Ending a toxic relationship is often messy, complicated, and painful. Many people struggle for a long time before deciding to finally end a relationship that is bad for them. Their ambivalent feelings of love and hate often make moving on difficult. This article will outline some of the tools that you can use to move on from a toxic relationship. They are best for those who have taken both the step to end the relationship and simultaneously work on self-improvement.
Go No Contact
If you do not have children, then it is best to go no contact with the person once the relationship has ended. This is especially true if they were in any way abusive. It is tempting to keep a door open somewhere, whether via Facebook, email, or text, but try to block all avenues of communication.
Pulling the plug on all contact is the best strategy. If you don’t, it just prolongs the pain and opens you up to bringing the toxicity back into your life.
List All the Things You Disliked About Your Ex
Write down all the hurtful things that your ex did to you and list all of their toxic traits. Identify the ways your ex was bringing more harm than good to your life. When you get tempted to re-enter the relationship, refer back to the list. Though you may love your ex, if you can keep in mind the reasons that the relationship was toxic, it will help you keep the door closed so that you can move on with your life.
Keep Yourself Occupied
Focus on doing productive activities. Start new hobbies or rekindle your love for old hobbies. Journal, work out, volunteer, reconnect with friends, or attend support groups such as AA. Get involved in things around you. It is easier to not think about your past relationship if you are productively engaged in work, hobbies, exercise, or other healthy activities. This is also a good time to work on yourself. Self-improvement goes a long way toward helping you choose healthier relationships in the future.
Surround Yourself with People Who Care About You
Surround yourself with people who love you and care about your well-being. Toxic relationships can beat you down. Spend time with family and close friends who can help you rediscover the good things about yourself. Don’t isolate yourself, instead reconnect with healthier people who value who you are.
Take a Little Time to Grieve
Grieving is a normal part of the healing process. Let yourself cry when you need to. Even though the relationship was toxic, it is important to grieve the loss of the relationship and the dreams of what it should have been. It is often helpful to set aside time to journal while you are grieving so that you can put words to the emotions that you are experiencing.
Talk to a Therapist
Now is the time to process why you were in a toxic relationship. What drew you to this individual? What needs to heal in you, so it doesn’t happen again? What does an ideal partner look like? What can get you to a healthier relationship?
A good therapist can help you discover yourself, work on self-confidence, and help you reach your goals to find healthy love.
Find Happiness in Life!
Your happiness is dependent on you and not on your relationships. Find what that means for you! Here are a few suggestions to get you started on the road toward happiness:
- Surround yourself with happy and healthy people.
- Nourish yourself with good food.
- Attend 12-step meetings or other support groups.
- Exercise or walk daily.
- Be out in nature.
- Find at least one hobby you love.
- Seek professional help when needed.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.