15 Tips for Letting Go of a Relationship That Is Not Healthy

Person with long hair wearing jacket and shorts sits alone on mountaintop looking into distanceEnding a relationship and letting go can be incredibly difficult no matter how toxic it is. Part of this is for simple biological reasons, as some scientific studies have shown that being in love activates the same areas of the brain as being high on cocaine.

Brain scans of lovers and people experiencing cocaine addiction both display increased activity in the pleasure centers of the brain (most notably the dopamine centers) and decreased activity in the frontal lobe, which is the area responsible for cognition. This means that while falling in love can make us feel good, it can also profoundly affect our judgment.

It is for this reason that love can sometimes be compared to an addiction. In love, much like addiction, there may be negative side effects such as abuse or gaslighting. But despite all of those bad circumstances, it can still be difficult to kick the romantic attraction and feelings of love when letting a relationship go.

If you find yourself feeling trapped in a relationship you know is not healthy, consider these 15 tips for letting go of it for good:

1. Recognize the Problem

Awareness is the first step.  Educate yourself or consider talking to a therapist or counselor about what constitutes an unhealthy relationship. Take a good, hard, and objective look at your relationship and be honest with yourself.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this relationship serving my highest good?
  • Is this relationship negatively impacting other areas of my life?
  • Is this relationship detrimental to my self-esteem?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider ending or talking to a professional about the relationship.

2. Allow Yourself to Feel

Letting go of a relationship is usually not easy. It can be painful to end a relationship even if the relationship was not serving your highest good. Honor any feelings of grief you may have, and allow yourself to feel those emotions rather than attempting to suppress them. Accept grief as a part of the experience, and allow yourself the time you need to heal.

Reach out to one of our therapist in Raleigh, NC or find a therapist closer to you.

3. Discover the Lesson

Many people who move on from a toxic relationship feel guilt or shame as they perceive the time they spent in the relationship as a waste. However, every person who comes into our lives can teach us something. Rather than looking at your relationship as wasted time, try to find the lesson in it. What did this person teach you? What are you taking away from the relationship? How have you changed as a person, and how might you do things differently next time?

In life, lessons may often be repeated until they are learned. Look for the lesson from this relationship and you may be less likely to carry the same lesson over into your next relationship.

4. Create Separation

It can be hard to distance yourself from someone you’re used to spending so much time with, but it is usually necessary if you want to move on from the relationship. This doesn’t mean you can’t maintain a friendship with your ex, but it’s usually best to allow some time for both parties to heal before you try to spend time together as friends.

5. Let Go of the Mementos

It can be tempting to hang on to all the old relics of a past relationship. Doing so, however, may prevent you from moving on with your life. If you must keep the old love letters, movie ticket stubs, photos, or romantic gifts, you may want to store them somewhere out of sight until you’re ready to move on.

6. Take Off Your Love Goggles

Love often has a way of clouding your perception, which sometimes makes it difficult to a see someone for who they really are. If you really want to get out of an unhealthy relationship, you must be willing to take off your love goggles and look at the person objectively. Consider talking with a close family member or friend or even finding a therapist to help you look at the relationship impartially.

It isn’t uncommon to only hold on to the good memories of an ex and completely shut out the bad memories. Maintain your perspective by remembering both sides of the experience. Remind yourself of the good times, but don’t forget those bad times or you could end up forgetting why you ended the relationship in the first place.

7. Compose a Letter to Your Ex

Consider writing out all your feelings in a letter, even if you have no intention of sending it. You can choose to give this letter to your former partner or destroy it when you’re finished. The point of the letter is to allow you to release your feelings. Writing or journaling can help you reflect on the relationship as a whole, while giving you a way to further your mental and emotional wellness.

8. Focus On Empowering Yourself

Try your best to shift focus off the relationship and back to yourself. Consider trying new things or putting your energy into a hobby you’ve neglected. Remembering why the relationship was unhealthy and focusing on what it is you do want in a relationship can be empowering.

Most importantly, work on your relationship with yourself. Focus on cultivating self-love and respect. Remind yourself that you are worthy of love and that you deserve a healthy relationship.

9. Rewrite Your Story

We often tend to place the weight of our identities into our self-professed life stories. We believe we are what we continually tell ourselves. Examine your story and rewrite it in a more empowering way to start making positive changes in your life.

If you continually tell yourself you lost your soul mate and you’re destined to be alone, you might struggle to hang on to a relationship that is no longer serving you. Reframe your story and consider the fact this relationship may have just been one step on the journey toward an even better relationship in the future.

10. Practice Forgiveness

Release any feelings of guilt or regret you have surrounding the relationship. Forgive yourself for anything that happened in the past because you can no longer change it. You can only move forward and learn from it.

Be willing to forgive your former partner as well. Let go of any resentment you have regarding the relationship. Look at your partner with compassion and empathy and understand that all humans are susceptible to mistakes.

