Did you feel trapped by the highs and lows?
Toxic relationships function on a cycle of extreme passion and dire pain. One minute your partner is loving and sweet and the next you feel like you’re dealing with a vampire. This is because your partner suffers from deep-rooted trauma, most likely from childhood, and fear their weaknesses will be seen. Instead of healing, they project their unhealed wounds onto you, punishing you for what a parent or past lover did to them.
The sad thing is this person won’t change, no matter how much you love them. It's because they often don’t even love themselves. While walking away may have been one of the hardest decisions you had to make, you will see on your healing journey it was the healthiest thing for you...and your children.
Getting off the emotional rollercoaster can feel like cutting an addiction. It’s no easy task, but you can do it!
Here Are 10 Tips For Healing From A Toxic Relationship:
1. Acknowledging The Truth
When you have recently gotten out of a toxic relationship, you may find yourself denying that it even happened. It is natural to justify your ex’s toxic patterns, but that does not make it right. Acknowledging that your relationship was toxic is a fundamental step in beginning your healing process.
2. Getting Help
Getting help is extremely important for healing. Creating a support network can help you see your toxic relationship from a different point of view. Alone, you might not be able to see the damage your relationship caused, severely impacting the way you think about it.
A support network can look like a support group, positive close friends, or trusted family members. While healing takes time, it will be comforting to know that you have people that care about you by your side.
While having a support group is great, you also don’t want to flood your close circle with all your pain. Sometimes hiring a professional, like a coach, can help you process your emotions, reestablish your new lifestyle, say goodbye to the rollercoaster, and help you discover what you deserve by building your self-worth.
3. Limiting Communication (if you have children)
Ending your toxic relationship means saying goodbye to your ex for good. This may mean removing them from social media, no longer seeing their family members, keeping your personal life to yourself, and cutting any mutual friends the two of you may share. This is difficult, but the best way to move on is to focus on your own life, not theirs.
Unfortunately, there are some ties that you absolutely cannot severe, like if you share children with your ex. While it can be extremely difficult to navigate, for the sake of your children’s well-being, you and your ex can develop a plan to co-parent. This means setting firm boundaries and only communicating with them when it concerns your children.
If you do not share children, then no communication is ideal for the healing process.
4. Prioritizing Your Health
You have just gone through a traumatic experience, it is now time to step back and heal. Self-care is a great way to do this. Practicing self-care can include journaling, exercising, or cooking a nourishing meal for yourself.
Even on your slowest days, it still may seem like you have no time to practice self-care. However, writing down positive affirmations while drinking your morning coffee, or practicing meditation while dinner’s in the oven are ways that you can allot time just for you. Prolonged emotional stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health, so it is important to focus on this sooner rather than later.
5. Focusing On The Present
It is natural to spend time dwelling on the past or dreaming about the future. When you do so, however, moments tend to slip away. As tempting as it is to dig into your toxic relationship, it is important not to fixate on your past, but to grow from it.
The past is filled with memories of negative emotions. It will be helpful to remind yourself that you cannot change your ex or your history with them, but you can choose to learn from the experience. Practicing daily gratitude can bring you back to the present moment and discovering you have everything you need in front of you to be happy.
6. Discovering The New You
After ending a toxic relationship, you are likely to feel low self-esteem. You may feel stuck, or engage in self-doubt. It may be difficult to separate your own life from your life with an ex, but this is the time to find what makes you happy again. You can try out a new hobby, start a new career, travel to places you’ve always wanted to visit. Do things that you were afraid to do or didn’t have time to do while in the relationship.
Achieving goals is also a great way to boost self-esteem. Setting goals for smaller tasks, followed by bigger tasks is a great way to create a feeling of accomplishment of something all on your own. It is important to remind yourself that your identity should not revolve around another person.
7. Setting Healthy Boundaries
Breaking an unhealthy relationship pattern in your life starts with you creating new personal boundaries. You choose the standard of what you allow and what you don’t allow. While in your toxic relationship you may have allowed yourself to be disrespected overtime. Those days are behind you now.
Boundaries are based on your values and what you need to feel at peace in your life. You’ll know if someone is crossing your boundaries because your gut will be the first cue that this doesn't feel right to you. Boundaries may look like, respectful communication, equality, trust, honesty, loyalty.
8. Reflecting And Letting Go
As you move on from your toxic relationship, consider what parts of the experience you need to let go of, and what parts to take with you. This may be difficult to do, but reflecting on your past relationship can help you see what no longer serves you and how you can move forward.
This is also an opportunity to ask yourself some tough questions. During the healing process, consider what signs you missed, or what you have learned from the relationship. This will help keep one traumatic experience from repeating itself into a bad pattern.
9. Forgiving Yourself
In order to forgive yourself, you must stop being angry with yourself. There is no benefit in spending countless hours beating yourself up over something that was out of your control. It is important to realize that your ex’s actions are not your fault. However, acknowledging the flaws in the relationship and your own actions will help you see where you went wrong, and help you grow from it.
10. Choose Happiness
When moving on from a toxic relationship, it is important to fill your life with many different sources of happiness. It takes just as much energy to be sad as it does happy. And, while this may be challenging every day it’s a choice you have to make for yourself.
This can take the form of spending time with positive family and friends, starting a hobby or a career, and establishing a new daily self-care and self-love regimen. It is time for you to focus on yourself, your healing, and your new life. Choose you!
Remind yourself that you will be okay. There will still be tough days, but these 10 tips can help you prepare for the challenges that healing will bring.