Love is never easy, but it is certainly not meant to be harmful, painful or abusive. Staying in a negative
relationship will erode your self-esteem and prevent you from having the one thing you long for most, true love.
Nicola Beer, an international relationship coach, shows us how taking a step for yourself requires courage, determination and a willingness to embrace the unknown
CREATE A VISION OF YOURSELF
To end a toxic relationship you need to first create a compelling vision of what life will be like when you are free. This will keep you motivated to push forward through fear and any moments of weakness. Picture yourself living your dream life. Where will you be? Who will you be with? In what ways will you be enjoying life more fully?
MAKE YOUR NEEDS A PRIORITY
Leaving a toxic relationship takes a tremendous amount of energy. You may have spent years pandering to everyone else’s needs instead of your own. This has to stop. Start putting your needs at the top of your list and ensure you make time to rest, eat healthy and work out.
FACE YOUR FEARS HEAD ON
Having worked with hundreds of women through separation, the greatest fear that comes up is that of not finding love or being loved again. It is responsible for keeping numerous women miserable and trapped in toxic relationships. Recognize that this fear has no basis in reality. It’s impossible to know what will happen in the future. However, you can calm your fears by reminding yourself that there are literally thousands of women who remarry every year. A study by Bramlett, M. D., & Mosher, W. D. (2002) found that over 75% of women remarried within 10 years after divorce. Trust yourself and have faith that when you are ready and willing to take any necessary action, new love is possible.
RID YOURSELF OF GUILT
Many women don’t want to leave toxic relationships because of the guilt of leaving their partner. Concern over children can often bring feelings of guilt and for this, Dr Phil advises, “Don’t stay together for the children. Remember, kids would rather be from a broken home than live in one. They’re much better off with one well-adjusted, happy, thriving parent, than they are with two who are cheating, lying, fighting, and living with stress and pressure.”
RECRUIT A GOOD SUPPORT TEAM
Leaving a toxic relationship can be difficult, there may be times where you feel vulnerable, low or tempted to go back. Ensure you connect with positive, caring people, that you trust, whether it’s friends, family, a coach or support group, don’t go it alone, if possible.
CUT ALL CONTACT
Keeping in touch, unless you have children together, is never a good idea. It leaves you vulnerable to re-enter the toxic relationship and undo the positive work you have done. I’ve seen social media platforms used as weapons to cause harm, situations where comments have been used in divorce court cases worldwide. The point is, don’t leave yourself open to be victimized by an online battle or return to the toxicity.
REFLECT TO LEARN AND MOVE FORWARD
The worse piece of advice I ever received while going through my break up, was ‘don’t think about it’. This is
bad advice, as it is impossible to do! It is natural and normal to reflect on the past, just don’t dwell on it. The past is never wasted if we learn from it and make better choices next time around. What have you learnt about yourself? What have you noticed about your relationship needs? How will you do things differently in the future?