You’d think that if you are referring to your ex as “toxic” it would be easy to simply leave them in the dust after the relationship is over.
If life were that easy, I wouldn’t be taking out a small loan to fill my gas tank.
Seriously, even if you know your ex is toxic, there are many reasons why you may be having a hard time getting over them.
First and foremost, and I’ll mention this again in this post, toxic people are manipulative and actually shape you to become dependent on them so you won’t leave.
But when the relationship does end, you feel lost and you want to go back to the familiarity you had with them.
It’s totally normal but it’s also totally possible to get over a toxic ex.
Don’t believe me right now? That’s okay! Keep reading and you’ll find out not only why you can’t get over your toxic ex but how to move on from the relationship and live your best life!
Why You Can’t Get Over Your Toxic Ex
Before we even begin to explore how to get over a toxic ex, let’s look at why you are having difficulties doing so in the first place!
Getting over any relationship is a struggle, whether the relationship was good or bad. There’s a period of time when you need to grieve the loss and process what happened.
But eventually, this phase ends and you move on. So, why aren’t you moving on?
Let’s look at some reasons why you can’t get over your toxic ex:
- You’re lonely. You may find yourself pining over your toxic ex because they were at least someone who didn’t make you feel alone. It’s important to get over those feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- You’re still on their social media. Staying connected on social media not only keeps you in touch with their life but can lead to stalkerish and obsessive behavior.
- You lost your sense of confidence during the relationship. Toxic people will do this to you! They push you down so you rely on them for answers and validation. Without them, you don’t know how to function in the world.
- You only remember the good times. Even in toxic relationships, there are good times but relationships are complicated and it’s likely there were more bad moments than good ones.
- You don’t think you’ll find anyone else. Let me tell you from experience! I’m almost 10 years single since leaving my toxic ex and I’ll hold out until my dying die for the perfect partner before I would ever go back to him. You’ll find someone!
- You think you can fix things. With a reasonable and respectable ex, perhaps there is a chance of reconciling and trying again. When it comes to toxic people, they will never change.
- You blame yourself for the relationship ending. Toxic people will blame you for everything so it’s natural that you may feel you’re the cause of the relationship ending. I’ll assure you, you are not.
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, it’s totally natural! You’ll be hard-pressed to find many people that can simply drop a relationship and walk away unscathed – especially if they were in a toxic relationship.
Now, let’s look at some common scenarios that may be hampering your ability to move on from your toxic ex:
My Toxic Ex Keeps Contacting Me
Ugh, nothing makes moving on harder than an ex who won’t do the same. The relationship is over so you’re probably asking yourself, “Why is my toxic ex contacting me?”
There are some reasons why your toxic ex may be trying to crawl back. For one, they may have some bitterness they want to express to you – a sort of “last word” thing. Or they want to simply bask in your misery.
Another reason why a toxic ex keeps contacting you is that they are not ready to give up control of you. Toxic people, especially narcissists, thrive on manipulating and controlling others. Even post-relationship, most will still try to do this.
Lastly, they may just be looking for a booty call. They may prey on your vulnerability to hook up whenever it pleases them.
In this situation, you should block them completely. Unless you have children together, you really have no reason to continue communicating with them!
I Have Kids With My Toxic Ex
Yeah, this is where I’m at. It’s hard to shut down all communication with a toxic ex when you have kids together.
On this blog I talk a lot about parallel parenting with a narcissistic ex – and this applies to toxic exes too! There are ways you can limit communication and set boundaries so that you can parent with your ex while getting over the relationship and distancing yourself from them.
The most important thing to do is restrict the access they have to your personal life. This means removing them from social media, blocking them, whatever. Stick to communicating with them about your children via text or email.
Also, make sure that all conversations pertain to your children. Don’t share any information about your life, work, friends, hobbies, anything.
Creating this barrier is going to help you separate yourself from your toxic ex and move on from the relationship.
What To Do When Your Toxic Ex Moves On
When your toxic ex moves on, the first thing you should do is not think of their new relationship as a “victory” or “success.” Just because they found someone else doesn’t mean that they are doing better than you.
It could be that, in their desperation to not be alone and control someone else, they grabbed up the next person that came along. That doesn’t really make for a great relationship, does it?
Another thing you should avoid doing is looking into their new partner. It doesn’t matter what type of person they are, you are probably going to negatively compare yourself to them. Don’t give yourself this opportunity!
Instead of focusing on what your toxic ex is doing, you should be focusing on yourself! Now is the time to enjoy the things you used to enjoy, hang out with your friends, explore new hobbies, and meet new people.
Maybe your ex is happy or maybe they are completely miserable. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about you now!
Will My Toxic Ex Come Back?
To be honest? Yes, probably. But not because they have mended the errors of their ways or discovered their deep love for you.
As I mentioned, toxic people love to manipulate and control. If your toxic ex comes back, it’s probably because they couldn’t find anyone else to do this to.
Because they were able to treat you poorly at one point, they see you as an easy target.
My best advice to you if your toxic ex tries to come back? Tell them to pound sand. You deserve the time to work on yourself and you deserve a better partner!
How Can I Work On Myself After Breaking Up With a Toxic Ex?
Okay, so I kind of touched on this but let’s look more closely at ways you can work on yourself after breaking up with a toxic ex:
Grieve and Feel Sad
First of all, you have to give yourself to heal. Whether you are healing from narcissistic abuse or a toxic individual, the path is similar: Let yourself feel sad and grieve the relationship.
Grieving is a normal and healthy process when dealing with things that have ended. We mostly attribute grief to dealing with death, but it applies to the end of a relationship as well.
Don’t Contact Your Ex
Just be sure that during this stage of the game, you don’t contact your toxic ex or pay attention to what is happening in their life. Please, please, please, don’t get in touch with them just to closure! You won’t get what you’re looking for.
Friends & Family
So, while you are grieving, it’s important to surround yourself with a support system of positive people. By positive, I mean people that will uplift you but also listen to your drag your toxic ex through the mud (and join in, obviously!).
Reach out to friends and family members, especially ones you may have lost touch with during the relationship. Go do fun things even if you don’t want to at first – you’ll be glad you stepped out of your comfort zone!
Just don’t feel like you have to get out there 24/7. You should also take some quiet moments to practice self-care which will help you heal emotionally from the relationship. Through self-care, you can also start to re-discover yourself and rebuild your sense of self-esteem, self-trust, and confidence.
Go Easy On Yourself!
Lastly, be patient with yourself and kind to yourself. You are not to blame for what happened and you are not expected to simply get over it overnight.
The time you take to work on yourself is going to help you build resilience so that you can face the world and new relationships with unsurpassed strength and confidence!
Getting Over a Toxic Ex: You Can Do It!
Sometimes getting over a toxic ex isn’t a quick process, but just because it feels like it’s taking forever doesn’t mean it won’t happen for you!
It just takes meaningful action and time. You have to do the work and you may not see results overnight but eventually, you will wake up one day and say, “Thank U, Next!”
How about you? How are you getting over your toxic ex? Share your tips in the comments below!