How To End A Toxic Relationship

How To End A Toxic Relationship

Endings are painful & difficult – even when you know it’s in your best interests.

Maxine Clancy

Ending a toxic relationship is a significant and challenging journey that impacts your mental and emotional well-being. The first part, is always about recognising you’re in such a relationship, whether with a partner, family member, or coworker, and it involves involves identifying red flags unique to each situation.

To identify if a relationship is toxic – other than very clear physical, emotional or verbal abuse. I like to use the FOG’s analogy. Fear. Obligation & Guilt.

When a relationship is dominated by any of the above emotions, where someone exerts a manipulative influence to get what they want at your expense, it is very likely to be toxic. Often in these instances, it’s because we have an underdeveloped ability to set healthy emotional boundaries and we feel OVERLY responsible for another person’s feelings. Letting our sense of obligation dominate us and the choices we make in the relationship.

Some examples could look like:-

  • Fear of saying no to your manager about taking on extra work.
  • Guilt around saying no to a parent for fear of their rejection or disapproval
  • Feeling obligated to help a friend, because they make it difficult for us to say no.

Obviously, there are degrees to the above examples, and a truly toxic relationship – is where when you raise your concerns, the other person denies your experience, refuses to discuss things with you, possibly gaslights you and refuses to take responsibility for themselves in the relationship.

Deciding to leave is a toxic intimate relationship is often complicated by factors like financial dependency or family, but it’s crucial for your future happiness. The process requires careful planning, especially in emotionally and physically abusive situations, to ensure your safety.

Post-relationship, you may find that both your life and yourself have changed dramatically. This adjustment period can be difficult, prompting some to return to the familiar discomfort of their past toxic relationship. To prevent this, focus on self-care, set boundaries, and possibly seek therapy or coaching to help rediscover yourself and build healthier future relationships.

I am a firm believer of separating well – and this means doing your inner work and inner healing so you don’t repeat the patterns in a new relationship.

In my relationship coaching, I find that clients are worried they are ‘damaged or broken” and whilst a toxic relationship can severely impact self-esteem and worth, the totality of who you are and your Soul can never be broken. We, humans are far more resilient than we give ourselves credit for, and I encourage you to embark on your healing journey as as possible.

After leaving a toxic relationship, opening up to new people can be daunting, influenced by lingering trauma. However, therapy, relationship coaching, and open communication can facilitate healing and the development of healthy interpersonal dynamics, allowing you to move forward more confidently.

“I tried everything, had months of counselling, anti-depressants and nothing worked until I met Maxine. Working with her I was able to process my feelings and make sense of what happened in my life. I have grown, forgiven the people who have hurt me and come to a new profound understanding of relationships, love and myself. Maxine is a real life angel and I would definitely recommend working with her.” – Julia, UK

Transformational Relationship & Divorce Coach. Founder of The Divorce Detox & Get Divorce Fit. Mum of two gorgeous souls, lover of art, writing, yoga & life