17 Ways To Break Free From Toxic Relationships

By David Small •  Updated: 02/07/17 •  12 min read

Toxic relationships are relationships that are unfavorable to you or others. It doesn’t matter if you had hoped it would last forever. You might find yourself going through hell for the sake of, and because of your partner.

However, you might want to assure yourself, at least in your mind, that all is going to be well. Yet, as you wait for your relationship to get better, you keep living with a toxic person.

Toxic Relationships

In her book, how to Break Free from a Toxic Relationship, Ruth Randall observes that toxic people are like vampires who seem to drain your energy and joy. When around them, you start to feel stressed, and when you leave them you feel exhausted.

Ruth Randall says it ultimately takes your decision to start on your way of having to break free from toxic relationships. You have to decide if you’re going to remain committed to your comfort zone or if you want to be committed to your joy, happiness, and freedom by working to break free.

Here are 17 ways to break free from toxic relationships.

Related Article on How To Break Free From Toxic Relationships

The only thing that will surely keep you suffering in toxic relationships is the denial of what you’re going through. Probe your mind for answers to questions that will tell you if you are in a toxic relationship or not. According to Michael Mertz writing in the book, Toxic Codependency: How to Break Free from the Cycle of Co-dependency and Rediscover the Real You, find out if you feel energized or drained after spending an hour with your partner.

Get to know if you want to spend time with them or if you feel you have to break free. Is it that you merely feel sorry for your partner or do you go to them looking for a response that you never get?

You need to know if you consistently come away disappointed by your partner’s comments and behavior. Are you possibly giving more to the relationships than them? Do you even like them? Get answers to all your questions and make up your mind to stop it all.

If there is a mistake you can make when deciding to stay in toxic relationships, it is expecting a hurtful partner to change. You need to realize that you can’t do much to change your partner. After all, the only person you control in this world is yourself.

Your partner has to own up to their mistakes and accepts to get help if you hope them to change. They might have promised to seek help and looked genuine, but if they have broken such promises before, why should you believe them now? If anything, genuine change comes from within; it can’t be forced on anyone.

Don’t let your clouded judgment mislead you. It matters not that you want the best in your partner. It might just be that you are afraid to be alone. Regardless of what you tell yourself, the relationship could just be irreparably broken necessitating that you break free from it.

Toxic Relationships

Your relationships are already broken. Be your own best friend and release the pain. There’s no need to hold onto it but work to break free. Yes, you are expected to be strong when dealing with tough situations. That might not be effective in helping you get over the pain.

Don’t fight it. The more you try to lock in the pain and be strong, the worse you will feel and the more stressed you will be. So, what should you do? Cry! Cry over and over again, and cry some more.

If you have to cry like a baby, do it! By all means, people should stop pretending that all is well in relationships. Just let the tears fall till you feel they can’t fall no more. It might take a few weeks, but you will feel like a new person when it is all over. The heaviness over you will eventually be a thing of the past and you will find yourself smiling again after you break free.

Is his book Ready to Heal, Kelly McDaniel, says to break free from toxic relationships you have to use almost the same energy as that of working a full-time job. This is because emotionally detaching yourself from someone you care about could be the hardest work you’ve ever done. Of course, you will need to get the support of the people who understand what you’re going through. However, keep the rest of your life simply by ensuring you get rest and solitude.

Do whatever it takes to make you keep feeling good about yourself and break free of toxic relationships. Have all kinds of affirmations posted on your bathroom door or on the door of your fridge. It will make you feel better about yourself every time you read those positive messages.

In her book, Women, Sex, and Addiction, Charlotte Davis Kasl suggests that you first need to expose and challenge your negative core beliefs before you adopt positive, life-affirming beliefs.

If you kept telling yourself how unlovable you are, change it to the belief that you can love, and be loved. After all, you are a sacred child of the universe. When you find yourself feeling hopeless, change it into the new belief that you have the power to change your life. To break free from toxic relationships, stop believing your defective! Start to believe that you can make mistakes and be loved.

Learn to put things in the right perspective. In life, things happen for a reason! You might have loved your partner so much, yet were not meant to be together.

Understand that though it could be hurtful trying to break free, the pain will end and you will be happy, and whole again. Whatever you do, don’t lose hope for future happiness, health, relationships, and love. Think about the lessons learned from the broken relationship and move on in confidence that all is well.


Think of the most positive, healthy, and right people in your life. You are probably at the lowest in your life. So, hold onto the people who make you feel better about yourself and help you break free from toxic relationships. You may not know it, but the most positive people are those who have experienced the most painful moments in life.

They have possibly lost and grieved and they know and understand what it is like to be hurt. Connect with them, learn from them, and have faith that someday, you will be the most positive person you know.

