It’s the New Year. Did you make a New Year’s resolution to really, finally, emphatically, get out of your toxic relationship, once and for all?
If your answer is yes, or even if you’re still just thinking about putting an end to the madness, you need this book:
In this slim, wonderful book, Dr. Ault promises to take you, step by step, through the process of disengaging from an abusive partner — and she delivers. This is the most clear, concise and helpful “how to” for breaking away from a toxic person that I have ever read.
The Five Step Exit is a collection of advice, strategies and exercises that will enable you to take your life where you want it to go.
So what are the five steps?
- Contemplation — If you are uncertain about leaving, the exercises in this section will clarify your thinking.
- Preparation —Set priorities, seek assistance and anticipate blowback, so that you can make an effective action plan.
- Execution — Skillful goodbye strategies, tailored to the type of toxic person that you are dealing with.
- Improvisation — How to handle unpleasant, and perhaps even dangerous, reactions from your ex-partner.
- Recovery — A multitude of suggestions for rebuilding your life through “exquisite self-care,” many of which are free.
Solid explanations and advice
From the explanations and advice in this book, it is evident that Dr. Ault knows exactly what she is talking about. In the section on “Preparation,” for example, she writes:
Toxic relationships have common dynamics but a wide range of circumstances. In extreme situations, people face physical violence or restrictions on their freedom to leave their homes or contact friends, family, and police. Exiting other situations may involve financial risk, downward mobility, threats of retaliation, and drama that will drag on for awhile. Sometimes, when we’re fortunate, ending a toxic relationship simply does come down to telling the other person that things are over. If you don’t live together, don’t have financial involvements or kids, and the person will be offended enough by your rejection that they won’t contact you again, consider yourself fortunate. Ultimately, only you know the details and dynamics of your particular situation, so you are in the best position to determine what kind of exit plan to make and how to set it in motion when the time comes.
Throughout the book, Dr. Ault asks questions to help you crystalize how you can move forward. For example:
What are your priorities? What is at risk? What are you willing to sacrifice? What needs to be protected?
Your ex may try to re-engage with you. What are the goals of your toxic ex in these efforts?
What if you get Hoovered, and you fall hook, line and sinker for one of your ex’s ploys to suck you in?
Dr. Ault helps you think through all of these situations, and more, so that you are as prepared as you can be for anything that may happen.
Getting out of the relationship is half of the battle. The other half is to “re-ground yourself in your own life, desires and wellbeing.”
The Recovery section of Dr. Ault’s book is full of healing suggestions to help you create life after the sociopath. She recognizes that some involvements with sociopaths of leave us in financial ruin, so many of her suggestions are free — all they require are your time and attention. These include going outside, journaling and freedom rituals.
Some suggestions are surprising, like social dancing — including ballroom, tango and country. Social dance “lets us make gentle physical and social contact with others in pleasant, affirming environments,” Dr. Ault says. “And it’s a lot of fun.”
All in all, The Five Step Exit is chock-full of sound advice and solid strategies for getting out of the craziness and moving forward to the sane, peaceful and happy life that you truly deserve.
If you want to leave the sociopath, this slender book tells you exactly how to do it. Highly recommended.