- Gender and Relationships
How to Get Out of a Bad Relationship
The Realization Sets In
Normalcy is relative. My "normal" and your "normal" are probably two completely different things. For some people, their normal is being in a toxic relationship. Perhaps they were raised by an abusive parent, or maybe they have stuck it out in a bad relationship for so long, that it has become their normal. Your sense of normal can change though. It all starts with the realization that you deserve better.
I don't know of a single person who I would say deserves to be in a bad relationship - whether that be a romantic, platonic, or business relationship. No other person has the right to do harm - to people, animals, etc. When I say "harm", there are several meanings - physical, verbal, emotional, etc. Every life is valuable and a treasure. If you are in a bad relationship, you need to ask yourself - "Am I being treated like a treasure?", "Do I feel valued?". If the answer is no to these questions, then you have a decision to make.
Let me start by saying that if you are in a physically abusive relationship, you need more help than I can offer on this little hub. I was in a violent relationship for six years, and I know the fear and feeling of helplessness. You may still get some tools here that can help, but please talk to someone.
Okay, you've decided it's time to move on.
The Company You Keep
Unfortunately, removing yourself from a bad relationship means more than just getting away from one person. You will find that you will have to rid yourself of other "toxic" people in your life. Some of these people should be obvious - family members and good friends of said person, for example. Others are not so obvious and may not be as easy to delete from your life.
Friends - The Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word friend as, "a person who helps or supports someone". You probably have several "friends" who don't quite fit that description. Hanging out, laughing, partying, etc, does not equal support. Your true friends are those people who listen without judging, offer help without pushing, and accept you - battle scars and all. You have to decide which people deserve to stay in your life at this point. Toxic people who only hinder your next move have to be removed from your life.
Family - These are the people who are not so easily removed. Parents, siblings, aunts, etc, aren't always supportive. They may have developed a bond with your future ex-husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/friend, and they may even take his/her side. You CAN'T let them slow you down on your way out of the relationship. Let them know upfront that you plan on ending the relationship and that you need support. Tell them that if they can't give you that support, you may have to stay away from them while you work through it. Tell them you will welcome only supportive comments and will not listen to anything else. Make it their choice. They love you, and I pretty much guarantee they'll hear you. They'll probably also admire your strength and resolve.
Strength Can Move Mountains
Strength, resolve, confidence, faith, perseverance - all of these should be your goal.
You will need strength to get through each day/hour/minute. There may be days when you feel paralyzed with fear/sadness/worry. Strength is the key to getting past those feelings.
Your resolve to move on and improve your life will keep you moving in the right direction.
Be confident in yourself and your ability to get through this. Don't listen to your ex's voice in your head. Trust me, you will hear it. IGNORE and replace it with your own LOUDER voice.
Faith in a higher power will help you feel less alone. Lean on Him when necessary. He has big shoulders and can handle it.
Once you've made it through the hardest days, perseverance will keep you going. It's like when you lose weight on a diet. You have to work on maintenance - to maintain the weight loss and keep yourself from going back to your old ways.