Tips on Leaving a Toxic Relationship

It is not a secret that it’s impossible to have only bright days in your relationships, and sometimes, being happy and fostering a harmonious bond demands a lot of hard work. But what if you realize that you are stuck in a toxic marriage?

Things like any form of abuse, gaslighting, and belittling in a relationship eventually turn the life of an affected spouse into a real hell, and there are often no options left but to end the marriage as soon as possible.

How to get out of a toxic relationship? It may take a lot of time, resources, and courage to leave a marriage where you no longer feel safe and loved. However, if you are ready to do that, we hope that the tips in this article will help you cope with this difficult task.

What Is a Toxic Relationship?

A toxic relationship makes the partner, or, in some cases, both of them, feel unvalued, ignored, belittled, and uncomfortable expressing themselves in any way. Very often, spouses are too afraid to face reality and prefer to justify the actions of their partner instead. However, one thing you should know for sure is that you should never feel unhappy and unloved in your relationships.

Do you suspect that something is really off between you and your spouse but cannot explain what exactly? Do you feel like your spouse does not love you anymore? The truth is that in a healthy partnership, you will hardly ever ask yourself such questions.

It may be difficult to admit that you are in a toxic marriage and start taking action, but we only have one life, and divorce is sometimes the best option to feel happy and fulfilled again.

Toxic Relationships Vs Abuse & Domestic Violence

In fact, the juxtaposition “toxic vs abusive” marriage does not exist since these terms are interrelated. The problem is that a toxic relationship is abusive by its nature. Any act of disrespect to a partner and their boundaries is abusive.

The worst part is that a spouse may begin abuse with such things as verbal insults, depreciation, excessive control over finances, and eventually turn to physical violence when facing no resistance.

Please be advised that it is extremely dangerous to be in a toxic, abusive relationship where your partner does not recognize your boundaries and believes that your life is now in their hands. If you suffer from your spouse’s abusive behaviors in relationships, you should never be afraid to ask for help from people you trust.

In case you don’t have anyone to assist you, do not hesitate to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1.800.799.SAFE).

Signs of a Toxic Relationship

If you feel like something went wrong between the two of you, we recommend you not to ignore the signs you notice. Here are some worrying signs of a toxic marriage:

  • All Your Requests and Needs Are Ignored.

You never go to the places you like or watch the movie of your choice. Your spouse never gives you the gifts that were on your wish list. What is worse, your spouse may ignore your health complaints and refuse to drive you to the doctor.

Does it sound familiar to you? Then, it’s one of the most concerning signs that you may be in a toxic relationship. After all, the partners in a healthy marriage would never ignore each other’s needs and even simple wants.

  • Your Opinion Is Never Taken into Account.

A harmonious couple always makes decisions based on some sort of compromise, a thing that never happens in a toxic marriage. If a wife is always forced to do what her spouse says, even if it leads to negative consequences, it is among the most common toxic husband signs.

It is really heart-wrenching to see that your partner does not respect your opinion or consider you equal. If a wife, for instance, does not listen to her husband and refuses to acknowledge the importance of his decisions, it is often an indicator of toxic wife traits. Maybe it’s time to part ways because both parties to a marriage deserve to be heard and respected.

  • You Don’t Have Control Over Your Life.

If you don’t have your bank account or access to your family account, cannot go anywhere without your spouse’s permission, or have your phone checked all the time, that’s a worrying sign that something is wrong in your relationship.

Not letting anyone, even your partner, violate your boundaries is your basic human right, so do not forget about it the next time they demand to check who you are talking to on Facebook.

  • No Matter What Happens, it’s Always Your Fault.

A toxic spouse will always put the blame on you no matter what happened and what the reasons were. It’s a frequent situation in families where one partner is unsuccessful in their career or any other important sphere. This way, they assert themselves at the expense of your mental health and dignity.

Remember, your spouse’s failures belong to them, and only they are responsible for their life and success, so do not let anyone manipulate you.

  • You Are Constantly Afraid to Disappoint or Hurt Your Spouse.

If your partner often feels disappointed and indicates your words or actions as a reason, while you did nothing wrong and were not rude or thoughtless, it may be only a form of manipulation and guilt-tripping. If you feel like you should always think twice before saying or doing something, then you likely deal with a toxic spouse.

  • You Never Have a Great Time During Holidays.

