5 Emotions You're Bound To Feel When You Leave Your Toxic Relationship

Not all emotions are bad, even when they're scary.

woman looking at man, distressed or annoyed Jacob Lund

Do you want to leave your toxic relationship? 

Have you tried to make your relationship work but find that you can't?

Do you want to leave, but are you scared about how you will feel if you do?

Are you scared that you will be in pain and that you will never be able to get past it?

I get it, but don’t let the fear of your emotions keep you from making one of the most important decisions of your life — whether to stay in a relationship that is sucking you dry or move on toward a life that will make you happy!


To that end, there are some emotions that you will feel if you leave the toxic relationship that you will also need to understand and manage.

RELATED: 5 Things To Do When Emotions Overwhelm You (And You Need To Calm Down)

1. Pain and sadness

At the end of any relationship, we feel sadness and pain, and our brains will do anything they can not feel these emotions.


Sadness makes us want to curl up on our couch, eat ice cream and watch ‘Real Housewives.’ Pain wants us to return to our ex so we won’t feel it anymore.

Sadness makes us want to avoid our girlfriends and ignore work. Pain makes us feel weak and vulnerable.

And I get it. All of those emotions are scary.

But let me ask you a question — how many times a day do you feel sad or in pain?

Do you feel sad when you look at your person and think about what your future looks like? Do you feel pain after you have another fight? Do you feel sad when he treats you with contempt? Do you feel pain when he lets you down one more time?

I am guessing that sadness and pain are already with you every day. So, two of the emotions you will feel if you walk away from a toxic relationship are sadness and pain, and how would that be any different or worse than it is today?


Probably not at all.

RELATED: 7 Things A Toxic Relationship Will Teach You About Love

2. Uncertainty

I am guessing that uncertainty is one of the reasons that you struggled to leave your toxic relationship.

I am guessing that you were worried about a few things. Maybe finances. Maybe where you will live, that is how the kids will feel; maybe you are unsure if you will ever love or be loved again.

And uncertainty can keep us off balance in a big way. And that doesn’t feel good at all. Know that uncertainty is a part of the change. A scary part, but it's a part of it.

When put in a new situation, without the person we loved, perhaps in a different environment, without the habits and routines that make us feel safe, we feel incredibly uncomfortable, vulnerable, and anxious.


As a result, many people stay in toxic relationships because they just don’t want to feel uncomfortable.

But know that while you might feel wobbly after you leave your toxic relationship, you will, one step at a time, get your footing back and be able to move forward to get the love and the life that you want.

One step at a time.

RELATED: I Stayed In A Toxic Relationship Because Of Love — Big Mistake

3. Nostalgia

This is one emotion that you might feel if you leave your toxic relationship, one that you might find surprising.

When we break up with someone, while we do so because there is so much unhappiness in the relationship, what we tend to remember when we are broken up is only the good stuff.


Why? Because when the bad stuff is no longer occurring daily, the good stuff stays in the forefront of one’s mind.

We remember the vacations and the birthday parties and the movies we saw, and the music we listened to. We remember how good things were at the beginning, and we remember the little moments of connection that we had along the way.

We tend to forget the tears and the pain and the contempt and the abuse.

And what happens when we feel nostalgic?

We want to get our person back so that we can do all things that we remembered we did, to feel the way that we felt once.

And how does this work out? Not so good.

One of my clients who walked away from a very dysfunctional relationship did so with clarity and speed. In the two months that have followed, she has been nothing but confused.


Why? Because of all of the memories she has around her relationship.

This woman went through things you couldn’t even imagine in her relationship, but now that she is an out of it, she is only thinking about the good stuff.

And so, she reaches out to him, and what happens? 45 seconds into the phone call, she remembers why she left him. This cycle has repeated itself over and over, and she is having a hard time moving on.

So, if you are feeling nostalgic, remember that while those memories were good ones, the reasons that you are no longer in the relationship are the things that you need to keep in mind every day.

Write those bad things down. Keep the list close. Don’t let nostalgia sabotage you from moving on.


RELATED: 5 Immediate Signs Breaking Up Was The Right Choice

4. Strength

If you have been trying to get out of your relationship for a while but have been failing to do so, I am guessing that your self-esteem has been affected big time.

Knowing that you haven’t had the strength to take the steps that you need to take has probably led to you feeling horrible and ashamed. And as a result, your feeling so badly about yourself makes it even harder to leave the relationship because you believe that it’s all that you deserve.

I can promise you that if you leave your toxic relationship, one of the emotions you will feel is strength. The strength that you dug deep for, the strength that you could use to walk away from a toxic relationship and stay away.


When we finally stand up for ourselves, walk away from something that has been hurting us, to walk toward the life that we want, it gives us strength.

When we decide to move on, and we do, we rebuild our self-esteem, and in doing so, we start to attract the kind of person we want to attract — someone who matches our self-confidence and strength.

So, know that even if it’s hard to imagine right now, the strength that you will feel as you get past this breakup will set you up for a lot of success in your search for happiness.

RELATED: To The Person Afraid To Leave A Mediocre Relationship

5. Hope

One of the emotions that you will feel if you leave your toxic relationship is hope. Yes, you will feel sadness and pain, but for the first time in a long time, you will feel hope.


You will feel hopeful that, now that you are out of your relationship, you might wake up feeling good every day.

You will begin to feel that you can reconnect with your friends. You will feel hope that you can start doing the things that you want to do, the things that your person never wanted to do.

You will feel confident enough to be free enough that you can dye your hair purple or get a tattoo (maybe?).


And you will feel hope that you might just be able to find the person of your dreams who can give you what you have been seeking — love!

I can promise you the one thing that will prevent you from doing all the things you want to do, especially finding the relationship you want, is staying in this relationship.

If you stay, how you feel right now is probably how you will feel for the rest of your life. That feels pretty hopeless, doesn’t it?

Know that if you can leave your toxic relationship, one of the emotions you will feel is hope. That feels pretty good, no?

I know the idea of leaving is terrifying. 

You are afraid of the sadness and the pain, and you have every right to be. Pain and sadness are scary. But pain and sadness are part of the process, and you will get through it.


You will feel nostalgic, and that might lead you to sabotage your breakup once or twice but know that when you are finally able to walk away, you will find a strength that you didn’t know you had.

And you will feel, for the first time in a long time, hopeful about the future!

You can do it!

RELATED: 10 Mantras That Will Immediately Get You Over That God-Awful Breakup

Mitzi Bockmann is a certified life and relationship coach. She has over 10 years of experience in helping people find happiness in life and love.