It’s never easy to break-free from a toxic relationship and there may be several things about it that are keeping you from making the first move. It’s possible that you view ending your relationship as a sign of failure, but it’s actually a crucial step in reclaiming your life and regaining happiness. Below are a few of the ways that you can become empowered to escape your toxic relationship through divorce and custody law so that you can embrace a better, brighter future for you and your children.
Recognizing Toxic Relationships
You’ve probably heard the phrase “love is blind” at some point in your life, but what does it really mean? If you look it up, you’ll find countless definitions; the common denominator is that it relates to loving someone in spite of something, usually a fault or flaw. However, when someone says love is blind, they’re usually referring to something silly like loving their partner even though their cooking is terrible or they have annoying habits, not that they’re mentally, emotionally or even physically abusive. Unfortunately, many people are blind to toxic behaviors in their partner because of their love for them, which makes it difficult to leave poor situations. Recognizing the signs of a toxic relationship is the first step in realizing when it’s time to go. Some of the signs include:
- Poor/hateful communication
- Lack of support/encouragement
- Extreme envy or jealousy
- Controlling behaviors like the need to know where you are at all times
- Holding a grudge
- Blatant disrespect
- And more!
It’s important to note that toxic behaviors like these can start to influence your health. For example, a partner who exhibits one or more of these behaviors consistently is likely causing you a great deal of stress, which can lead to increased cortisol levels. Exposure to these high levels can have detrimental effects on your mental and physical health.
By learning to identify toxic behaviors that shouldn’t take place in your relationship, you can begin to find the courage to make the decision to break free.
The Power of Divorce & Custody Law: Prioritizing Yourself & Your Children
You don’t need anyone’s permission to get out of a toxic relationship. If your marriage has turned into an unhealthy environment for you and your children, divorce law can play a pivotal role in helping you walk away so you can move forward with your life. Filing for divorce as soon as you make the decision is the best way to avoid dragging out the process. If you leave the door to your former relationship open, even just a tiny bit, it is likely that your toxic spouse will come crawling back, try to convince you to stay, or act out because of your decision. Divorce is a legal tool that can protect you against a constant cycle of toxicity by providing structure that will allow you to protect your property, assets and children if you have them.
If you plan to divorce your spouse and are afraid for your safety, you might want to consider a few ways to protect yourself like getting a restraining order, breaking up your routines (like which route you drive to work or your children’s school), changing your locks and keep records of any threats your spouse has made against you.
Leaving a toxic relationship can be especially difficult when you share children with your spouse, but that is all the more reason to go. While you might think that it’s better to stay together for your children, two parents in an unhealthy relationship can provide an even more unstable environment than one where their parents are not together. Putting your children’s well-being above all else might be the one thing that really pushes you to escape your toxic relationship. Through custody law, you can create custody arrangements in the best interest of your children that foster emotional stability and protect them from the harmful effects of a toxic parental relationship.
Navigating Legal Challenges
While divorce and custody law might liberate you to flee the suffocating grip of a toxic relationship, the legal challenges of both can make that journey difficult. There are complex issues that can follow filing for divorce like how assets and property will be distributed and who will have custody of your children. This is an emotionally chaotic event for anyone to go through, but especially for those who are married to someone that exhibits the toxic behaviors discussed above, as they’ll likely do what they can to make it difficult for you to distance yourself or your children from them.
However, it’s important to remember that these challenges are not insurmountable. You can escape your toxic relationship with the help of experienced legal representation. A divorce & custody attorney will be able to get to know you and your story so that they can understand your unique situation and needs. From this evaluation they can develop a legal strategy that will ensure the safety of both you and your children during the transition out of a toxic relationship.
Your Emotional Well-being Matters
Life is too short to be in the wrong relationship, especially a toxic one. If you’re being verbally, mentally, emotionally or physically abused in your marriage, it’s time to escape. After identifying toxic behaviors in your spouse, you need to prioritize your emotional well-being because it matters. It matters for your mental and physical health, and it matters for your children who cannot control the situation they’re in. By empowering yourself with knowledge of divorce and custody law, you can gain the courage to break-free from your toxic relationship, close this chapter and begin a new one that can offer you stability, happiness and a healthier future.
At Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm, we are skilled divorce and custody attorneys that can help you make a change in your toxic environment. If you’re feeling stuck in a toxic relationship, we’re prepared to help you take the first steps in getting out of it. Call today to request a consultation and learn how we can help you push past the fear of “what ifs” and get to the other side.