I think at this point we all know that a destructive relationship is one where the other person does everything from kill your favourite pet to make you lie to the people you love to protect him/her; whatever your definition, it's not a walk in the park!
Now the truth about destructive relationships is that they give new meaning to the expression; “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. I mean you may intend with all your heart to come out of them but more often than not, you need a little help on the how to.
So just in case you have battling with how to kick that person to the curb without doing irreparable damage to your already vulnerable heart in the process, here are a few clues:
1. Acknowledge you have a problem and end it in your mind.
As with most addictions, the first step is the acknowledgement and then the decision to stop. Yes I can almost see you cringe at the word ‘addiction’ but in truth, a destructive relationship is about as addictive as they come because even though you know it’s bad for you, you find it hard to stop. So whether you think of it as habit, addiction or just situation, the key to the best part of the rest of your life is simply to decide firmly in your mind that it’s over and even go the extra mile of telling yourself why it can no longer work. Yes, you can’t possibly go wrong with an honest-to-goodness list, unless of course they see it before you have fully gotten your mind made up and firm; in which case they would simply tear down your less-than-effective barricades and force their way deeper into your heart.
2. Get a real friend and talk to the person about it
Whoever said ‘a problem shared is a problem half-solved’ certainly knew what they were talking about. As bad as your situation may seem, there must be that one friend somewhere who would listen to you and encourage you without judging and without so much as an ‘I told you so.’ This is one of those times when you need a good friend; someone to remind you that you are special, desirable, and wonderful and that you are not going to end up a lonely old person with cats for company just because you decided to end this abusive relationship. Get someone who will convince you that you deserve better and that they are going to stand by you until you get out of this mess you have made of your life. Of course, if you are one of the unlucky few who have no such friends, you can still end it, you just need to draw on every ounce of your personal strength; and then some!
3. Plan what you will say.
This is one of those times when spontaneity may not be your friend because while you are twiddling your thumbs and running it through your mind trying to think of a good reason they can’t argue with, they will burst into tears, or give you ‘the look’ and all your good intentions will go flying out of the window as you fall back into their arms right back where you started. Of course you know that with every failed attempt you make, the harder it becomes to break free and the more manipulative they will become.
4. Avoid emotion.
It may make sense to cry to show them that this isn’t an easy decision you took but you will only be hurting yourself because any emotion you display at this time will be used against you in the battle for your freedom. And no, you are not being Mirandized! Look at it this way; assume you burst into tears and tell them how wonderful they are, how crushed you are by your decision, and how hard it is to leave them; what do you think their natural reaction would be? He/she would say, “Then don’t leave me” or in some extreme case, even go so far as to threaten suicide and then like a good prison warden, your partner would close off that escape route and tighten the leash even more.
5. Mode of delivery.
Most things about a relationship are better done in person and otherwise may seem tacky but where you are in genuine fear for your life because you partner is likely to resort to physical abuse, you may have to join countless of faceless others in writing the infamous ‘Dear John’ letter. In the alternative, if you just have to face them down, then you could simply arrange to meet and discuss in a very public place and even take a friend along with you for good measure. Oh and by the way, if you live with this person then the last thing you want is a shouting match while you are lugging trolleys in both hands so be sure to have gotten your things the hell out of Dodge (literally) before you pop the... well, decision.
6. Don’t look back.
Memories can be very tricky. Let’s face it, as horrible as they were to you, your significant other certainly had their redeeming qualities. There must have been something absolutely charming about them and it could be everything from their smile to how they tease you to how they pamper you. But when you do make up your mind to use the nearest exit, actually do use the nearest exit and don’t look back for one last tender gaze! Yes and at this point, it would definitely be a good idea to lose their number (yes even though the digits are branded into your brain) and if possible, get a new number of your own.
I hope this works for you and hey, if you try all these, they will definitely work; so see you on the other side of your freedom and feel free to share on your social media coz you never know who might be out there needing to hear someone say it can be done!