Sometimes the hardest part is letting go of the pain. The end of a relationship is always painful, and it’s natural to mourn the end of a relationship that was close to you. But what if that relationship was downright toxic? It’s still a loss, and it’s perfectly normal to mourn the loss of this relationship, no matter how toxic it was.
You should be over the moon, right? You have just escaped from a toxic relationship after all this time of suffering, and now you are free to live your life and be happy.
Instead, you break free from grief. I bet it’s very confusing and painful and you just want it to stop.
I believe when you understand why you are mourning the end of your toxic relationship, it is a huge step in letting go of the pain and moving on.
Here are 5 reasons why you feel sad
Below you will learn why you feel grief after surviving a toxic relationship and how you can deal with it so you can move on and be happy.
1. You really believed that things were fixable.
Many of my clients tell me that because they are not slackers, they will not give up their abusive relationships.
They really believe that if they love their person enough, if they stand by them despite the abusive behavior, that their person will change and they will be happy again.
Now you’re on the other side of the breakup, grieving because you weren’t able to fix the person or the relationship. You can feel like you’ve let everyone down. You may even feel like you have let yourself down.
Let me tell you that no matter how hard you tried, your person was beyond fix unless they wanted to be fixed. And you probably mourn that fact – that you couldn’t save the relationship or someone you once loved, and that makes you more than sad.
I want to encourage you to let yourself off the hook. Nobody can change someone who doesn’t want to be changed. You did not fail. You couldn’t have made any change on your own, no matter how hard you tried.
2. You blame yourself.
One of the most insidious things about a toxic relationship is that after a while we start to blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong.
I have a customer whose husband was in a relationship with one of her employees. For three years my client asked her husband to let his lover go, and for three years he promised her he would, but he never did. She was beside herself and rightly so.
The thing is, her husband managed to make her feel like her problems are her fault. He says she could be happy again if she just let it go. That she has no sympathy for the other woman’s children – what would they do if their mother had no income? That he is not lying to her, but that she refuses to believe the truth. Because of his accusations, his gaslighting, she mostly questions her sanity.
Do you blame yourself for your relationship being toxic? Do you think if you’d just been a little nicer, paid more attention to him, or had love with him than he wanted, everything would be fine?
If so, stop it. Your person made your life difficult and although you may have played a role in the situation, I can promise you that it is NOT solely your fault.
3. You feel lonely and bored.
I know it’s so hard when you mourn the end of a toxic relationship and believe that you will never be happy again. At the moment it just seems impossible. But I would also argue that a large part of your grief comes from sheer loneliness and boredom.
When we break up with someone, we lose a playmate. Someone to watch TV with, to eat with, to fool around with, or to just hang out with when we don’t have time. And now you don’t have that person anymore.
If many people are still grieving after a breakup, they stop doing things. They don’t feel like doing anything because they’re depressed about the breakup, but they’re also not used to doing something without themselves, so they don’t do anything. The result is that they get bored and lonely and spend a lot of time thinking and grieving about their ex.
I would encourage you to do whatever you can to keep you busy. A customer once told me that a visit to Starbucks brightened her day, at least temporarily. Sitting at home and brooding sucked her life out!
I know it’s hard and you REALLY don’t feel like it, but now is the right time to work on it. Meet up with friends, read books, get in shape, learn something new, watch love movies with your mom – whatever you should do to keep yourself occupied and not bored.
In all honesty, you may not be grieving for your ex as much as you think you are and occupied yourself could prove that to you!
4. You believed that you were soul mates.
Do you think the relationship you shared with yourself is like no other? That the intense passion and bond you shared cannot be compared to any other relationship and that it would be a waste to let it go?
Let me tell you that EVERYONE thinks this about their relationship, especially toxic relationships because they are so passionate and emotional. I hate to disappoint you, but the love you feel for this person may be strong, but it is not the ultimate love in the world, and if you let go of it, it does not mean the end of love for you.
I mean, how can someone who keeps hurting you be your soul mate? Really how can he do that?
If you can accept that this person who molested you is not your soulmate (even if it felt like it at first) then it is much more likely that you can break free from a real, wonderful, and magical connection.
I did this.
5. You have to let go of your dreams for the future.
I have a customer who was abused one time too much and made the decision to go away in the end. It was then that she saw her family die. She saw that her dreams of an intact family and grandchildren coming home and growing old with someone might be forever shattered. And she believed that she could be alone forever, that she would never love or be loved again.
One of the reasons you still experience grief is that you are mourning the loss of those dreams about the future and that your new future is scary and bleak.
As someone who has survived an abusive relationship, I can tell you that getting out of this situation is the only way that your dreams for the future can come true. You will free yourself from love and become happy again. I promise to you!
Mourning the end of your toxic relationship is not only completely normal, it could be the best thing that can happen to you right now.
Why? Because it means you are moving forward.
Letting go of an abusive relationship occurs in stages – similar to death. At the moment you are still mourning. And grief is one of the 7 steps to overcoming loss. The others are shock, denial, negotiation, guilt, anger, and acceptance/hope. I bet you go through some of these steps too.
But I promise you that this grief over the end of your toxic relationship will pass. You will accept that the past is the past and look to the future, a future full of happiness and love.