I’m gonna be super honest for a minute. If there’s one thing I’ve experienced A LOT of in my life…it’s toxic relationships.
I’ve been in 3 long-term relationships and each one was a little more toxic than the last. I hated the thought of being alone and had zero love for myself, so I ended up staying longer than the expiration date of each relationship. I’m sure you can relate!
Before I began my personal development journey and really started focusing on healing from those toxic relationships, I was the type of girl who would bounce from one person to another in order to fill that void and “numb” the pain from that heartbreak. Not the best idea, I know.
Thank God for growth🙏
One thing I’ve learned about myself is that you can absolutely leave a toxic relationship, but if you don’t heal what attracted you to that person, you’ll end up meeting them again. The same demon, just in a different person. As my former life coach Erika Cramer has said:
“Same man, different d*ck.”
That was 100% my life. Learn from my mistakes and read on to learn some healthy ways around how to heal from a toxic relationship.
Healing takes time
It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. You don’t need to put immense pressure on yourself to hurry up and “get over it”. Your timeline is your timeline. Don’t feel bad for how long it takes you to heal from that relationship, no matter how toxic it was.
Show yourself some grace
Understand that you entered the relationship from a place of love. You fell in love with that person. Maybe you even thought that they were your forever…your soulmate. You didn’t expect for the relationship to end the way that it ended. You didn’t plan for the relationship to turn sour. These are all the feelings I had when I first left my toxic relationships. Don’t be hard on yourself—this happens to many of us. Be gentle and show some compassion to yourself.
Lean on your support system
When I left my last toxic relationship (which became emotionally and physically abusive), I spoke up and reached out for help. That was life-changing. I ended up working with 2 life coaches and a psychologist to help me work through many of the deep-rooted issues I was dealing with that attracted me to those type of toxic partners. While it’s common to want to retreat and keep quiet about what you’ve been going through, one of the only ways you can get help is if you speak up. No one will know exactly what you’re going through if you don’t make it known. Trust me, I understand the feelings of shame, guilt and embarrassment that may come up, but don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Feels allllll the feels
I’ll be the first to admit that I hated feeling my feelings. I hated crying or showing any type of emotion to the outside world. I was the type of person who would push any negative feelings I felt under the rug and wouldn’t address them. Recipe for disaster. When you’re grieving the loss of a relationship, you need to allow yourself to feel all the feels. Cry. Yell. Scream. Get angry. Curse a thousands times. It’s uncomfortable, trust me I know firsthand. Remember that the end goal isn’t to erase what happened or make those feelings go away. It’s about reshaping your relationship with those feelings and learning how to handle them in a healthy way.
Go no contact
This might be one of the hardest parts of healing from a toxic relationship. My last relationship ended with my ex-boyfriend being sent to prison for what he did to me (listen to episode 12 of my podcast for the full in-depth story), so luckily for me, I had no choice but to not speak to him ever again. However, if you really want to move on from a toxic partner, you need to cut off all contact. Delete their phone number. Block them on social media. Delete all of your text threads and pictures in your camera roll. Don’t frequent the places you used to go to together for a while. You’re the most vulnerable in the very beginning stages of your healing journey, and you don’t want any random reminders to pop up and trigger you to want to reach out.
Take time for yourself
I’ve been single for almost 2 years now. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been single and alone. No distractions. Zero situationships. Not trying to rekindle with an ex. I’ve purposely taken myself off of the dating scene and have been focusing on healing me. I’ve had such a sense of peace in my life that I’ve never felt before. Take this time to be with you. Take yourself out on solo dates. Buy yourself some flowers just because. Pick up a new hobby or revisit one that you forgot about while you were in that relationship. Start using that gym membership that’s been collecting dust while you’re paying for it every month (guilty!😅) Now in this moment is when you should invest your time into a healthy relationship—the one with yourself.
Get professional help
I mentioned earlier that I worked with 2 life coaches and a psychologist when I first left my abusive relationship in 2021. That was a game changer for me. I used to be the type of person who had the mindset that therapy was only for “crazy people”. I know, very ignorant way of thinking. I’m glad to have grown up and matured from that state of mind and honestly, therapy helped me so much with healing through my trauma. There are so many tools out there to help you on your own journey to healing, but therapy and life coaching is definitely a great start!
I started my podcast as a way to get my thoughts out of my head. What started as a place for me to share my life experiences has grown into something so magical and I’m so thankful that I decided to do this. If starting a podcast is too scary of a thought for you, try journaling. Record voice notes and save them in your phone. Write poetry or start a blog if you love to write. Find whatever works for you and get those feelings out of your brain and onto something you can read or hear. By writing or talking out your experiences & feelings, it can help you control your emotions and ease those negative thoughts.
The Bottom Line
Toxic relationships can happen to anyone, so stop being hard on yourself up for finding yourself in an unhealthy situation. It’s hard to see those red flags, especially when you’re in love with those rose-colored glasses on. Your partner can come off as charismatic, loving, charming and make you feel loved. No matter how much time or energy you have invested in that relationship, it’s never too late to cut ties with a toxic partner.
Stop staying loyal to someone who treats you like garbage because of the amount of time you’ve been with them. I stayed in an 8½ year long, on & off, TOXIC AF relationship because of that mindset (check out episode 19 where I spill all the tea!) Your mental, physical & emotional health and sanity isn’t worth it, sis. And once you’re finally out of that toxic situation, you’ll be ready to start your journey to healing.
What are some other tools and tips you’ve used when you left a toxic relationship? Drop a comment below and let me know!💬
Check out these podcast episodes about relationships & healing:
- How to Heal through Heartbreak featuring Catherine Spriggs
- How to Ditch Your Dating Drama, featuring Jordana Hague
- There are People in Your Life That Come with an Expiration Date, with Lianne
- How To Let Go, with Lianne
- It’s Also Painful When WE Walk Away, with Lianne
- Just Because You’re Thirsty Doesn’t Mean You Should Drink That Poison, with Lianne
- Sex Cannot Be The Only Thing That You Do “Good” Together, with Lianne
- How to Identify the Warning Signs of a Narcissist, featuring Giovanna Zerillo & Jocelyn Roman
- Are You REALLY Tired? with Lianne
- Stop Using Other People To “Heal” Your Sh*t, with Lianne
- F*ck…I’m Single…AGAIN. with Lianne
- We Broke Up…What Now? with Lianne
If you’re looking for a therapist, check out BetterHelp®. BetterHelp® is a proud sponsor of Watch Us Thrive. Get professional support when you need it, at a fraction of the cost of in-person therapy. Sign up today to receive 10% off your first month.