Ending a Toxic Relationship


Photo Courtesy of: Jamie Kathleen Haughaboo

It amazes me how much I have compassion for others but how there are times when I offer so little for myself.

I am the queen of beating myself up. I mean there are occasions when I have to remind myself to give me a break!

Well today was one of those days when I had to give myself a pep talk and remind myself to stop beating myself up for being human.

I recently had someone deceive me in a way that completely blindsided me.

Not so much because they deceived me but the way they did.

I hate to admit it but from the beginning I knew they were not someone I should have in my life. But I completely underestimated how poor of a friend they were.

I thought ‘hey this person isn’t the best friend but they aren’t all bad and besides sometimes they make me happy’.

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized the kind of person they really were.

I was so mad at myself for allowing myself to be deceived. I felt dumb and thought I was smarter than that.

I went against my gut instinct and I was angry with myself for doing so.

I wanted to believe the best and the reality was worse than I could have imagined.

But instead of being angry with them and thinking ‘wow this person is not someone I should be around and thank goodness I realized it’, I got angry with myself for allowing myself to befriend a person of such poor moral character.

I felt I should have known better.

Because the truth is I didn’t just have red flags, the entire room was red with blaring sirens saying RUNNNNNNNNN!!!!!! But still I just wanted to believe it wasn’t that bad.

But it was, it wasn’t just bad it was down right dirty.

But as I previously stated there were warning signs.

This person would often let me down, they were inconsistent and I would often catch them in lies.

You would think that would be enough for me to walk away but nope I just kept wanting to see them for the person I hoped they were as opposed to the person they were showing me that they were.

I would continually make excuses for their poor behavior.

I wanted to believe it wasn’t as bad as thought.

Turns out it wasn’t – it was WORSE!!!

What I have come to fully accept is that each time I made excuses for their behavior I was giving them the green light to continue mistreating me.

What they say is true “You teach people how to treat you”.

And with some people you simply have to walk away and never look back in order to stop the mistreatment.

Please know that whenever you have to walk away it isn’t your loss it is theirs.

This is because if you are being kind to someone who mistreats you and they lose your friendship then they are the one who has lost something valuable, not you.

I think sometimes we give people more chances than they deserve because we are afraid of the void that will be created when they are no longer there.

Don’t be afraid of the void.

The void is being created for someone better to come along.

Everyone isn’t kind, everyone doesn’t show love and compassion for others and the void is creating an opportunity to dismiss the person who won’t and inviting the one who will.

Are you responsible for staying in a bad relationship? – Yes.

But you are not responsible for their behavior!

Their behavior is on them!

I felt foolish for loving someone who clearly didn’t love me.

But love is not wrong.

My mistake wasn’t that I loved them, my mistake was that I thought that loving them meant I had to accept their poor behavior and that if I loved them enough they would treat me better.

Well, I am here to tell you that there are some people you simply have to love from a distance.

I spent last night wrapped in a blanket, holding a hot cup of tea with warm tears streaming down my face reflecting upon that relationship.

I cried because I was allowing myself to believe that their mistreatment of me somehow meant that there was something wrong with me.

Then I thought ‘wait a minute!’

Just because they didn’t value me doesn’t mean I am not valuable.

Heck even if I don’t value me it doesn’t mean that I am not valuable!

I am going to have people deceive me, that doesn’t meant that I am a bad person it means someone deceived me.

If someone came to me and told me that they had been deceived, I wouldn’t scold them. At most I would tell them to learn whatever they can from what happened so it won’t happen again, but I would assure them that they are not responsible for someone else’s behavior.

I have decided to give myself that same compassion. Because basically I met someone who I wanted desperately to believe was my friend but who turned out not to be.

This happens in the lives of everyone who lives long enough.

That doesn’t mean I am unworthy or doomed to a life of horrible relationships.

Nope it means I got duped and that they are a person of poor character and that I should stay away from people like that in the future.

So after a good cry and some much-needed girl talk I wiped the tears from my eyes and realized that I am not responsible for how others behave.

Should I have removed myself sooner? – Yes, ABSOLUTELY!

But I didn’t and I take responsibility for that. But I will not take responsibility for their behavior!

I will be honest, when everything came crashing down I initially doubted my ability to trust myself in the future.

I thought ‘I allowed myself to be betrayed so perhaps I should just stop letting people into my life’.

I considered shutting down, no more Facebook and perhaps a new number.

But shutting down means pushing all of the positive people out of my life all because I was hurt by one.

So I will not shut down. I will reject that relationship and choose and maintain better ones. I will not allow them to stop me from loving. Because hopefully this lesson taught me to not remain in ill-fitted relationships and to not ignore red flags.

And as I said before I will not take responsibility for their behavior!

Because their behavior is about them not me!

Next time I will try to be more cautious and listen to the inner voice inside of me.

I will work to value myself enough not to accept negative behavior and make excuses for it.

I will forgive them for hurting me.