11. Live in the Present Moment

Life exists in the present moment. Choose to live in the present rather than getting lost in nostalgia. Often, people stay in a relationship that is no longer healthy because they are clinging to the past. Judge your relationship based on how it is at present rather than how it once was.

12. Accept What Is

We must be able to accept things as they are if we want to move forward. Many people remain in relationships that are unhealthy hoping they can somehow change their partner. It is important to remember you cannot change anyone, especially if they have no willingness to change themselves. If the relationship isn’t working for you, then you have the choice to leave and move on. That is something you can change.

13. Contribute to a Cause You Care About

If you’re having trouble letting go of the past, consider getting involved in a cause you feel passionate about. Doing this can not only occupy your time and mind as you process feelings and let go of the relationship, but it can also help shift your focus to something bigger than yourself. Studies have shown volunteering can significantly improve overall well-being. This can provide perspective and help you feel good as you also help your community.

14. Practice Self-Care

Most importantly, work on your relationship with yourself. Focus on cultivating self-love and respect. Remind yourself that you are worthy of love and that you deserve a healthy relationship.Letting go isn’t easy, and it isn’t uncommon to forget our own physical and emotional health after a painful breakup. The grief can be overwhelming and we may start to neglect our own needs.

Help yourself by choosing to practice self-care every day. Get plenty of rest. Eat nutritious food. Indulge. Take a hot bath. Get a massage. Whatever it is, just do something to meet your personal needs.

Furthermore, learning how to practice self-compassion. Moving on can be a big and scary step, so be gentle with yourself as you heal and create a new life after this relationship.

15. Embrace the Impermanence of Life

Forever is a misleading term. The only constant that exists in life is change. Despite our efforts to the contrary, we truly cannot hold on to anything in life forever. Everything—friends, family, and relationships—come and eventually go.

When it comes time for something to end, rather than clinging to what no longer is, realize impermanence is the nature of life and try to embrace it. Appreciate the good moments you had, cherish those memories, and let them go in exchange for new experiences.

Know When to Ask for Help

The first few moments, days, or weeks following a breakup can seem debilitating. For some, ending a relationship means a loss of identity, support, and normalcy. Ending a relationship—even a toxic one—can be incredibly challenging and emotionally draining. However, you do not have to do it alone. Know when to seek support if you need it.

If feelings of grief, shame, guilt, or other negative emotions persist and begin affecting your daily life after a relationship ends, consider finding a qualified therapist or counselor who can help you process and acknowledge your feelings in a healthy way. A qualified mental health professional can help you examine the past relationship in a safe place free of judgement while you work toward achieving a more complete sense of self after the relationship has ended.

Even if you feel like there is no hope after severing an important tie in your life, remember you can heal and you deserve a healthy relationship that meets your needs and complements you and your happiness.


  1. Lahat, I. (2014, July 9). The brain looks the same when we’re in love or high on cocaine. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/the-brain-looks-the-same-high-on-love-or-cocaine-2014-7
  2. Tabassum, F., Mohan, J., & Smith, P. (2016). Association of volunteering with mental well-being: A lifecourse analysis of a national population-based longitudinal study in the UK. BMJ Open, 6(8). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011327

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  • Leave a Comment
  • Nancy Jo

    August 29th, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    Putting some distance between yourself and that failing relationship is the best policy.
    How are you ever supposed to get over someone when you still see them or run into them everyday?
    This is a no brainer- stay away

  • Rose

    November 3rd, 2019 at 8:53 PM

    How when you live with them and they are mentally I’ll with psychizophrenic and paranoia.? R.

  • Rose

    November 26th, 2019 at 6:06 PM

    I read all the stories on this website. I stayed in a toxic marriage for 20 years. The lies, the cheating, my ex-husband being self-mined and the only goals were to benefit himself. I thought I was marrying somebody completely different than what he said he was or pretended to be. My advice…get out of the relationship as soon as possible. You cannot fix somebody, it is there choice; do not let anybody bring you down to their level which would be a lack of self-esteem, love and happiness. You deserve more. You deserve the respect, love, etc that someone can give you. You as a person has to change – because living with all that drama and a person who is very controlling shifts to your personality and character. Before you know it, you are acting just like the person you despise and who is bringing down because of your nature. Misery loves company; make a plan and follow through and get yourself a good therapist that will help you grow and show you that you have choices. The ball is in your court, if the person is on willing to change, its time to leave. That is the lesson I had to learn, that I am not stupid, I have a sense of humor and a good personality. It took a long time to forgive and let it go, not forget. Forgiveness for yourself will give you peace and then you can move forward and grow. You will surprise yourself. You do not deserve a person who is abusive….it is their problem, usually from childhood experiences, it is not yours…Look in the mirror and tell yourself who am I. Answer the question honestly….that is what I did. The only person who inhabits you is yourself.

