How to Leave a Toxic Relationship? In-depth guide

A Toxic Relationship is characterised by constant stress, conflict, disrespect and emotional manipulation. They are known to destroy your self-esteem and drain you emotionally, socially and sometimes physically.

They demand your energy, emotional stability, mental health and in most cases physical health as well. In simple words, they are dangerous for your overall well-being.

As harmful as these toxic relationships are for a couple, not every human has the means to leave them.

Sometimes because the victims of these toxic relationships are unable to recognise the signs of toxicity in their relationship due to the manipulative behaviour of their partner. Other times because it gets dangerous for them to leave their partner and then there are things like guilt, attachment, time period of relationship, and dependency.

In short, it is a difficult process to leave these Toxic Relationships. Therefore, after researching on this topic for quite a while now. I have come up with this detailed guide that will let you know exactly how to leave a Toxic Relationship and walk towards a better and healthier future.

Before starting on the steps that are required in the process of how to leave a toxic relationship, I will be touching on a few questions that might be holding your mind from even considering the option of getting out of a toxic relationship and partner.

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What exactly turns a relationship toxic?

What exactly turns a relationship Toxic?
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An unpopular belief revolves around the notion that it’s the toxic behaviour of one partner towards the other (generally referred to as the victim of the relationship) that makes a relationship toxic.

In certain cases? Sure. But in other cases, it’s usually the contributions of both partners that make a relationship toxic. It takes two hands to clap together. You might not be able to clearly see it, but it’s the work of two people directly or indirectly that drives a relationship towards toxicity.

Obviously if one of the partners possess dark traits in his/her personality, the result is going to come off as negative. But it is not the key reason behind every toxic relationship.

Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with the couple itself but the circumstances and external forces that drive a wedge between two people. The qualitative aspects like compatibility, level of affection and indifferent personalities (views, thought process and opinions) are often responsible for turning a relationship toxic.

In conclusion, many aspects can turn a relationship toxic. Some aspects that you might be directly responsible for and some aspects that you won’t have any power on.

You may also be interested in : 8 Signs You might be in a Toxic Relationship.

Why do toxic people do toxic things?

A couple fed up from each other
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Toxicity is yet to be referred to as one of the mental disorders, so we can overrule the possibility of a toxic person not being in his or her right senses. Then why exactly do they behave in a problematic way which is upsetting and adds negativity in your life as well as their own?

Every reaction is caused by an action that you may or may not have witnessed. A person who seems toxic to you without any cause might have his or her reasons to behave in such a way. Are these reasons valid enough to hurt others? No. But at the same time, you can’t really know if they are valid or not until and unless you have walked in their shoes.

No, I’m not advocating for the rightness of someone’s toxic behaviour. I’m simply saying that if someone is behaving in a toxic manner, they’re most certainly dealing with their past traumas.

A past traumatic experience, especially when left unsolved can push a person towards toxicity to help them cope up with their inner stress.

Mental issues also are one of the leading causes behind people being toxic towards others i.e personality disorder, bipolar disorder etc.

People who possess dark traits in their personality such as narcissist, sociopaths, psychopaths, dark empaths etc are often seen leaning towards toxicity as well because people with such personality types are known to lack Empathy.

The last but not the least cause behind a person being toxic is — not yet clear enough.

Sometimes there’s no explanation as to why people behave in a certain way. What we know is the fact that these (toxic) people desire and thrive on control more than anything. It’s simply their personality, their behavioural pattern or the environment that they’ve grown up watching that makes them act like that.

Can we save or fix a Toxic relationship?

A couple trying to mend their toxic relationship and move towards a healthy relationship
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The single word answer to the above question is yes. It is possible to save or fix a toxic relationship.

The more complex one would require us to understand the dynamics of your relationship before passing on the judgement. There’s a lot of things that we need to consider before actually answering the above question.

