Psychological insights on relationships: rejections, breakups, making relationships happy, unhealthy dynamics, and general psychology.

How To Leave Someone You Love But Is Toxic

5 reasons why you are in a toxic relationship and 7 solutions for getting out. Logical and actionable steps and a concrete answer to the question: How to leave someone you love.

A man and a woman are sitting next to each other and breaking up

1. Understand that not everything is changeable.
2. Start therapy if the reason behind it is your need for toxicity. And it probably is. Read more about it below.
3. Carefully consider how significant what your partner gives you is.
4. If your partner promises changes in the future, don’t believe them.
5. Stop hoping that the person will return to that initial phase of dating.
6. Imagine your life in a year under this pressure.
7. Imagine your life in five years under this pressure.

How do you leave someone you love who is genuinely toxic?

I emphasize “genuinely” because sometimes we think someone is unhealthy, but the background is different. Before we label someone as toxic, we must first question whether we interpret and see things correctly. I’m telling you this from my experience as a therapist and relationship consultant. I constantly explore with people how they see their bad relationships and what they really are.

How To Recognize Hidden Toxicity in Relationships?

Red flags in relationships | Do toxic relationships get better?

These two blog posts will help you determine essential things on this topic: whether your partner is toxic or whether your relationship is changeable. If, after those texts, you’re sure that your partner is toxic, then it’s time to find a way out of that relationship.

That’s why we’ll list some typical reasons you’re in an unhealthy relationship and the solutions for them.

Handsome man leaving someone

Reason number 1. Why do you stay in a bad relationship:

You hope the relationship will change.

In the best and most optimistic case, you accidentally find yourself in that relationship and are very dedicated and optimistic) that the relationship will change. Let’s say you’ve never seen such dynamics and think everything can be changed, fixed, or resolved through discussion or some adjustment.

This attitude is often present in people from good families where everything is achieved through agreements. Or there were no significant rifts or problems.

People from such families often don’t understand toxic dynamics and are optimistic. They’re usually patient and calm because they come from non-toxic environments. They also wait for their partner to come to their senses.

A beautiful woman walking from toxic relationship

There’s also a possibility that no one has warned you about such personalities. If you recognize yourself as an overly optimistic or conciliatory person stuck in such a relationship, that may be the reason why you don’t end such a relationship.

Solution: Understand that not everything is changeable.

You were lucky that everything in your family could be fixed and changed, but that’s different from the standard and the rule. People come with different internal problems.

But you lack basic knowledge about human nature if you think everything can be changed. And that is that people have neuroses, psychopathy, narcissistic disorders, sadistic traits, etc., and because of them, people nurture certain behaviors.

Let’s say a neurotic defends themselves, and they can do it in the most toxic ways. A sadist needs sadism, and that need is extreme in them. A narcissistic person holds other people inferior. There are many examples, but the essence is that some of these personality traits are not changeable.

Attractive man sitting and thinking about toxic relationship

Therefore, because these personality traits are not changeable, your partner will never change, so it’s necessary to accept that and leave the toxic relationship. Not everyone is like your parents, and love doesn’t change people.

Reason number 2.:

You need toxicity (read this carefully!)

Understand that a part of your love for your partner comes precisely from their toxicity. A strange but true hypothesis that relies on these paradigms:

Anyone who is in love with or loves a toxic partner has an emotional and psychological need for their toxicity.

This could be because:

  1. It’s the model of love you remember from childhood.
  2. You feel like you deserve to be punished for something you do or are.

Both variations need to be examined in therapy.
Believe me, if you find yourself in a toxic relationship, part of the reason lies within you because it takes two to tango.

Woman in toxic relationship

Solution: Start therapy for this reason.

A therapist can shed light on significant things about you, specifically why you find yourself in such relationships. Where does this need come from? After determining the cause, that could be your resolution. Some people find this sufficient. I’ve had such clients in my practice.

On the other hand, you may need several more sessions with a therapist to understand better why you gravitate towards toxic and unhealthy relationships and what techniques are required to break away from them.

For example, if you remember a toxic relationship as love, believe it’s changeable. If you punish yourself, it’s necessary to determine why you do that. What do you think (or believe unconsciously) you’re guilty of?

Couple breaking up

Reason number 3.:

You stay in that relationship because your partner may give you good things as well.

You may receive security, money, companionship, etc., from your partner. And at some level, you’ve assessed that it’s very significant to you. People we’re in relationships with are often a combination of good and bad things. If it weren’t for the good they give us, we wouldn’t stay. The problem arises when the bad prevails, or the bad is so painful that all the other good is overshadowed.

Man and woman are walking

There’s also the objective danger that you’re in the hands of narcissistic personalities who are known to play three roles, two of which are significant in this case: 1. Tyrant, and 2. Savior. We stay in relationships because of the savior (someone who helps and cares for us). We want to leave because of the tyrant part.

Solution: Carefully consider how significant what your partner gives you is.

