Here are 6 tips for letting go of a toxic love, healing yourself, and moving on. you're in a toxic relationship that will help you learn how to let go and move on. What you should do is to look at it like an onion — feelings are.
Put your toxic relationship behind you for good.
If falling in love is the most wonderful feeling in the world, then letting go of it is the most horrible feeling in the world — even when you know full and well it’s a toxic relationship.
Deciding that it’s time to bite the bullet and figure out how to break up with someone you love because your relationship isn’t healthy doesn’t make the act of letting go any easier.
There is nothing worse than the physical pain of losing a love — even a toxic one. The pit in your stomach, the broken heart, and the feelings of despair and hopelessness.
Signs It’s Time to Let Go…Even if You’re Still in Love
Learning how to let go of someone you love once you realize their presence in your life is truly toxic requires careful thought and commitment.
So if you’re ready to take the plunge, here are 6 ways for how to break up with someone you love when you’re in a toxic relationship that will help you learn how to let go and move on.
Before you begin any life-changing process, you must ask yourself how determined you are to actually do it. On a scale of 1-10, how close to a 10 are you? Without steadfast determination, you will not be able to accomplish something as challenging as getting past a lost love.
So, are you ready to do this? Is there any part of you that is holding on to the possibility that things could work out? Do you feel like you aren’t strong enough to do this yet?
If the answer to any of these questions is a “yes”, then perhaps you should wait a bit longer before you begin this process. Time is a great healer and with some time you will get stronger and be ready to take on this challenging task.
Either way, ask yourself some tough questions about this relationship and make a conscious decision to stay or go. Doing so, making a purposeful move, will help you start respecting and loving yourself again which is a key part of letting go toxic love.
We all think that we need “closure” at the end of a relationship, that final conversation where everyone gets to say what they want to say and you understand each other and walk away as friends.
But closure is a myth. Closure is actually one last chance to spend time with and talk to that person you still love. If you could have a conversation and finally understand each other, why couldn’t you make it work as a couple?
So, when you’ve decided that the relationship is over, cut him off. Block him on your phone, disconnect on social media, and stay away from places where you know he will be.
Why? Because what you need to do is break the addiction you have to this person, to change your habits.
Think about Oreo cookies. You know how hard it is to eat just one? It’s the same with your man. Even one point of contact can draw you back into his circle, the circle that you have decided that you are determined to break yourself out of.
So, go no contact right away. It will make the process way easier!
As a side benefit, not spending your time and energy stalking him on Facebook but doing something that makes you feel good is exactly what you need to do to start loving yourself again.
This is very important. What is it that you need to let go of to move on?
You may be ready to let go of a man that you know isn’t the one for you, but you still struggle with your decision because of the love you feel.
What you should do is to look at it like an onion — feelings are layers that must be removed to get to the core. What was the top layer?
The first layer might be anger. Perhaps anger at your man and how he treated you. Or maybe anger with yourself for wasting time on him. You have to deal with your issues and let them go, separating them out one by one.
By examining each layer of the onion, you’ll be able to peel back and discard one layer of emotion at a time which leaves you with the one piece that you want to hold on to; one that won’t hold you back from moving on. It’s the final piece you can carry in your heart going forward.
This is such an important piece of letting go.
You have ideas in your head about truths in your relationships but, unfortunately, often these truths are not so true — they are just hopes and dreams you’ve made up over the course of the relationship.
Are your hopes and dreams of a life that you want with your boyfriend that have absolutely no basis in reality? For example, are you hoping he’ll want to move to the woods, raise sheep, have kids, and grow old together? You might have this idea firmly stuck in your head that this is what you want, and believe that if your boyfriend loved you enough, he would embrace that dream, too.
What you don’t realize is that although this dream of yours is wonderful, there’s possibly no way you’re going to have it with your boyfriend. Maybe he loves the city, hates livestock, and doesn’t want kids for at least another decade.
Consider the things you know to be true, which is what he doesn’t want, and stack them up next to what you do want: your hopes and dreams. When you do, you’ll finally see the truth of the situation is different from what you’ve been telling yourself in your head.
Armed with that knowledge, you are one step closer to letting him go.
Solving the Toughest Relationship Problems Without Breaking Up
The final part of letting go is getting to know what exactly it is that you want from someone in a relationship. Without knowing what you want you are going to have a hard time getting it.
So, make a list. Make a list of what you want from a man in a relationship with you. It doesn’t have to be long, but make it comprehensive.
Perhaps it can be something like: “Someone who makes me laugh, who knows who he is and what he wants, who loves my kids and who wants to make me a priority in his life.”