  • Julia

    December 15th, 2019 at 5:06 PM

    Thank you Rose. That’s my message. I am leaving him before 2020 begins.

  • Leslie

    August 29th, 2016 at 10:17 AM

    I did the compose a letter thing, only I did it via email. I never did send it but man oh man I wanted to.
    But my therapist advised against it.

    Anyway I just put down all the ways I had loved him and the multiple ways that he had let me down. It was good for me to actually see all of that in black and white and helped me to understand that although I was not without fault, this break up had just as much to do with the things he did wrong as the things I did wrong.

    That was very helpful to me

  • alex

    August 29th, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    Can anyone please explain to me why the toxic people in our lives are quite often the hardest ones to let go of?

  • Aubrey

    April 5th, 2018 at 8:03 PM

    I second that…..it does seem to be the case.maybe cause we have looked at the relationship as a challenge and when all fails we hold ourselves personally accountable. And we self consciously feel we can “fix” them….which is I suppose a somewhat egotistical idea?

  • rose

    November 26th, 2019 at 6:14 PM

    We as humans like to think we can help and/or fix people. Reality is we cannot “fix” or make anybody “Happy”, that comes from within. Toxic people pretend that they love to control and that is the bottom line – to control somebody else to achieve their own goals. Be strong and fight back with your own power. They are selfish people which do not possess any values what soever.

  • Life isnt easy

    April 15th, 2019 at 6:48 AM

    Im replying to this question 2 1/2 years after it was asked, but my understanding of myself is we repeat the patterns from v early on, the way of relating we knew as a child. If that was toxic – we may have been rejected, abandoned, conditions may have been unsafe, unstable and so forth, its hard to create anything that works differently as adults. We hold on because we all need to related. Its hard to let go. In my early 50’s and still learning the lessons. Hard. I am better than I used to be though. I see the patterns more clearly, can be more honest with myself, but man, is it hard?!

  • So True

    June 1st, 2019 at 7:20 AM

    This is so true. Without addressing issues from how we were programmed in our early relationships, our unconscious mind strives to recreate those conditions since it is familiar and ‘safe’. Anything else is considered uncertain and unsafe by our egoic minds without taking a serious effort to self-examine it and break the pattern through being more present in our lives. I dated a woman who described profound neglect from her parents as a child, and she carries it with her to this day by an impulsive need to not rely on anyone, not get too close to anyone, and break off relationships abruptly as she learned very early that she will be hurt and disappointed by relaying on someone she wants to love. As a result, she was always living in her mind, constantly ruminating about what she should be doing with her life, what her next career move is, why she wasn’t loved by her mother….with only brief moments in time where we were ‘present’ and enjoying life. I always made an effort to listen to her monologues about these things but it was very tiring. We loved each other but I always felt that buffer she kept that seemed like a deep wound that had never fully healed. We dated and broke up 3 times over three years before I finally stopped myself from pursuing her in order to keep my sanity. It was too painful for me to experience her constant pushing and pulling within our relationship, never knowing for sure when I’d see her next. I’m happier now and have learned that you cannot ‘fix’ someone’s relationship issues – they have to do it themselves. I still get sad thinking about her, some of the happiest moments of my life were with her. But I realize it was never going to last, and I’ve embraced the impermenance of that relationship, and of life itself.

  • learned my lesson

    January 1st, 2020 at 9:08 PM

    Over the past 3.5 years a man I dated broke it off with me about 7 times. Right before Christmas 2019, he broke it off again. I told him never to return. I miss him terribly but I realize now that we were on a constant roller coaster that never went anywhere….it feels so good to let the uncertainty go. The hardest past is imagining him moving on from us. Time heals all wounds…. I hope. Thank you for sharing your stories….it helps to know I’m not alone.

  • Rose

    June 7th, 2019 at 10:10 AM

    I have been struggling with a toxic man since 7 yrs now. I completely understand how difficult it is to leave them. Bcz we are blinded by love , we feel if we love them we can change them. There is a constant battle. They love when it’s convenient and don’t when it’s not. It takes such a toll on your own mental health. Bcz we constantly think love will change them, fix them. We take all their emotional abuses and still try to understand why they did what they did and it’s so so much draining. In spite of this realization we love them and one day they leave us or make us leave them. I learned this hard way, very very hard way. It has completely shattered my own beliefs on love and I feel so afraid and alone and feel I will never be able to love someone else and I can’t trust any man again. I think that is the saddest part. I Know my thinking is wrong maybe Time heals everything but those moments of letting go, knowing that you can’t have them are so so tough, you literally feel drained hopeless and just unworthy and unhappy. I don’t know what led me here. But that’s how I feel right now. I don’t know if I will ever be better again.

