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How To Get Out Of A Toxic Relationship

Written by: Amelia Mathee, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

We've all been there, it's like the gift that keeps on giving. You make the decision to leave and the next moment, you find yourself wrapped up in the same drama- and it's like a broken record...it just goes on in the same manner it always did. You can't seem to escape this madness, and you are drawn to the same chaos.



If you are reading this and can relate, chances are good that you are in a toxic relationship and you seem to be stuck. I am here today to tell you there is hope, and there is freedom if you step outside this situation and see it for what it is. There is a scientific explanation as to why we seem to stay in these relationships and fail to move on, even if it's killing us.


Toxic relationships tend to feel addictive


The highs are high, the lows are low and we are sitting on the fence somewhere between desire and rejection.


When dopamine is released in the brain and that reward circuit of the brain is triggered, your brain fires a message letting you know that this is an experience you have to have. This is called the dopamine reward circuit and not only occurs in toxic relationships but also in drug addiction. At first, this is a normal cycle of wanting, craving and validation but as the relationship continues, we crave more and need more validation to get the same high ‒ just like in drug use.


In toxic relationships – we will also feel withdrawal. The unpredictable nature of the relationship, feeling disconnected, and ignoring red flags are all signs that the relationship is unraveling and just like drug addiction, you will do whatever you need to do to get the next high, the next validation, the next ‒ I Love you.


Until we are pushed away again just to feel the rejection... and so the cycle will continue. There is only one way to step out of this abusive cycle and that is to go the other way. That ultimately means- you will need to make a 180-degree turn in your thinking pattern. I'll walk you through it.


Build a support network


Breakups are hard, and that's why they are called breakups- It's broken. You will go through every single emotion, but you need to know that it's normal. You will feel sad, depressed, conflicted, angry and the list goes on. Who are those friends or relatives you can call at 2 am if needed? Make sure that they know what you are going through and lean on them.


Stay firm with your decision to leave


This was probably not a decision you made overnight, so here you need to be strong and have the end in mind. There will be times when you will find yourself missing this person, and it's here I want you to remind yourself why you came to this decision in the first place.


Make a list and keep it close


I'll challenge you to make a list of everything this person has done to you in your time together. Keep it close to you and when you feel vulnerable and conflicted... take the list out and read it. This way, you start making sense of the situation and will be better equipped in handling it when this person 'pops' into your mind. For example:


  • made me depressed

  • gave me anxiety

  • stole my joy

  • made me feel like I was walking on eggshells every day


Important rule: No Contact


It's crucial to cut all contact with your ex, as it will only open the door to getting together again. Toxic people are manipulative at their core and will use any tool to get you back. Don't follow them on social media, don't reply to their texts, just stop. This will send a clear understanding that you are done and you won't be lured into the drama.


One thing I have seen over years as a CBT practitioner is that you will never get closure from a toxic person. You just need to accept this as truth and know that it's not your burden anymore.


There seems to be a big black hole in the middle of our existence as humans, and we can try to fill it with anything from this world. It just does not work. This hole is painful and it bothers us, but know that the Creator is standing inside that deep dark hole, holding us together when we can not cope with life.


 

Amelia Mathee, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Amelia Mathee has dealt with thousands of people thirsting for answers. Her counseling approach incorporates both her knowledge in the fields of psychology and neuroscience as well as her biblical understanding. Even though you may be wired one way, you can begin the journey to rewire your brain and find that oasis after all. Science proves that over 80% of sickness and disease starts in the brain, and by neuroplasticity we are able to not only change our thinking, but also our physical health. Amelia has been able to help many people that could not be helped by any other form of medical intervention. If you are lost in your desert, she might just be the one to show you where your oasis is.

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