Knowing When It’s Time to Leave a Bad Relationship

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You know, I’m no expert on relationships. I’ve had my fair share of doozies. I probably also shouldn’t be giving out relationship advice but I have to pride myself on one thing (that may give me a little bit of credibility here), as I learn and grow from each toxic relationship, I do my best to help others “see the light” and find the courage to leave too.

Many of us stay in loveless relationships because leaving is hard and scary. I was that person. I stayed for many reasons.

  • I had nothing else
  • I had nowhere else to go
  • I convinced myself it wasn’t that bad (others had it WAY worse than me!)
  • I’m just being ungrateful for everything I do have
  • How is he going to be able to live without me

Things were bound to get better

Oh I had a list of reasons longer than my arm as to why I should stay. I fought to hold on for longer than I should have because I was sure things were going to get better. We had a fight, we talked about it after, he said sorry. “Babe I love you, sorry, it’s just that….” < insert excuse of the week. After a really bad fight I’d have to write out an email or letter so he would really get it. Pour out my soul.

But he always said sorry and I love you. That means things can only get better, right? I held onto hope. I mean, they couldn’t get worse, could they? How much more toxic could this relationship get anyway?

I’d cry to friends and they would offer some relationship advice, or not. Sometimes they just offered soft, gentle and loving words. I took it all in.

It’s time to leave this toxic relationship…

Then one day, it was just time. I couldn’t do it any more. It was building up. 6 months of build up. Actually it was longer, maybe 2 years of build up. By the time I was ready to leave, time meant nothing. It didn’t matter how long I’ve been enduring this life.

All that mattered was that I was finally leaving this toxic relationship. A life of turmoil, insecurities, lies, volatile love and charades was coming to an end. I didn’t know what was going to be on the other side of this life for me. I was scared out of my tree. That’s what I knew for sure.

But I knew it was gonna be scary. It was time to face fear head on and just push. This relationship had to end. There was nothing left in it for me. It was pure poison. There was love. Some love. But too little, and certainly not enough to hang on to any more. He had some good, just not for me.

I thought back to some of the little pieces of relationship advice some of my friends offered to me. It was time to apply it.

Much to my surprise….

And then I did it. I packed my stuff, what little I had, and left. I knew there wasn’t going to be any turning back, ever. And I felt this huge wave of relief wash over me. It was like a tsunami, really. Like a tsunami of emotions. I was sad, I was happy, I was angry, I was so mad at him.

Why couldn’t he change to suit me? Why couldn’t this work? Why did it have to be like this? I had nothing. Inside or out. I was empty, broke and had nothing to my name. No wait, I had two things, really..

And then something else happened. Life opened up for me. Freedom. A freedom I have never known in my whole life. A freedom that called my name, loudly. It wasn’t just a whisper any more. Freedom was yelling at the top of its lungs.  “Iva, it’s about time!”

And I embraced life like I never have, ever before. And life was beautiful. And so was I. I wasn’t all those things I had been told for so many years. I was better than all that and I was about to prove all that to myself.

My Relationship Advice to you

Your relationship should feel good to you. It shouldn’t feel like it is chipping away pieces of your heart and soul. You must be able to be yourself, not have to live in fear and not have to second guess yourself or your relationship all the time.

It’s all about me now

I get to do things I’ve always wanted to do and never did, right down to eating cereal for dinner and staying up late and sleeping in on the weekends. I also got to find out who I am. Who I really am. What my purpose and my passion is.  I answer to myself only, and God. I do the best I can with what I have and my best is to help mankind.

Bartender, I’ll have the whole bottle tonight please. 

Peace and Love

Iva

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28 Comments

  • Hello Iva, I can relate to your story very well. I am just starting this journey of passion, my beliefs about myself that seems to hinder me and my never-ending procrastination. Thank you for sharing. I’ve started rather late fin my 50’s. I’m pretty clueless what direction to take. Have a good evening. Yvonne.

