Are you a woman who has reached a certain level of success and prestige but secretly you are in a coercive relationship? Is that toxic relationship draining the life out of you? It’s likely your nature to be loyal. And the perpetrator whether a spouse, love interest, or other used this to win you over. They found a way to trap you into a toxic relationship.
You value relationship. And you find it hard to recognize and admit that you are in a toxic relationship based in control. However, once you recognize and admit it, it’s time to get out of it! So how do you execute a plan to get out? A therapist for over a decade working with battered women, your safety is key. Attempting to leave can be as dangerous as staying. Any attempt to leave can cause the perpetrator to feel threatened. This can cause behaviors to escalate out of control.
In finding safety, I suggest identifying your supports. The first being a professional support who can help you. A professional can help you identify blind spots and course correct. This will help you increase your ability to get out safely. Remember, not all toxic relationships look the same. There are different levels of threat that they can help you navigate. They will also help you identify family and other supports that will be beneficial for you during this time.
MAKE A PLAN
Next in your plan is making a clear decision. Why is this important? Because if you are in a coercive relationship the offender knows exactly how to talk to you. They are skilled in using language riddled in shame, guilt, and blame that keeps you stuck. Men who batter are skilled in getting you to say and abandon your plan.
MAKE A DECISION
Next, making a clear decision is crucial to understanding that you do not need anyone’s permission to leave but your own. Once you give that to yourself, there is no coercing or convincing that can hinder you with the proper support. Once that decision is made, execute your plan with skill and patience. You will need time to gain appropriate outside resources. You will need time to garner support needed for this courageous decision. Also, realize that executing the plan to leave requires making other major decisions. Decisions such as where you will live, to how much money you need to put aside, to what happens with your children. Again, starting with a loving professional who can help you create and execute your plan is key.
AFTER YOU LEAVE
After leaving a toxic relationship, it is common to stay inside of a safe professional relationship. Maintain a focus of learning more about yourself. And be gracious towards yourself. It’s important that you learn from the experience and grow from it. But it’s even more important that you allow yourself time to heal. Oftentimes, women beat themselves up for having been inside of a toxic relationship. Thus taking on behaviors that sabotage their courageous decision. A loving professional can help you see the purpose in the pain, giving voice to it, and helping you free yourself and move forward in the most loving way.