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How to Leave a Toxic Relationship in the Past

Leaving a Toxic Relationship
(Without Guilt or Shame)

Toxic relationships are as diverse as the people in them, but the pain they cause is universal. A toxic relationship could involve name calling, emotional abuse, physical abuse, dishonesty, and so much more.

Even if you know you're involved in a partnership full of toxicity, it can feel impossible to leave. When you do leave, it will continue to be hard for some time. But, making the decision to change your circumstances is the first step to leaving a toxic relationship in the past. Once you've made a choice to leave the negativity and pain behind, use these 6 steps to start the process.

1. Recognize that you deserve a loving, caring partner

You deserve to be loved, and not in the way a toxic partner “loves” you. We are all deserving of genuine and reciprocated love, where both parties feel valued and appreciated.

So, I want you to repeat after me and say, “I deserve to be loved.” Repeat this mantra to yourself often throughout the leaving and grieving process.

2. Gather a support network

Relationships are familiar and comfortable, even when you know it's an unhealthy dynamic. When you set out to make a big change, support from friends and family will be vital. Help from a professional counselor can also be incredibly healing , because you'll learn how to cope with the challenges and pain of leaving.

3. Make a list of your partner's toxic traits

Some people in toxic relationships feel inspired to leave once they confront the reality of their loved one's harmful behavior. Make a list of all the times you felt belittled, wronged, and hurt. Eventually, you'll have a compelling argument for leaving the relationship for good.

4. Accept that the toxic person isn't going to change

Toxic people don't alter their behavior because others want them to, they only change on their own terms.

You must accept that people don't change until they're ready. If witnessing your pain isn't enough to spur change, nothing else you say or do will have an impact.

5. Dedicate time to self-care and healing

Exiting a traumatic relationship is hard, so be gentle with yourself and commit to the healing process. Prioritize self-care in the immediate aftermath, and remember that it doesn't have to take up a ton of time or money. Just try some of these 15 super easy self-care activities to see how simple self-care can be.

6. Accept self-blame as normal, but don't let it hold you back from healing

Once you've left a toxic relationship it's perfectly normal to blame yourself. However, you must remember that you left the partnership for valid reasons.

Avoid dwelling on the good memories, remember why you made the decision, take a deep breath, and continue to work on being your best self.

Our caring therapists can help you overcome life's greatest challenges. Contact us today!