Finding Peace After a Toxic Relationship
toxic relationships

10 Pearls for Finding Peace after a Toxic Relationship

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Finding peace after a toxic relationship requires giving yourself time to grieve, forgiving when necessary, releasing false responsibility for what went wrong, understanding that your ex was too broken to love you properly, disconnecting from your ex, and beginning your inner awakening process.

I’m sorry that you may feel like no one understands the pain and confusion you’re going through right now. Time may be slowly passing by, whether it’s days, weeks, months, or even years, and you may not know who to turn to. Perhaps your friends think you should just “suck it up” and move on, but how can you? How can you forget about the most amazing love story you’ve ever experienced? Or, how can you make the pain of what they did disappear?

How can you make the pain of what they did disappear?

Are your emotions going back and forth at lightning speed? One moment, you may hate them for the pain they caused you, and in the next moment, you would give anything to have them near you again. Sweetie, you’re not crazy. You were strong enough to truly love. Don’t ever regret having a beautiful heart that cared deeply for another person.

I hope these healing steps will help ease some of your pain and put you on the road to recovery. If you need more help, I can speak with you 1:1 when you try 20 minutes of free empowerment coaching to start your healing process!

Related Article: An Empowering Letter To Women Healing From Emotional Abuse

The Impact of Toxic Relationship

The aftermath of a toxic relationship can lead to a variety of difficult emotions and behaviors, including:

  • Fear of being alone and experiencing pain
  • Feelings of being unloved, unwanted, and unworthy of love
  • Confusion stemming from the mental games played in the relationship
  • Damaged self-esteem due to verbal abuse
  • Emotional pain, numbness, and emptiness
  • Feelings of shame and guilt related to the breakup or one’s own behaviors
  • Being on edge and feeling anxious around others
  • Constantly over-analyzing one’s words and behaviors
  • Engaging in defensive or other self-protecting behaviors to avoid experiencing pain.

Related Article: 9 Causes Of Toxic Relationships

How to Find Peace After a Toxic Relationship

  1. Release the relationship and let go of any emotional attachment to your ex. This may involve letting go of physical reminders of the relationship, such as gifts or mementos.
  2. Allow yourself to feel your emotions fully. It’s okay to feel angry, sad, hurt, or any other emotion that comes up. Acknowledge your feelings and give yourself permission to experience them.
  3. Go no contact with your ex. This means cutting off all communication with them, including phone calls, texts, and social media. This can help you detach from the relationship and move on.
  4. Correct any negative stories you may be telling yourself about the relationship or yourself. This could involve challenging beliefs like “I’m not worthy of love” or “I always attract toxic people.”
  5. Rediscover yourself by exploring your values, beliefs, and goals. Spend time getting to know yourself and what makes you happy. This can help you build a strong sense of self and attract healthier relationships in the future.
  6. Take time to reflect on what you learned from the relationship. Even though it was toxic, there may have been valuable lessons or insights that you gained. Reflecting on these can help you grow and avoid similar situations in the future.
  7. Practice self-care and prioritize your well-being. This can include things like getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
  8. Seek professional help if needed. A therapist or counselor can provide you with additional support and guidance as you navigate the healing process.
  9. Explore new hobbies, interests, and activities. This can help you discover new aspects of yourself and find joy outside of the relationship.
  10. Set boundaries and learn to say no. This can be difficult if you were used to over-giving in the relationship, but it’s important to prioritize your own needs and desires.

Remember, healing from a toxic relationship takes time and effort, but it is possible. By prioritizing your own well-being, seeking support when needed, and exploring new aspects of yourself, you can find your way back to a place of wholeness and self-love.

More Indepth Summary

1. Release the relationship

Releasing a toxic relationship is a difficult step that requires accepting the reality of the pain and abuse that occurred. It also involves letting go of someone you deeply love, which can be a painful grieving process.

In a toxic relationship, it can be challenging to recognize the toxicity due to the gaslighting, manipulation, and lying involved. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not crazy and to prioritize your own peace. Self-love is not selfish.

How to know if my relationship is toxic:

  • We keep having the same argument repeatedly.
  • I feel lonely and depressed without them.
  • I feel uncertain when trying to comprehend a disagreement.
  • They become angry when I hold a different viewpoint.
  • The relationship is painful, and I’m constantly experiencing emotional or physical distress.

Read 31 signs of a toxic relationship for further information.

2. Allow Yourself to Feel

Toxic relationships are deeply traumatic and wound us in ways that people without similar experiences can’t understand. It can feel very lonely on the path to recovery because the people around may not be able to support you, in the way you need. And you may develop a sense of frustration with yourselves because your healing seems to be going slower than expected.

It’s time to be patient with yourself and find the proper support to comfort yourself along the process. There will be days where you feel emotionally well and there maybe days that you’re crying uncontrollably. Or you may have days that you feel like you’re going backwards.

Did you forgive them one day and then want revenge the next day? Or have you decided you tried your best one day and then went back to blaming yourself for the relationship ending on the next? That’s okay. Your body can only heal one layer of the pain at a time because it’s not healthy to release all the trauma at once.

Your body can only heal one layer of the pain at a time because it’s not healthy to release all the trauma at once.

You have to allow God to guide your body into unraveling the pain, one layer at time. Experiencing triggers and new layers of pain does not mean you’re going backwards. It means that you’re ready to heal the current layer that you’re experiencing.

What are trauma triggers?

Trauma triggers occur when you are reminded of past toxicity due to a similar situation, feeling, memory, person's behavior, conversation, scene from a television show, or dream. Upon encountering a trigger, your body enters into a fight, flight, or freeze response. Without proper healing, the trauma can cause you to handle your emotions in an unhealthy, fearful, and harmful manner.

