I get asked by many women how to leave a unhealthy relationship and it’s never a easy answer. Every situation is different and there is no easy get out card that every person can use to remove themselves. What I do know is living in a unhealthy relationship does more harm than good and some people never recover completely from the emotional trauma that lives within them.
There are various levels of toxicity and all levels leave scars depending on resilience, support and emotional intelligence. I chose to cover this topic due to the increasing number of questions I get on overcoming the challenges that I have myself faced on my journey. I, myself as a child lived in a household with regular domestic violence. I was very aware that this was not acceptable, and my mother made it clear not to tolerate this behaviour even though it was a part of our life however it was my normal. How it manifested itself in my life was to be in control. I planned everything that I wanted and how I would ensure it played out in my life.
Although my marriage wasn’t toxic, it became emotionally draining not being able to communicate with my partner. So, all my life plans were riding on someone who was unable to communicate his feelings to me. It took me months to make the decision that the lack of communication was getting worse and I was in a relationship that lacked the love and experiences I needed to thrive.
Here was my exit plan, sharing is caring.
1. Communicate your feelings clearly, no blame, just feelings.
2. Listen to the other person intently, accept their emotions regardless whether you agree or not
3. Plan your exit route. Do you need to save money, apply for benefits temporarily, find a place to stay and put in place a support system of friends and family. Whatever it is you need to do, plan and execute it.
4. Communicate your plans
6. Grieve the lost. Even if it is the right decision, grief will occur with every lost you experience. The duration varies depending on the situation and your resilience.
7. Put in place a self love strategy that works for you.
8. Contact me to find out how to rebuild your self esteem and get back out into the world to succeed.
For those who are parents, the process is even harder. It requires you to do all of the above as well as plan a fair child access arrangement. I say fair but it very rarely is. The resident parent is most likely to be the one doing most of the caring which will interfere with your individual progress. However, as a parent, you make it work and hope for the best by planning accordingly. Co-parenting is a tough part of the process. It requires you to remove all hurt and pain and put the child’s needs first. I am not going to pretend that will be easy, but it is necessary. Communication is key and when dealing with a breakup our behaviour can be irrational so I will share my top tips to add to the list above.
1. Before the split, discuss the childcare arrangements. Find out how often your ex wants to see their child and stick to it. At first, popping in whenever they like may seem like a great idea, it’s not. You will not do the necessary healing to move on emotionally. It also confuses the child that mum and dad are still together.
2. Children are resilient. They adjust much quicker than we do.
3. Never speak negatively about the other parent even if they are a dick. How they treat you has nothing to do with how they treat their child.
4. Before going to child maintenance for financial support, have the conversation first. Also advise the paying parent of the Child Maintenance calculator which will tell them how much they should pay by law. You can organise your own financial arrangements, the government actually welcome this method.
5. Walk away from arguments, it’s a waste of energy and nothing positive comes out of it.
6. Focus on the end goal, your happiness and your self esteem intact. If you are happy and thriving, you children will be too.
With that said, my experience, my qualifications and my life have given me the skills to advise others on the best generic way to remove yourself from a relationship that doesn’t serve you emotionally. I hope this helps you on your journey to self-improvement. It helped me even on the days when I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, I’m telling you, without these lists, I don’t think I would have made it.
Love from Charm x
Contact me if you need to put a self love strategy in place. Admin@Charmlawrence.com