How do you decide when to leave a toxic abusive relationship? Let this blog give you some tips..
When is it time to leave..
Deciding to stay or leave a relationship is a major decision. A decision which many women feel helpless about.
One of the worst feelings in the world is feeling stuck and disempowered in relationships.
After trying hard to juggle things and people in your life and still no one is happy most especially you – you feel forced to decide what to do next.
You try so hard to feel your life is perfect but that gnawing voice that keeps saying “It isn’t perfect” “I am making compromises.” Keeps echoing in your head.That feeling drives you to try again and again to make things work – your imperfect relationship, the lack of love and commitment and just the fear of being alone.But it doesn’t seem to make your happy. Or it doesn’t last.
You seem to have tried meditation, affirmations, love rituals, reiki, chakra healing, the Law of attraction, the Secret and nothing works for you! You feel unauthentic and like a failure. You just don’t know how to solve this. What should you do?
Its one of two things – either you aren’t financially able to leave or you just feel trapped emotionally in the relationship and feel disempowered to make such a huge decision.
This decision to leave a toxic relationship really throws you off balance.You find yourself at a fork in the road. You have followed the “right” path, educated yourself, found a good and gained the respect of your peers. And yet, despite all you had accomplished, your disempowerment in your relationship leaves you feeling frustrated and confused.
You begin to ask yourself these questions
- Is this just something everyone feels at one point or another in their relationships?
- Are my expectations from my partner too high?
- Am I being spoiled to think that my relationship should provide me with the type of fulfilment and gratification we see in rom com movies?
A women holds on to her relationship mainly because she is afraid that she will not find another person and be single all her life.
So instead she settles. The problem with settling in a relationship is that you know it’s not best for you“
There are basically three main kinds of issues that I feel would really be the cause for a woman to decide to finally leave the relationship
- Irreparable problems (the stuff there’s no coming back from)
- Problems of conflict (the stuff that requires you to have a relationship pause or breather)
- Underlying problems (the petty, day to day issues that require you to put in a bit of work).”
These are issues that keep repeating in the relationship again and again.
Sharing a client experience, Stefan was always verbally abusive towards Nora when he got angry. He even sometimes got physically abusive with her. Every time she decided to leave he would say sorry 100 times and explain that he didn’t mean it and she’s too sensitive.
Sorry with no changed behaviour isn’t every going to change things. Stefan kept saying sorry but never really thought he was wrong and thus there wasn’t a change in his actions. When he got angry again, he repeated his actions. Nora was always feels disempowered – she did believe there was love and she so wanted to believe he would change but time and again she would be disappointed.
Cheating is another irreparable problem. Usually after a cheating episode, its very hard to keep the relationship going and strong. Kayla cheated on Sam – she had her justifications and after a long year of separation and agony they both decided to get back together – the relationship could never ever be the same because Sam could never ever forget and every time they fought he would bring up the issue, insult her with his mean words and never ever let her forgive herself. It was hard for her to stay in the relationship because she knew in the back of his mind – he would never ever move on from that incident and she felt belittled and unable to feel normal. It was best to be leave – some irreparable damage like that can’t ever change the status of the relationship no matter how much you try.
Even life situations sometimes force you to leave because the scar is just too deep. After Nancy lost her baby at 6 months due to a genetic defect, her relationship with Andy could never ever get better. They went for couple counselling, tried healings and chakra sessions – nothing worked. She bore the grudge that he couldn’t do anything to save her child. She hated him for being able to move on so easily. She felt like she was the only victim and he wasn’t grieving enough. He couldn’t understand how to help her and grieved alone – all these actions brought such a rift in their relationship – she felt so stifled and depressed and she finally walked out.
We all have a meltdown point and when we reach it, we will decide to leave -the cons just need to outweigh the pros of staying.
Problems of conflict
These are core problems which happen in a relationship. The couple needs to reassess the relationship at this point at see if the conflict can be stopped and find a better way to deal with the issue.