So, make your list and run through it with your current guy in mind. Chances are, if you are reading this article, he won’t match up with many of the things on that list and you will finally understand because you will see it there clearly, in black and white.
And your emotions just can’t argue with black and white. He is not what you want. Time to move on.
Right now, take a moment and picture the guy who has all the traits that you want in a man, sitting right next to you. How good would that feel, to be loved by someone who was the right person for you? And what a great way to get back to loving yourself.
Letting go of something that once seemed so promising is very difficult and will take some steadfast determination on your part but you can do it. Learning how to let go of toxic love can seem difficult but if you can master it your life will only get better.
So, cut off contact, peel back the onion, question your assumptions, and define what you want. Before you know it, you will have clarity that you are making the right decision and will be able to let go.
Right now, you probably feel like you might never love again, but putting yourself back out there doesn’t mean you have to fall in love. Putting yourself back out there means that you get to dress up, flirt, date, and have a lot of fun.
And maybe, just maybe, you will find another love. But in the meantime, you can enjoy yourself and the freedom you have as a single girl. Embrace it!
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: How To Let Go Of A Toxic Love (So You Can Heal & Move On).
Unfortunately, the truly unhealthy relationships we engage in are You're not weird, messed up or wrong for loving this person, but you should know that Even when he knew he was treating me unfairly and ended things.
How we see the world shapes who we choose to be — and sharing compelling experiences can frame the way we treat each other, for the better. This is a powerful perspective.
There’s nothing that can make you feel as powerless as living with a partner with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
For three years, I was in a relationship with a man who experienced PTSD symptoms daily. My ex, D., was a decorated combat veteran who served in Afghanistan three times. The toll it took on his soul was heartbreaking.
His flashbacks and dreams of the past drove him to be hypervigilant, fear strangers, and fend off sleep to avoid nightmares.
Being the partner of someone who has PTSD can be challenging — and frustrating — for many reasons. You want to take away their pain, but you’re also dealing with your own guilt at needing to care for yourself, too.
You want to have all the answers, but you often have to come to grips with the reality that this is a condition that can’t be loved out of someone.
That said, understanding the disorder can help make it easier for both you and your partner to communicate and set healthy boundaries.
I spent years trying to understand how PTSD affected my partner, and, ultimately, had to walk away from our relationship. Here’s what I learned.
PTSD is a debilitating anxiety disorder that occurs after a traumatic event, like war combat. Experts estimate 8 million adults have PTSD to varying degrees each year in the United States. Like depression or other mental and behavioral issues, it’s not something that a person can snap out of.
Symptoms arise anywhere from three months to years after the triggering event. In order to be characterized as PTSD, the person must exhibit these traits:
D. once described his PTSD to me like a constant waiting game for ghosts to jump from around the corner. It was a reminder that bad things happened, and that that feeling might never stop. Loud noises made it worse, like thunder, fireworks, or truck backfire.
There was a time we sat outside watching fireworks, and he held my hand until my knuckles turned white, telling me the only way he could sit through them was to have me next to him.
For us, these symptoms made basic relationship things difficult, like going out to dinner to a place that was new to him.
And then there was the skittishness and aggression, which are common for people with PTSD. I couldn’t come up behind him without first giving him warning — especially when he had headphones on.
He also had explosive outbursts of rage, which left me in tears.
He was the softest, most complimentary man 90 percent of the time. But when he felt wounded or scared, his cruel side became consuming. He knew my buttons to press — my insecurities and weaknesses — and he had no shame using them as a weapon when he felt angry.
D. is beautiful — inside and out. Not only is he strikingly handsome, he is smart, caring, and compassionate. But he didn’t feel he was deserving of love, or even remotely loveable.
“Traumatic experiences, in addition to being scary and impacting our sense of safety, very often have a direct effect on our cognition,” says Irina Wen, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at NYU Langone Health.
“Usually those effects are negative. As a result, the patient might start feeling undeserving and unlovable, or that the world is a dangerous place and people should not be trusted,” she explains.
Over time, these negative thoughts become generalized so that negativity permeates all aspects of life. They can also carry over into a relationship.
D. would often ask me what I saw in him, how I could love him. This deep insecurity shaped how I treated him, with more reassurances without prompting.
D. needed a lot of time and attention from me. Because he had lost so much in his life, he had an almost controlling grip on me, from needing to know every detail of my whereabouts and having meltdowns when the plan changed last minute, to expecting me to be loyal to him above my own parents, even when I felt he didn’t always deserve it.
