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How To Let Go Of A Toxic Relationship

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

When you have been gaslighted or manipulated by someone, it can seem almost impossible to move on from such a toxic relationship.

How To Let Go Of A Toxic Relationship

How To Let Go Of A Toxic Relationship

They seem to be projected everywhere in the media, from tv shows, to songs, and in movies.

When it’s actually happening to you, however, it’s not as easy as just getting a new haircut and hoping for the best. 

If you’ve found yourself struggling to move on from a relationship that was no longer serving you, don’t worry, you’ll get there.

Below we’ve listed some things to help you on your way to moving on and leading a happier and healthier life. 

Realize That It Wasn’t Your Fault And You Deserve Better

Part of the way in which we move on from toxic relationships is by realizing that we were never to blame for what happened.

Although the person you were with might have caused you to doubt yourself, now that you have moved away from it, you can begin to see things for what they really are.

The truth is that you are deserving of healthy love and respect, it is your right as a human being.

Just because the last person didn’t appreciate your worth doesn’t mean that the next person will be the same. 

Many of us remain in toxic relationships because we have this unwavering belief that we can fix the other person.

But this isn’t our job. Our job is to be the best version of ourselves so that we can then accept and allow another person into our lives who is worthy and deserving of us in the future. 

One of the best ways to set yourself up ready to accept the next person into your life is by observing some of the healthy relationships around you.

Maybe this is your mom and dad, or your friend and her longtime partner.

You could even watch some romance movies featuring some of your favorite (non-toxic) relationships.

Whoever it is, try to witness what a good, healthy relationship really looks like, and remind yourself that you deserve the same. 

Allow Yourself Time To Grieve

Many of us try to suppress our feelings and pretend that we are doing okay when we’re not.

Just because the relationship you were previously in was a toxic one, it doesn’t mean that it’s any less painful to let go.

In fact, it can be even more painful because of all the manipulation tactics designed to make you stay. 

If you find yourself grieving for what was, that’s okay, give yourself that space to do so.

Now and then, keep reminding yourself that you are meant for better.

Although it may not seem like it now, this experience will help to shape the person you are in the future, stronger and more resilient. 

Find Yourself Again

Find Yourself Again 

Many of us who have been through toxic situations in our love lives know that they can often cause us to lose our own identity in the process.

What were you like before you entered into this relationship? Maybe it has been such a long time that you find yourself struggling to remember.

This is okay though. Moving on from a toxic relationship is your chance to find yourself again, and re-discover all of the things that you enjoy.

Maybe the person that you were with dictated how you should feel and dress, or maybe they lowered your self esteem so much that you weren’t sure of anything anymore.

Today is your opportunity to take back your power, and take the necessary steps to living a whole, fulfilling life again. 

When we are feeling down about anything, distraction is key.

Time really does heal all, but in the meantime, finding hobbies and things that you will help to fill your time and drown out some of the negative thoughts.

Pursuing things that you enjoy will also be a big part of finding yourself again, as you re-define who you are outside of the relationship. 

Don’t Wait Around For An Apology 

Many times when relationships end, there is often this yearning desire to receive some kind of closure. This is even more prevalent in relationships that are considered toxic.

Perhaps this person caused you a lot of pain and heartbreak, and so you believe that they should apologize for their wrongdoings.

Chances are this won’t happen because the person who has left is unwilling to accept responsibility. 

You will save yourself a lot of time and heartache by choosing to let go of the need for closure.

You deserve to be happy and to move on, without needing any validation from your ex-partner to do so. 

Try Forgiveness

This one doesn’t work for everyone, but it can be highly beneficial.

If you want to move on from the toxicity of the relationship, then forgiving your ex-partner can be a step towards this.

It may sound counterintuitive, forgiving the person who wronged us, but it is actually a healthy attitude that can release a lot of built up resentment.

Feeling resentful for prolonged periods of time can actually be quite damaging.

It means that we’re still giving time and energy to this person who is no longer in our lives, and handing over our personal power in the meantime.

In order to combat this, practice acceptance and know that the experience will help to make you a stronger person.

This will give you the space to start practicing positivity and gratitude, and to look to the future.

Final Thoughts

Moving on from a toxic relationship can sometimes feel impossible, but it’s not, By enlisting some of the help provided above, you can work yourself towards a brighter and happier future. It’s what you deserve.

Self Help For PTSD/CPTSD- Steps to Start Your Recovery

Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories


UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

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