When you see the term “toxic relationship”, you might immediately think that it means this post is going to be about abuse and violence, so it doesn’t apply to you, but a relationship doesn’t have to be violent to be toxic. If you are in a relationship where you are being controlled, it constantly gets you down, or you feel trapped or simply sad, then that too is a toxic situation. Any relationship that is hurting you, mentally or physically, is a toxic one and one that you really shouldn’t be putting up with, but ending such a relationship isn’t always as easy as it sounds. It’s quite possible that, even though the relationship is hurting you, you still love the person involved, you don’t want to hurt them, or are worried about what they will do if you end it. If that sounds familiar, then read on, because we have ten tips on how to end a toxic relationship for good.
1. Accept that the relationship is toxic
This is the first and logical tip on how to end a toxic relationship. Like so many these types of issues, the first thing you have to do is to accept that you have a problem. If a relationship is making you unhappy, then don’t try to pretend otherwise, and don’t just assume that it will get better. Identifying that you are in a toxic relationship is the first big step towards sorting it out.
2. Start keeping a log of how you feel
It’s a fairly typical scenario to find that people go through five days of hell and then they forgive and forget everything just because the relationship feels good for one day. Even if you feel bad every other day, it’s not right, so keep a log of your emotions to remind you what the relationship is really like. Everyone has bad days in a relationship, but the good days should always outnumber the bad.
3. Make a list of the positives and the negatives
To get things clear in your mind it can be useful to make a list of the reasons why you should end the relationship, and the reasons that you don’t want to, and then, try to analyse those in a cold and detached way. If your partner is cold, detached, controlling and unloving, you have every reason to end the relationship. On the other hand, if the only reason you stay with your partner is that you think he wouldn’t cope without you, then that is no reason or staying.
4. Think about what you want for the future
Instead of thinking about what the spilt will be like, think about what it could be like when you are free from this toxic relationship. Try not to get too hung about how unpleasant it might be telling your partner it is over, or about how he might react. Focus your mind on all the good possibilities that there will be once you have made the move.
5. Have a conversation with your partner
If there is any serious abuse or violence in the relationship, there is no room negation, you should just get out of it straight away. If, however, you think that perhaps your partner could change and you feel that you want to give it a second chance, sit down in a quiet place, where you can be alone together, and have an honest conversation with them about it. Make it clear, though, on what has to change and that, if it doesn’t, the relationship will be over.
6. Make a decision and stick to it
Once you have decided to end the relationship, end it. Don’t be swayed by pleading and promises, when you know that they won’t come to anything. You will need a firm resolve if you are to see this through, but if you have thought through the options and made your decision then you will have to see it through. If the relationship was making you unhappy, it will be worth a few days of heartache to bring it all to an end.
7. Allow yourself to grieve
You will feel some sadness, even about the end of an unhappy relationship and it will leave a bit of a hole in your life. Don’t let that tempt you back into the relationship. Keep on reminding yourself of why you ended that relationship and focus on the all new and exciting things that you can do now that the toxic relationship is over.
8. Surround yourself with positive people
Once you have freed yourself from the toxic relationship, you will have the time to re-kindle relationship with other people that you may have grown distant from. Reach out to friends and family and seek their support when you need it. They probably understand a lot more about what you went through than you realise.
9. Start looking forward to a positive future
Don’t start thinking that, just because one relationship has fallen on the rocks, you will never be happy again. You ended the relationship for some very good reasons, so try to keep the nagging doubts about doing so out of your mind. It may take some time to heal, but you will heal eventually. So start planning for your new future, as soon as you are ready to do so.
10. Learn from the relationship
There may also be some lessons to be learned from a toxic relationship. Take stock of what happened and how, perhaps, you could have seen the signs earlier. If you can learn from the experience and grow as a result of it, then you might even be able to view the relationship in a positive light one day.