7 Brave People Reveal How They Finally Left Their Incredibly Toxic Relationship

If you're having trouble leaving a toxic relationship, heed this advice.

Last updated on Oct 16, 2023

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It's hard to walk away from a relationship, even when you know it's really bad for you.

We asked women who left terribly toxic partners to share how they got away and never looked back:

1. Find someone whose natural state is kind.

"The last straw for me was when we were driving to his niece's baptism and the song 'With You' by Chris Brown came on the radio. I smiled up at him and squeezed his hand. He said, 'This song always reminded me of (his ex-girlfriend).' It didn't take long for me to walk away then. My advice is to be with someone who knows how to love and be kind, just as a natural state. People who have no innate goodness to them aren't worth your time." —Lindsay, 27


RELATED: If Someone Shows You These 6 Traits, They Have No Idea What Kindness Means

2. When you finally break it off, put some distance between the both of you.

"I dated a guy who was super-dishonest and toxic. Ultimately, the way I was able to end it was by putting distance between us. I moved away temporarily. Living on my own without access to him made it easy to just call him up and say, 'Yeah, I'm done with this.' Sometimes we forget that we actually lived and enjoyed an entire span of time in our lives before this person, and realizing that helps you see that you can do it again." —Rosilyn, 40


3. Commit 100% to your decision to break things off.

"When you decide to leave, don't look back. Don't call, text, or run into him or her. If you make excuses like 'We go to the same gym' or 'I left my bank card at his house', you're only ruining your own chance at breaking free in a healthy way." —Bryanna

4. ​Start fresh and reinvent yourself.

"Move out of the country/state/city and start a new life. Tell the world about your fabulous life. Feeling that you can live a wonderful life is priceless on its own, but so is the fact that he stayed in his old, miserable, small-town life." —Katya, 38

RELATED: 47 Inspirational Quotes About Reinventing Yourself, According To Experts

5. Find someone who really sees you.

"I was with this guy for two years, and I can count on one hand the number of times he ever said I looked pretty or anything other than 'nice.' I don't know if he ever really SAW me. And while he wasn't physically or even emotionally abusive, he definitely took advantage of my kindness and nature. I paid for almost everything. He never made me feel like I was a priority and I was always on edge. When I broke up with him, he cried and told me he loved me, but all I could think was if he was really upset because he didn't want to have to move out. This was telling about the kind of relationship we had." —Kerry, 37


6. Confronting the unknown is scary — but it's better than the alternative.

"A lot of us stay in bad relationships because we think that's all we're going to have. We'd rather be in a bad situation than confront the unknown. But once we take that leap and know we deserve better, we will find better." —Melissa, 38

7. Do something for yourself.

"A bad relationship can lead to us giving up on ourselves. We gain weight and wear the same old clothes over and over. We feel bad and then we give ourselves more reason to do so. Join a gym, eat better, or treat yourself to a spa day. No, it won't fix your life, but it'll make you feel better." —Mandy, 33

RELATED: 20 Things To Be Proud Of Yourself For Doing On Hard Days


Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyle writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly.