Unhealthy relationships are not unheard of. These are relationships where any form of abuse happens – physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual. Toxic relationships are not limited to romantic relationships, because it can also be between friends, siblings, or a parent and a child.
It can be difficult for those in the relationship to recognize that it is an unhealthy one, which makes it even more difficult to end the relationship. Once you have ended an unhealthy relationship, do not be surprised if you find it difficult to recover and move on. Just like when you have just gone through an illness, there is a recovery process that you will go through before you feel well in every aspect.
Here are some ways that will help you recover from an unhealthy relationship:
- Be firm in your decision. The first thing to remember is to be firm in your decision to end your relationship. You probably had to overcome a lot just to be able to end it and you will likely doubt your decision many times. Don’t. Always remind yourself of your reasons for ending the relationship. Keep in mind that no one should be in an unhealthy relationship and that includes you.
- Stay out of contact. A toxic relationship can have this certain pull for those who are in it. The best way to prevent yourself from attempting to restart the relationship or to help you recover from it faster, is to stay away from the other person. Avoid calling, texting, or sending any kind of message to the other person – this includes social media. Do not even visit the other person’s social media profile.
- Get a ‘sponsor’. Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts often have a ‘sponsor’ that they turn to whenever they feel like they might make a mistake and go back to their addiction. Think of a person that can act like a sponsor for when you think about going back to the unhealthy relationship you just ended. It can be your closest friend or a member of your family. If you do not want anyone you know to be this person, you may get relationship help from a coach. The role of this person is to be someone you can talk to and who can give you the right support to get you through this difficult time.
- Focus on yourself. Unhealthy relationships are damaging, so you will need time to heal yourself. You can do this by focusing and loving yourself. Do not blame yourself for the unhealthy relationship. Re-establish your identity by getting to know yourself again. Do things that you enjoy. Pursue things that you’ve put off. The goal is to find what makes you happy and to do things that make you happy.
- Spend time on your healthy relationships. One of the characteristics of unhealthy relationships is that it cuts you off from your other relationships. Re-connect with those people you might have neglected while you were in your unhealthy relationship. Do not hesitate to reach out to them, because if what you have with them is a truly healthy relationship, then they will welcome any attempt from you to re-connect.
- Try something new. Aside from re-discovering the things you used to enjoy and re-connecting with people you are in a healthy relationship with, do not be afraid to try something new. It can be learning a new skill, trying a new restaurant, meeting new people, or pursuing a new interest. There are many things you can do to open yourself up to new experiences.
- Look ahead. It can be extremely difficult to move past a toxic relationship, but you will have to take what you can learn from it and move on. Leave it behind and do not look back. Instead, eagerly look ahead to having a healthy relationship with other people – one that makes you feel good about yourself and makes you feel happy, safe, respected, and loved.