How to Leave a Toxic Relationship

Are you in a toxic relationship and don’t know how to leave? Follow these suggestions. While you will need courage and support, you can do it.
How to Leave a Toxic Relationship

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Is your partner emotionally, physically or verbally abusive? Do they drain your energy? Are you not getting back what you put into your relationship? If so, it may be time to leave a toxic relationship.

The problem is that it’s often hard to leave a toxic relationship because there are so many feelings involved. In fact, some people may be manipulated into staying in a toxic relationship. Idealizing the other person can also make you believe that their behavior is normal or that they might still change.

However, staying in this type of relationship only causes emotional exhaustion that can have serious consequences. Even if it hurts to accept it, that’s why the best thing to do is to have the courage to end it and look for peace.

Why it’s Hard to Leave a Toxic Relationship

leave a toxic relationship

People who are in a toxic relationship usually aren’t aware of it. This is why it’s often so difficult for them to leave a toxic relationship. Their friends and family might try to tell them that it’s not normal, but they refuse to acknowledge it or try to justify it.

Why does this happen?

Let’s look at some reasons:

  • Infatuation makes you believe that your partner will change their ways or that it’s only temporary.
  • The manipulated person has very low self-esteem and withstands things they shouldn’t, because they are afraid no one else will love them.
  • The toxic partner is manipulative and takes advantage of the other’s weaknesses to justify their behaviors.
  • A fear of loneliness creates an emotional dependence that prevents a victim from making the first moves to leave an unhealthy situation.
  • You may fear the other person’s reaction, especially if they’re violent.

Do not allow it : I Was in a Toxic Relationship, Too

How Can You Identify a Toxic Relationship?

leave a toxic relationship

The first step to getting out of a toxic relationship is learning to recognize the behaviors or actions that are unhealthy. If one or both of you feel unhappy, afraid, or anxious when you’re together, it’s because the relationship is unhealthy and something is very wrong.

It’s normal to have occasional arguments without it having to indicate there’s a serious problem. But if your fights are constant or cross certain limits, you need to know how to accept it and take action.

A relationship is toxic if it contains one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Emotional dependence, either by one or both of you,
  • A loss of respect and regular verbal abuse,
  • Uncontrollable jealousy,
  • One or both partners are possessive and controlling,
  • One partner doesn’t support the other, and instead belittles or blocks the other’s personal growth,
  • There are constant attacks to your self-esteem,
  • Emotional, financial, or familial blackmail becomes the norm,
  • There are constant threats,
  • Repeated episodes of physical or psychological violence,
  • Lack of privacy and other social relationships.

Read: 6 Arguments Every Couple Has

How Do You Leave a Toxic Relationship?

As we said earlier, there are many factors that can make it hard for someone to leave a toxic relationship. Nevertheless, it’s not impossible, and anyone can do it if they accept that their life is not healthy as it is.

We’ll outline some strategies for you:

Be aware

leave a toxic relationship
The first step anyone should take is to become aware of what’s happening.

Recognizing that there’s a problem and that this relationship is no longer making you happy is a determining factor in making a final decision. Otherwise, the blind “banner of love” can prevent you from getting out.

Shake your fears

Fear is one of the biggest barriers when it comes to leaving a toxic relationship.

Fear of what will happen after it ends can lead you to believe – at least briefly – that it’s better just to continue living like you are. While the future is uncertain, though, leaving your fear behind is the only way to move forward.

Cut the unhealthy ties

If there’s the possibility of a conversation, it’s best to withdraw and prevent any arguments or aggression.

This is a period of “detox” where you need to limit any negative emotions. When you decide to end it, cut off all forms of contact.

Seek outside support

The constant support of your family and friends is essential when getting out of a toxic relationship.

Knowing that there are others nearby can help you overcome your fear, sadness, and the confusion that results from what you’ve been through.

Accept the consequences

Having a lot of shared time and experiences with another person can lead to a lot of grief and sadness when the relationship ends.

This is part of moving on, however, and it’s normal to experience this grieving phase on the way to acceptance.

Work on your self-esteem

Focus on your own projects, get exercise, and surround yourself with positive people to work on your own self-esteem.

After you leave a toxic relationship, it’s normal to have low self-esteem and confidence. It’s therefore essential that you dedicate some time to developing these.

Practice relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques can be very helpful for someone leaving a toxic relationship.

Breathing exercises, yoga, and massage help control emotions like nervousness, fear, and anxiety that emerge when you’re closing a chapter of your life.

Are you in a toxic relationship and don’t know how to leave? Follow these suggestions. While you will need courage and support, you can do it.

Remember that if you don’t take the first steps you’ll be missing the opportunity to find a path to happiness.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Andrade, S., Castro, P., Giraldo, L., & Martínez, M. (2013). Relaciones Tóxicas de pareja. Psicologia.Com.

  • Pozueco, J., & Moreno, J. (2013). La tríada oscura de la personalidad en las relaciones íntimas. Boletín de Psicología.

  • Amor, P. J., Bohórquez, I., De Corral, P., & Oria, J. C. (2012). Variables psicosociales y riesgo de violencia grave en parejas con abuso de sustancias tóxicas y maltrato previo. Acción Psicológica.

  • Signos de abuso. (2018). Retrieved 17 February 2021, from

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.