Monday, January 30, 2023 | Rajab 7, 1444 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Moving on after a toxic relationship

As humans we all need to feel loved and appreciated by others, like our parents, friends and partners. Such relationships may be far from perfect so it’s normal to argue from time to time but you discuss your problems together and overall enjoy being together.


In a toxic relationship, arguments are the norm and you end up feeling drained and unappreciated, you may both have feelings for each other but negative emotions such as envy, jealousy, feeling unsupported and resentment seems to dominate.


Toxic relationships come in different forms, it could be between a husband and a wife or a very close friend whom you consider a soulmate. The other person often makes you feel special and may trigger certain unfulfilled needs like needing to be loved and cared for or needing to be needed.


They become the centre of your universe and may isolate you from your other friends because of their jealousy or fear of being abandoned. You may fail to notice their harmful behaviour and try to find excuses for them so you can stay with them.


When such a relationship ends you may start blaming yourself asking what have you done to push the other person away, or how come you never saw the toxic signs. You may find it difficult to move on either because you fear being wounded again or you have idealised the previous person to the point that you can’t accept being with anyone else.


Sometimes it’s you who decided to end it because you had enough.


When you realise that all the love and caring was never reciprocated and all this time you have been the giver expecting little or even nothing back. So how can you manage your emotions when a toxic relationship ends?


Let’s first agree that ending a relationship is often very difficult, painful and confusing so it is important to acknowledge your emotions instead of denying them. It is OK to cry and feel angry and upset.


Some people would try to contact an old friend or partner to check on them or create fake social media accounts to see how they are reacting. Avoid doing that as it may be tempting to go back.


Some people would justify to themselves that they can still be friends but if the relationship was toxic and harmful to both of you it’s better to have zero contact.


You may find yourself wanting to keep a line of communication hoping for closure when the other person would apologise.


This waiting for a sincere apology can be exhausting and prolong your false hopes. Make sure you surround yourself with positive people who would support you and prevent you from going back to the toxic relationship especially when you feel lonely.


If you feel comfortable writing your thoughts in a journal then that would be a chance to process your thoughts and reflect on what happened, you may wish to share it with a trusted friend or a family member.


Toxic relationships often consume time and energy and you may find yourself neglecting your own well-being, after the end of the relationship spend time looking after yourself. Take a holiday, learn a new hobby or buy yourself a gift. Reconnect with other friends and make peace with yourself.


When you are ready, have an honest reflection with yourself. Ask yourself what causes you to fall for a toxic relationship and keep you trapped? What can you change to avoid a similar situation in your future relationships? If you need professional help then do not hesitate to seek counselling from a psychologist or a psychiatrist.


Remember, it’s your life and you need to sort out relationship problems before they destroy you.


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