  • Flav

    July 28th, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    So I’m reading this years after it was posted and your comment @alex really resonates with me! Why is it that getting over toxic relationships is harder than anything?? I am struggling to get over one and it

  • Sylvie

    August 29th, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    I am so torn because I know that I should break things off with this guy I’m seeing but I don’t know, it’s like what we have together has this hold over me and I can’t seem to face being without him.

    There are some things that we do that are not the best together, I will say that much but it still feels like there is this connection, and I don’t know, I want to let him go but there is a part of me that just can’t do it.

  • Nora

    February 16th, 2018 at 10:07 AM

    OMG! I so needed to hear that I am not the only one feeling exactly like this. So conflicting and anxiety-provoking!
    I see that you posted a while ago. I hope you’re in a better place in regards to this person.

  • KC

    July 15th, 2023 at 3:54 PM

    This is actually what I am going through right now, I have broken up with him since last year september, but I still can’t forget him, I can’t move on until I get back together with him, now it’s becoming more hard for me to let go and I am not happy with it.

  • Avery

    August 30th, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Well there was one guy that I broke up with and i burned EVERY SINGLE THING that he had veer given to me. It was great, I got such pleasure in seeing hundreds of dollars worth of stuff that he had paid for going up in flames.

    Call me sadistic, but he really hurt me, broke my heart, and that just felt like what I needed to do to be able to move forward.

  • danna S

    August 30th, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    When I got a divorce I felt like I had to be so strong for the kids that I did not allow myself to grieve the end of the relationship nor did I ever fully process all of the hurt and betrayal that I felt. It has all come back at such unfortunate times now years later that I feel like I am reliving the whole nightmare even though it was years ago. I would have probably been much better off letting myself feel it then instead of choosing to bury it, and I might have a normal life now. But instead all I can think about what might have been and ugh, that gets too depressing.

  • Brynn

    August 31st, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    The most difficult thing for many people to accomplish is actually getting to a point where they can clearly see that this is not a good or healthy relationship to be a part of anymore.

    I think that often once you can come to that moment it is a little easier to make peace with that loss than it is up until that moment.

    Most of us will hang on for way too long to something that is ephemeral, isn’t there in reality anymore just because this is what we have known for so long and it is hard to think of anything or anyone different.

  • Em

    September 3rd, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    Do you think that it is too simplistic to say that all in all the worst relationship that I was ever in was the one that ultimately taught me the most about myself?

  • Claire

    September 6th, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    Even though my husband is the love of my life there are still times when I have to take off those love goggles and not allow the feelings that I have for him cloud my judgement/. There has been a time when I thought that he could do no wrong, but he is human just like the rest of us and I have to sometimes make a concerted effort to understand that he is going to make mistakes and misjudgements just like the rest of us do. We are still newlyweds so I want everything to be perfect but I am also learning that life is not all about what you only see through those rose colored glasses.

  • HH

    December 14th, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    Easier said than done.

  • Que

    January 16th, 2017 at 5:46 PM

    I just don’t know how things can be so great yet so horrible. We just can’t communicate..it’s like we’re just try to out beat the other instead of come together and understand each other. It just doesn’t make sense anymore and I think it’s time to finally part ways but it’s not that easy.

  • John

    June 10th, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Que what ended up happening and are you a male or female?

  • Flav

    July 28th, 2019 at 11:55 AM

    This communication thing just seems like rocket science. This is what has gotten me to where I am…we have been brought up in such different backgrounds and while I understand that my partner had it rough growing up, I feel like I don’t deserve the insults, the violence and the endless pain!

  • pay

    April 12th, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    i dont know why i cant just let him go and he keeps trying but hurting me… so much

  • Amay

    September 18th, 2017 at 12:46 PM

    I’m here cause i’m honestly working on moving. been dating this guy for two years. He hit me 4times in a period of 2years. I decided to end things about a week ago but it’s so hard. I keep crying myself to sleep. I feel so stupid. i did not leave when i had the chance. Been reading articles about moving on but nothiing really works. I’m an artist , i try to paint to keep myself busy but it seems everything reminds me about him. I’m honestly torn. I hide from my friends and family because most of them keep giving me the i told you so attitude. It honestly hurts me. I need help, i can’t do this on my own. This has been my longest relationship and i feel like i lost the love of my life, Only thing is he isnt worth crying over.

  • Jac

    October 19th, 2017 at 10:40 PM

    I know the guy I’m in a relationship doesn’t deserve me and he will never change, I hope I can take these helpful tips and apply them to my journey of letting go. I know it’s time. I’m glad I finally see that I’m not the only person in the world experiencing these problems.

  • Al A.

