By: Shereen Gaber

Relationships are hard work; they require a lot of effort from both partners. However, it’s not uncommon for one partner to be blinded by love and not see his/her partner’s flaws. In order for you to be able to break free from a toxic relationship, you have to know what one looks like.

A toxic relationship will leave you emotionally exhausted; doing anything will feel draining. You feel like your partner withholds their emotions. You always feel guilty like any argument is your fault. You’re always scared to upset your partner. You keep thinking that because you’re in love with them, that it’s fine to keep doing certain things to make them happy. Your partner constantly tells you that if you love them, you’ll do so and so for them. This is emotional blackmail. In short, anything that makes you feel bad about yourself is toxic.

If you’re dealing with any of this, then this relationship is simply not going to work. You can, of course, try talking to your partner. Convey your feelings clearly and honestly. Voice out how you’re really feeling. If your partner truly cares about you, they’ll make an effort to change. But if they don’t attempt to, then it’s time to end things. Especially if other people are starting to point it out, you must know then that there’s something definitely wrong with your relationship.

Let Go

If you make the decision to end things, then make sure to end them properly. Don’t leave any open doors. One sign of a toxic relationship is the constant breaking up/getting back together scenario which is totally unhealthy. Loving someone is not enough to save a relationship. It can be hard to part ways, but deep down you’ll know it’s the right thing to do. You have to learn to let go. You’re way stronger than you might ever think and you have to find that strength to be able to move on with your life.

No Reminders

Cut off all ties with that person. Delete their number and don’t go to places where you know you might bump into them. You need to close that door for good so that person cannot creep back into your life. Try to eliminate anything that will remind you of your ex. Visiting the places you used to go together will only make things harder; instead, you need to do things that will distract you and help you heal.

Look for Positivity

Attach positive sticky notes on a wall or door, any place within your sight. Include quotes like “I’m strong”, “My life is full of love and passion!” or anything that you know makes you feel better and inspires you.

Seek Comfort

Surround yourself with friends for support. Getting enough support from people you constantly hang out with is crucial during this phase. You need people who support your decision and will talk you out of anything in case you decide to do something foolish. Avoid people who make you feel negative or bad about yourself. At this point, you don’t need someone who makes you doubt your decision, that can make you relapse and get back with your partner. Explain to your friends why you took that decision or just tell them if you don’t want to talk about it. Whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Accept That Your Partner Won’t Change

While this is not applicable to all people, some people can change. However, if you have been in a toxic relationship for a long time and you’ve tried everything, then it’s highly unlikely your partner will change. People don’t change easily and it’s harder to change when they’ve been acting the same way for a long time without anyone calling them out on their poor behavior.

Take a Vacation

You don’t have to necessarily travel somewhere, but just take a break. If you work, ask for some time off. The whole purpose of this “vacation” is to give yourself time to heal and recharge. If you can travel then definitely go for it. Exploring new places and trying new things will be exactly what you need. If you can’t travel, just try doing something new in your area. Go to a new restaurant, go see a movie, go somewhere and meet new people. Anything that will let you experience new things and help your mind take a break.

Remember that even though it’s important to care for your partner and their needs, it’s just as important, if not more, to cater to your own needs. What good will it do when you give everything for your partner but don’t get the same attention and love in return? A toxic relationship can either be abusive emotionally, physically or both. If you can’t get out of the relationship, then ask for help. Your well being is the most important thing of all.