How To Get Over A Toxic Relationship- 4 Tips To Find Your Freedom

stressed woman in black and whiteDuring my time as a teacher and addiction counselor, I saw more than my fair share of toxic relationships. As an outside observer, the evidence was clear. However, those in the relationship were blinded by “love” and couldn’t see (or want to see) the truth.

If you love a toxic man or woman, it doesn’t make you weird or stupid. It makes you normal. Attraction and love don’t occur in our logical brains. So, when you saw that tall, handsome bad boy with a motorcycle, your limbic brain overwhelmed you with pleasure chemicals. You bonded before you even knew it.

Then, the reality hit hard: lying, cheating, abuse, and other dysfunctional behaviors. Next thing you know you’re broken up, in tears, and wondering how to get over a toxic relationship. You still have feelings and it’s very frustrating.

I’ve written this article to help others escape the pain and get over a toxic relationship–whether it’s an ex wife, husband, boyfriend, or girlfriend–and move on! Kick those toxic exes to the curb for good and find your freedom.

Progress, Not Perfection

Since the good feelings for your jerk ex are literally embedded in your brain wiring, realize that you might never truly “get over” him or her. You will probably still have good memories and contradictory feelings. And, that’s OK.

Focus on progress, not perfection. As long as you’re moving forward in new relationships, thinking about him or her less and less, not stalking on social media, and so on, you’re doing the right thing and finding your freedom.

Sometimes it takes years to cleanse a toxic element from your body or another environment. Look at your old toxic marriage, engagement, or relationship the same way: it might take awhile to fully detox. And, that’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up.

Block Them From Your Life

If you’ve ever had a cut or scratch, you’ll know that the best way to get it to heal is to cover it up and leave it alone. If you’re trying to get over a toxic relationship, you’ll need to keep those emotional wounds closed too.

Stay away from your ex and block him or her on social media. It might be difficult, but reconnecting or stalking will only create more heartache and prolong the process of healing. This article explains how to block people on various social media sites. The first step to healing is to get your toxic ex out of your life forever!

Focus on Yourself

woman crying in the window in the rainPeople in toxic relationships usually need a man or woman to be happy or feel complete. In other words, their happiness and even reason for living are dependent on others. This is called co-dependency and if you are co-dependent, it will lead to you from one toxic relationship to another.

Not only are most people in toxic relationships or marriages co-dependent, but they have a hard time seeing it. They’ve aged prematurely, gotten on medications or illegal drugs to cope, watched their health decline, and gave up their hobbies to focus on a man or woman. They’ve even lost family and friends over their poor relationship choices.

If you’re trying to get over a toxic relationship, pursue self-improvement and self-care activities. Get healthy, workout, take a class, go to the spa, or take up meditation. .

Think about yourself first! If you think that sounds selfish, remember being in most toxic relationships involve putting yourself last. Self-improvement and self-care are an antidote to your old way of thinking.

Enjoy Being Single

Since your toxic romance involved being too focused on being in a relationship, the key in knowing how to get over a toxic relationship involves learning to actually…wait for it…enjoy being single. This is especially true if you’ve gone from one dysfunctional relationship to another.

Embrace your hobbies and what you love, whether it’s cooking, movies, shopping, or anything fun. Don’t be looking to meet someone. Instead, enjoy life without being tied down to a partner. Detoxing from relationships in general will cause you to stop being so desperate when you do decide to date. It might be hard to not be rushing into a new romance. But, resist the urge!

Lean On Family And Friends

A good friend of mine was in a toxic relationship and she practically disappeared from the planet. Her boyfriend kept her under his total control, his jealousy making her cut off all contact with friends and most contact with family.

When she finally got the courage to dump him, she felt ashamed of her behavior and isolated herself. She dealt with the pain of breaking up alone.

Likely, you’re in a similar situation, having ignored family and friends to immerse yourself in a toxic partner. And, you feel shame at having to reach out to loved ones. However, don’t let that stop you from contacting others. Your family and friends can be vital supports as you move on from a toxic relationship.

Stay Busy

Ending a relationship can be very painful. Even if you knew it was for the best, your brain can put you through hell. Believe it or not, scientists have actually discovered there are symptoms of breaking up, many of which mimic physical conditions!

As you go through the pain, you might sit around thinking of your toxic ex all day, ignoring the abuse and problems and focusing on the loss and hurt. But, that isn’t healthy. The best way to get over a toxic relationship is to keep busy as much as possible.

Get out of the house, join a volleyball league, go to the movies with friends, take up yoga, have a girl’s night out. Just do something positive and do it often.

Time Heals

happy woman in red jumping in street in cityIt might seem hard to believe, but, over time, the feelings of attraction and love will fade. The longer you can rebuild other relationships, keep busy, work on yourself, and stay away from your toxic ex, it’ll all get easier.

As the ancient wisdom says, “this too shall pass.” Those terrible feelings will, with time, go away.

I know many people who have had pain in their past when ending toxic marriages and relationships. But, they now look back and realize they made the right choice. They fought through the pain to be stronger people.

You too will make it and your life and future relationships will be better. In a few months, when your toxic relationship is in the rear view mirror, you’ll be much happier.

About the Author

Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, and dating/relationship expert. He's helped millions through his articles, speaking, consulting, and coaching. He's appeared in over 500 major publications, including Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today.

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