Before coming to a conclusion, make sure you understand the signs of toxicity in your relationship. Yes, toxic relationships can be saved and possibly turned into a healthy relationship but that requires a lot of self-reflection, patience and group effort.

The other thing to consider would be the extent of toxicity in a relationship. There’s a level of toxicity that can’t be fixed or overturned. No matter how much effort you put in to make it work, the end results won’t be favourable if your relationship has crossed that line.

As toxic relationship is a relative term and humans have their own opinions and views on what they consider as intolerable toxicity, we can’t put a cap on the level of toxicity that can not be overturned. You will have to figure this part out yourself.

After doing a self-introspection of your relationship and figuring the signs and extent of toxicity in your relationship, there will only remain to choose from one of two paths for you relationship :

  • Try your best to mend your relationship and save it from the ultimate doom
  • Get out of the toxic relationship as soon as possible for your mental well-being.

The better thing to do in most of the cases would be to choose the second opinion. As I always say, your mental health and physical health should always be your first priority.

You may also be interested in : How To Fix a Toxic Relationship? In Depth Guide

My partner claims to love me a lot, why is his behaviour still toxic towards me?

A woman confused due to the constant toxic behaviour portrayed by her partner
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The main pillars of a healthy relationship are respect, love, trust and care. See how respect comes at the first place? If a relationship lacks even one of these elements, the healthy balance is lost and it doesn’t take much time to reach the toxic end afterwards.

Love alone is never enough for a relationship. Yes it is important but there remains one thing that is way above it — respect. There’s a good chance that your partner might love you. But the question here should be: does your partner respect you?

Do they respect your opinions, your personal space, your choices, your privacy, your decisions? I’m sure, he/she doesn’t because if they would be doing so, you wouldn’t have a toxic relationship in the first place.

Now coming back to love itself. If your partner is one of the classic dark triads, there’s a good chance that they’re playing pretend. Toxic people are often good at emotional manipulation and gaslighting. Hence he/she is more likely not in love with you.

Lie and deception is one of the major characteristics of toxic relationships; hence, what proof do you have that the partner who is giving you stress, draining you emotionally and being straight up toxic towards you (which is dangerous for your mental and physical health), loves you? You don’t.

A person who claims to love you would never be dangerous for your emotional, social, mental or physical health and a person who is encouraging this harmful behaviour on a daily basis can not love you.

I have been with my partner for a very long time, how would I leave him/her just like that?

A couple standing near each other while looking down at their feet.
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No matter how strong or confident you were before getting into a toxic relationship, the longer you are going to stick with a toxic person, the more you are going to turn into a depleted, drained, timid and wounded person.

People often consider the longevity of their relationship as something that makes them want to save and make their relationship work, in a healthy relationship? Sure. It should be like that. But in a toxic relationship, it is something that deceives you and blinds you from seeing the reality. The truth that you deserve much better.

The longer you stay in a Toxic Relationship, the more you’ll be cut off from your family and friends, dependent on your partner and stirred away from the person that you once used to be.

Therefore, more time should add up as another reason for you to leave a Toxic Relationship not keep up with it.

Usually, the non-toxic partner in a Toxic Relationship is manipulated into believing that they’re somehow the reason behind the downfall of a relationship and it’s their duty to make it work. But it is not.

It is not easy to leave a toxic relationship but nothing in the world is, especially the things that add up to your prosperity, growth and health. It might be difficult to leave a Toxic relationship, but it is necessary for you to walk towards a better and hopefully peaceful future.

How to leave a toxic relationships?

Leaving a Toxic Relationship : How to let go without feeling bad about yourself?

People who have been deeply entangled in a Toxic Relationship lose the ability to differentiate between acceptable and intolerable Toxic behaviour. Especially if they have invested a lot of effort, time and energy into the said relationship.

The expected and common behavioural pattern portrayed by the non-toxic partner in this situation is to make excuses for their toxic partner, blame themselves for the way things have turned out to be, and cling to the hope of change in their partner’s behaviour, towards a healthier direction.

