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5 Reasons Why It Hurts To Leave A Toxic Relationship

why does it hurt to leave a toxic relationship

In this article, I’m going to provide a realistic and honest answer to the following question: Why does it hurt to leave a toxic relationship?

Toxic relationships are often very demanding, investment-heavy, psychologically taxing, and emotionally intense. All of which makes you feel negatively affected when you decide to leave a toxic relationship.

It’s also common for most people to envision a wonderful future when they decide to be in a relationship with someone.

That desire never truly dissipates until you’ve lost all desire to remain in the toxic relationship.

If anything, up until that endpoint, you will often fantasize of a time when the toxic relationship stops being so damn horrible and toxic.

So, you start to put in more effort and endure more suffering in hopes of turning things around.

All of this work and effort ends up feeling wasted when you decide to leave a toxic relationship.

I think that is what affects us the most. Not just the fact that we went through a difficult relationship but that we poured our hearts into it, and all that’s left is an ugly taste in your mouth.

Why Does It Hurt To Leave A Toxic Relationship?

Reasons Why It Hurts To Leave A Toxic Relationship

1. Toxic Relationships Require Tons Of Investment

As I mentioned above, there’s a lot of work that goes into a relationship, and that is just enhanced in a toxic relationship.


Because there’s a chance that you’re dealing with a lot of fights, insecurities, drama, manipulation, and/or even abuse of some kind or another.

Just going through these issues can drain you. Now imagine all the work you end up putting into this relationship, not just to endure the toxic behaviors but to make things right.

I noticed that it’s always the least toxic partner who ends up trying the hardest to fix things.

This involves a huge amount of investment that often leaves you with baggage that you know you’ll have to carry and deal with once the relationship is over.

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2. Toxic Relationships Start Off Well

More often than not, you get into a relationship with someone who seems to check all the boxes.

They’re loving, moderately possessive, caring, and very invested in you.

This makes you feel cared for and loved.

Unfortunately, as time goes on, these traits turn out to be a facade or, worse, a misjudgment on your part.

Now, you’re with someone who is actually abusive, uncaring, controlling, and manipulative.

The disappointment and disbelief are often hard to accept and extremely hurtful, especially now that you’ve decided to leave the toxic relationship.

Coming to accept that you’re in a relationship of this nature isn’t something to take lightly.

Which is why we struggle with acceptance more than anything else.

But you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself because it’s hard to spot a toxic partner if you aren’t aware of the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

3. You Thought You Could Fix It

Building on the last point, there’s this idea that if you try to help someone unlock their full potential as a partner, then it is worth the risk.

What’s worse is when you try to fix someone toxic in hopes of turning a toad into a prince.

This is doomed from the get-go.

Partly because you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves. And to seek out help, you must be willing to acknowledge there’s a problem with yourself, and not many people are open to doing that.

It’s difficult to give up on something you put your heart into. That’s why it hurts to leave a toxic relationship.

You probably genuinely thought you could fix your partner or the relationship.

Giving up on this failed attempt at fixing your partner or relationship often feels like you’re giving up on your own ability and worth.

Don’t buy into it.

You are not defined by the failure of a relationship.

4. It’s Hard To Give Up On Someone

When you care about someone, it’s extremely common to think the best of them.

Time after time, you go so far as to ignore your gut feelings to give them the benefit of the doubt.

It’s difficult to admit that we can fall in love with someone who is capable of doing extremely toxic things.

You are not at fault for this, and it’s okay to admit that you need to walk away from a situation.

Don’t for one second think you’re a bad person for giving up on a relationship or someone who has brought pain and misery into your life, even if they’re a good person outside of the context of a relationship.

Under certain circumstances, you have to be a bit selfish and prioritize your own happiness and peace of mind.

And sometimes that requires you to give up on someone you care about but can no longer tolerate in your life as a romantic partner.

5. It Leads To Trauma Bonding

Can you imagine a scenario where someone who experiences abuse or trauma develops a bond with the person who hurts them?

That’s what trauma bonding is, and it happens more often than you think.

Toxic relationships consist of many traumatic events.

Even when breaking up, it turns toxic.

All that pain gets warped into a unique connection. You start to feel as if the only person who truly understands you is the person with whom you have a toxic relationship.

It’s a unique and difficult situation to deal with, but it does explain why it’s so hard to leave a toxic relationship.

Check out this article to learn more about trauma bonding.

Final Thoughts

I hope by this point that you have a firm understanding of why it hurts to leave a toxic relationship. However, there’s something you absolutely must consider.

Do you want to suffer for a bit now and leave your toxic relationship, or do you want to spend years, if not a lifetime, stuck in an unhappy and destructive toxic relationship?

Is it really worth it to stay in a toxic relationship that will destroy you from the inside out?

I don’t think so.

If anything, the hurt you feel from leaving a toxic relationship will pale in comparison to the hurt you will feel from staying in it.

You deserve to be happy.

Even if that means seeking out therapy and breaking free of the mindset that holds you back from unhappy situations, do it.

Take the bull by the horns and do what needs to be done.

If you don’t take ownership of your life and future, nobody else will.

With that being said, I wish you all the best and hope that you manage to get out of this toxic relationship.

Someone better, kinder, and healthier is waiting for you. Don’t lose out on good love for something toxic.

1 thought on “5 Reasons Why It Hurts To Leave A Toxic Relationship”

  1. I’ve accepted my relationship was toxic, but my partner absolutely blames me for the break up. He takes very little responsibility. Its all my fault. I’m struggling to deal with this. He is turning my child against me. It’s all my fault. He is the victim. I’m losing my child yet it is my child I wanted to protect the most which is why I took the decision to leave/divorce. It’s awful. I feel so weak and helpless my (ex) partner is a master manipulater, even if he doesn’t acknowledge it. He just thinks of himself as the victim.

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