Struggling to get closure from a toxic relationship and move on?
The first step is to admit that the relationship wasn’t good for you.
Once you accept that you wouldn’t have gone into the relationship had you known better, without blaming yourself, healing can start.
Then prepare to let all the difficult emotions wash over you – the hurt, anger, even betrayal.
It can be tough to face this alone. So, here’s help.
We discuss the necessary steps to achieve your closure after a toxic relationship.
How To Get Closure From A Toxic Relationship
“Closure is the process of achieving a sense of completion or finality and resolving emotional distress after the end of a relationship.”
Getting closure after leaving a toxic relationship is a solo mission since it’s not worth going back and asking your ex-partner for any sort of resolution.
The relationship ended on a difficult note, but you need to move on and heal.
Here are some tips on how to get closure from a toxic relationship:
1. Admit That Your Relationship Was Toxic
The first step is to admit the truth: the relationship was unhealthy. It frees you when you accept this.
Then reflect on your role in the relationship.
Try not to criticize yourself, feel sorry for yourself, or build up revenge.
You were a victim, not a fool to have fallen for them and continued for this long.
Take some time to think about what went wrong.
- What unhealthy things were happening?
- What was your part in it all?
- What can you learn for the future?
Analyzing past mistakes shows you how to make better choices in the future.
2. Process Your Emotions Fully
It’s okay to feel what you feel.
Feelings like anger, shame, guilt, and sadness might feel like an overpowering surge, but they are a natural reaction to your experiences.
Welcoming and embracing your negative emotions is an integral part of this healing journey.
Do not suppress these emotions or try to push them away, as both are unhealthy ways to handle difficult emotions.
Give yourself permission to experience them fully. As experts say, “Sit with your feelings.” It prepares you for post-traumatic growth.
Gradually, as you process and understand their message, you find it easier to release them.
This act of letting go is often the first ray of hope on your path to healing.
3. Understand That You Deserve Better
One crucial way to get closure from a toxic relationship is to acknowledge that you deserve someone better.
Accept that your relationship was neither healthy nor supportive, and none of it was yours to blame.
They were toxic, not you. You didn’t choose them for their toxicity.
One bad experience shouldn’t make you feel as if there isn’t anyone out there who is good for you.
Re-affirm your self-worth and stay open to a healthier, happier relationship.
You’re worthy of someone who will show you the respect and love you deserve.
4. Allow Yourself To Grieve The Loss
It is normal to feel a range of emotions after ending a toxic relationship, including sadness, anger, guilt, and relief.
Allow yourself to grieve these emotions in a healthy way. Give yourself permission to mourn the end of the relationship.
This might be tough, but it’s an essential part of the healing process.
This may involve talking to a therapist, journaling, or spending time with supportive friends and family.
5. Set Strict, Healthy Boundaries
It’s time to draw a line in the sand.
Once you have acknowledged you deserve better and allowed yourself to grieve, set these six boundaries with your toxic ex.
Firm boundaries help fix your self-worth, especially if the toxic person and their enablers have hurt it.
Make it crystal clear to them what you will and will not accept. Stay courageous to voice a “no” without any guilt.
Take a resolute stand and be assertive in enforcing your boundaries.
Do not compromise on your comfort zones.
6. Seek And Lean On Your Support Squad
Solitude is not a prerequisite for healing. You don’t have to face this tough time alone.
Get by with a little help from those who care about you.
A strong, empathetic support system can speed up your recovery process.
Connect with everyone available – friends, family, a support group, or a therapist.
Share your experiences and open up about your vulnerabilities and difficulties with your friends and family. Talking about your experience can be therapeutic.
Their presence, advice, and encouragement can help you break free from the gloomy aftermath of that toxic relationship.
People with similar experiences can give you strength and ideas on how to heal.
Others can offer a compassionate ear and a supportive shoulder.
7. Commit To Self-Compassion And Self-Love
Everything will matter when you matter.
When you show yourself the love and compassion you deserve, things in life start to get back on track.
Being self-compassionate means being understanding and kind to yourself, the same way you’d be with someone you deeply care about.
It means treating yourself kindly and lovingly, as you would treat your best friend.
It means giving yourself a break when things don’t go right, and learning from your mistakes rather than beating yourself up about it.
Self-love lays the groundwork for personal growth and improvement.
It helps you make life-positive choices that are good for your emotional health, leading to a happier and more fulfilling life.
8. Let Go of Grudges And False Hopes
Have you heard this evocative quote from the movie “Life of Pi“:
“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”
This might be the toughest part — you don’t get to say goodbye to a toxic ex.
