When we find ourselves in a toxic relationship, it can seem like there’s no way out. Sometimes we even trick ourselves into believing this type of relationship is normal. But in order to be in a healthy, we need to learn how to get out of a toxic relationship first. Here’s how.
1. Admit that the relationship is toxic.
If you are experiencing a toxic relationship, then you likely move in and out of a state of denial about how unhealthy it truly is. At one moment you feel revulsion and at another, you are making excuses and justifying your partner’s intolerable behavior. Most will let certain issues go from time to time in longer-term romantic relationships. And it is important to be willing to accept your partner as they are. They likewise need to do the same for you.
On the other hand, there are certain things that a person should never dismiss in a relationship. You are sowing bad seeds in infertile ground if your partner lies, cheats, humiliates you, exploits you for money or other resources, emotionally or physically abuses you. End it if your partner does not hold themselves accountable and causes you chronic pain.
2. Stop believing this relationship is the best you can do.
If you are in a toxic relationship as described above, then you probably have stopped confiding in friends and family. You keep your relationship separate from others because you are afraid loved ones will see how unhealthy it is. Or, you feel that your toxic partner is the only person who will ever understand and love you.
Withdrawing from others and avoiding face-to-face intimate interactions with others reinforces the idea that you will never be known or cared for by anyone other than you toxic partner. It keeps you in a panic-like state of thinking you will find yourself alone. This desperation will prevent you from drawing boundaries and wholeheartedly holding your partner accountable.
Before doing anything, work to build up your support system. Join a gym, a hiking or book club, start a new hobby, meet friends to exercise, eat with different acquaintances. You need to start letting others get close to you so that you no longer feel as if your orbit will collapse without this toxic partner at the center of your life.