An important aspect of self-care is knowing when to walk away from a toxic relationship.
As much in love you may have been in with your partner, sometimes breaking up and going your separate ways is the right decision. The early days after a breakup is difficult and couples usually have an urge to get back together. But with time you will realise it was the right thing to do.
Relationships require more than just love to function normally. It involves a lot of compromise, sacrifice and hard work. If all the effort is one sided, then the relationship has no meaning.
"Whenever you break up with someone, there may always be a feeling of regret," Dr Sophia Reed, PhD, a marriage and family therapist, told Bustle. "At some point, you did actually care about that person, and even if the breakup was the right decision, you can still feel bad about it because of the way the relationship turned out. Or, you can feel regret about having to hurt that person through the breakup itself. Even though you feel regret does not mean that it was the wrong choice."
Here are a few tips and signs that indicate that your break up was the right choice.
You know you put in your best effort
When you are doing all the work in the relationship and the partner is not putting in equal effort, don’t feel dejected. You need to realise that you are not at fault here, but the relationship is simply not meant to be. If you feel that no matter how much you tried to change the dynamics of the relationship and nothing helped, then ending things was the right decision.
You lost too much of yourself
In a healthy relationship, both partners are equals and grow symbiotically. It’s about strengthening your individual personalities and not morphing into one person. In this process, you lose a part of your original identity. If your partner doesn’t meet you in the middle, then you are better off without the relationship. If you feel you had to give up your core values, needs and goals in a relationship, then the break up was the best thing that happened.
There was too much betrayal
A person deserves only a certain amount of chances after a betrayal. They can be in various forms, such as cheating, being lied to or having your privacy violated. If your partner has done this to you too often in a relationship, then it is advisable to stay away from them. Even if you have forgiven them in the past, there is no guarantee that you can trust a person again after repeated betrayals.
Your communication was toxic
Communication is a key to any successful relationship. If this main element is flawed, then it is difficult for any relationship to flourish. "In cases where toxic communication has made things go awry, couples can work on healthy communication skills through couples therapy,” said Dr Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist. But you and your partner never found that common communication ground, then breaking up the relationship is the better option in the long run.
Your partner was unwilling to change
It is important to retain your identity in a relationship but being too rigid isn’t a good thing either. "Sometimes we have a partner who's willing, but not able to change," Winter said. "Other times we have a partner who's able, but unwilling to change. Either way, you're stuck with an unworkable situation. Whether it was anger issues, substance issues, or emotional issues, your partner could not (or would not) address the work that had to be done to correct their behaviour."
You were together for the wrong reasons
Several times, people tend to stay in a toxic relationship because they fear they can’t find someone else. "Fear of being alone and not finding anyone else is valid, but not a reason to stay in a relationship," said Chlipala. If you left knowing there is no future to that relationship, then you made the right choice.