Consider whether it was meaningful to you in the past, whether it is currently, or whether it’s essential for your future. If it was significant in the past, it’s your habit. If it’s presently significant or essential for your future:

  1. Either reconcile with such dynamics or focus on what suits you in that relationship. I don’t recommend this, but it’s an option. Find peace with your situation and focus on what you gain from the relationship. Focus on something other than the hole, but on the donut.
  2. Make an effort to provide yourself with what your partner gives you elsewhere. Of course, this is the more challenging path. Still, I’m not even sure what’s more challenging: to try your hardest or to stay in a relationship where you’re emotionally and psychologically unwell.
Couple breaking up

Reason number 4.:

Perhaps your partner promises change in the future.

“Just when I stop working so much, I’ll stop being nervous.” “Just when we have more money, I’ll change.”

Toxicity is essentially a decision, and conditions are not required to maintain it. Preconditions are also not needed to end toxicity. Don’t be naive. It can be terminated whenever the person desires.

There’s another problem. If the relationship doesn’t change under challenging circumstances, more time is spent in that state. For example, if you’re waiting for your partner to work less and be less nervous about becoming less toxic. As a result, they become even more of what they are. The longer we’re in something (habit, belief, behavior etc.), the stronger it becomes part of us.

Couple who is no longer in love

Also, your relationship is based on such dynamics, so there are fewer chances for change. It’s like always doing something the same way, for example, walking in a certain way and suddenly needing to change it.
It’s the same with dynamics. What we always do in the same way, we continue to repeat. Because it becomes more and more a part of us, and because that makes it very difficult to change.

Solution: If your partner promises changes in the future (when the conditions become different), don’t believe them.

Either change things directly and immediately or give up on that relationship.

Reason number 5.:

You hope things will be like they were at the beginning of the relationship.

Man and woman breaking up

You hope this is just a one-time occurrence (although it has been going on for a long time), and the person will eventually return to the state they were in at the very beginning of the relationship when it suits you so well.

I like to call this the Reality Show Program. Because it’s extremely reminiscent of it. In RSP, when people enter, they’re incredibly nice, polite, and cultured. This first part serves to:

  1. Appeal to people. In this way, we bind them to ourselves if they are potentially good partners.
  2. Getting to know that person and “feeling the situation”.

How far can we go with that person? Will she or he tolerate humiliation, rudeness, mistreatment, etc.? How much toxicity is this person capable of receiving?
This is like boiling a frog. To boil a frog, it can’t be immediately thrown into boiling water because it will jump out. It first needs to be lowered into cold water where it’s comfortable, and then slowly raise the temperature.

Man and woman breaking up

But no matter what is determined there (how much toxicity and mistreatment the partner is capable of receiving), people sooner or later show their true nature.

In human nature, there are character traits (nice and sweet and neutral and acceptable), and not so good, occasionally mental illnesses, personality disorders, etc. And they will always prevail and surface. And remain.

Solution: Stop hoping that the person will return to that initial phase of dating.

I know you know that the nice things they offer you exist in them and that they can produce them. However, that served its purpose in the past (to bind you to them), and it’s no longer necessary for them to return to that. Now, they’ve already attached you to them, and they can give you as much toxicity and aggression as you can receive (and, of course, increase it as much as you can handle).

The only way for the person to return to what it was like at the very beginning of the relationship is for you to separate from them, so they must bind you to them again. But, as I said, that means you have to separate. And to detach as many times as necessary for them to bind you with better behavior.

However, I wouldn’t count on this because it feeds into a new unhealthy dynamic (leaving and returning), not change.

How to leave someone you love

Solution number 6: Imagine your life in a year under this pressure.

Set aside half an hour, sit somewhere peacefully, and think about your relationship. Visualize yourself. How will you look emotionally and psychologically in a year under this pressure? What will your job look like? Your friendships? Your self-confidence?

Black couple breaking up

And please don’t sugarcoat it with thoughts like, “Maybe the partner will change in the meantime, so…”
No. Imagine what your life will look like exactly with what you are experiencing today. Be realistic and don’t shy away from those thoughts; you need them to wake you up a bit if you’re in a toxic relationship.

Solution number 7: Imagine your life in five years under this pressure.

There’s room for new questions: What will your health look like? What about your progress in life? How will you look physically? Or financially? What will you sacrifice for that partner and that relationship? How many good days, and how much laughter? How much happiness?

Again, without embellishing with hope. Toxic relationships remain as they are. If you stay in it, you can very easily become aware of how they will be in the future, if you are honest with yourself.

Couple in love

I hope this text has helped you better understand your unhealthy relationships and has given you an idea of how to leave someone you love.

In any case, these dynamics are more complex than what is written in the text, and usually several different forces are at work in a person. For example, habit and the partner promising something. Also, at the same time, five other reasons and motives can work for a person. That’s why it’s best to talk to a professional who can help you understand yourself and the primary forces within you, then the secondary ones, etc. A professional can help you find solutions for each of them.

Toxic relationships must be terminated because they are usually unchangeable. After all, both partners are doing something very unhealthy toward themselves or the other person. Because, as I said, it takes two to tango.

Love you. Dee

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