How To Move On From a Toxic Relationship: 7 Ways To Take Care of YOU!
Are you in a toxic relationship or ever been in one? If you're in one, it can be hard to know how to move on. You feel stuck and confused about what your next steps are, but the most important thing you can do is take care of yourself first! In this article I’ll cover the 7 ways to break free from a toxic relationship: identify the toxic behavior and how it's affecting you; create a list of your wants and needs for a healthy, happy relationship; put a stop to the toxic behavior - set boundaries and don't accept their excuses for breaking them; decide if this relationship can be saved; take care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, etc.; write down your thoughts & feelings about what happened in your relationship so you can work through them; get support from friends/family who have been there before to help get through this tough time in your life.
Please know you’re not alone as I’ve been there myself on both sides. I hope this helps you get focused on loving yourself again!
Identify toxic behavior & how it's affecting you
It can be difficult to identify toxic behaviors in a relationship because they often start out as acceptable things. It's only when the behavior becomes more frequent and intense you realize there might be something wrong with your partner. The following are some warning signs of toxic relationships:
* Toxic people break boundaries by not respecting your need for space, privacy, or personal time
* They constantly make excuses for breaking their promises or commitments
* They blame others for their mistakes and don't take responsibility
* You dread spending time together because it always ends in arguments or hurt feelings
* Your relationship has become one-sided; all the work falls on your shoulders while they don't lift a finger to show up for you
This is a small list to get you started on creating awareness of behaviors. When these things occur pay attention to the emotions surfacing. Is it irritation, annoyance, disappointment, neglect, anger, sadness? Be honest with yourself and your heart when these feelings are arising and you may want to write them down.
Create a list of your wants and needs for a healthy, happy relationship
Brainstorm a list of what you want in your relationship.
This may include:
-Honest communication; No blaming or shaming one another
-Mutual respect, love, and admiration for each other's strengths/gifts
-Enjoyment and good times together without the crazy mood swings that are typical in toxic relationships
-Being able to have fun with others outside of the relationship (friends, family) without feeling guilty about it or worrying if they'll find out something bad happened at home while we were gone etc.
If someone is doing this to us then we need to set boundaries around being alone with them so they can't say things like "I was just joking" when it comes up later down the road!
Put a stop to toxic behavior by setting boundaries and not accepting their excuses for breaking them
Identify the toxic behavior before you start to set up ground rules in your relationship so it's clear what needs to stop. Common types of toxic behavior include: love bombing, controlling/manipulative behaviors, name-calling and shaming tactics, trying to make all decisions about one person, or making someone feel they're unworthy because they don't measure up.
Create a list of wants and needs that are crucial in any healthy relationship - things like respect, compassion, honesty. If there is anything on this list missing from your current relationship with your partner then take care of yourself by finding those in other relationships as well!
Set boundaries firmly - tell him what he/she can no longer do what they've been doing and sharing with them how it's affecting you and the relationship.
If they refuse to stop and continue with the same behavior, then it's time for an ultimatum - if you want your relationship to work out, this is what I need from you.
Decide whether or not (and how) a relationship can be saved. Some relationships are toxic on both ends of the table but some people do occasionally change their behaviors after boundaries have been set. If someone is willing to make amends and take responsibility for what they've done wrong in the past, then there may still be hope! If not, cut the cord… you deserve more.
Decide if the relationship can be saved
If you have a toxic relationship and feel like it might be worth saving, there are some things to think about before trying. For example, is your partner interested in changing? If not, then what can you do differently so they want to change their behavior for the betterment of both parties involved? Can they stop blaming other people or circumstances outside themselves for their shortcomings? Are they willing to learn how to get along with others without being mean-spirited or hostile towards them? These questions should help guide whether a toxic relationship can be saved.
You might be wondering…
What if my partner does not want to change their behavior even after I've set boundaries and told them where they're going wrong - what do I do now?
It's possible at first they don't even realize it when they're being toxic, or you might have to show them by calmly and kindly explaining the behavior that's bothering you. You could even ask for feedback as to what else would make your relationship work better...
In some cases, a person who is in denial about their own behavior may not be able to change it and will need professional help from a therapist so that they can deal with underlying issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction, etc. This is something worth looking into before deciding whether or not a toxic relationship can be saved.
Ultimately you have to be true to your heart, not your head!
Take care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, etc.
Eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep are all habits that can help us survive difficult times. Here's how they can also be helpful when you're trying to recover from a toxic relationship:
Eating well: The body and mind are intricately connected. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help boost energy levels as well as moods - which is especially important when recovering from an emotionally damaging relationship. It's also helpful to establish new routines that will replace those old habits of eating unhealthy foods or skipping meals altogether. If your toxic partner was the one cooking for you in the past, it may take some time before you feel comfortable making (or buying) healthier food choices on your own again.
However, there are plenty of simple substitutions you can make if this proves too challenging at first: swapping out white rice with quinoa; using olive oil instead of butter; having soup instead of a sandwich for lunch; avoiding sugar and heavy amounts of carbs that serve as “comfort food” as well.
Exercising is a huge part of being healthy - and it can also help you to feel better about yourself. If you're not into the gym or working out at home, try something new for a change of scenery: find an outdoor walking path in your neighborhood; sign up for yoga classes; take up salsa dancing, etc*
We often go from feeling lethargic and unmotivated to having an abundance of energy after just a few days of working out in a new way. This can be critical to standing up for ourselves in relationships and feeling good on the inside.
Since being in a toxic relationship can be difficult to leave (especially if you're financially reliant on your partner), it's important that we do what we can for ourselves while still being respectful of our partner to ensure our integrity stays intact.
Another huge healthy habit is getting enough sleep. We can't be at our best for anyone without getting enough shut-eye.
Being in love we often sacrifice sleep in order to stay up and watch a movie or spend time with our partner. But getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep can do wonders for our mental, emotional, physical well-being-- so make it happen!!
Write down your thoughts about what happened in your toxic relationship so that you can work through them
It can be helpful to write down your thoughts and feelings about what happened in a relationship. This will allow you the opportunity to process everything that is going on, instead of letting these toxic, hurtful behaviors continue hurting you for years to come. There are many ways that people work through their struggles with themselves; some find it helpful to journal or talk out loud while others might prefer talking directly with friends or family. What are some thoughts and feelings you should write down if you're in a toxic relationship?
- What are your wants and needs for a healthy relationship?
- How do you feel when this person behaves in the toxic way they did before?
- Which behaviors bother you most about this individual, and why?
- Have any of the previous problems been their fault only to turn them around on you?
--I feel like my partner is always criticizing me.
--Every conversation we have becomes an argument that I never win.
--It's getting harder and harder for me to love them, even when they do something nice for me.
Ask yourself “what” questions to dig deep inside to gain a heightened awareness of what’s really going on. Being honest with yourself is always healthiest!
Get support from friends/family who have been there before to help you get through this tough time in your life
This may not seem like the best idea at first glance, but it can be really helpful. Find someone who has been in a toxic relationship before and is now doing well to talk about it with you. This person will know what you’re going through and won't judge or tell you this isn’t how things should be.
Talk to people on an online forum for survivors of abuse. You don't have to share your story publicly if you want privacy (although some do), just find others who are talking about their experiences for support from those who understand exactly what's happening.
Join a group therapy session where other people are discussing their past relationships - this way, nobody else needs all the details of yours because it can be very painful at first.
Family members can be a huge help as well! Speak to your mom, dad, or even siblings about what's happening. If you can't trust them with the whole truth, tell them just enough so that they know when you need extra help and support from them.
In the end, you have to care about yourself more than anyone else. You deserve better and that's why it’s important to stop toxic behavior in a relationship before things get worse. If your partner is not willing to change their ways despite what they say or promise, then time may be up for this relationship. Be sure to take care of yourself by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep every night, and spending quality time with friends/family who will support you through this tough time in your life so that you can heal from the pain caused by an unhealthy relationship.
The No Limit Love Podcast provides support with authentic interviews on relationships and love from people who've "been there," who understand and have overcome these obstacles. It's not easy, but you're worth it and deserve more. If you wish to learn more about how to overcome these challenges don't hesitate to reach out to me personally.
Podcast coming soon!
Sending love and gratitude your way,
Mr. Invitation - Joe DiRoma
Host of the No Limit Love Podcast & Relationship Coach
Joe DiRoma is an attentive father, loving husband, loyal son & brother, and honorable friend. Joe is a hospitality veteran spending fifteen years in the restaurant industry leading teams in operations and the corporate level. Joe is a Newfield Certified Coach trained in Ontology, Somatics, & Emotional Intelligence, as well as a member of the International Coaching Federation. Joe founded the No Limit Love Podcast & Coaching to help you overcome limiting beliefs and past experiences on love so you can have a happy, healthy, long-lasting relationship that means everything to you!
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