    • Hi Yvonne. Thanx for your comment. Like you, I was pretty clueless in the beginning too and then I realized I just needed to start taking action. It was fear holding me back from a lot of things and I was just making excuses. You’ll find your passion and live your purpose 🙂

  • New Life New Adventure, I did it – after 14+ years I walked away, took me 12 weeks to figure out I needed to figure out what to do. Have spent since the end of June creating a new life, moving from isolation to having a life – it is wonderful! And as you say..freedom…and I am happy. Make mine a double, heavy salt, hold the lime.

    • Heavy salt!! My kinda girl..lol..:) good for you for moving on. We would be lying if we said it’s easy. It’s not. Takes time to figure shit out. But once we do….unstoppable!!!! Here’s to you and your new life! Cheers!

  • I need to read this. I left a toxic, very long marriage and lived on my own for 3 years. I moved into a studio flat with the deposit lent to me by my life saving colleague and friend. I made that place my own, colour everywhere and a safe haven. Due to circumstances I have since moved in with a wonderful man but he has issues. I crave my own space again and realise that I cannot live with anyone else. But in todays financial life its impossible for me to rent on my own again. The rent I paid before would not cover a room in a house in the area I live in now. Im too old to house share.

    • Hey Michelle. When I left my partner I had just declared bankruptcy, didn’t have a job, didn’t have two cents to rub together, nothing. When you open and have faith, the universe delivers. I hope things work out for you.

  • I’m going through the same thing ladies, & it’s not my first time I seem to attract toxic men, after 24 years I had to take the steps to walk away. I’m a lot older, hopefully a lot wiser, it’s very scary out there a whole new world. I’m still trying to pick up the threads & its a battle. I just have to take it one day at a time. I can see a glimmer of light in the distance I’ve just got to get to it.

    • Yup, it’s scary alright Carolyn. Every now and then I come across the path of a man that tests me and challenges my boundaries. I think I got them covered pretty good though ;). Good luck to you.

  • Hi Iva I felt that u have written my life story .But I am still in the toxic relation as have 2 kids 10 and 8 yes totally depended as I am a homemaker.Totally confused to leave or live the way it is for the sake of kids as they are doing fine.

    • Hi Deepali and thank you for your comment. I’m no counsellor and I can’t tell you what to do but if you think your kids are fine, then that’s all that matters. Know that kids aren’t dumb. They see and feel what goes on and eventually figure it out. If you think this is best for the kids, well, I certainly hope you’re right.Good luck to you. xo

  • I can only imagine how much strength it requires to rescue yourself from a toxic relationship. Most often we don’t understand how it is affecting us, or we are just too afraid to make changes. But it is important to look ahead into a better future, and realise that we are the most significant people in our lives.

  • I’m so happy for you!! Thank god I never got into a relationship like that, and so kinda can’t understand people who wouldn’t leave it… but I guess that’s just because of that lack of experience! I know many people around me that fought the same battles as you and not all of them won them – in fact, most did not and I never understood. So big congratulations to you!! Keep enjoying your life 😉

    • It’s hard to understand when you dont’ know what it’s like. I never used to until it happened to me. Thanx for your kind words and for stopping by Monika xoxox

  • Happy that you left a ‘toxic’ relationship. The thing is relationships are hard. Sometimes things are not as peachy as they should be. What’s important to know is whether the relationship is worth salvaging and working on. If the person you’re with is making you miserable more times than happy then yes it’s time to go but if there’s still love there then it’s worth working on. Thanks for sharing.

  • I love this! It’s so important for people to read this and know it’s going to be okay when they leave. I too know the freedom of leaving toxic relationships. It’s always hard and scary but life on the other side is so much better. I hope you inspire so many to take control of their happiness!

  • We do need to value and believe in ourselves for sure! And I really don’t mind some alone time to do what I want. And it is much better for anyone to be themselves than to be in a toxic circumstance for sure!

  • It takes a lot of courage to walk out of a life into the unknown. The fact that you are now happy and have been able to find a freedom and zest for life you didn’t have with this person is evidence that this was the best choice for you.

  • This also extends to all of our other relationships. I’ve recently had to rid my life of toxic people. It was the best thing I ever did xx

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