Almost everyone will experience the heartache of a breakup. At some point, your romantic relationship that started out like a fairytale might end. Breakups are a part of most people’s lives, but toxic breakups are something not everyone understands or, thankfully, has to go through.
If you are in a toxic relationship or have been in one in the past, you know that moving on from a toxic breakup is very difficult. While it will take time and healing, you can move on from one and find that life after a toxic relationship is a million times better.
Here, we discuss ways to help you move on from a toxic breakup so you can discover that better life on the other side sooner rather than later.
What is a toxic relationship?
Toxic relationships come in many forms. Any relationship that makes you feel inadequate or less than, that hurts your self-esteem, or that causes you pain is likely a toxic relationship. The same applies to a relationship where you no longer feel secure.
Some of the telltale signs of an unhealthy relationship include abuse, whether it’s physical, emotional, or financial. Here are a few common behaviors to look out for:
- Aggressive or passive-aggressive behavior.
- Control over your life and decisions.
- No boundaries.
- Isolation from others.
- Lying, cheating, or sneaking around behind your back.
- Name-calling, belittling, or constant criticism.
The toxic relationship test
If you’re in a toxic relationship, you probably already know it, even before reading those signs. Taking a toxic relationship test can also help you realize your relationship is unhealthy.
Sometimes it helps to see the evidence before us before we can admit the truth to ourselves, and a toxic relationship test can provide that evidence.
Life after a toxic breakup
Know that life after a toxic relationship will get better. Try to remember the person you were before you entered that toxic relationship and before you lost your sense of self. You might have been treated poorly in your relationship, but you didn’t deserve to be and do deserve to be treated with respect.
When you are in a toxic relationship, the first step is moving on and breaking it off. That’s when the real work begins because you can’t just snap your fingers and heal yourself. Toxic relationships often cause chronic stress and trauma, even after they’re over. Those feelings don’t just disappear the day you break up. It takes time to heal.
Traumatic breakups can lead to depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and even thoughts of self-harm. If you are struggling after a toxic breakup, it’s important to speak with a licensed professional and get the help you need.
How to move on from a toxic breakup
So how do you move on with your life after a toxic breakup? Well, in addition to seeking professional help, there are things you can do to help yourself move on after a toxic breakup. Take the time to focus on yourself and on self-care, your mental health, and financial wellness. Here are some ways to help you do just that:
Self-care after a toxic breakup
All of that time you no longer have to spend worrying about your toxic ex can be used to focus on self-care, such as:
There’s nothing like a good sweat session to release your endorphins, help you connect with your body, and relieve your stress and anxiety. You might also want to join an exercise class or work out with a friend, something you might not have been able to do when you were in that toxic relationship.
Focus on your sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for yourself. This is even more important if you are struggling with anxious thoughts or feelings after a breakup.
Surround yourself with supportive people
In some toxic relationships, a partner will isolate the other person from their friends and family. If you were in such a relationship, it’s even more important to reach out to your support network. Even if you haven’t spoken with them in a while, your friends and family will want to be there for you when you are ready.
Regardless of whether you were cut off from your loved ones, once you’ve gone through a toxic breakup, it’s important to surround yourself with people who will support you and help you through this tough time.
Try something new
There’s no better time than after a toxic breakup to get back out there and do something that you enjoy. Perhaps you haven’t done anything for yourself in a while because you didn’t have the time or your partner didn’t allow you to do things without them.
Are there any hobbies or activities you’ve always wanted to try? Not only will trying something new bring you joy, but it also gives you the chance to meet new people or spend time with others you might have neglected during your relationship.
Mental wellness after a toxic breakup
Your mental health and wellness can take a dip when you’re in an unhealthy relationship. A toxic breakup is never your fault, but you might blame yourself for it.
Any one of these practices below will help you practice the self-compassion and forgiveness you need to support your mental health after a toxic breakup:
You’ll have lots of emotions and feelings swirling around inside your head after a toxic breakup. Journaling can help you work through your feelings during this difficult time and ease any negative feelings like anxiety or loneliness.
Your relationship might have ended, but there are so many things in life to be thankful for. Try starting or ending your day with a gratitude practice by writing down five or ten things you are grateful for. Among other things, gratitude has been shown to help people feel more positive emotions and build strong relationships.
Be especially mindful after a toxic breakup of how you speak to yourself. Your words are powerful, especially those you tell yourself. Counter any negative self-talk with positive affirmations for self-love. Practice them daily to get the true benefit.
Financial wellness after a toxic breakup
Lastly, getting back your life after a toxic relationship often means getting your finances back on track. Toxic partners can negatively impact your finances. Do yourself a favor and be sure to do the following after a toxic breakup:
There’s no better time than after a breakup to educate yourself and take control of your finances. This is especially true if your ex was the one who controlled your finances or your joint finances.
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After a breakup, your financial situation might look different. This is the perfect time to review your budget (or create one if you don’t have one). Take a look at your expenses and figure out if you need to make any changes. Do you need to earn more to keep up with your current lifestyle? Move-in with family? Cut back on spending?
Whenever you have a life change like a toxic breakup, it’s a good time to assess where you are with your finances, and that starts with your budget.
Lastly, if you have any shared finances with your ex, you will want to untangle yourself from those. A toxic breakup was toxic for a reason. It’s usually not healthy to keep in touch with your former partner.
But when finances are involved, sometimes you have to communicate. If this is the case, get someone you trust to be a liaison between you and your ex and help you untangle yourself financially from the situation.
Life after a toxic relationship is so much sweeter
Breaking off a toxic relationship is a brave thing to do. Once you’ve conquered that, moving on from a toxic breakup is all about focusing on yourself and putting yourself first, something you probably haven’t done for a long time.
You might be feeling down now, but once you’re on the other side of it, you’ll see that life after a toxic breakup really is so much sweeter.