One of the most common questions I am asked is, how long does it take to heal from a toxic relationship. I respond with the same answer. There is no time frame to healing. Everyone is different. However, one important thing that I found helpful was focusing on myself. By focusing on my needs this helped take my attention away from wanting to track the time.
I took all my energy and focused on myself. What does that mean?
Well, when you leave a toxic relationship you won't be okay, and that is okay. You will find yourself crying a lot and probably second guessing your decision. I want you to understand that this is normal. If you were like me you loved that other individual deeply and made plans to spend the rest of your life together, but God saw how much that relationship was hurting you. You are human and allowed to feel all those feelings. Take the time to feel them. but don't allow yourself to stay there feeling stuck and broken. Grieve that relationship. Yes, just as you would grieve after someone's death you should grieve after losing someone that was embedded into our life. Familiar yourself with the 7 Stages of Grief after a Break up. Heartbreak after a break isn't ideal, but there is a lesson to take from that experience.
Why? Is it so hard to break free after being in a toxic relationship?
Here are a few reasons why...
1. Fear of being alone
You rather have an unhealthy relationship then have no relationship at all. This could be linked to codependency and possibly trauma. (I had this fear. I had to realize it was either being alone or repeating a cycle of dysfunction.) Choose wisely.
2. You wanna be the fixer
You are set on fixing your toxic partner. You have this idea that if you change who you are that it will help them change. But wait! You see so much potential in your partner and that if you just love them more and give them more chances they will change their toxic ways that are killing the relationship.
3. Low Self-Esteem
When you are in a toxic relationship for a long period of time it takes a toll on your self-esteem. Having a low self-esteem you may feel that you aren't deserving of a healthier relationship. You may even battle with the thought everything wrong with your relationship is your fault. Deep down you have a low self of self-worth and it's contributing to you staying in a toxic relationship.
4. Abusive behavior feels normal
Maybe you grew up emotionally and or verbally abused and so the red flags that were there in the beginning was hard for you to recognize because they felt so familiar. You find excuses to the toxic behaviors just as you did for your parents as a child. You have no idea what a healthy relationship looks like and because of this you find it hard to leave.
There are many more reasons, but these are like the most common ones. See if you've never been in a toxic relationship then you really don't understand how hard it is to leave one. Deep down they want to leave, but it's an internal battle within themselves that they are fighting. 1
Here are some tips to help you in Breaking FREE from a toxic relationship so that you don't find yourself right back in the same situation or worse!
- Go No Contact! Each day with no contact you heal
- Connect with a community of women that you can lean on when you feel like going back
- Get a therapist! Therapy can help you in beginning to put yourself back together after years of being picked apart while in that toxic relationship
- Practice self-forgiveness everyday, you are human. You made mistakes and now it's time to extend yourself some grace
- Spend time alone! Take time to self-reflect on your past behaviors and learn the lesson so that you don't repeat the same mistakes. Redefine who you are and what you like. Refill your cup each day with things that make you happy, and Rediscover what it means to be a woman that loves herself unconditionally.
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Yes! Fear of being alone was always the reason I stayed longer than I should have. I didn’t want to start all over and have to meet a new person all over again. Thanks for this post! It was much needed.
Yes healing has not time frame. It’s actually something that we will constantly do for the rest of our lives. I love how you pinpoint why woman stay in a relationship that they know they shouldn’t be in. I have felt some of those things especially low self esteem!