Breakups > Breaking Up > 10 Tips for Breaking Free From Toxic Relationships

10 Tips for Breaking Free From Toxic Relationships

If you're unhappy in your relationship, try a different approach! Learn how The Hero Instinct can be the key to securing a man's love, attention, and devotion for life.

Breaking free from a toxic relationship is tough, but it’s easier if you have the right help! These tips on how to break from from relationships that are toxic, unhealthy, or abusive are inspired by a comment from a reader. She is done with her relationship – even though she still loves him – but she needs help moving on.

In Love Yourself to Health… with Gusto! ABC Guide for Surviving a Toxic Relationship, health coach Jeanine Finelli helps women empower themselves, recover from emotional setbacks, and journey towards healing. She offers nourishment for your mind and teaches you about food and lifestyle habits that will fortify your body and spirit. If your body is healthy and whole, your soul and spirit will follow.

One of the most important breakup tips is to stop dwelling on the past. You need to grieve and heal, yes – but you can’t dwell. That’s why I highly recommend Love Yourself to Health. Below are my quick tips for breaking from from a toxic relationship, but finding freedom takes more time and energy than to reading one blog post…even if it has 10 tips! Learning what letting go of someone you love really means is a process that takes time.

10 Ways to Break Free From a Toxic Relationship

I included a wide range of tips for breaking free from relationships that are toxic and unhealthy. Pick two that resonate with you, that seem to make sense to you. Try those two tips for a week and see if they help. If they don’t, then try two more. The key is to keep trying different strategies until you find what works for you.

1. Give yourself time and space to heal

In Ready to Heal, Kelly McDaniel says the energy it takes to break free from toxic relationships is equivalent to working a full-time job. Emotionally detaching from someone you care about may be the hardest work you’ve ever done. In addition to support from people who understand your undertaking, you must keep the rest of your life simple. You need rest and solitude.

2. Stay hopeful for the future

Take a deep breath and repeat after me: “This breakup happened for a reason, and I am not meant to be with this person. Though I hurt now, my pain will go away. I will be happy, healthy, and whole again.” Don’t lose hope for your future happiness, health, relationships, and love! Know that your ex taught you valuable things you needed to learn, but now it’s time to move on in confidence, hope, and peace.

3. Connect with people who are true, healthy, and positive

Who are the most positive, healthy, right people in your life? Now is the time to hold on to them, and even ask them for tips for breaking free from toxic relationships. The most positive, healthy people are often those who have experienced the most painful moments in life. They have lost and grieved, and they know what it’s like to be hurt. Connect to them, learn from them, and believe that you will one day be the most positive person you know.

4. Learn about your role in this toxic relationship

Toxic relationships are a category of unhealthy relationships, which are different than abusive relationships. What type of person were you in this toxic relationship, and what were you getting from it? Why did you stay with him, and how did the break up happen? When you’re breaking free from toxic relationships, the healthiest thing you can do is take time to examine yourself. What were your motives, hopes, goals, problems, fixations?

5. Use this time to get emotionally healthy

In How to Leave a Man You Love – But Can’t Live With, I encourage readers to deal with the fear that you’ll never be loved again. I’ve been stuck in toxic relationships because I was scared nobody else would love me. I didn’t realize there were good, healthy, happy men who would love to love me, and who would be good for me! My self-esteem and self-confidence was rock bottom, and it held me back from moving on and believing I could find love again.

6. Don’t stay in touch

Connecting with your ex on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc won’t help you break free from the relationship you know was toxic for you. Don’t be friends with your ex, because you’ll only be prolonging the pain. I encourage you to take a complete break from the social networks you connected with him on, so you aren’t tempted to reconnect.

7. Experiment with different ways to make over your life

In 9 Makeover Ideas for After a Breakup, I describe ways to heal after a painful breakup. My favorite tip for breaking free from toxic relationships is to declutter and freshen up your home. Rearrange your living room, move pictures around, clean out your closets, get rid of old crap that doesn’t suit you anymore. Other ways to make over your life include new exercise regimes, a mental and emotional health checkup with a counselor, or a new job.

8. Remember how you gained strength and healed in the past

breaking free toxic relationships

10 Tips for Breaking Free From Toxic Relationships

Before this breakup, what was the most difficult thing you experienced? Remember how you dealt with the pain, tragedy, hurt, and negativity. Reflect on how you healed and broke free from the damage it caused. For me, it’s time that helps me heal and break free from toxic experiences. Time, and being present in this moment.

Right now, I am enjoying my writing, hot chocolate in my belly, and the sound of the rain on my roof. Being fully present in this moment does not leave room for ruminating on past toxic relationships.

