’s not easy to leave a relationship. You need to have support and people to lean on, so connect with your friends and family. Talk to them about what’s going on. Ask them for advice and guidance. Ask for support to give you the strength. They care about you and they want to see you happy. They’ll do anything in their power to bring you that happiness.
Find an online community.
If you don’t have friends or family you feel comfortable talking to, that’s not your only option. You can find support elsewhere. That’s what is so great about the internet. You’ll be able to find supportive men and women you can talk to, even some who have been through what you have. It’s so important to have someone to talk to and build you up so you can find that courage within to make the bold move to leave.
Don’t hold your feelings in anymore.
Holding in how you feel can feel like a cancer. It consumes you and drains you. Find an outlet. If you need to cry, cry. Let it all out and don’t hold back—it will feel so therapeutic. Try journaling or keeping a diary. This can have a dual purpose. You’ll be able to get out how you’re feeling and let the words flow. It also gives you a reference point to look back on later so you can remember the pain they’ve caused you and why you simply cannot go back once you’ve left.
Do something that makes you happy.
A toxic person will likely try to keep you from doing the things you love. Forget about what they’ve made you feel in the past. Find a hobby that brings you joy and do it. This will show you how happy you can be. You’ll be doing something you love and feeling that endorphin rush. When you’re around the toxic individuals, you’ll be able to realize with a clearer mind that the toxic relationship is draining you. You’ll want to feel that joy again and you’ll be motivated to leave even more.
Know your worth.
No one deserves to be treated poorly. No one deserves to be unhappy. A toxic person will make you feel like you don’t deserve the things you need in life. But you do. Whenever that toxic person speaks down to you and makes you feel bad, repeat this mantra: “I’m worth more than this.” Even if you don’t believe it yet, keep repeating it every time they make you feel bad. It’s true and after a while, you’ll start to believe it.
Accept that leaving will hurt.
There is no sugar-coating it. Leaving is going to be hard, especially if you’re still in love with this person. You have to accept that it will hurt when you leave. You will want to cry. You will miss them. It’s going to happen. Accept that it will hurt and let it hurt. Feel the hurt and go through the pain. Know that what comes on the other side is going to be so worth it. Once you’ve left and you’ve mourned the relationship, you’ll be free from the toxic behavior and be able to live your life happy again.
Plan on being single for awhile.
The idea that getting over your ex is as simple as getting under someone else doesn’t really apply here. The last thing you need after a toxic relationship is to get into another messy situation, so plan to roll solo after you end things with your partner. You’ll need that time to yourself to heal, believe me.
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