Love isn't enough to stay.
That's it. You can't take it anymore. It's time for a fresh start and you can feel it in your core. It's time to leave this toxic relationship once and for all. You're tired of the fights, the silence, walking on eggshells. You're just plain tired.
You can barely stand to look at yourself in the mirror because you're ashamed of what you have become: a doormat, a victim. Your friends and family have been keeping their distance lately, and you can't blame them. Being around you and your partner is uncomfortable at best. This situation is negatively affecting all the areas of your life and you're ready to make a move.
You admit that you've thought about it for a while. In fact, it's been months — maybe years — that you've been imagining what life would be like without your partner. You've seen other couples who bring out the best in each other and you long to experience that kind of love. You imagine feeling truly adored and respected by your partner.
You know deep down that you deserve a better relationship and you've finally mustered up the courage to break free. And then, that little (but loud) lying voice in your head speaks up and you begin to doubt yourself again.
Here are three of the most common excuses for staying in a toxic relationship, and a script for you to rebut every point. Keep your self-esteem intact while moving on with your life.
1. Your partner isn't really that bad— he/she is just under a lot of stress.
Are you kidding me? How about the stress that you're under? Living with a toxic relationship is critically stressful. Does that give them the right to treat the person they "love" like a piece of dirt? In times of stress, you should be there for each other. That excuse isn't acceptable. You deserve better.
2. You won't have anywhere to go if you leave.
You may have created a situation where you've become dependent on your partner, but you have options. There are friends and family and community groups that will be all too willing to help you now that you've finally decided to put your (and your children's) best interest first. It may be hard for a while, but this has been harder and you're ready to start over with your head held high.
3. You will be alone for the rest of your life.
Nobody wants to be alone for the rest of their life, but that is actually how you've felt in this relationship: alone. Why would you stay any longer? You should focus on starting a new life and feeling good about your choices, rather than looking for a partner to "complete" you. If you want someone else to love you like you deserve, you'd better start taking better care of yourself.
Making the decision to leave any relationship isn't easy. In addition to your own inner voice challenging you, your friends, family and partner may try to convince to stick it out. It's scary to start again, but the freedom is exhilarating and the future that awaits you is full of possibility.