9. Send yourself tips for breaking free – yes, in the mail!

In How to Break Your Addiction to a Person, Howard Halpern describes one of the most creative tips for breaking free from toxic relationships. One of his patients wrote letters to herself, sending herself tips for breaking free from toxic relationships. For instance, when she knew an anniversary or special event was coming up, she’d write a letter that said something like: “Hello Maria! It would’ve been your sixth anniversary and I know you’ll feel sad. I think you should call Mike and make plans for that day before it gets here. He’d love to hear from you – because you’re smart, fun, unique, and awesome. xoxoxox.”

10. Follow your brains, not your heart

In How to Get Out of Bed When You’re Grieving a Difficult Loss, Katrina Smith offers a very interesting tip on healing from toxic relationships:

Do not believe the bubbles and fairies quote of “follow your heart.” It is a lie. If you find yourself in a toxic relationship, although it is extremely difficult, take your heart out of the situation and evaluate the relationship with the sound mind that God gave you. You were given your mind to form sound judgment, and your heart was created to form an emotional attachment. God tells us to use our sound minds first before allowing our heart to engage.

I welcome your comments on breaking free from toxic relationships below. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it might help you to share what you’re going through.


Need encouragement? Get my free weekly "Echoes of Joy"!

* indicates required

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

16 thoughts on “10 Tips for Breaking Free From Toxic Relationships”

  1. I have another situation I trying to get out of a toxic relationship to but I’m trying to understand what’s he is going through with lost of his mom but sometimes he treats me like I’m nobody he call me out my name hits me he even pulled a gun out on me because I ask him to get out I had to move out of my house because it caught on fire and he said he didn’t do it but me and he him where the only one with the keys of course it was after I told him it was over but you no me I love him so I got other home and now he is really doing me bad I feel like nothing and now when I don’t know what to do somebody please let me know I don’t want him to hurt me bad he said if I leave he is going after my parents and he knows where they live I told the police and we only been together 6 months

  2. Thank you for being here, Ronnie – and I agree with you. Men are not the cause of all toxic relationships! No way, I would never say that. It’s just that I write for women, and it’s easier to focus on women in relationships. Many male readers make similar comments on my articles, and I do appreciate your feedback.

    I’m glad you walked away from this relationship! And, you recognized that you were contributing to it…that takes alot of courage and insight. I can sense that you’re hurt by this woman. You thought she was the right person for you, but she wasn’t. That’s a difficult thing to accept, especially after 5 years together. I’m sorry your hopes for this relationship have died, but glad for you that it’s over.

    Here’s an article that may help you through the healing process:

    How to Get Through a Breakup When You’re Still in Love

    Take good care of yourself, Ronnie, for you are worth taking good care of!


  3. I hope you can address that it is not only women involved in a toxic relationship. I just recently walked away from such a relationship. I should have walked away about 5 years ago. I thought this was the right person for me. When we first started talking I was told our getting together was just a one night stand. My mistake, I pursued anyway and I was wrong. She and I kept getting together, each time I found myself giving in and lowering my standards to be with her. I was contributing to this toxic relationship. I finally had enough, when she told me that I have accept things on her term in order to be with her. Lost my temper and walked away for good.

  4. I am trying to get out of the toxic relationship but somehow i cant. i have moved out of the home we shared since 2012 in December 2016. we keep trying to fix thing but he is still manipulative and wants things to go his way. his phone suddenly “dies” and when i suggest he lets me know especially when we were busy talking then it becomes an issue.. saying he cant use his cousin’s phone because that is his personal phone. yet i am expected to do the same. i was stupid for letting him have my friend’s phone numbers by making him aware if my phone died when we not together. i feel like the main reason he doesnt want to commit to letting me know is because that is not always the truth. he could be busy hanging out or having sex with another woman… i know i want out. i just need help and support in doing so. everything i do and say reminds me of him. he claim to love me. and not wanting us to be apart. we have been together since 2008 and it is 9 years now in 2017 if ever i let this toxic relationship goes on. we can have the most perfect day talking about everything else under the sun. but the moment we talk about us all hell break lose. he will even curse at me. why i allow it? i dont know. sometimes i just wish i had money so i can see a therapist. now i am about to cry just typing this.

  5. These are good tips for breaking free from toxic relationships, but why is it so hard to end it with someone who is bad for you? I’ve been with my boyfriend for seven long painful years yet I can’t seem to get out of his life. I just keep going back because I miss him and love hime. How do I end a toxic love affair when my whole life has revolved around my boyfriend for so long?

  6. I’ve been living in a toxic relationship for year. I knew it from the beginning , but i thought that it would change but it never happened. I stayed in the relationship because i thought he needed me and that he was a good man. The list is long but finally i have made the decisión to leave him, the thing now is that he will ask for a last chance but i am very secure of leaving him but i am a little scare of his rection. I need to stay strong i am alone in the city and i want to talk to someone that would listen and criticize me. It is really hard it seems easy but it isn’t. I am worried that he would hurt me phisically. I said plenty of time that this would be the end but this time i really want this time to be end and i need support.. I have two kids i know i can do it on my own but i am still scare of being alone with them but i also know that of i stick in this relationship nothing will ever change…

  7. As painful and difficult it is to break from a toxic relationship, it’s also the most healing and healthy thing you could do for yourself! After the breakup, you will grieve.

