Managing pain in toxic relationships

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Louise Hay

Managing pain in toxic relationships

The end of an important relationship always causes pain, especially if the bond was toxic. In these cases, the suffering can exceed the limits for various reasons. Let's find out which ones.

Last update: 28 September, 2022

The end of a relationship, whether it is due to a separation or the disappearance of a partner, is an incredibly painful experience. Managing pain in toxic relationships is more difficult due to the characteristics of this type of constraint.

When we talk about pain in toxic relationships, we tend to think immediately of couple relationships; in reality, any human interaction can take on a dynamic that is harmful to the individual. Let's find out because it is so difficult to overcome the end of a friendship or the death of a family member whose relationship was not healthy.

Why is it difficult to manage pain in toxic relationships?

It may seem illogical that it is more difficult to let go of people who have hurt us rather than those who have only given us love.

Those facing the end of a toxic relationship may face the misunderstanding or judgment of the people around them. To try to understand this situation better, we need to take into account some important factors.


Typically, people in toxic relationships have unresolved issues in their emotional sphere. It is common for these individuals to have a strong fear of rejection and abandonment, who are insecure, indecisive and prone to emotional dependence.

Even in unhealthy terms, the relationship fills or mitigates those internal wounds. The addicted person focuses all his energy on the partner. At the end of the relationship, she finds herself having to face the inner world of her, to return all attention to herself.

The fears and wounds that accompany us emerge more intensely at the end of a toxic relationship, making the breakup often unbearable. We remember that we are the only real support we can count on: if we ignore the unresolved wounds, we cannot help ourselves.


One of the most crucial aspects in developing a toxic relationship is self-esteem. A bond that causes such suffering that it undermines self-confidence.

The value that an individual places on himself decreases the longer the toxic relationship lasts. One becomes weak, unsuitable, and unable to move forward without the other person.

Self-love is key to detecting abuse and putting an end to it. It is what it takes to remind us that we are worth and that we are enough for ourselves. It is the force that pushes us not to tolerate any form of abuse, even when the consequence is being alone.

Toxic relationships annihilate self-love. The person belittles himself, comes to think that he does not deserve more than what he receives. Self-confidence is so reduced that one is unable to face the breakup. That solid foundation that we need to say "enough" crumbles in the face of the constant abuse received.

Inner peace for managing pain in toxic relationships

In a healthy relationship, there are hardly any outstanding issues. Each contributes, giving affection, security and understanding to the other. And so, when the paths separate, it is easier to close the cycle by putting good memories and feelings in front of everything.

Conversely, managing pain in toxic relationships means dealing with anger, remorse, anger, or disappointment. They are relationships based on the idea that all the efforts made and the suffering endured must be rewarded.

Sooner or later the other is expected to exchange and redistribute the energy invested. With the end of the relationship, the hope that this will happen also ends, leaving room for anger.

Furthermore, dysfunctional thoughts may appear that make us believe that we have not been enough for that person. Why haven't we been able to make ourselves loved? Why haven't we done more to make the relationship work? Such ideas lead to negative brooding and do not allow for overcoming grief.

The pain experienced throughout the relationship has similar characteristics to it. Healthy and respectful bonds cause equally calm and conscious pain. Still, managing pain in toxic relationships isn't impossible.

The processing of a pain filled with anger and despair, so similar to the feelings experienced when the relationship was alive, it requires a more intense and profound work aimed at re-establishing the foundations of self-love and self-confidence. These pillars are needed to heal and not repeat the same mistakes.

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