    November 14th, 2017 at 11:20 AM

    I have the tools but I still look at only the good in the time I was there2zka

  • Ken

    January 17th, 2018 at 3:26 PM

    i came across this site. im leaving my partner after 8 years. i always thought that i couldnt live without him but the thing is i cant live with a liar or a cheater. Clinging on to God is the only thing that took the pain away.. i would go in my room and scream to the top of my lungs for hours and cry untill i couldnt feel the pain anymore after that didnt work but so many times. i turned to God and begged him to take away the pain. I told him that i wouldnt put myself in another situation like this again. We broke up a week after my birthday its been almost 2months. im definitely not fully healed. i still have my days where i wanna just cry but i know there was nothing i did wrong. one thing ive learned is you cant change people. they have to want to change for themselves. Another thing is i had so much trust and faith inside this guy i had more faith in him then i had in myself. i built who i was around him. Biggest mistake we all make. we cant give people this much power and allow our identity to be lost in some jackasses hands. For everyone thats reading this i pray that you make it out of whatever you are going thru right now. God is undefeated. Lean on to him.

  • Anonymously Torn

    April 25th, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Ken, I am so sorry you went through, what you went through. I hope you are healing, one day at a time. I have been feeling very used, and lied to, and I still stay, because this has by far, been the hardest relationship to date. I am praying for you.

  • lis l

    January 23rd, 2018 at 10:56 AM

    its crazy to see how many people are in toxic relationships now days I to have been in toxic abusive relationships and its a no win game there all they do is take from you and disrespect you in every way possible.i spent ten years and had a child with him.we have been broken up for four years and i have completely let him go in my heart and all i feel is freedom from that era in my life.with that being said im in yet another toxic relationship yet again this one no physical or verbal abuse but a lot of emotional abandonment from him hes become cold as ice. He has an ex that he shares a child with that controls his every move and it has totally taken its toll on our relationship.I know its reached **** near its end but yet i don’t want to let go but i do have my own process of letting one go that works for me but takes some time.one thing i have learned though is it is definitely harder to hold onto something that no longer remains between the v two of you then it is to get go in the long run.still the struggle is real when matters of the heart are involved.

  • Anonymously Torn

    April 25th, 2018 at 11:32 AM

    Well, In my 38 years of life and doing all the ‘wrong’ in past relationships, I married a woman who has continuously tried me, and done me wrong. KARMA is a *****! She blames my attitude, on pushing her unhappiness, and reaching/seeking out other people from the past, but, she could have just left, and saved the drama. I am constantly internally fighting myself. I know what I bring to the table, however, am terrified of letting go. I feel lost. I don’t know how to put my foot down, and get my inner song back.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    April 25th, 2018 at 11:54 AM

    Thank you for your comment. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

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  • Corey

    November 20th, 2019 at 5:25 PM

    Seems we are all dating the same person, or at least from the same family. Good chance of that seeing what I have seen.
    Accepting that people have issues is one thing, accepting bad behaviour is another. We accept people with their faults and we encourage them as best we can to overcome those faults, just as we accept constructive criticisms, it makes us better in a healthy way. Bad behaviour is another thing completely. We are all personally and socially bound to morals, when those morals are breached it will have a devastating effect. I believe we continue to go back to these morally impaired people as a quick fix, as a way of blinding ourself to the truth that they in fact are bad people, ‘see I didn’t get it wrong’, because going back is a short term antidote to the mental and emotional stress we are feeling after leaving. Your entire world shutters and we try to stop the shuttering by fixing the cause of it. We need to realise that if the shuttering has started then there is no stopping it, it will continue to shutter every time we go back, it will in fact be more likely to shutter because it has done before and lost nothing because of it, they still have you and your rewarding there immoral behaviour. I’m no different to you guys, my head sees it but my heart won’t believe it. The person shuttering our lives speak words directly to our hearts but we are blinded to see that they are laced with poison.

  • Sandra

    November 24th, 2019 at 11:27 AM

    I don’t know how to start my story but at this point I feel like am losing my mind .. I’ve been married for 5years. In this years I’ve cried more than I’ve been happy.. I’ve been trying to make my marriage work but I feel like am going to die trying.. I don’t know what else to do.. The only reason why am still holding on is because of my kids.. Am really frustrated..

  • Corey

    November 29th, 2019 at 1:31 AM

    Hi Sandra

    I have been listening to a podcast and now it’s become a daily routine of mine. It’s called ‘it’s not normal it’s toxic’ rid yourself of toxic people. It’s by a lady called Dr Heidi. I have found with her coaching and many sites like this I have been able to get out of a bad situation and strengthen myself. I was in such a bad way that I remember sitting on the kitchen floor crying and wondering what was wrong with me and why I felt so horrible. Never again will that be me, not after all this. I hope you can get what you need from all these resources and gain the strength to do what you need to.