    It’s normal to feel lost and sad after you break up with someone you love – even when you come to the end of the most of toxic relationships. It’s hard to let go.

    Here’s an article that may help:

    7 Things to Remember When You Miss Your Boyfriend

    It’s especially important after a toxic relationship ends that you find healthy ways to cope. Don’t allow your pain to swallow you up! Grieve your loss, and seek joy in your life.

    May peace, love, and joy follow you like the little duckling gifts they are.


  8. Thanks for the advice I was in a toxic situation for almost four years off and on my ex suffers from mental health he would constantly accuse me of lying and cheating and these are the things he did.

  9. Hi I’m just coming out of a toxic relationship, I really love him and he loves me. But for the best we both decided to end our relationship due to a lot of reason. I just can’t stop thinking of him and wanting to go and contact him

  10. These tips do help me. I knew I was in a toxic relationship and although I ended it, I still live in the hopes that he will come back. I know he was wrong because I was being verbally abused more often than not and I know that this is not how a relationship should be. I feel hurt and all alone and pathetic because even after everything, I still want him to come back.

  11. Thank you, these tips for breaking free from toxic relationships are so useful. My partner left for the second time while I was on holiday earlier this month. (And before that two years ago). All he can do is blame me. We had a volatile relationship with 4 teenagers in tow. He is extremely busy with his business. I spent 7 years trying to be the perfect woman for him as nothing is ever good enough. He was a commitment phobe , he didn’t ever want to do anything else holidays or outings with me,yet would go out of his way to please his daughters. If I tried to discuss anything with him he became aggressive and paranoid. He mounted a hate campaign against my children . All the while I have been trying to please him,walking on eggshells and dealing with his constant criticism. Now he has left,insists we should be friends and blames me entirely. It’s so hard to let go. I feel worthless and like I can never trust another man. I feel like my soul has been ripped out. I love him so much. The thought of never hugging him again makes me cry so much. You’re right to say focus on the present and when I think of the past I try to remember his bipolar activities. I console myself that he has been through two similar relationships before me and due to his lifestyle and picky nature I wonder if he will ever stay with anyone. I must stop contacting him and see if he misses me. I need to focus on my kids. They’ve been through so much.It’s hard to say a final goodbye because it’s like an addiction that I can’t solve.

    1. Hi K,
      I have been separated from what was a toxic relationship for six months. While he was not a blaming person, he was very arrogant making me feel very little. He needed lots of attention and had very little regard for my needs. While he could be very warm, he would turn around and belittle me. I did it all for him, he always counted. I always had to be careful what I told him so not to get told that I did wrong. I could rarely be me. He would always denigrate my family and adult sons which are a very successful bunch. On the other hand, he would say that their was only one judge in this world.

      That being said, he decided to leave me six months ago. I did go through a very hard time. To be able to deal, I had to keep myself busy at all time. I totally changed my life, taking university courses, practicing yoga, taking guitar lessons, going to the gym and the list goes on. I write everyday in a diary which is a tremendous help. In this diary, I describe everything he did to me, write how I feel, what I will do to feel better.

      But I still had contact with him where he would call and e-mail regularly. I discovered a few days ago, by accident, that while we live together (three years), he was also maintaining contact with his ex-girlfriend. This totally devastated me. Now I know that all contact must totally be cut as I can’t be part of this ritual anymore. I can’t permit him to keep on hurting me.

      I do understand when you say addiction as I have the same disease. But I tell myself that nobody is worth destroying my life and happiness, not even him.

      I do wish you the best of luck. Realizing that I’m not the only one in this predicament is very therapeutic. Remember that you are not alone…

  12. My girlfriend of 3 years and I split up. We fought and we loved. We always made it back to one another. She left, then came back. We agreed to develop the friendship we didnt start out by having. Understand that we had been planning for a family and all that stuff. We were not perfect and it made it hard tomcommunicate because we both communicate differently. Im verbal as in discussing it, working through it and moving forward. She was silent and when she spoke, it was always something I should have done in the past where there was an issue. On it went. I discovered she had a way deeper anger brewing and did encourage her that she was safe to talk to me about anything. It happened once maybe twice. Our fights got worse and worse. She left me and 2 months to the day of her leaving, she met abd married another man. She gave me no closure except that she was happy and found peace, new life, etc, and hopes the same for me. No closure at all.
    This advie and tips are great. I do believe though that it should be unisex because us guys also get blind-sided

  13. Thank you for these tips on breaking free from toxic relationships. It helps to know I’m not alone. I’m in a toxic relationship and I want to leave but I’m not ready to break free.