Here are three of the most common excuses for staying in a toxic relationship, and a script for you to rebut every point and keep your self-esteem intact while moving on with your life:
Your partner's really not that bad... s/he's just under a lot of stress. Are you kidding me? How about the stress that I'm under? Living with a toxic relationship is critically stressful. Does that give me the right to treat the person that I "love" like a piece of dirt? In times of stress, we should be there for each other. That excuse is not acceptable. I deserve better and, so does my partner, actually.
If you leave, where will you go? How will you support yourself? I may have created a situation where I've been dependent on my partner but I have options. There are friends and family and community groups that will be all too willing to help me, now that I've finally decided to put my (and my children's) best interest first. It may be hard for a while but THIS has been harder and I'm ready to start over with my head held high.
What if you are alone for the rest of your life? It's true that I don't want to be alone for the rest of my life. But that is actually how I have felt in this relationship —alone — so why would I stay any longer? I would rather focus on starting a new life and feeling good about my choices than looking for a partner to "complete" me. I know that if I want someone else to love me like I deserve, then I had better start taking better care of myself.
Making the decision to leave any relationship isn't easy. It takes courage and commitment. In addition to your own inner voice that will challenge 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.
Remember: You have to look at yourself in the mirror every day, and from now on, you can smile knowing that you did what was best for you.