What Happens When You Finally Leave a Toxic Relationship

28 February, 2019
A toxic relationship distorts your basic concepts of authentic love. When you leave a toxic relationship, the benefits resonate in all facets of your life. 

A toxic relationship wears you down, damages your identity, and dilutes your self-esteem. It distorts your basic concepts of what authentic love, respect, and sharing your life together are all about. So, when you finally leave a toxic relationship, the benefits resonate in all facets of your life. 

We know that calling certain types of relationships “toxic” is in style. People use this phrase almost excessively to talk about any abusive, damaging or controlling behaviors. However, we need to carefully analyze a relationship in detail before using this popular term.

Sometimes, a specific behavior may actually be caused by a different disorder that would require a different approach. The bottom line is that we should be careful with labels.

Complex people and complicated relationships exist in abundance. However, sometimes one person becomes the epicenter of problems and a whirlpool of emotional, physical or psychological abuse. This is the true nature of a toxic relationship.

If you’ve ever experienced this and have managed to get out of the relationship, you’ll know that this process isn’t easy.

Above all, we want to make it clear that the simple act of ending a relationship with a toxic partner doesn’t automatically mean you’ll experience immediate happiness and well-being. When you finally leave a toxic relationship, it will take time for your life to improve.

The process is neither easy nor fast.

After you leave a toxic relationship, a wound remains

hand in the water with moss

Let’s imagine for a moment a person who is being led by the hand through a thick forest full of branches and brambles.

This person allows themselves to be led because they trust in the other person. However, they know that the journey is exhausting, they’re out of breath, and the branches scratch their skin.

Nothing they can see around them looks beautiful or hopeful.

You might like: How to Move On Independently After a Breakup

They finally decide to let go of this hand and go their own way. They do this to feel free, to recover their happiness and allow the other person to walk ahead on a different path.

When they do this, they experience intense and contradictory feelings:

  • They barely recognize themselves. As a result of this traumatic journey, they’re left with many scars and open wounds.
  • They feel exhausted. It’s hard to breathe and their only option is to stay still and quiet for a while to recover.
  • They’re lost. They’ve stopped in a part of the forest where they don’t know the way. They don’t know which direction to take now.

When they leave a toxic relationship, they will eventually find relief. There’s no doubt about that. However, the feeling of well-being will not be immediate.

What they will feel is the need to retreat, to find themselves again, to identify their wounds, to reflect and think about where they are in their life and what they should do.

Read also: How to Live with Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

Time to heal, time to retreat

sad woman lying on her side

The last thing someone should do after leaving a toxic relationship is look for comfort in a new relationship.

Nobody can heal themselves by getting into another relationship immediately. Doing this is not therapeutic or healthy.

This is primarily because nobody else is required to fix our wounds, to be our anesthetic or our remedy to help us forget.

Overall, the best thing to do is give ourselves time to make this inward journey. We need time to recover our self-esteem, repair our identity, nourish our hopes and learn to trust in ourselves.

We must let go of hatred, fear, and frustration to emerge much stronger from our shells of intimacy much stronger.

Like it or not, we need to formalize some kind of concrete mourning process. Little by little, this will help us to:

  • Release our emotions
  • Channel our anger
  • Develop a resilient attitude
  • Remember what we are worth and what we deserve.

Only when we love ourselves again will we be ready to let ourselves find the right person.

Read also: Why Do So Many Relationships End?

My dignity doesn’t accept bargains or new toxic relationships

woman ready to leave a toxic relationship

You’ve probably met at least one person who, after they leave a toxic relationship, get right into another one.

Falling into the same abusive and exhausting dynamic is more common than you think.

Remember: we should build healthy self-esteem and remember that our dignity cannot be bought or sold.

It’s extremely important to remember that we deserve the best. Loving doesn’t mean suffering, and solitude in harmony is always preferable over insane, selfish and damaging love.

To conclude, we want to make it clear that the simple act of leaving a toxic relationship will not give you immediate happiness.

We need to repair ourselves and heal our self-esteem and dignity to always remember not to fall back into damaging relationships.

Let’s make sure that this experience allows us to learn to say “never again” to toxic love.

Main image courtesy of © wikiHow.com

  • Amor, Pedro Javier, et al. “Variables psicosociales y riesgo de violencia grave en parejas con abuso de sustancias tóxicas y maltrato previo [Psychosocial variables and risk of severe violence in couples with substance abuse and previous maltreatment].” Acción Psicológica 9.1 (2012): 3-18.
  • Gayá, Verónica. “Acoso y Maltrato: La invisibilidad del origen es el gran problema de las relaciones tóxicas.” El siglo de Europa1145 (2016): 44-45.
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  • Ross, Gregorio Armañanzas. Relaciones tóxicas: acoso, malos tratos y mobbing. Ediciones Eunate SL, 2013.