You may be surprised by this fact, but constantly spoiling all the fun for the family during holidays is one of the toxic spouse signs. The thing is that toxic partners often resort to emotional abuse, and there is nothing better for them than making everyone unhappy on their special day.

So, if your spouse is constantly grumpy at Christmas dinners or making a scene on your birthdays, it is a huge red flag and a sign to consider leaving them. Nothing should stop you from enjoying your special occasions.

H2 Why Leaving a Toxic Relationship Is So Hard?

For some people, getting out of a toxic relationship is even more difficult than to continue living with a toxic spouse. And unfortunately, it is quite a common thing, especially for women. If you find yourself in such a situation and wonder, “Why is it so hard to leave a toxic relationship?”, these may be the reasons:

  • You Have a Low Self-Esteem.

Usually, it’s completely a toxic spouse’s fault that the other party has low self-esteem. You need to understand that their words and actions make you feel unworthy. The good news is that ending toxic relationships will have a great impact on your self-image. You can have all the best things in this world simply because you deserve them.

  • You Have No Finances to Leave.

Unfortunately, it is the most frequent reason why some individuals prefer to stay in the marriage. Of course, you cannot begin a new life on your own without having enough finances, so you must prepare for your getaway.

If you work, make sure you allocate a part of your income to your bank account or store it in a place where your partner cannot access it. If you do not work, you can save money that your spouse gives you for your personal needs.

  • You Want Your Kids to Be Raised in a Nuclear Family.

It’s a common yet wrong opinion that children can only be happy living with both parents. Kids are happy when the household atmosphere is harmonious and calm. Very often, a toxic spouse becomes a toxic parent, constantly humiliating their children, spoiling their mood, and so on.

If you realize your kids suffer from the words and actions of your partner just like you do, probably it’s time to leave. The longer you stay in this marriage, the more serious trauma your kids will have to get over in the future.

Tips for Leaving a Toxic Relationship

If you are having a toxic relationship and plan to leave your spouse, it’s OK if you don’t know where to begin. Here are some helpful tips on how to leave a toxic relationship safely and as painlessly as possible:

  • Make a Detailed Plan.

Leaving your toxic spouse without having a clear-cut plan is honestly not the best idea. First of all, you will need to plan where you are going to reside and calculate how much money and other resources you have.

You also need to take care of documents; it’s important to make copies and store the originals in a safe place. With a detailed strategy, you can go through this difficult period with less stress, getting over a toxic relationship.

  • Ensure Your Safety.

Making sure that it is safe for you to leave is the first thing you should take care of. If you cannot predict your spouse’s reaction to the news, it is best to move out when they are not home or in the town.

Moreover, ensure that you have changed all the passwords to your personal accounts so your partner does not access them. Finally, it is important to have a circle of people you can trust with information about your plans and whereabouts, just in case.

  • Keep a Record of What Happened.

Do not delete your spouse’s messages and recorded calls, even if they hurt you. If you have a diary, make sure you write down all the bad events that happened between you and your partner. If you’ve caught them cheating, store all the evidence, such as chats, plane tickets, hotel bookings, etc.

All of these will serve as solid evidence in case you want to prove your spouse’s fault during divorce and influence court decisions such as alimony and child support allocation.

  • Clean up Your Social Media.

If you are afraid that your spouse can still get access to your social media accounts, delete all the messages with sensitive information. Also, make sure you have removed all the posts or comments that may jeopardize your safety.

It’s quite difficult not to leave a digital trace these days, so sometimes it’s best to delete all your accounts until it’s safe to use them again or even create new ones.

  • Build a Support System.

What you definitely need during this hard period of your life is love, acceptance, and unconditional support. Reaching out to your family and close friends is the best way to feel more secure and confident in your decision.

After all, it’s so much easier to start anew when you have people who can just be there for you when you need to decide how to move on from a toxic relationship.

  • If You’re Married, Get a Divorce as Soon as Possible.

Divorce is never an easy thing to do, but if you have chosen to end the relationship with your spouse, you must begin the filing process as soon as possible. Unfortunately, it’s a rare situation when toxic spouses agree to have an uncontested divorce, so get ready to defend your interests in court.

If you are afraid of your spouse and have reasonable concerns about the safety of your children, you can request a Restraining order from the court. If you have a lawyer, they will consult you on the types of orders and help you fill out the request.

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