Are you stuck in a relationship that is going nowhere? Here are six tips on how to find strength to get out of a bad relationship.
My first suggestion is to read On My Own: The Art of Being a Woman Alone by Florence Falk. She’s a psychologist with 13 years of counseling experience, and she helps women whose unresolved issues keep them stuck in bad relationships or marriages – even years after a divorce is final. Part of finding strength to get out of a relationship is learning how to leave the past behind. My second suggestion is to get in-person support from a counselor, support group, or trusted friend. If you want to get out of a relationship but you’re scared, you need to surround yourself with women who have survived and thrived after their marriages ended.
I wrote this article for a reader, who said: “I recently found out that my husband has been having an affair with an ex-high school girlfriend,” says “Lisa” on Is My Husband Lying About Cheating? 4 Ways to Tell. “Now he tells me that he feels empty and without purpose, and wants to save our marriage. I want to leave him because I know he’ll cheat again and I don’t trust him, but I’m scared. Help me!”
Finding the Strength to Get Out of a Bad Relationship
Knowing how you’ve survived difficult situations in the bast is the best way to find strength to leave. What works for me may not work for you! These tips are what helped me leave unhealthy relationships…
Figure out what you’re getting out of the relationship
Many people – both men and women – don’t have the strength to end relationships, even when the relationship is bad, unhealthy, or going nowhere. The reasons for staying in bad relationships are different for everyone, and depend on the type of relationship it is. But, the bottom line is that there is a reason you’re staying with this person: you’re getting something out of it…even if it’s just protection from the discomfort of saying good-bye! The sooner you figure out your reasons for staying, the easier it’ll be to find the courage to end the relationship.
Learn about the different reasons for staying
Why do people stay in marriages, work partnerships, or love relationships that are going nowhere? Here’s a list of reasons; use it to figure out why you’re staying. Or, use it to help you brainstorm at least five reasons for not leaving.
Possible reasons you can’t find strength to leave:
- Fear of being alone
- Lack of motivation to find someone new (eg, a new hair stylist, better business partner, more suitable roommate, etc).
- Fear of not being loved or accepted by anyone else
- Feelings of low self-worth, or even self-loathing
- Concern about what friends and family will say
- Financial problems
- Poor role models (eg, parents or friends who lack courage to change their lives)
Figuring out why you’re staying in a loveless marriage may help you find the courage to get out of a bad relationship.
Let go of the need to control other people’s feelings
You can’t control how people – friends, family, or the person you’re breaking up with – will respond when you break off the relationship. You can’t control what they do, how they feel, who they tell, or how they think. That’s their business. Let it go. Focus on what you can change in your life, such as your own behavior and words, and your response to other people. This can involve protecting your boundaries despite criticism.
Think of a time when you did something that required courage
What was the most difficult, frightening thing you’ve ever done? Reflect on it for a few moments. Then, figure out what gave you strength and courage. For one woman, it could be a soul sister, a support group, or a parent. Another woman could find the courage to say good-bye in a book about self-confidence, or a particular issue of a magazine such as O, The Oprah Magazine (reading Oprah’s magazine is one of my favorite ways to stay authentic and grounded in who I am!). You need to figure out how YOU get your strength…and one of the best ways to do that is to recall when you’ve been brave in the past.
Ask other women how they found strength to leave bad relationships
We can learn so much from smart, strong women!
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The women around us can help us build better, happier, more successful lives, even if we don’t know them personally. Take Nicole Kidman, for instance: I love knowing that a woman of her fame and fortune is as vulnerable as “normal” women are. She doesn’t know what the future holds, and has to strive to be positive just like we do. Her struggles and successes give me strength. If there’s a woman in your life that you admire, or one loved and lost, then talk to her. Gain strength and wisdom from her experience.
And when you’re talking to strong women, remember that sometimes the worst thing you fear could be the best thing that ever happened to you. An article like Was My Marriage a Waste of Time? The Silver Lining of Break Ups can help you see this.
Tap into your spiritual strength to find courage to leave a bad relationship
A solid inner strength can get you through almost anything – whether you’re feeling guilty about ending a relationship or worried about dissolving a business partnership. Spirituality or a reliance God, Buddha, or even Mother Nature can give you access to strength you didn’t even know you had. Find ways to maintain a strong connection between your heart, soul, and mind, and you’ll be stronger than you thought possible!
For more tips on getting out of a bad relationship, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.
Do you have the strength to get out? I welcome your comments below. I can’t give advice because I don’t know the details of your situation…but I believe you know exactly what you should do. Don’t you?
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.