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3 Tips on Leaving a Toxic Relationship

Updated on December 31, 2018
insearchof truth profile image

Josie has had years of experience working with victims of abuse and also personally escaped psychologically abusive relationships

Leaving a Toxic Relationship

Whatever the label, if you're reading this chances are you've identified the person you thought you were in love with has a functioning evil. Whether it's narcissism, they are a sociopath, or just a complete psychopath the behavior is one of manipulative control and YOU WANT OUT! If you are still living with your abuser chances are you have only just a glimpse of how much damage they've done to you, but you need to leave.

I'm going to give you three practical tips to keep in the fore front of your mind. I've kept it to three because you are about to face hell unleashed and it's important that you are able to focus on these tips to get you through leaving the toxic narcissistic twat for good.

Why do I know? Because I've been there. And I didn't have a plan, and when my hell exploded I realized immediately that my life had been a lie and I should have put some planning into my escape. So I've thought about my journey to freedom and the experience I've had since then with survivors of emotional abuse whom I've come across in the court room, as well as friends and family, and come up with some practical tips to reach out to you and give you some guidelines.

1. Educate Yourself

If you are identifying Narcissistic, Borderline, Antisocial or Sociopath type Personality Disorders in your significant other then chances are you've already gleaned some information on the way these people operate. You may have started to see patterns of behavior and noted that this person is following a text book routine to torment you in regular vulgarity.

The hardest part about reading information about your abuser is that you are injured, probably suffering from the effects of brainwashing and years of gaslighting. Your reality has been adjusted and as you start to come out of the haze of conditioning reading information about narcissism and the like will trigger some trauma responses.

Unfortunately making sure you have enough information to leave the toxic relationship is imperative for survival. So it has to be a balance. Wait until you are in fight mode and you feel brave and up to it before delving into the many resources now available for people in your position. Try to limit your education at this stage to articles such as this aimed at people who are still in the relationship. If you read too many war stories about the after effects it could cause discouragement and right now you need to focus on the escape.

As well as learning about how your partner's dysfunctional evil mind operates, educate yourself specifically on practical things like finding accommodation, how to get a restraining order if need be and the support services available. This will lead you into the next phase - making a plan.

2. Have a Plan

Get a plan - I'll guarantee you your toxic partner has one. Mine did.

The biggest shock for me was that my husband had been feeding lies to family and friends for over a decade about me, ready for the event that I left. It was such a shock when during one of the early battles he started talking about the time I'd been admitted to the psychiatric ward... an event that had never occurred! He had built up a story for years about my declining mental health and since then I've found friends he had told I'd attempted suicide, others sent away from spending time with me because I had post natal depression (when I did not), and my favorite part is how he was the doting carer all those years!

Get your own plan. You'll be behind the toxic mongrel from the outset anyway but I've told you now so it won't be so much of a shock. Make sure you think practically - accommodation, food, money and if necessary a restraining order. Get back to basics. Get linked in with support services. Start counselling. Get legal advice.

If you have children make sure in the early stages they go with you. That man/woman will rage when the penny drops that you are out the door and although shared care is unfortunately inevitable in today's family law system, you want to spread your wings around those little ones during the split and make sure they are with you, rather than the emotionless soulless leech you're de-tangling from.

3. Take it One Day at a Time

Try not to look too far ahead. Trust me, each day will have enough trouble of it's own. It's an oldie but tried and true - take it one day at a time. Managing each day as it comes will be what saves you in the end. If you think of it like a staircase, and just take one step at a time.

Your soon to be ex is not going to give up without a fight. Reactions vary depending on their circumstance. It may be that they turn nasty from the beginning and intent on inflicting pain, or they might try to convince you to stay and sweet talk you, or a mixture of both. You're going to need to be resolved to ending the relationship and doing whatever it takes.

There are so many articles on the importance of no contact but the reality is that every single person I've ever encountered that has left a toxic relationship takes time before they get to the stage of being able to go no contact. The fact is that we, the victims, have emotions. We are not the cold heartless beasts that make up the growing hoard of narcissists and sociopaths infesting our society. So we cave, we submit, we have mercy.

You'll get there eventually, you'll reach the top of the stairs but not if you don't take it step by step. Think about it like this - if you don't watch your step you can trip and hurt yourself, or worse tumble back to the bottom. One day at a time, one challenge as it arises and slowly you'll reach the end.

Leaving a Narcissist

Conclusion

You can do this! The thing that I admire the most about survivors of this type of abuse is that we come out strong! Once you start to have confidence in the person that you were before the mind games you will win this and come out on top. The reason you will be the winner won't be because you come out with the least scars or the most money, it will be because you are a compassionate empathetic human who has a second chance at life. The research shows as people with narcissism and sociopath tendencies age they deteriorate, and as more and more people see under the mask they end up old and alone. You have a whole life ahead of you. Live your next chapter well. Good luck!

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      2 years ago from Chicago

      Great advice!

      I would probably add one more tip.

      #4 Learn from Your Mistakes

      "Nice guys finish last" is a very common cliché.

      Have you ever heard of the lonely narcissist, bad boy, player, gangster/thug, jerk, or a-hole? No! That's not a coincidence!

      Clearly {a lot of women are attracted} to these types of guys.

      Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse.

      Each of has our mate selection process/must haves list.

      Each of has our boundaries and "deal breakers".

      Too often people want to claim that "you can't help who you fall in love with." If this were true it would be the equivalent of saying whatever you are going through now could easily happen again and there is NOTHING you can do to prevent it.

      The simple fact is if you can control who you spend your time with you are indirectly controlling who you will fall in love with. Playing the "blame game" does not empower you. Taking responsibility for your (choices) does empower you. We have the ability to learn from (our) mistakes. No one is "stuck" with anyone.

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde

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