Self-Love in a Toxic Relationship: From Toxicity to Empowerment

Finding yourself in a toxic relationship can happen to just about anyone. It doesn’t matter how strong and fiercely independent you feel at the beginning of a relationship. Oftentimes, toxic relationships do not rear their ugly heads until later on in the relationship, once both partners are comfortable with one another.

Knowing how to identify signs of a toxic relationship along with steps to take to remove yourself from the situation is essential. Self-love in a toxic relationship and self-worth are imperative in order to begin working towards regaining control over your own life and the future you envision for yourself. 

  • Toxic relationships can happen to anyone. Identify signs and remove yourself. Practice self-love and prioritize well-being through healthy living, setting boundaries, and seeking support.
  • Explore hobbies and passions, set actionable goals, and create a vision for your future to boost self-esteem and confidence.
  • Integrating self-love and self-worth exercises into daily life can help recover self-esteem. Remember, after the storm comes sunshine and rainbows.

Signs You Are in a Toxic Relationship

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell whether or not you are actually living in a toxic relationship. Some of the tell-tale signs that it may be time to reevaluate your relationship and where you are in life might include: 

Feeling Drained

Feeling mentally and emotionally drained around your significant other is a common sign that the relationship may be more toxic than healthy.

Being Controlled

Do you feel as if your time is being controlled or managed by your partner? This is often a sign of codependency and toxicity in a relationship.

No Trust

A lack of trust makes it difficult to build a healthy and thriving relationship. If you are unable to trust your partner due to his or her actions, it may be time to simply move on from the relationship.

Constant Criticism

If you notice that you are constantly being criticized by your partner, you may find it difficult to feel close and connected with them. Constant criticism is akin to emotional and mental abuse and should not be tolerated.

Lack of Support

Partners in long-term relationships should support one another. Feeling a lack of support is extremely painful mentally and emotionally and can lead to further codependency.

Jealousy and Isolation

Feeling isolated due to a jealous partner can quickly become overwhelming and commonplace in a toxic relationship. Toxic partners will often attempt to isolate their loved ones from their own family members and friends in order to maintain complete and total control over their lives. 

Self-Love and Self-Worth in a Toxic Relationship

Choosing to leave a toxic relationship is not always as simple as waking up one day and deciding to leave your partner. In order to feel as if you are capable of living independently, you will need to learn to practice self-love and self-care to improve your self-esteem and confidence.

Self-love comes in many forms and can allow you to feel comfortable with and confident in the decisions you make for yourself independently, rather than causing you to feel trapped in your toxic relationship. 

How to Self-Love in a Toxic Relationship

When things get tough, I always try to simplify the steps that I should take to clear my head so I can think clearly and rationally.

Here are a few things I practice daily to keep myself healthy physically and mentally which ultimately help with how I see and love myself. So, I encourage you to give them a try.

Focus on Healthy Living

One of the best steps you can take for yourself when you feel as if you are trapped in a toxic relationship is to focus on healthy living and eating. Changing your own diet, exercising, and focusing on your mental and emotional health goes a long way in boosting self-esteem and your own inner confidence.

The more self-esteem you have, the easier it becomes to stand on your own two feet once you make the decision to live independently again.

Here are my easy healthy living tips to help you stick to your goals:

  • Stick to greens, vegetables, and meats that are optimal for your body.
  • Avoid overindulging in processed foods that are caked in chemicals and other potentially harmful ingredients.
  • Exercise for at least 20-30 minutes each day, even if you are simply walking around the block.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or consuming drugs.
  • Spend time meditating, walking, or listening to relaxing music daily to help calm and control the mind, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed in your relationship. 

Learning to Set Healthy Boundaries

Learning to set healthy boundaries is also essential in order to make the moves necessary to remove yourself from a toxic relationship. Setting boundaries can mean standing up for yourself and carving out a vision for your future (while sticking to it).

Although it is not always easy, knowing how to stand up for what you want out of life is one of the most important aspects of leaving a toxic relationship.

Many times, individuals who are stuck in toxic relationships do not realize they are stagnating due to their inability to set boundaries that provide for their independence and freedom of exploration/expression. 

Seek and Build a Support Group

If you find yourself in a toxic relationship and cannot seem to leave, seeking out and building a support group is highly advisable. Finding a support group of family members and friends you can trust is a way to maintain your peace of mind as you make the moves necessary to start anew on your own.

Reach out to those you can trust to inform them of your need for support, to find a support group that you can count on and rely on when you need them most. When you have support, you are showing yourself love and being reassured that you are worthy.

Personally, I was in a toxic relationship for around 6 months myself. I allowed myself to stay because I hadn’t realized how dire my situation was and how toxic my relationship had become. After 6 months, I realized I did love myself more than I loved the mental hell and torture I was experiencing.

I was able to leave the relationship sooner than other friends of mine had gone through with their own toxic relationship experiences. If I didn’t love myself, and have the support I needed, and if I didn’t believe I deserved a better life, I don’t think I would have been able to walk away. Today, I am finally free and love who I am, inside and out. 

Prioritizing One’s Own Well-Being

Prioritizing your own well-being is also essential when you find yourself in a toxic relationship. In addition to healthy eating and exercising, it’s also important to reflect on your own wants when it comes to life, your career, and even the hobbies or interests you have.

Focusing your time on yourself, your passions, and paths that bring you joy can also help to boost your self-esteem and the confidence you need in order to live on your own and as independently as possible.

Keep the following in mind when you begin your well-being journey:

  • What hobbies are you interested in and which passions would you like to pursue?
  • Do you have a vision for yourself and your future? What are you doing in your vision?
  • What timeline do you see for yourself? Setting actionable goals and visions can help bring them to fruition.

Remember! You Always Have a Choice To Leave

Learning how to integrate self-love and self-worth exercises into your daily life can go a long way over time in terms of recovering your own self-esteem.

Whether you’re just getting out of a toxic relationship or you’ve been working at living independently for months, just remember — no storms last forever. And, after the storm, comes the sunshine and rainbows.

What are some signs that indicate a toxic relationship?

Signs of a toxic relationship include feeling drained, being controlled, lack of trust, constant criticism, lack of support, and jealousy leading to isolation.

How can self-love and self-worth help someone in a toxic relationship?

Practicing self-love and self-worth can boost self-esteem and confidence, helping individuals make independent decisions and eventually leave the toxic relationship.

What steps can be taken to promote self-love and well-being in a toxic relationship?

Focus on healthy living, set boundaries, seek support from trusted friends and family, prioritize well-being by exploring hobbies and passions, and set actionable goals for the future.

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