But I obliged him. I walked out of the room on friends and stayed on the phone with him for hours. I took photos of who I was with to prove to him I wasn’t cheating or leaving him. I picked him over everyone in my life. Because I felt that if I didn’t, who would?
In believing that he was unlovable, D. also created scenarios that cast him as such. When he was angry, he’d express it by taking horrific jabs at me.
I’d be left feeling torn apart, worried about the next time D. would try to verbally hurt me. At the same time, he often didn’t feel safe opening up to me, another symptom of his PTSD.
“I have seen plenty of situations where the partner doesn’t know that their significant other is suffering from PTSD. All they experience is the anger from their partner, when in reality this person has a psychological injury and is suffering and doesn’t know how to speak about it. This leads to more and more disconnection in the couple, and it becomes a vicious cycle,” Wen says.
Amid the feelings of hopelessness and isolation, people with PTSD do have options. The best way to tackle the mental health issue is with education and seeking the help of a professional.
“People with PTSD feel like they are going crazy and are all alone in their condition. And the partner feels exactly the same,” Wen says.
“Often what we see in our clinic is that couples therapy becomes a gateway into individual treatment,” Wen shares. “The veteran might not necessarily agree to individual treatment yet. They don’t want to feel like there is something wrong with them.”
To support my partner and my own mental health, I continued my established solo therapy routine. Beyond that, I researched and tried a few other treatment options as well.
Here are few that may help you or your partner with PTSD:
Many people who have relationships with someone with PTSD assume the role of caretaker. At least, this was the case with me.
I wanted to be the one person who didn’t abandon D. I wanted to show him love can conquer all and that, with the right person, love could help him reinforce and reinstate a healthy lifestyle.
As heartbreaking as it is to admit, love often doesn’t conquer all. This realization came in waves over the three years we were together, mixed with intense feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
“It’s an illusion, this idea that we can save people,” Wen says. “It’s ultimately their responsibility as an adult to seek help, or to ask for help, even if it isn’t their fault that they experienced trauma. We cannot make anyone take the help.”
Caretakers in relationships with people with PTSD often forget to take care of themselves.
I developed guilt associated with personal fulfillment or enjoyment, because it’s easy to get sucked into an unhealthy cycle.
When I wanted to hang out with friends without having to spend an hour talking D. down or not check in consistently while I was traveling for work to let him know I was safe, I felt guilty.
The partner of someone with PTSD will have to be strong a lot of the time. To do this, you must take care of your own mental health.
Wen agrees. “When you’re in a caretaker role, you have to put the mask on yourself first,” she says. “It must be a conscious effort to carve out time for yourself. The caretaker has to stay strong if they are to become a support system, and they need to have support and healthy outlets to maintain that.”
After years of baby steps forward and monumental steps back, I ultimately made the decision to end the relationship.
It wasn’t because I don’t love D. I love him and miss him every moment.
But the issues surrounding PTSD that needed to be addressed called for dedicated commitment, time, and the help of a professional — things he didn’t say he was opposed to. Still, he never made the choices to show he was ready.
The guilt, sadness, and feeling of defeat were all encompassing. For two months I barely left my apartment. I felt like I failed him.
It was a long time before I could accept it wasn’t my job to make someone seek help who wasn’t ready for it, and that it was OK for me to put myself first.
“We can’t make anyone take the help. Let go of guilt. You might feel sadness and grief over the loss of the relationship, but as much as possible, set aside guilt. It is going to be an unhelpful emotion in this situation,” Wen says.
“Say ‘I love you.’ Say ‘I would love for this to work and for you to get help because it affects me, you, and the relationship, but this is how far I’m able to go,’” she recommends.
As for me, I’m now spending time on healing myself and indulging in the fulfilling work and carefree fun that often made me feel guilty in the past.
Meagan Drillinger is a travel and wellness writer. Her focus is on making the most out of experiential travel while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Her writing has appeared in Thrillist, Men’s Health, Travel Weekly, and Time Out New York, among others. Visit her blog or Instagram.
Part of the problem with leaving toxic relationships is believing that we can change the impossible and turn the dysfunctional “love” into a healthy relationship.
If we don’t believe we are deserving of a caring, thoughtful, attentive partner, we often attract partners who don’t believe it either.
“Do you think you don’t deserve healthy love because of your weight, your age, your career or any other perceived inadequacies you have manifested?” asks psychologist, relationships expert and author Marianne Vicelich. “Start loving yourself – flaws and all. A partner should be so lucky to be with you. The more you believe you deserve healthy love the more you will identify with the “red flags” or “warning bells” and attract a functional relationship.