  • Jenny

    November 25th, 2019 at 3:28 AM

    Hi Sandra, we’re all on this page because we’re all going through the same thing. Life circumstances, details are different but we all have the same pain. It’s good that you wrote something. And It’s really important to get help. Are you seeing a therapist? This in itself isn’t easy – finding a good one, its a long process etc, and finding the right kind. But, get support. For myself – and Ive endlessly repeated the pattern of going into difficult and painful relationships to the point of despair, desperation, I now know Im having to face childhood pain. We hear the cliches all the time, and really I resisted this. I’m in my mid 50’s and I can’t avoid it anymore! I would endlessly ask myself, why cant I leave, whats wrong with me? etc etc. I guess how we face this is individual, what we get from it as well, but Ive come to accept for myself that present circumstances where I feel hurt, fear, anger, grief sadness is here for a reason, and there’s a reason IN MYSELF why i’m in this situation,why I made this choice, ‘slipped into this situation’ (if I didn’t feel it was a choice). Meaning – its not by chance. Something needs to be healed/recognised in me, you, us. And its hard. Especially as we are constantly fed stuff ‘out there’ about relationships, fantasy. And blogs, videos are everywhere about how to have a good relationship – and then we feel utterly shit because we cant get anything like that. But, this is here to teach us something. God its almost impossible -in the middle of what feels like dying to me sometimes, to feel that all of this is a mirror. I hear myself saying if only he could……..take better care of me, love me, respect me, and I have a long list of times when this should have happened. But, you know my dad left at 4, and I was very close to him – didnt see him again. The childhood absolute gut/heart wrench, and then my mum married a man who was violent. Our histories are different, some more extreme, some seemingly ‘ok’. I would say there is something there for you to look at. Ive recently been reading something which states the first 7 years are where our emotional self is forming and that lays the pattern for ALL of the rest of our life…….worth thinking about. Most of that is buried, unconscious, but it plays itself out. Let me know how you get on. Wishing you strength x

  • Hamisi

    December 15th, 2019 at 2:16 PM

    Being Gay hurts and falling in love with a disrespectful partner hurts. Thanks so much for this blog

  • Belita J

    February 23rd, 2020 at 6:27 PM

    I’m suffering as well from an off and on relationship of over two decades! I’ve been married to another man and have children by him but I also have 2 children by the narcissist and so my body,mind, spirit and soul has always constantly craved for him as some sort of a drug dependency and it sucks! I’ve gotten over him only once in my entire life but I guess not fully if after a decade, I’m to my old desires for him again after leaving my husband of 10 years but not necessarily for him! Being with him was somewhat of a booster for me to let go and move on though but I am currently trapped and wish that I had no feelings whatsoever and could just go completely NUMB @100%!!!!

  • Amit

    March 5th, 2020 at 4:25 AM

    Pleasant post in fact. Self esteem is varying as you love your accomplice. On the off chance that you don’t adore yourself, how might you convey it to the next individual throughout everyday life. Deal with yourself and counsel somebody in the event that you are confronting a few issues. There ought not be any wavering.

  • Nibedita

    May 6th, 2020 at 1:59 AM

    Hello All,
    I was in a relationship with a fine young handsome and a bright person . Everything was going great till we we ended up in staying at distance. Then we realised that i am not sexually/physically attracted to him . That created a distance between us too and relationship was sour . He was in pune and i was in chennai . For next three years it was complete struggle between us i got distracted by another man, he also got distracted by other woman . It became all messy and finally i moved to bangalore . We never formally broke the relationship when i met my college friend who was my crush during my graduation. Things went little south and me and my college friend ended up sleeping together and we found out we are sexually/physically too much attracted to each other . SO finally in 2019 i and my boyfriend broke up my father passed away the same year and the physical relationship with my college friend also went on. I realised may be i am in love with my college friend so i proposed him , he also liked me . However he said he don’t love me. Now i am completely devastated . I am in love with two people one who has treated me like a princess but i was not phyiscally attracted to him and another my college friend who was my sex buddy but passionate love making has made me fallen for him . Now i do not know how to get out from this endless loop. I am in constant touch with my ex boyfriend, somehow managed to maintain distance from my college friend due to quarantine but i constantly think about both of them especially my college friend . Can anyone help me ?

  • Zoe

    May 14th, 2020 at 4:47 PM

    Thank you for telling me that although it’s hard for us to let go of the relationship we’ve had for years, I should still prioritize myself and my personal needs. I am on the verge of breaking up with my partner of 5 years because of his constant need for us to engage in sexual intercourse and I feel that he doesn’t respect my choices most of the time. My mother had always told me never to settle for less and know my worth, so I’m definitely convinced that I should break up with him. It might be better if he were to undergo counseling sessions and treat his unhealthy sex addiction.

  • Adam

    July 4th, 2020 at 11:12 PM

    It is quite common nowadays to find your significant other by using the services of a dating website. The online world has turned into a fantastic way to make new friends and, in some cases, it is also the place where new relationships are born. An account on a dating site may increase your chances of finding the love of your life.

