While we would like to believe that all of our relationships are empowering and healthy, this isn’t always reality. Psychotherapists Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., LMFT writes, “We all have people in our lives whom we stay friends with, out of loyalty. But real life sometimes creates or uncovers things about a person that you just can’t live with. If you have known someone for more than twenty years and want to move on from the relationship, it can be hard to get that person, or what they did, out of your psyche.” We all have to let go at some point. Whether it be because of our own decision or someone else’s, there are circumstances that cause us pain and make living with the person impossible anymore.
WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO LET GO OF A BAD RELATIONSHIP?
1. You Have To Decide If The Relationship Is Worth It.
The decision to stay or go is not an easy one. It’s something that needs careful consideration, and you should take into account what would be best for your future before making this choice. We all know that humans are imperfect. The question then becomes, “Are we good for each other?” If you feel like your partner is gaslighting or trying to make themselves look better than they actually are it may be worth checking in. You may be experiencing gaslighting at work or with friends, but it’s not the end of your career. You can find another job and move on from these toxic relationships if that is what you need to do for yourself! It can be difficult to make a clean break if the person gaslighting you is in your family or someone with whom you’re involved romantically.
2. Cut Off Contact
Toxic people are like a virus; you can’t heal if they stay in your life. For your own good, be sure you keep them at bay by deleting the contact information and unfollowing on all social media channels. This is a great way to keep yourself from being tempted.
3. You’re Only In Control Of Your Own Actions
You may be thinking of cutting out an adult from your life. If this is the case, then they can think for themselves and act accordingly. Ilene S. Cohen, Ph.D., Psychotherapist, professor, and blogger, writes, “You can’t change another person, so don’t waste your time and energy trying. I think this is the biggest factor that pushes people to hold onto unhelpful behaviors, like the need to please. We think, ‘If only I do everything for everyone, they’ll never get mad at me.’ Wrong!”
4. Lean On Your Family And Friends
It’s hard enough to get through the tough times on your own, but it becomes even more difficult when you don’t have anyone else with whom we can share our experiences. A friend or family member acts as an unbiased third party who will remind us that what we’re feeling isn’t “crazy” and should be reality checked.
5. Trust The Process
When you’re in a relationship, it can be hard to let go. But remember that whatever pain or stress is felt for the time being will pay off later on. You cannot heal overnight. It takes time for any trauma and emotional wounds to fully mend, but the important thing is that you are trying your best in recovery every day. The 2007 study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that most people are able to bounce back from a breakup within three months. Relationship expert and dating coach Samantha Jayne agrees says, “Let yourself grieve, cry, talk about it and let it all out but set a time limit.” She says give it a few months and then move on.
6. Prioritize Self-care
The dissolution of a relationship can have a devastating effect on your mental health. So especially if you’re coming from gaslighting, self-care should be a top priority for healthy recovery. When you focus on yourself, it will be easier to stand up for and handle all the challenges life has in store.
7. Reframe Your Definition Of Forgiveness
It’s easy to say, “I won’t forgive them because they haven’t expressed remorse.” But that is where you need a change in mindset and think of your version of forgiveness as an act done toward yourself rather than for friends/family members. Forgiving someone privately and knowing that you can’t make them change their ways is the healthier thing to do.
8. Rebound With Caution
You have to be confident in yourself and your abilities. There is no shame when it comes down to trying again, but only after you’re ready for the challenge. The feeling of finally getting back on your feet and being able to move forward after an emotional breakup can be empowering. A study at Queens College found that people who rebounded reported higher self-esteem, plus they weren’t as hung up about their exes. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should sign up for Tinder the day after your split. It’s important to take this break as an opportunity and fall in love with yourself again before getting back into dating.
9. Seek Professional Help
The decision to leave a romantic partner can be one of the hardest decisions you will ever make. If you’re struggling to leave your partner, seek out the help of a licensed therapist—specifically someone who specializes in relationship therapy. They will be able to define what it is that’s causing discomfort and work with all aspects involved.
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