What people usually fail to understand is the amount of negative impact a toxic relationship has on their mental, emotional, social and physical health. In short, their overall well-being.

Staying in a toxic relationship is often backed by fear, constant stress, uncertainties, emotional manipulation and other severe mental health issues. The best path to choose while deciding upon the future of a Toxic Relationship in most cases is to Stop holding on to it and leave instead of trying to mend it (exceptions are always there).

To do so, I have created this guide of a step by step process that’ll answer your question of how to Leave a Toxic Relationship Behind or how to get out of a toxic relationship. In this guide, you’ll learn to love yourself more and walk towards a better, healthier and happier future.

If you still have some doubts or questions that might be halting your steps from even considering the option of leaving a Toxic Relationship then feel free to comment your questions down below or ping me personally.

Note: This article is specifically directed towards toxic relationships, not abusive ones. If your relationship involves any sort of physical or emotional abuse, contact your local domestic violence service as soon as possible.

1. Step out of your denial to get out from a toxic relationship.

Denying what you feel will not make it go away. It ensures that it never gets resolved.

~ unknown.

In the back of your mind, you’ve known that your relationship isn’t a healthy one so why not work on that thought? Why keep hanging on to the lies? Why fill up your head with unrealistic expectations? There’s a great chance that the situation of your relationship won’t change and you might already be aware of it.

So, why not act on it and decide to walk towards a healthier future? I know, it isn’t easy but like the above quote says, not doing anything about your situation is not going to make it disappear. Instead, it’s going to make it more problematic, toxic and unhealthy for you.

The first and foremost step in the process of Learning how to leave a Toxic Relationship is to set your foot out of your comfort zone. The more quickly you acknowledge a problem the better are your chances of receiving help.

You need to stop giving out excuses for your partner’s bad behaviour, you need to stop having a passive mindset about your toxic relationship. If you feel that you deserve better, you most certainly do.

2. What exactly are you getting from your relationship?

If you still are unable to get yourself out of the denial or if you are out of it but you still find yourself hanging on that hope that your partner might change or you keep making excuses for your relationship.

Sit back for some time. Relax your mind and forget about everything that has been going on in your head or surroundings for a while. When you feel at peace ask yourself — what exactly have you gotten from your relationship till now? If you have been giving so much, what exactly is it that you’ve received till date?

If you are reading this article, the answer you’re going to receive through your memories isn’t going to be a pretty one, but maybe the ugliness would help you in letting go of that (false) hope. Yes, hope is a very beautiful thing to have in various situations.

But let’s be clear here? This is the real world. A place where it’s better to let go of things that have been hurting you for too long than to hold on and cause yourself unnecessary pain.

You must have read the quote: Sometimes holding on does much more damage than letting go. No lines could interpret toxic relationships better.

You may also be interested in : 7 Signs of toxic relationships – are you in one?

3. Keep tabs on your emotions while stepping away from a Toxic Relationship.

A man trying to keep a check of his emotions by visiting a therapist.
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I have already mentioned it plenty of times in this article but even if I didn’t we all already know, leaving a toxic relationship is hard. It is just not a difficult process that requires conscious efforts to be fulfilled. But it is also a journey.

A journey that is hard on our emotional stability. You will go through plenty of Emotional and social ups and downs in this process of leaving a toxic relationship. Therefore you need to keep a log of your emotions in order to have a healthy emotional processing.

The best way to go through with this step would be to keep a journal. Try focusing on the positive aspects of your day but do write about your bad things to let go of all the negativity instead of holding on to them.

Talk to your friends, family or any other person who’s close to you about the little things that matter to you, about the small things that bring you positivity and the unnoticeable achievements.

4. Prioritise your safety above all.

Toxic Relationships are dangerous, have I mentioned that one before? What, plenty of times? Alright. I was just making sure that this line had been rooted deep in your brain by now.