“Surround yourself with friends and family that are in healthy and loving relationships. This will remind you that ‘good love’ is out there so you can raise the bar of what you accept in a relationship.
“A relationship should not be a source of drama and excitement: seek your thrills elsewhere. Drama leads to conflict, instability and erratic behaviour which does not lead to happiness or contentment in any relationship.
"If you are afraid of being alone, you could put up with behaviour by your partner that would never be deemed acceptable by a friend or colleague,” Vicelich adds. “Being alone is far better than having your dignity and self-respect compromised. Solitude is a great time for self-refection, career advancement or spending time with people that value you.”
Often, the hardest aspect of a toxic relationship is breaking out of it in the first place - and so much of this can be embedded in our family history, with our decision to stay influenced by our past.
“Sometimes it's better to end something and try to start something new than imprison yourself in hoping for the impossible,” says Vicelich. “Did you grow up in a family where aggression and erratic, dysfunctional behaviour was the norm? If so, you are experiencing what Freud called Repetition Compulsion. Your past is sneaking into your present.
“You accept bad behaviour as the norm because you identify with the familiarity of this unacceptable behaviour. It is important to understand that you are not your past history, you are not how others have at one time treated you. It is time to set clear healthy boundaries on the level of respect, compassion and kindness you deserve.
“Don’t be afraid to walk away from a relationship that is destructive to your self-esteem and that is no longer serving you. Remind yourself that you are moving forward, away from this self-hurting tendency and towards a better, brighter future.”
Ending the Toxic Relationship and Giving Yourself Time and Space to Find Christian parents, Arel has found, seem most afraid of what their children will not . of ten or fifteen ways parents destroy their children without trying, but these six are . one needs to do a tremendous amount of healing work to ensure that they do.
After a terrible relationship comes healing and healing, as we’ve all experienced, comes in a series of stages. First, you’re in pain, then you enter the resentment stage. Then comes the stage when you think you’re over it, but you aren’t, because every time you think about it you get angry and then finally, one fine day, you realize that it actually doesn’t hurt anymore. Thinking about the pain and hurt that the person caused you no longer ignites old feelings of sadness or anger, and you’re able to maturely see that relationship as a lesson. You come to accept that enduring such a horrible relationship was actually a tool for your own growth. Here are some things we learn after ending a toxic relationship.
There’s a slight chance that most of us enter relationships with a gut feeling about that person and what they or may not bring to your life. After a toxic relationship, you listen to your gut a little more.
Healing from a toxic relationship will teach about the drama you’re willing to accept in your life. All relationships come with a little drama, but after a toxic relationship, you’re more aware of how much of it you’re truly willing to put up with.
Your best friend wasn’t telling you that this person wasn’t good for you because they were jealous, they were telling you because sometimes feelings of love lower our ability to think straight. They were looking out for you. After a toxic relationship, you realize that the people who love you really do have your best interest at heart.
After a toxic relationship, you may realize that it hasn’t been working for you in the love department because you keep going after the same type of guy/girl over and over again. You realize that a pair of killer blue eyes or a frame of over six feet isn’t as important when there’s no kindness. After a toxic relationship, you learn that a good heart weighs more than good looks.
Ah, the F word. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy because forgiveness isn’t something that magically appears in your life. You can’t just wait for forgiveness to appear suddenly from thin air. Forgiveness, much like love, is a decision. After a toxic relationship, you learn that forgiveness is not so much for the other person. It’s for you. Forgiveness seals that chapter in your life.
After a toxic relationship, you learn what types of relationships are worth fighting for and which ones don’t deserve the amount of time and energy that it takes to work something out. You learn that some relationships just can’t be fixed.
There are things you learn that you cannot live without and there are areas in which you’re not willing to compromise. If you find yourself compromising on things that are vital to you, you quickly learn that in your next relationship you will not be as willing to do that. It sounds selfish, but it’s not.
You think more about your wellbeing. You start to think about how important your peace of mind is and how no one who messes with that should be in your life.
You learn to focus on yourself and on what you want. You no longer put your desires on hold, because toxic relationships tend to convince us that we can no longer do the things we love. Instead, you learn to stay true to who you are. You learn to love yourself in ways that no one else can love you.
It may have been a relationship that lasted years or maybe it was just a few months. Regardless of how long it was, in the end, you don’t see it as a waste of time because you learned. Truth be told, it does take a little while to get to that point, but once you get there you feel so grown.
6 Things You Should Know About Healing A Toxic Relationship Yet, what happens when the relationship that turns poisonous is the one you.