Although toxic relationships fall into the greater category of unhealthy relationships, they don’t qualify to be called abusive relationships just yet. Ask yourself what kind of person you were in this relationship and the things you gained from it.

Dig deep to find out why you stayed with your partner, and how you got to break up with them. To break free from toxic relationships is not as simple as walking away from it all. You have to stop and examine yourself in terms of your motives, hopes, goals, and problems in the relationships.

In the book how to leave a Man You Love, But Can’t Live With, Jeanine Finelli encourages readers to deal with the fear that they’ll never be loved again. That is if they hope to break free from toxic relationships. She gives her own example of being stuck in toxic relationships because she was scared nobody else would love her.

She says she didn’t realize there were good, healthy, and happy men who would love her and who would be good for her. Jeanine confesses to suffering from low self-esteem and beaten self-confidence which held her back from moving on and believing she could find love again.

If you truly want to completely break free from your toxic relationships, forget to connect with them on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Cut off all connections with your ex by avoiding any friendship over social networks.

Maintaining communication with the person you are hoping to break free of will only prolong your pain. Ensure you take a complete break from the social networks you connected with him on so that you are not tempted to reconnect.

In her article, 9 Makeover Ideas for After a Breakup, Jeanine Finelli describes ways to heal after a painful breakup. She advises that if you want to break free from toxic relationships you have to de-clutter and freshen up your home.

Doing simple things such as rearranging your living room, moving pictures around, cleaning out your closets, and getting rid of crap that doesn’t suit you anymore can help you break free from toxic relationships. Also try other ways to make over your life including a new exercise regime, mental and emotional health check-up with a counselor or simply getting a new job.


Recall what the most difficult you ever faced in your life before this particular break-up. Can you remember how you dealt with the pain, hurt, tragedy, and negativity? Reflecting on how you healed and managed to break free from the damage it caused is a good way of summoning your inner strength to get over the current hurt. If you didn’t know it, time is a real healer.

So, don’t be in a hurry to get over your ex – take time by being present at the current moment and you’ll definitely be healed. Do what you like, and don’t forget to savor the moment. This doesn’t leave room for ruminating in your past toxic relationships.

Howard Halpern – in his book How to Break Your Addiction to a Persondescribes one of the most creative tips for breaking free from toxic relationships, which is writing letters to yourself. He says one of his patients wrote letters to herself with tips on how to break free from toxic relationships.

For instance, in anticipation of an anniversary or special event, she would write a letter that reminded her what a fun, unique, and awesome person she was – and she would eventually get over the relationships.

In her article – How to Get out of Bed When You’re Grieving a Difficult Loss – Katrina Smith offers a very interesting tip on how to heal from toxic relationships. She says not to believe the famous advice to follow your heart.

If in toxic relationships, take your heart out of the situation and evaluate the relationship with your mind, no matter how hard it is. You have a brain for making sound judgment and a heart for emotional attachment. Use your sound mind before allowing your heart to engage on this and you will break free.

One of the most trusted busters of relationships-related depression is to keep a record of the things that make you feel bad. You might not be a fast learner and thus find yourself repeating the same mistake a numerous number of times before you realize you are doing something wrong.

So, if after spending time with your partner, you find that you always feel bad while around them, then know you are in toxic relationships and you should break free of it.

If what it takes to get to a goal is bribing yourself, then do it! To free yourself from the shackles of toxic relationships, learn to reward yourself with every step you make along the way of getting to break free. It doesn’t have to be anything big – give yourself a prize for the baby steps. First, avoid making contact with your ex for a week.

If you manage to pull it off, treat yourself to a cup of coffee with a fun, supportive friend or have half an hour by the bay, alone. If you have managed to say ‘no’ several times, celebrate by downloading and watching your favorite movie or simply munch on that chocolate in the freezer.

It isn’t easy to break free of someone you care about. Learn to accept that your relationships weren’t meant to be! If they can’t stop cheating and lying about it, then there is cause for alarm. It’s even worse when relationships turn into physically abusive ones.

You might want your partner to change, however, you might want to stop thinking they will notice how much you love them and realize their mistake. When all is said and done, it isn’t really worth it!  Sally Webb – in the book, Forget Mr. Married: How to Break Free from this Toxic Relationship and Reclaim your Life – says that if you are stuck in toxic relationships, realize that you have the strength to break free of it and move on!

Clearly, if you discover that you no longer can handle the toxicity in your relationships, find ways to break free! You shouldn’t put yourself in a continued stressful situation because of fear or merely because you are afraid to offend your abusive partner.

Let go and start afresh! Your future may seem uncertain for the time being but it will certainly get better. With time, you will pat yourself on the back for having been brave enough to break free.

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Keep Reading

error: Content is protected !!