  • g

    October 8th, 2020 at 10:10 PM

    I have been wondering about this topic of late and was thinking of searching the internet to increase my knowledge. Thank God that I visited your website otherwise I wouldn’t have come across such a nicely-written article. Once I liked this particular post, I was going through few other posts as well. I simply loved them!

  • eMZ

    October 21st, 2020 at 4:07 AM

    We were in a relationship of 15 years when we got married. But before we got married he cheated that the girl got pregnant. He avoided it because he said he love me and felt sorry for his mistakes. And before that he gave up from our relationship, I tried to fight for it because of the long years we had together, and because I felt loved also by him. we had so much happiness than hurtful feelings, its just that, 3 years before. But then he said I am the one he wants to be with. After 1 year when he saw his twins, yes its a twin, i never though that he will told me that he wants to be with them.. The mother is using the babies to get him back. My husband said he still loves me, he decided to stay with them because of the kids only and that because he loved he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings or lie everytime he is with them. We still keep in touch and exchanging I love you’s but it already hurt my pride and feelings that he is staying already with them. I am the one who told him to help me for letting go because its so sudden that its just a year when we got married. I feel like i could loose my mind thinking about it. I want to let go, but its so hard that he doesn’t care anymore like before. He changed completely.

  • Dmitry

    November 4th, 2020 at 5:20 PM

    I’ve been married to a very beautiful woman for 5 years. About 8 years together in total. Like many others, I saw many red flags, but hoped she would change, once our relationship got more serious. My partner is still severely stuck on her ex. He was her first, but after so many years, she still can’t let go of him – and doesn’t seem to want to. She wants to have children with me and remain in the marriage, all while sneaking around to have inappropriate conversations with him. So many lies, so much deceit. Coming to terms that you’re not number one in their life is a very bitter pill to swallow.
    I’m trying to muster up enough strength to walk away. And I’m hoping I’ll have the strength to do this. I know I have to. I deserve much, much better than this toxic, hurtful, and completely disrespectful treatment.
    All the very best to everyone going through hardships right now. Keep your heads up, and remember – you DO deserve better.

  • Cheryl

    January 10th, 2021 at 4:44 PM

    A healthy relationship is one that gives you the stability of roots and the freedom of wings. You feel at home and comfortable as your real, deserving self and you can also follow your bliss where it takes you

  • Praise

    March 20th, 2021 at 7:55 AM

    Am in a toxic relationship but I really want to end it ,but I don’t know how ??

  • Skylar GoodTherapy

    March 20th, 2021 at 11:16 AM

    Dear Praise, Ending a relationship can be really hard. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, you can start finding therapists in your area by entering your city or ZIP code into the search field on this page: https://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html. Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. You may click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. If you need help finding a therapist, you are welcome to call us. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time, and our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext 3. Kind regards, The GoodTherapy Team

  • Sabrina

    April 15th, 2021 at 1:19 PM

    I’ve recently ended a two year relationship with a guy 7 yrs younger than me. Throughout the relationship I saw the red flags and some times think I should’ve known better. I do love and care a lot for him but I also know my mental stability is way more important. He lied throughout the entire relationship, whereas he was still involved with his child’s mother. Finally she contacted me and never stopped until I ended communication by blocking her. He never addressed the drama or attempted to repair what he had broken. Of course I’m heartbroken and sometimes don’t know what to do throughout my day because I was so use to him being in my life. I’m also recently divorced and I think I never healed or took time out for myself; therefore, I believe I was unable to focus or see clearly really what he had to offer. Which was nothing. I do miss a lot of things that we did together, time spent, etc. However, I understand this needed to happen because I deserve to be genuinely happy. I want to forgive myself and him too, I want to know my worth, I want to be able to walk away at the first sign that the relationship is not going to work, I want to be secure enough with myself whereas I will not tolerate nothing less than what I deserve, I want to properly heal from the very reason that causes me to be involved in these toxic relationships.

  • Cat

    June 21st, 2021 at 9:59 PM

    I need help ended a toxic relationship

  • Hijab hi okk j'y

    November 9th, 2021 at 10:49 AM

    I am not in a toxic relationship but I am always stressed about it and I feel so unhealthy and we are in a long distance relationship but he is so good still for the distance it’s really hard to maintain

  • Ocean

    November 13th, 2021 at 8:06 PM

    I feel stuck like im with a guy i love but i feel like i cant do anything right.. He tells me im no good and tells me i have to change in alot of ways. i dont understand what i am doing wrong i feel like maybe he wants out? like we argue more than anything else sometimes it is over barely anything like i feel like its unhealthy and toxic but i just feel stuck like i cant leave.. i need help and advice because im feeling that maybe leaving is the only way to feel better in myself again but everytime i do leave i instantly crumble like i just lost a part of me and i endup contacting him again.. I don’t know why because its never healthy or stable.. we have been together for 5 years but we separated for 8 months throgh part of that.. I need help. advice. anything i feel really stuck

