L ove can be the greatest feeling on earth, but if you are in the wrong relationship it can cause more damage than good. I’m not an expert on relationships, but I’ve had enough friends and dated enough men to know when a breakup can save you from a breakdown.

Emotionally exhausting relationships can wear on you. Whether they are relationships you have with your family, friends, children, co-workers or lover, when you are constantly hurting due to someone else’s actions you have to evaluate the situations you’ve chosen to be in. The older I get the more I come in contact with toxic people. The more I analyze my choices and handle things differently. I’d like to think I’m a good judge of character, but we have all been fooled into believing someone is different than they turn out to be.

It wasn’t until this year I decided it was time to breakup with people holding me back. Parting ways with someone you care for is never easy, but it can save your life. When you give power to your emotions you allow your emotional stability to act on your behalf. In turn, you end up accepting the brunt of more than you should and hurt yourself. Acknowledging your emotions puts you in control of your life. In order to protect yourself from pain inflicted by others you have to stand up for yourself.

There are different examples of the pain I am referring to. Pain that is intolerable and worth breaking up a relationship over. A few examples are verbal and physical abuse, dishonesty, vindication, manipulation, aggression and so on. If you continuously suffer from people causing you harm in these ways it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself, “Am I safe?” You may not realize it at the time of the incident but these actions are detrimental to your health long-term and ARE NOT SAFE! I speak from a place of experience and say this with love because I have been a victim and punished myself for someone else’s actions.

Don’t tell yourself that it is your fault and make excuses for someone hurting you. The answer is simple: If someone is hurting you then you are not in the right relationship. Someone who loves you and respects you and your boundaries will not cross them to hurt you. It took me decades to learn that lesson. I justified the actions of the cruelest people in my life until I realized its not me it’s them. That’s not to say we are always right either, but to be aware when someone is hurting you.

Stepping outside of a relationship and looking in helps you see clearly what needs to change. That’s why it is easier to see why something didn’t workout when it’s over because you’ve allowed yourself to be removed from the situation. It takes practice and work on yourself daily to change, but looking inward for answers is key. You must be honest with yourself about what you want and how much you are willing to accept from someone else. Trust your intuitions. Trust your faith. You have the answer to your own happiness (and problems) within you. You have to be ready and willing to welcome the answer by putting a plan into action and seeing it through.

Not every troubled relationship is worth throwing the towel in. Sometimes it’s an honest line of communication that does the trick. But trust your body. Trust your needs to save you from people who hurt you. Allowing someone else control gives them the power to your life and your health and happiness. Take ownership of your life and breakup with those who are holding you back to save yourself from a breakdown. Don’t beat yourself up. We all need a break from time-to-time to save us.

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is the CEO of www.monikafreeman.com. She also works as a Creative Director, Writer, Brand Strategist and Fashion Editor.

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