Are you in a toxic relationship? Are you struggling big time and recognizing that this relationship is ruining your life?
Many of us are in toxic relationships, ones we can’t escape, ones that are keeping us from living our full lives, from living and loving and being our best self.
We only have one life to live and we need to make sure that we live it to the fullest, even if we are in a toxic relationship that is holding us back.
#1 – Love yourself.
Many of us who are in toxic relationship believe that we are not worthy and are full of self-hatred.
Years of being berated by our partner, told that we are worthless and stupid and total losers, has taken a huge toll on our self-esteem. Furthermore, we know that we have stayed in this relationship, even though we are being abused, and that erodes our self-confidence even more.
It is important that, if we are in a toxic relationship that is ruining our life, we make an effort to love ourselves. That we set goals for ourselves and stick to them. That we take care of ourselves, getting exercise and eating right. That we practice self-care – whether it be a massage or a walk in the woods.
Most importantly, it is essential that we spend time with people who love us. Who remind us about how wonderful we really are. Who support us in every way and help us navigate the world no matter what.
If you are stuck in a toxic relationship, make an effort to love yourself every day. You deserve it.
#2 – Don’t take all the blame.
I know that you have been told over and over that everything that is wrong in your relationship is all your fault. I know that you believe that if you were only more patient or gave them more sex or made them happier everything would be fine.
Let me tell you that this just isn’t true. There are two people in every relationship so, yes, you shoulder some of the blame but it’s definitely not all on you, no matter what you have been told.
Managing self-blame, recognizing that it is a false premise, will help you to love yourself and make you stronger in a relationship. It will allow you to take some power back so that you can not only survive but thrive as you live your life.
#3 – Get help.
Many of us who are struggling in toxic relationships are ashamed and, therefore, go it alone. Even if we are aware that we need help, we hesitate to reach out for it because of our shame and self-blame. We fear being judged and we don’t see what kind of help could make a difference.
Asking for help is the best way to survive a toxic relationship before it ruins your life. Even though we women are strong, even the strongest of us need help when we are feeling desperate.
So, reach out to someone who can help and support you. Your priest, your doctor, your psychiatrist, your life coach, your lawyer or your family. Get help understanding what your options are as far as this relationship – what you need to do to keep your life together in spite of the pain.
#4 – Leave.
You are probably scoffing at me right now. Yeah, right you are thinking. And I get that.
I know that it seems like you could never leave this relationship. That you still love this person. That you have put so much time into it that walking away seems stupid. That you don’t believe in giving up and want to keep trying. Whatever the reasons are, leaving seems untenable.
Leaving is ALWAYS an option. Your life is short, too short to waste in a relationship that is making you unhappy.
If physical fear is holding you back, there are groups out there that can help you escape from your toxic relationship. If fear about what the future holds is what is keeping you stuck, consider what would be better – the ways things are now or how things could be if you were free.
There are always options for women stuck in toxic relationships. Seek out the help you need to make it happen.
#5 – Have hope.
I know that right now you are feeling trapped. That your every day is filled with unhappiness and, perhaps, fear. You wonder if you can ever leave this relationship, ever be happy again.
I am here to tell you that it is more than possible to find happiness in your life. That you too can feel good about yourself, find a love that will make you happy and live the life that you have always wanted.
I have this game I play. I look at women in line at the grocery store and try to figure out which of them are single and which are in an unhappy relationship. I can always tell the difference. Women who are in toxic relationships seems to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They look grim and gray and unhappy. They are living with a toxic relationship and it is sucking the life out of them.
When you look at women who are single, who have escaped a relationship that makes them unhappy, you see an air about them of lightness and peace. Even though they are alone, for now, they know that life is theirs for the taking.
And women who carry a lightness and peace, who are self-confident after taking the steps to leave a relationship that doesn’t feed them, who have let go of self-blame and have people to support them, are women who will find love and happiness. Love and happiness that will help them live the life they have always wanted.
Being in a toxic relationship can destroy your life.
Women who are unhappy can struggle at work, aren’t the best mothers they can be, lose friends and have trouble with their mental and physical health.
If you are in a toxic relationship, work hard to love yourself, work to let go of self-blame, get help, around leaving if you need it, and have faith that you can be happy. That you can find a love that feeds you and that you can live your very best life.
You can do it! I know it…
If you’ve made it this far you must really be struggling with surviving a toxic marriage.
Let me help get you there, NOW, before the pain overwhelms you.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.