  • Debby

    November 22nd, 2021 at 1:25 PM

    Okay it’s really difficult, experiencing one at the moment like I really like this guy but I know we are not compactable and then he is cheating on me with another girl, but I know he obviously likes her more because she’s always at his house and me on the other one he calls me once a week. Now the issue is he will never allow me talk with other people, he always monitors and go through my phone and how do I leave him because I really love him

  • chen

    December 15th, 2021 at 11:34 PM

    I am in a 6 years relationship with a possessive man who always controls my decision like my haircut, my social relationships for example I can’t attend gatherings together with my co-workers cause he was not comfortable me being close to them. He won’t even allow me to decide for myself. He can’t stay in a job for more than a year and I had to take care of everything. I am sick of him being jealous with my male co-workers, and for asking same questions over and over again but always expecting answers that he only want. Am I to blame for allowing him to treat me this way? Is it enough reason to leave him?

  • Simone

    February 7th, 2022 at 9:18 AM

    I just ended an on and off relationship of 3 years with a man who was kind, loving and affectionate, but just could not stop seeking out sexual attention from other women. One time I found messages where it would be blazingly obvious to anyone that it was inappropriate. Even after confronting and discussing this with him, he would say that he did not realise that his actions would be hurtful and breaking trust in us and that he wanted to continue. He didn’t see anything wrong with his actions, and would gaslight me by saying I was seeing things wrong. There was no remorse or effort to take responsibility, only that he was ‘sorry i felt hurt by it, and we saw things differently.’ I realise now I was constantly gas lighted, and finally after asking him one last time, I realise that his need to validation by all of these extra women would always be more important to him that I will ever be. Bottom line, his insecurities became stronger than his love. I wished him well, but I deserve better than being one of many. I have cried more in this relationship than smiled, and spent so much effort trying to help him fix his issues and toxic behaviours. But it never works unless they want to. I deserve a relationship where there is love, trust and loyalty. We all do.

  • Emotional Wreck

    April 6th, 2022 at 2:51 AM

    I spent over 20 years with this guy. He cheated 4 times in the first 9 years – mostly physical. The last time he cheated, he came back begging, promised he would never do it again. We promised each other that if ever we wanted to end our relationship, we would do so amicably. But years later, he had ‘fallen out of love’ with me and he fallen ‘in love’ with someone else. This time it was on an emotional level. Apparently our relationship was already over a long time beforehand so this made it ok 🙄. News to me.
    I have accepted my part in the failure of our relationship (i wasn’t always easy to live with) but I cannot accept him not talking to me about his feelings (or lack thereof) before walking away.
    I have gone 1 month, no contact and he is ghosting me anyway.
    It’s still hard. I hope it gets better soon because there are so many reminders of our 20 plus years together and i cant seem to get away from them. I just want the hurt to stop. If it weren’t for our kids ( they youngest is 15) I would move as far away as I could. I’m learning to accept our relationship is over and I want to let go. I just wish my head and my heart would be on the same page.

  • Albert

    April 11th, 2022 at 9:25 AM

    Life is crazy I’m a young 71yr man so even at my age we take on people that are not good for you my ex was a barfly I fell head over heal for her I broke it off after 5yrz once a barfly all ways one God I prayed endlessly for her but to change as soon as we left each other back to the bar for her. I need to find peace within myself with the love of God only can truly heal all of us

  • Nico

    August 11th, 2023 at 5:16 AM

    Awesome post! Thanks for sharing the knowledge and keep up the good work.

  • Reyhan

    September 14th, 2023 at 2:12 AM

    Thanks a lot of information good jobs

  • reyhan

    December 1st, 2023 at 2:20 AM

    thanks a lot of information keren

  • Rhonda

    January 26th, 2024 at 2:20 PM

    would like an update on person who posted this from 2019

    June 7th, 2019 at 10:10 AM
    I have been struggling with a toxic man since 7 yrs now. I completely understand how difficult it is to leave them. Bcz we are blinded by love , we feel if we love them we can change them. There is a constant battle. They love when it’s convenient and don’t when it’s not. It takes such a toll on your own mental health. Bcz we constantly think love will change them, fix them. We take all their emotional abuses and still try to understand why they did what they did and it’s so so much draining. In spite of this realization we love them and one day they leave us or make us leave them. I learned this hard way, very very hard way. It has completely shattered my own beliefs on love and I feel so afraid and alone and feel I will never be able to love someone else and I can’t trust any man again. I think that is the saddest part. I Know my thinking is wrong maybe Time heals everything but those moments of letting go, knowing that you can’t have them are so so tough, you literally feel drained hopeless and just unworthy and unhappy. I don’t know what led me here. But that’s how I feel right now. I don’t know if I will ever be better again.

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