Moving on from a relationship is hard, but moving on from a toxic relationship is a totally different story. You may not recognize it yet, or perhaps you are still in denial, but identifying a toxic from a healthy relationship could be one of the most enlightening experiences to have. Not until you ended and have moved on from that toxic relationship would you totally feel relieved and free.
Toxic relationships come in various forms. However, their main denominators would be: taking away your self-confidence, destroying your self-esteem, and degrading you to a level you never thought you would ever have to be in. Most abused individuals never thought they would let anyone break them the way their partners do. But when they’ve become too invested in the relationship and have been perfectly manipulated by their abusers, they feel as if they were held as captives and that there is no way out.
“A toxic relationship is one that adversely impacts a person’s health and well-being,” says Kelly Campbell, PhD. Fortunately, a lot of people have been out of toxic relationships and are able to tell their stories of how they ended things and moved on. So, if you think there’s no way out, think again. Here are proven steps to move on from a toxic relationship:
Block all forms of communication.
The first few months after a breakup is a tough part. You constantly miss your ex-partner and you keep thinking about what they are doing and if they are doing just fine without you. You find yourself stalking them on Twitter, watching their Instagram stories, and checking the green circle on Facebook messenger.
Sure, it could go on for a few weeks. But if you are really determined to forget and move on, you have to realize that stalking your ex will not help you get there. The mantra “Out of sight, out of mind” is especially helpful for people wanting to forget.
Block them on all social media sites where you follow each other, erase their contact number, and challenge yourself for a week or even a month of ‘total abstinence’ from them.
Staying in an abusive relationship means you lack self-love. If you value yourself, you would know that you do not deserve to be treated that way in the first place. Now that you are free, it’s time to make up for everything you’ve been through by pampering yourself and not settling for anything less than you deserve.
Self-love could be as easy as going on a shopping spree and upgrading your wardrobe or even having that eyelash extension you’ve always wanted. Make it all about you, once and for all.
Go out with your friends and build a support system.
Most of the time, abusers do not let their partners go out with their friends as often as they did when they were single. It could be because they do not want their partners to share to their friends what is happening between them or they are just plain jealous all the time.
Your friends are your friends for a reason and if going out with them would make you forget, then do so by all means. Share with them what you’ve been through to get the support that you need. You might be overwhelmed by the immensity of support you will get from the people around you when all along you thought you were alone in your battle.
Seek help from a therapist.
Some people who have been in very toxic relationships lose all hope of ever fixing themselves. There are several online and personal therapists whom you could reach at any time to seek help. You may be wondering how much is therapy, but it could all depend on the degree of help that you would be needing. “You can experiment with this and see how often you actually talk to your partner while looking directly at them,” says Lauren Cook, MMFT.
It is best that you consult either online or set an appointment right away. You can start searching the online therapy providers to know what options are available for you as well as how much it actually costs to use online therapy. Talking to an expert would give you a scientific understanding of what you’ve been through, why you let it happen, and why it continues to affect you. Remember, you have been manipulated and abused. You’re not supposed to blame yourself for falling into a trap.
Any goals that involve you wanting to change your partner in some way are toxic. As Dr. Gladys Frankel, PhD. Therefore, it is never an option. So focus on making yourself busy by improving yourself. Take that cooking class you’ve been interested about or that calligraphy class you’ve been eyeing online. Even the smallest things such as reading a few articles a day, or hitting the gym for an hour would make a huge difference in your life. Do it for yourself because you owe it yourself.
Degrees of the toxic relationship vary from one couple to another. But moving out of it could be done in similar ways. It might just take longer for other people but with sheer determination, you will also get there. For now, block your ex first and from there, everything will follow.