Letting go means accepting the end of the relationship. It’s releasing the false hope of getting back with them and expecting things to get perfect magically.
You have to start the process of emotional detachment from the relationship. You have to remind yourself why ending things was necessary for your well-being.
Also, you’ve to learn to forgive.
Forgiving yourself and your ex-partner is an inseparable part of finding closure.
Remember, forgiveness isn’t about condoning their behavior — it’s about giving yourself permission to move on and look to a healthier future.
Holding onto grudges only serves to prolong your pain — let go of them too.
9. End All Communication
Cut ties with them completely.
Cutting off all communication is a tough call after a breakup, but it’s often the best silence to regain your emotional balance and health.
Cut off contact with your toxic ex, since keeping channels of communication open can delay healing and prevent closure.
Delete their phone numbers, block them on social media, and avoid common hangouts where you might bump into them.
Get someone to guard you from reaching out to them again. Allow them to enquire from you every few days if you’re planning to contact your ex.
10. Build A Self-Care Routine
Make self-care a daily habit.
Self-care is essential, not a luxury. Make it a part of your daily routine.
Discover some excellent ways to refresh your mind and re-energize your outlook. Go to the gym, practice mindfulness, and build positive habits like charity work and social volunteering.
Make time for making yourself happy.
Prioritize personal growth, and build a steady discipline.
Set personal goals and work towards achieving them. Develop new skills, or dive deeper into your existing passions.
Investing in your personal growth can be a powerful antidote to the negativity left behind by a toxic relationship.
11. Hold Your Ground
There may be moments of weakness or nostalgia when you might want to reconnect with them.
Stay firm and keep your decision to stay away from that sad life during those times.
Remind yourself why you made that decision in the first place — for your own well-being.
12. Lean On A Therapist: Therapy Can Help
Feeling emotionally drained after leaving a toxic relationship is normal and it’s okay to reach out for professional help.
Therapists and counselors can provide a safe space for you to unpack your emotions, offer unbiased advice, and guide you with effective strategies to navigate your healing process.
Their expert guidance can help you establish healthier coping mechanisms for the future. Don’t hesitate to seek their counsel, especially when you feel too overwhelmed to handle it on your own.
- Do your research. If you decide to go for therapy, take your time to research and find a therapist who specializes in relationships or trauma recovery and aligns with your needs.
- Ask for recommendations. If you’re not sure where to start looking for a therapist, ask trusted friends or medical professionals for recommendations.
- Be patient with yourself. Healing takes time. Allow yourself to grow at your own pace. It’s not about how quickly you can move on, it’s about the quality of your healing process.
Finally, a little about recognizing toxic behaviors.
Some common toxic behaviors found in American society are:
- Manipulation: Toxic individuals often use manipulative tactics to control their partners, making them doubt themselves or question their own judgment (called “gaslighting“). They may use tactics such as guilt-tripping, blame-shifting, or withholding love as a means to exert control over their partner.
- Verbal and Emotional Abuse: Verbal abuse involves using harsh words, insults, or derogatory language to belittle and demean the other person. Emotional abuse can include constant criticism, humiliation, intimidation, or even threats. These forms of abuse erode self-esteem over time and create an unhealthy power dynamic within the relationship.
- Lack of Respect: A disdain for boundaries is another typical feature of toxic relationships. Partners who disregard each other’s personal boundaries show disrespect for individual autonomy and personal space. This could show up as invasive questioning about personal matters or as consistently violating established boundaries without concern for consent.
- Controlling Behavior: Toxic partners often show controlling behavior by monitoring their partner’s activities excessively or by imposing restrictions on their freedom to make independent decisions. They may isolate their partners from friends and family members as a means of maintaining dominance over them.
- Jealousy & Possessiveness: Jealousy can be normal in small doses but becomes problematic when it turns into possessiveness that restricts the other person’s independence within the relationship. Toxic individuals may display intense jealousy and suspicion even without any valid reasons.
• • •
- How To Get Closure In A Relationship (Proper Steps)
- Why Closure Matters: Navigating the End of Relationships
- Say Goodbye In 40 Different Languages (Alphabetical List)
- How To Get Out of Limerence And Overcome Obsessive Love
- These 12 Signs Will Tell You If You’re Dating A Narcissist
• • •
Author Bio: Researched and reviewed by Dr. Sandip Roy — a medical doctor and psychology writer, with a unique focus on mental well-being, positive psychology, narcissism, and Stoicism. His empathic expertise has helped many mental abuse survivors find happiness again. Co-author of ‘Critique of Positive Psychology and Positive Interventions’.
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