If you are thinking about how to leave a toxic relationship, make sure you’ve deeply thought about what you are going to do in the aftermath of the decision. Make sure you’ve woven a safety net around yourself and pre-planned everything before working on your decision.

Where are you going to stay once you leave? Do you have enough finances to provide for yourself for a couple of days? What belongings are you going to take with you? Do you have a job? If not, Make sure you’ve already begun the hunt before you are ready to leave your toxic partner. Think about these things beforehand.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not putting all those questions for you to second guess your decision. I’m simply putting them out there so you can create a support system for yourself and the aftermath of leaving your partner gets a little easier.

5. Let your family and friends know about your situation and decision.

A woman confiding in her family and letting them know about her Toxic Relationship
Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels

This step is connected to the above point in a way. As I have mentioned your safety should be your number one priority after leaving a toxic relationship and considering only the above points alone wouldn’t be sufficient to do so.

If you are thinking about leaving a Toxic Relationship, make sure to inform your family or friends about it. It is totally understandable if you don’t want to include your family members in your personal matters but for the sake of your safety if not the other things, make sure to at least let one of your friends or family members know about your decision. Anyone closer to you works.

The other benefits of this step is that research has concluded that being close to your friends and family during any destressing time has a very positive effect on your mental health. It is proven to lessen the psychological stress during these times.

6. Cut communication with your toxic partner.

If your partner is toxic, the best thing you can do for yourself is to cut all forms of contact with them after you’ve broken up with them.

Keeping up any sort of communication with your partner will make you vulnerable. It will open the door of that engulfing darkness that you used to call a relationship and the longer that door remains open, the more will be your chance of falling right back to where you began.

If you regularly keep seeing your ex, the memories of the past or a time when your relationship might seem happy will come out again and again. The result? It not only decreases your chances of moving on but will also decrease your chances of healing from the past traumas.

Therefore, closing the door isn’t enough. You have to lock it up completely and make sure the key of that lock is lost.

7. Stick with your decision till the very end.

A toxic relationship at one point or another must have been a normal relationship hence to feel the longing for your partner is a natural thing to experience.

Once you’ve left your partner, the memories of your past will certainly pop out over the course of a few weeks or months, you’ll most certainly feel lonely and might even miss your relationship. Yes, you’ve been in a Toxic Relationship but your brain will likely remind you of the good times and try to make you forget about the bad ones of your relationship.

It is even common to get tempted to want your relationship back but during these specific times, you’ve to again go back to the first two steps of this process. You have to remind yourself why you left the relationship in the first place.

Stick with your decision and keep moving forward no matter how tempting letting go seems like, at the end of the day it’s all for a better and brighter future.

8. Healing your inner self is very important.

A woman trying to connect with her inner self to heal her mind
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Healing is one of the most necessary steps of leaving a toxic relationship and moving forward.

Surround yourself with the people who have a positive effect on you, people who care for you and who are genitue to you. It is important to practice self-care therefore, remember to give yourself all the care and love that you deserve.

Go out with your friends or alone, Have your favourite meals, pay attention to your physical health, bring back your hobbies and practice each and everything that brings joy to your life. Don’t forget to be proud of yourself, it is necessary to involve yourself into self-appreciation every day. You’ve come this far, not everyone can do that. Cut yourself some slack.

Remember, you deserve happiness, appreciation and love, if there’s no one to give you that, take it on yourself to do so, you are very capable, and enough.

Click here to learn more about it.

Self-care and self-love comes to our aid in the battle of daily frustrations, anxiety and walk away from toxicity towards a better, healthier and happier future. You can look into the Blessing Manifesting’s ultimate self-love bundle with other add-ons to make self-care a priority in your life.

9. Take some time off from everything.

If the above thing doesn’t seem to work in your favour. Cut things off from the whole world for some time and take a break.