Related Article: 5 Steps to Heal Betrayal Trauma Triggers

3. Go No Contact

If you have attempted therapy, couple’s counseling, and other strategies with no success, it may be time to consider going no contact. This means taking steps to distance yourself from your toxic ex to prevent them from pulling you back into the harmful cycle. You deserve better than that.

If you share children with your toxic ex, it may be helpful to seek legal advice to ensure that you are making decisions that protect both you and your children. Remember, you do not have to handle this alone, and there are people available to assist you.

4. Forgive Yourself & Them

I understand that being in a toxic relationship can be a painful and traumatic experience. It’s important to acknowledge that the pain you are feeling is valid and that it’s not your fault. It’s unfortunate that your ex was not able to heal properly and that their pain was projected onto you.

Until your ex is able to address their inner demons and heal, they will not be able to have healthy relationships with anyone.

It’s important to take care of yourself and release the emotional baggage that may be holding you back. Forgiving your ex for hurting you and forgiving yourself for feeling like you allowed them to hurt you can be a difficult but necessary step towards healing. Remember that forgiveness is not about excusing their behavior but about finding peace and moving forward with your life. You deserve to live a happy and fulfilling life, free from the pain of your past experiences.

Is guilt keeping you stuck?

Entering a toxic relationship can often be associated with fears of saying “no” and feeling guilty when not meeting your partner’s needs. If this resonates with you, it’s possible that you over-gave in your relationship and still carry feelings of guilt for not giving enough. Alternatively, you may feel responsible for the relationship’s downfall when you stood up against your partner’s selfish behavior.

Related Article: What type of people attract narcissists?

5. Correct the Story You Believe

The story you believe about your relationship will play a significant role in your healing process. Dysfunctional relationships often lead to negative self-beliefs and distorted perceptions of ourselves. To heal, it’s important to release any false sense of responsibility for their actions, shame, feelings of unworthiness, and powerlessness.

The following questions will help you explore any obstacles in your healing process:

  • Did anyone ever warn you about the potential pain in relationships? What would you have done differently if you knew about toxic relationships?
  • Do you believe that someone who hasn’t experienced a toxic relationship has the capacity to understand you? How much should you share with others who haven’t had such an experience?
  • Do you have anyone who understands your healing process? Why or why not?
  • Have you been hard on yourself for taking time to heal? Are you showing yourself kindness?
  • Do you blame yourself for what happened? Why?
  • Read more: Journal Prompts for Correcting The Story

In addition to journaling prompts, consider using affirmations and contemplative journaling as part of your healing journey. These practices can help release negative emotions, rewire your brain, and increase self-awareness.

You don’t have to heal alone! Let me help you! I can speak with you 1:1 when you try 20 minutes of free empowerment coaching and start your healing process!

6. Rediscover Yourself

Experiencing such excruciating pain can leave you feeling lost, broken, and like a stranger in your own body. Unfortunately, pain can alter the way survivors communicate, trust, understand, love, hope, and give advice.

To remove the damage of a toxic relationship, it is necessary to find your way back to innocence, trust, patience, wholeness, joy, and confidence. It will be a difficult journey, but take comfort in knowing that rediscovery will be the most powerful experience and awakening you will ever have. By learning to love yourself truly, this process will help you eliminate unhealthy thought patterns, feelings of powerlessness, and patterns of behavior that tie you to unhealthy people.

Did loving them make you feel worthy, loved, and wanted? Did they make you feel special for the first time in your life? Did you give too much and feel like you had nothing left in the end?

Before having a complete awakening, it is common to accept broken partners into your life. Once you shed the pain and trauma that keeps you disempowered, you will be able to choose a partner who has gone through the same awakening process.

What is an Inner Awakening?

An inner awakening occurs when you fully embrace your entire being, unlearn survival techniques, and realize your true value. This enables you to release the weight of others’ opinions, actions, and emotions, allowing you to live freely as your authentic self.

This journey involves:

  • Embracing the richness of your personality
  • Discovering your inner power, talents, and skills
  • Connecting with God and the Holy Spirit
  • Releasing the need for a partner to complete you
  • Disconnecting from toxic bonds
  • Breaking free from fears and limiting beliefs
  • Loving the richness of who you are
  • Shedding the weight of other people’s opinions
  • Learning to receive love and refusing to settle for less
  • Giving love in a healthy way that doesn’t deplete you
  • Pursuing your dreams with confidence
  • Developing a deeper trust in yourself and your intuition
  • Loving life and the people who matter in a richer way
  • Finding inner joy, peace, and motivation.

Related Article: Find Your Inner Power After A Toxic Relationship!

How to find yourself after a toxic relationship?

  1. Allow yourself time to heal.
  2. Disconnect from your ex and stop open communication.
  3. Find support and someone you can talk to.
  4. Forgive yourself for allowing the relationship.
  5. Then forgive your ex for the pain, betrayal, and abandonment.
  6. Lastly, take the time to begin your process of awakening.

It’s painful, but it’s necessary to heal that whole that your toxic relationship couldn’t fill. They may have left you feeling open, empty, and alone, but it won’t feel like that forever. Refuse to give into the pain or use unhealthy coping strategies to feel better.

The journey is worth it. So please don’t give up on yourself during a painful moment of grief.

Journal Prompts to Rediscover Your Authentic Self

  1. Do you treat others better than yourself?
  2. Do you believe compliments? Why or why not?
  3. What do people mostly compliment you on?
  4. How has your intuition or gut helped you in past and/or present situations?
  5. Do you know how to receive love? How do you receive love?
  6. Read more: Journal Prompts for Correcting The Story

Christina Daniels is the founder of Adorned Heart. She is devoted to learning about human behavior and its affects on society. She received a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Public Policy. She hopes to use her life and academic experience to empower & heal the hearts of women!

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