How can you leave a toxic relationship behind? This is a question frequently asked by people who are entangled in a harmful relationship and don’t seem to know how to get out of it.
In this regard, a toxic relationship destroys, limits, and keeps you from being yourself. In the light of this, outsiders often wonder why people stay with abusive partners. Aren’t these people aware of the damage this controlling person is doing to them? Are they so clueless that they don’t realize their own worth?
The answer to these last two questions is usually simple: the abused person may not even be aware of what’s happening or have doubts about it. This is because it isn’t easy to identify this type of relationship when the only thing that seems to surround you is the connection itself. Or perhaps they’re aware but don’t know how to get out.
At this point, it’s noteworthy to point out that toxic relationships trap people and absorb all of their energy. This is why it’s so hard to fully realize it and ever more difficult to make the decision to leave a toxic person for good.
Indicators of a toxic relationship
- The feeling that your significant other isn’t hearing or seeing you and you’re not comfortable expressing your emotions and thoughts freely.
- Your needs and preferences are second, third, or fourth in their list of priorities. Likewise, you only receive criticism and they question everything when you try to have your preferences taken into account.
- They disrespect you or display threatening and intimidating behaviors. Similarly, they often disqualify the way you dress and downplay your merits and virtues.
- You don’t feel stable and fear abandonment; there’s a feeling of not knowing when they might leave you. In this regard, you don’t feel safe in the relationship.
- You continuously try to please your partner in order to prevent conflict and not upset the, with something you say or do.
Idealization and guilt
- The idealization of your relationship and partner by clinging to the first impression they made on you. It’s a fictitious image, focused on the good things they did in the past. Thus, you ignore what’s negative and remain unable to leave the toxic relationship behind, even if it hurts.
- It’s common for toxic people to try to exert some control over the behavior of others. For example, possessive jealousy and emotional blackmail, are forms of control. For example, “Do as I say or else”. Likewise, you feel guilty when you don’t give them what they want.
- Abusers isolate you from friends and family and you no longer relate in the same way with them. In fact, you probably avoid contact with them to avoid upsetting your lover.
- Thinking you can’t live without someone is a sign of a toxic relationship. This is because this kind of addiction creates an ambivalent bond and subsequent confusion.
- Finally, you experience weakness, contempt, and low self-value. Your self-esteem becomes damaged to the point of believing that your partner is more worthy. Thus, you’re grateful to be in the relationship.
How to leave a toxic relationship for good
For Daniel Uruyal, zero contact consists of distancing yourself from your ex-partner after a breakup in such a way that you know nothing about that person and that person knows nothing about you. End all contact and communication. It’s also essential for you to disassociate yourself from all social networks so you can’t see their profiles and they can’t see yours.
Why is this? Well, this strategy helps you recover and heal your wounds. It also helps you recover your life, your group of friends and family, and, above all, your self-esteem that’s probably quite damaged.
In addition, you’ll probably be able to see everything that’s happened to you from a healthier perspective by healing your wounds and regaining closeness with your loved ones. This is because you begin to perceive things you hadn’t seen or didn’t want to see after you’re away from a toxic relationship.
Following the previous paragraph on zero contact, one must emphasize the importance of losing all contact with the ex-partner in order to recover and heal the damaged self-esteem. Abused people live an illusory certainty in this type of relationship. One which affirms they aren’t capable of living without the other person.
At this point, some recurrent questions begin to appear, such as “Who’s going to take care of me?” or “Who’s going to love me if I’m not worthy?” In short, toxic relationships make the abused person believe they don’t deserve love. Thus, it’s essential to take care of your self-image in order to leave a toxic relationship.
Surround yourself with everything that does you good
According to psychologist María Fornet, a healthy relationship is one that enriches you, not one that impoverishes you. It’s one that makes you feel bigger and listened to, respected, and safe, not the opposite. Thus, you must surround yourself with people who contribute to your wellbeing.
Likewise, having a good amount of reinforcers, far from those who may or may not be provided by a partner, makes you stronger and more resistant to emotional dependence. Having multiple sources of satisfaction is usually a hindrance to dependency.
Take care of your emotional health
To conclude, you can’t neglect your emotional health, given that toxic relationships are known to leave certain psychological after-effects such as guilt, confusion, shame, and emotional exhaustion. All these wounds require care, time, and patience to heal. At this point, it’s common to feel that you’re moving slowly, that the pain is unbearable, that you aren’t going to get out of this.
You may not think there’s a way out, but there is. Remember that nothing lasts forever, not even pain. Also, note that seeking professional help can help you leave behind any harmful relationship. This is why it’s essential to surround yourself with loved ones who can help you overcome a breakup.
How Relationships With Toxic People Affect You