No matter if you’ve just left a Toxic Relationship or if it’s been a while and you’ve been coping up with other things in your life. It’s exhausting. Toxic Relationships tend to have a draining effect on us, the type of effect that takes time to wear off. Therefore, carrying on with other people in your life might add to this exhaustion.

The best thing to do in this situation will be to take a break, clear out your mind, do some detoxifying activities like yoga or meditation away from all the social responsibilities and have some mental peace in solitude. Take some rest, what is a better detoxifying activity than to rest your mind and cut off the social duties for some time.

Once your mind is at peace. Come back with full force and indulge in positive and productive work. The activities that promise you a stable future.

10. Reach out for professional help to erase the toxic relationship from your mind.

A woman trying to reach out for professional help to get her mind out from her toxic relationship.
Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels

It is important to know when you need help and not hesitate to reach out to ask for it. There will be some things that might be left unsolved in your mind in this process and later on come to disturb your other relationships or life.

If you feel like your insides are not at peace even though it’s been a couple of weeks (or month) past your breakup, then consider hiring a therapist or guidance counsellor. I’m not saying you certainly need a therapist to get over your toxic relationship but giving one a small visit doesn’t sound so bad either, especially when you can do so from the ease of your home.

The best online therapy program : Click here to know more.

  • You will get a qualified personal therapist will be by your side – from start to finish.
  • Sections that include all the information and necessary tools to identify, challenge and overcome your problems.
  • Worksheets – In each worksheet you will have to answer a few questions related to the problems you face and in return you’ll get tips from your therapist on a daily basis according to those answers.
  • Daily journal, activity plan, Weekly live sessions, yoga sessions, the right to message your therapist at any time of the day and more.

If you’re someone who doesn’t prefer therapy, then you can try Therapy-At-Home Workbook by love and life tool box. It is a cost effective, do-it-yourself, therapist-guided alternative of traditional therapy in the form of downloadable products. Click here to learn more.

Conclusion – How to get out of a Toxic Relationship.

The answer of how to leave a toxic relationship is the above-mentioned steps, hard process indeed. Think about the whole situation from the perspective of a startup. If you were to start a business, it would require investment in the form of funds, time and effort. Now let’s say even after giving your everything and putting in efforts day and night, it fails.

How would you feel? Terrible. You definitely wouldn’t be like – meh and move on to start working on another project in a couple of days.

You’ll most certainly take months to acknowledge that your business has failed and more time to figure out where exactly you went wrong. In most cases, you would blame yourself for not putting in enough effort, for not doing more. Don’t even let me get started on the guilt trip that people will go on in such circumstances.

In the same way, after putting in so much effort, time and work in a relationship, walking away from it will not be easy. It will feel bad but trust me, everything is worth it. You might not feel like that immediately after walking away from a relationship but eventually, it will turn out as the best decision for your well-being.

You will have to love yourself more than you’ve ever done before.

Work on your mental well-being, take a break and come back stronger, reach out for help when needed, hang out with other people in your life. Your friends, your family or any other person that feels like a warm ray of sunshine.

Don’t have them? Join a support group, find a counsellor or therapist. Don’t have the means to find one? I’m here to talk (no, I’m not trying to sell you my services).

Time is the essence of this process. It is necessary to focus on your inner healing to come out as a winner in this battle with your heart.

No matter how difficult the process seems you have to stick with your decision, focus on self-care, try your best to fill up your life with as much positivity as you can possibly squeeze in and you’ll eventually get there. It didn’t take one day for your relationship to turn toxic and in the same manner, it won’t only take you one day to leave your relationship and move on.

It will take time, it will be tough to keep up with this process but there’s nothing a strong will for a better future can’t overcome.

This is last article of my toxic relationship series. I have tried my best to squeeze in every type of information regarding toxic relationships in these various Articles but if you still feel like I have skipped anything. Do let me know.

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Thank you for sticking with me till the very end.

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