10 Tips and Advice on Getting Through a Relationship That's Unhealthy
How to Get Through an Unhealthy Relationship - Explained
In a previous post, we looked at the definition and signs of an unhealthy relationship and mentioned that the first step in leaving one is acceptance. By seeing and agreeing that you are in a toxic relationship is the key to opening the gates to freedom.
Today, we will look at the different kinds of unhealthy relationships and tips on how to get through them, mainly how to leave them. A toxic relationship is a nightmare to be in and waking up from that dream may seem impossible but hopefully, the following steps and suggestions could prove helpful in bringing a wakeup call.
An Unhealthy Relationship that is abusive
Abuse can take many shapes and forms and is not limited to physical or emotional harm. When a partner controls your every move, abuses you mentally or sexually or even has power over your finances, they are exercising abuse.
Choosing to leave someone who is willing and more than ready to hurt you in different ways is very difficult to do and can involve danger. You are taking the risk of triggering their anger so it is crucial to plan things out.
But one thing is for sure, there is close to zero chance of fixing an abusive partner or relationship, therefore, an escape plan is the best way to go.
1. Pinpoint abuse
It is very crucial to pinpoint the instances of abuse in an abusive relationship and admit that it is abuse. Those who are in an unhealthy and abusive relationship usually do not see that they are being treated this way. They give excuses for the abuse like their partner being stressed and tired that’s why they get treated this way or your partner was abused before and only know this approach in a relationship that’s why you accept it or many more other reasons.
Getting through an abusive relationship starts with agreeing that you are in fact in one.
The next step would be to document. Evidence will be needed later on in case the situation gets really bad and it will bring the right protection for you. You can write the instances of abuse down, or even take audio or video recordings for more concrete proof. Make sure to keep the documentation in a place where it cannot be found.
3. Emergency go-bag
At this point, if you are planning to leave your abusive relationship, it is essential to pack an emergency go-bag. You need to be able to leave at any moment and be prepared. A go-bag consists of clothing, toiletries, and other necessities, keys, money, documents, and identification, basically anything you will need while you are away from home.
Once again, you will need to hide the go-back somewhere safe or, even better, keep it at your friend’s place or at work.
4. The plan
You will need a plan for the actual escape. Here, you will rely on a support system more than ever. They are the ones who know about the abuse and are ready to be relied on when the time comes.
Your support system will be there emotionally, physically and can provide you with basic necessities like food and shelter. Once you do leave, do not go back. No matter how strong the pull or even if your partner tries to win you back, you do not go back to getting hurt and to someone who gives you pain.
A Long Term Unhealthy Relationship that is toxic
Another kind of relationship is quite difficult to go through and leave is a long term one that has transformed into something toxic. Whether you and your partner have just drifted apart in unmendable ways or you or your partner changed in ways that cause constant tension and friction in the relationship, a long term relationship does not always guarantee you and your partner will stay together.
5. Clear closure
Being in a toxic relationship that has lasted quite some time can be difficult to end because of the history and connections made. You have invested so much time and effort already and it seems like a waste to end it now.
Regardless, when you know that a long term relationship is toxic and since nothing is changing after all those years, you need to walk away. In order to achieve a proper separation from this kind of relationship, you will need clear closure.
Sit down with your partner, lay down the action steps and explain what’s gonna happen moving forward. You are leaving and your meeting now is the closure. Once it ends, so does the relationship.
The reason why closure is so important in a long term relationship is that it will be so easy to fall back into the old routines of being together. Both you and your partner must be clear on what page your relationship will be in. Of course, a civil closure is not always possible but the goal is to make it clear as possible.
6. Avoid isolation
The next step would be to make sure you are not alone when you part ways with your partner. Isolation will only give you a lot of spare time to think and reminisce, things that should be avoided during this period.
Go out with friends, catch up with family and loved ones and distract yourself. Do not let yourself remember until you are strong enough and have moved on.
The only isolation needed at this phase is fasting from social media. Block, unfriend and unfollow your ex from all social media platforms.
7. No explanations needed
Let’s face it, your long term relationship has given your partner a lot of time to become close with your friends and family. Your parents might even adore him. When you choose to break up, there will be questions. Remember that you are not obliged to give an explanation. Something as simple as, “It was toxic and I’ve had enough” would suffice.
When you do feel ready to talk, then you can give them a more in-depth explanation of what happened.
Unhealthy Relationship in a Bad Marriage
Yes, you are legally bound to your partner and you guys might even have children together, but a toxic marriage is still not something that you have to endure and compromise your happiness for just because of the legalities.
Of course, getting a divorce is not decided upon overnight and only opted for after much effort, chances and opportunities have been given and taken in trying to fix the marriage.
Communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship and ending a broken one. Communicate with your partner, especially if the marriage is going downhill. Do you guys want to work it out or not? If not, what are the next steps to be taken?
Unless there are severe and dangerous reasons why the marriage has become unhealthy and must be ended, pushing for a friendly separation is a must, especially if there are children involved. Come into an agreement on what options you both will take in terms of the relationship after separating in relation to your children, if applicable.
9. Safety net
A safety net is your plan after the marriage has ended. Where you will stay, what you will bring, who you will contact and the legalities are some of the things you need to process out to ensure a smooth transition. A marriage cannot end haphazardly because there are more implications involved.
Financial security is also a very important thing to consider if you choose to end your marriage. Being in a married relationship means you are co-dependent on your partner in terms of finances and when you separate ways, you will need to become independent once more. This is not a bad thing because financial independence is headed straight towards freedom from an unhealthy relationship.
10. Focus on you
Whether you choose to end the marriage or survive in it (for reasons such as the kids, financial security, fear of being alone, not wanting to start over and many more), the next step would be to focus on yourself (and/or the kids).
Go back to doing what you love, focus on your career, begin a hobby, spend more time with the kids, build new and healthy relationship and pamper yourself are some of your options when it comes to focusing on yourself instead of the unhealthy relationship that you might have just ended or you are currently enduring.
In all of the instances mentioned above, always remember that it is not your fault that you are or you were in an unhealthy relationship. No one has the right to judge you nor can you believe that this is the best you can do. Even though you stopped confiding with your friends and family because you know that they know how unhealthy and toxic your relationship was, it is still not your fault. It isn’t your loss either.
Once the relationship that drained your happiness has ended, the next step would only be one thing alone: moving on. Always remember that it is not love if it doesn’t make you happy.