Toxic relationships can bring you down physically, emotionally and spiritually. It can absorb every essence of your being and drown you in your own bathwater. If you ignore toxic behavior while allowing it to reside in your home, it will eat you alive. It will creep into the crevices of your self-worth and annihilate it. You must take your power back and control your happiness. Being stressed and miserable all the time is not your destiny. There are steps you can take to find your light again.
1. Find a Support System
Leaving a relationship can be easier said than done. You must have a support system in place for when you make your exit. Create a plan to leave your toxic relationship in your rear view and build a safety net for your departure. Consider all factors, such as what you want to take with you and a place to stay.
Reach out to friendships that may have been damaged during your relationship and mend them. Find your tribe and loop them in. Confide in someone to help you with this transition. You will need your support system. They can also help hold you accountable if you start to sway from your decision. Leaving can be difficult, although you know it’s the right thing for you.
2. Identify Red Flags
Red flags can help you decide to leave a toxic relationship behind. Always trust your gut when you feel like a red flag is presenting itself. They can come in all shapes and sizes and might be unique to your situation. Your partner will push buttons that hurt you that can only be identified by you. Your partner is aware of that and will use it to your detriment to gain the upper hand. You may experience your partner promising to change, but old behavior always finds a way to creep back in.
If your partner is working through these behaviors, be patient and work through them together. Try counseling if you think that will help. However, empty promises are a completely different story. Be aware of toxic traits that have the potential to bring you down. Unhealthy relationships can be draining and make you feel like you don’t have the energy to fight. A healthy relationship will make you feel balanced. You deserve that. Everyone does.
3. Put Yourself First
It can be challenging to put yourself first in relationships. After all, relationships are a two-way street, right? They’re supposed to be. However, if you are continually feeling out of the loop or like you’re on the outside looking in, it is time to put yourself at the forefront of your decision-making process. Your partner should give back as much as they receive and when they don’t, it creates an imbalance. If you don’t have enough emotional energy left over to tend to your own needs in your relationship, it might be time to leave.
You should feel uplifted and motivated by your partner, not defeated and destroyed. Your partner is your teammate and you should work together to reach harmony in your relationship. If you are doing this alone, try communicating and working as a team. If that doesn’t work, you should put the focus back on yourself and a way to exit the relationship.
4. Forgive Yourself
There is a lot of guilt associated with leaving a relationship. You may not feel like you tried hard enough to fix things or didn’t give enough to the relationship. You might feel inadequate or isolated and miss your partner even though you know the relationship was toxic. On the contrary, you may feel like you stayed in the relationship too long and should have left earlier.
Whatever the reason was that you stayed doesn’t matter. What matter is that you got out. Forgive yourself so that you can move forward. If you were in a toxic relationship, it wasn’t healthy for either party involved. Leaving was the right thing to do. Accept this and allow your mind and body to rest and heal. It’s OK to be heartbroken even though you’re the one that ended things. It doesn’t make your feelings any less real or invalidate them.
5. Set Boundaries
Stick to your guns and set boundaries to avoid letting toxic people back into your life once you’ve left them. They will prey on your weaknesses. Narcissists especially are good at manipulating their way back in and convincing you they will change. If you’ve seen this pattern before, do not engage in their pursuits. It will most likely not play out to your advantage.
Talking to your ex will hinder your progress of moving forward and making a new and improved version of life for yourself. Don’t fall for their tricks. Toxic people will take advantage of your kindness and worm their way back into your good graces. Once you decide to end the relationship, you are the one that has to set boundaries and stick to them. Block their number if that’s what you need to do.
Set Yourself Free
You are the only person who can decide what is right for you. No one has to agree with your decision. What happens in private is not always seen in public. You are the only person who can make the changes necessary to better your life. Happiness is within reach and you can make it there. Have faith in yourself. Devise a plan and execute it. You got this.
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