Kathy and Aaron were very different people. They were mismatched from the beginning – they were just different at core level. Kathy was a freedom lover and needed her space in the relationship and Aaron on the other hand was a very judgemental person – he analysed and over analysed all her actions and her need for freedom meant to him that she wanted space away from him and she didn’t love him enough. She on the other hand felt so stifled in the relationship- she couldn’t breath being controlled this way.
They constantly fought over small issues and all this conflict reached a point of communication breakdown. They just couldn’t talk to each other anymore. I suggested they take a break from each other for a while – sometimes a separation time really makes you think –
- Is being right really that important in the relationship?
- Is compromising that hard ?
- Is the love important enough to fight for?
- Does my ego really matter so much?
- Can I really change myself to accommodate my partner of is it taking me out of my authenticity?
Conflict sometimes arises due to family members – it could be the children, an interfering mother in law or just a spinster sister in law. Even friends sometimes can become causes of conflict in relationships. We all live in a community and thus all these conflicts have to be addressed – else they will become the reasons for a toxic relationship.
I have seen many relationships split because of mother in laws who could never stop interfering and finally made the couple have so many problems. In cases like that – it sometimes just seems like the best option to take a break because the situation wont ever change. Maybe a break will make your partner realise he needs to step us and change things.
Conflicts also arise because of different values and beliefs. Ron broke with Gina because she refused to have sex with him till they got married – and he was like – Which generation do you come from? What if we are sexually incompatible? I can’t ever do that! But Gina stood to her “values’ and in the process caused Ron to finally lose the intimacy and move on. Both were not wrong but both believed in what they were brought up with – sometimes these differences can be the cause for you to leave.Gina felt he didn’t really love her and didn’t respect her belief system and she decided to leave him.
Conflicts happen a lot in all relationships but when they become unbearable you have to decide to walk away and stop yourself from the agony of a constant which can be draining and detrimental to the relationship.
These are just niggling issues that exist that have no solution to – like for example if your partner has a drinking problem. He’s awesome and you both vibe well – but when he drinks, he becomes someone else. Well he tries not to – but when he does you see a side of him you totally detest. This issue doesn’t affect you usually but its underlying and can erupt anytime. Shelly lived with such a man. She got really afraid when there was peer pressure to drink- often times when her partner used to drink, he started misbehaving with other women, often even sexually harassing them – once he even hit Shelly when she tried to stop him. She was afraid of social situations and at one point, she just decided to leave. She felt she was living in fear and anxiety of when this monster will emerge.
Karin lived with a bisexual man. She never knew he was bisexual when she married him -obviously he gave her many reasons for not being so interested in having sec with her and she believed him. Once she got a call from his boyfriend telling her that her partner was his lover. Her world came crashing apart – he did provide for her and was a very kind man. But his other side was a problem she couldn’t grapple with – she needed to get out and finally feel free as this underlying lie was eating her up.
Leaving a toxic relationship is liberating. It gives you doors to other better opportunities which you would miss out on if you stayed in that relationship. Mary was in a bad relationship with Andrew and she knew Nick liked her – she kept hanging on to Andrew hoping he would change, worried she would be making a wrong decision – when she did finally leave Andrew – Nick had already moved on and she regretted losing such a wonderful man.
To stay or leave is a decision we have to make sometimes.It’s always harder to do the latter – its something new, something uncomfortable, something out of the comfort zone, something risky. What if I am worse off? We all want guarantees in life but life comes with no such thing. And thus, 8 out of 10 women choose to stay – and suffer. Like the say a known devil is better than an unknown one.
Beatrice caught her husband of 20 years cheating – she decided to get divorced. She stayed single for 2 years – she dated men but nothing worked and she felt dejected and lonely. Then she met this awesomely sexy man with 6 packs, who cooks, gives her orgasms and is the sweetest man she has ever know and she told me – I am so glad I got divorced – else I would never have met him!
So if you feel stifled, unhappy and really feel stuck in your relationship – it’s time to move on. Listen to your inner voice – don’t pretend to be happy and compromise