And I will forgive myself for staying in a relationship well past its expiration date.

I will not allow the fact that I made poor relationship decisions to prevent me from entering new relationships in the future.

And while I will be more cautious. I will not allow them to allow me to fearfully believe all people are like that when I know better.

I will seek reciprocity from my friendships and when I find myself in one-sided relationships I will take a bow and walk away knowing that I deserve better.

I will take some time out to grieve the relationship, learn from it and then dust myself off and move forward.

I must confess my initial reaction to them was extreme anger. When I found out the depth of the deception I said some things to them out of anger that I am not proud of. But ultimately I wish them all the best.

For my own protection I don’t ever want to interact with them again, but from the bottom of my heart I wish them all the best.

Ending toxic relationships is hard because you have a tendency to get mad at yourself for grieving the loss of someone who hurt you. You feel silly for missing the one who abused you.


But the grief is totally normal. Anytime you suffer a loss it is natural to grieve.

Just remind yourself that what you are seeing as a loss is really a gain.

When you are able to separate yourself from someone who mistreats you I am most certain that it is indeed a good thing.

It might not feel like it in the beginning but I can assure you that as time goes by you will see it as a good thing.

Letting go of a toxic relationship doesn’t mean you won’t miss the good times but it does mean you won’t have to endure the bad.

Please don’t do what I did and spend time out of your life beating yourself up because someone mistreated you.

And don’t worry about whether or not they see the error of their ways.

Forgive them without an apology. Not for them but for you. Don’t carry them with you, release the hurt and let them go.

You may feel like the whole world is laughing at you, but I can assure you it isn’t.

The person who hurt you may think they have gotten over on you, but in the end they are the one who lost.

When you mistreat people you ultimately end up alone with no one in your corner because eventually everyone gets tired of the abuse and leaves. People who mistreat others eventually find themselves by themselves.

Also do not worry that they will go on to treat others better.

Most likely they will go on mistreating others the same exact why they mistreated you if not worse, because for the most part people don’t change all that much.

And even if word does get back to you that they are treating the new people in their life better than they treated you, you should rejoice. Rejoice, because it means that they learned not to mistreat others. Take it as a sign that your pain was not in vain (which it never is) because it caused someone to change for the better.

I have noticed that we as people tend to have a false understanding of what the changed behavior of our abusers means.

We tend to think it means that we poured a lot into a person all for someone else to reap the reward or we question our worth. That is not the right way to look at it.

There are some relationships that you over invest in and the other person is simply never going to repay you. I did this. I over gave and I think that is why I stayed so long. I was waiting for them to reciprocate. It is like putting money in the stock market and making a bad investment. You simply need to count your losses, take it as a lesson and walk away. If you are wise enough to learn from your mistake you will become a better investor in the future. The fact that a stock may be able to turn a profit in the future doesn’t matter if it is causing you to lose a fortune now. If other people are able to benefit off of that stock good for them but you go find a better company to invest in that isn’t causing you loss. Because in the end your life is about YOU not about them!

Nevertheless I pray the person who hurt me goes on to have healthy relationships and never hurts anyone else like they did me. I pray they learned from their mistakes.

I know that if they treat the people in their life better that it doesn’t say anything about my value.

Because here is the thing about people who cannot see your true value. It isn’t your job to prove it to them. It is your job to realize that anyone who is not willing to treat you as valuable as you are doesn’t deserve you. It is up to you to know your worth not others. Furthermore realize that there are some people who mistreat you not because they don’t see your worth but because they do and they are trying to bring you down!

Thus as for my toxic relationship it doesn’t matter if they saw as valuable or not, what matters is that at one point in time I didn’t value myself and it allowed me to offer someone several chances to hurt me. Due to that hurt I have learned to love me more and to try my best not to repeat my previous behavior.

And so I will be honest the truth is there are times I miss our inside jokes and their laughter, but I don’t miss the pain.

I value me even if they don’t and I hope you will value yourself as well. Don’t be afraid to walk away from people. Don’t continually give people chances to hurt you. They are showing you as hard as they can that they don’t care about you, believe what they are showing you!

For as long as you stay they will keep hurting you.

Leave-not as a way to manipulate them into treating you better, but as a way of loving you and treating yourself better.Know their abuse is not a reflection of who you are, but of who they are!

And when you have a flashback of the good times, smile and then remind yourself that the bad outweighed the good and that there is no turning back.

When you go back to people who don’t value you they simply lose the little bit of respect they have for you. All you are doing by going back is losing value in their eyes and they are inclined to simply treat you worse with each time you return.

If you want to know why they are mistreating you the answer is as simple as because you are still there. So please love yourself enough to walk away from anyone who is mistreating you. Don’t worry about giving them another chance because for those of us who are engaging in toxic relationships I bet that by the time you find the courage to walk away you have given them more chances than you can count. Choose you by ending the toxic relationship, walking away and never going back!

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman, Renata Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content



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