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Six Tips For Leaving An Unhealthy Relationship

by Author Contribution
Six Tips For Leaving An Unhealthy Relationship

Trauma Survivor, Queer Advocate and Mom Shares How She Broke Free From an Extreme Religious Sect to Live a Healthy, Authentic Life


Gender segregation, deference to men and fear — of God, the rebbe, outsiders and the evil lurking inside all of us. That was life as usual for Sara Glass, then known as Malka, growing up in the small, insular Gur Hasidic sect in Borough Park, Brooklyn. As a teen, she had accepted her calling as a servant of God: to become a dutiful wife and bear children. Still, she had questions. Hardest of all was to understand why she so deeply and powerfully felt a love that she was taught to hate — love for someone of her sex.

In Kissing Girls on Shabbat: A Memoir (June 11, 2024; Atria/One Signal Publishers; ISBN: 978-1668031216; Hardcover), Dr. Sara Glass tells her coming-of-age, awakening and survivor story. With honesty and courage, the author takes us inside the community and family in which she was raised, her two troubled marriages, and her struggles with shame, guilt and the dread of losing her children. Kissing Girls on Shabbat follows Glass from her hard-won divorce through her extraordinary journey to finding herself. In an interview, she can talk about her harrowing story and offer six survival tips for leaving an unhealthy relationship, which are as follows:

  1. Do not lie to yourself. Have the courage to talk about your relationship with your partner, friend or relative, and if you can’t find solace together, suggest talking with a licensed therapist.
  2. Face the facts. It’s a known fact that divorce or splitting up is now more common than when our parents were married. According to Forbes Advisor, half of first marriages (in the U.S.) end in divorce; however, 2nd and 3rd marriages fail at a higher rate. If you are unhappy in your relationship, do not be proud — make a change.
  3. Put yourself out there. If you are staying in an unhealthy relationship because you are afraid of being alone, find the courage to leave and know as long as you put your authentic heart and soul out there, you have a real chance of finding someone who appreciates and celebrates who you are.
  4. Learn from a bad experience. Every day in life is a learning opportunity, although a divorce or breakup (of any kind), is traumatic — take note of what you learned about yourself during this pivot, and have faith that leaving will pave the way to a better future.
  5. Leaving an unhealthy relationship is a sign of strength. The answers are already in our bodies. Sometimes the message can be masked by what society’s focus has told us our whole lives on happy endings. Learn to strip away the layers to hear what your body tells you.
  6. Be kind to yourself. Even though your relationship is ending, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and know that this healthy attitude will extend to the type of people you will attract. There is no one right way to leave a relationship, and it’s important to note that It’s OK to change your mind. Allow yourself the space to figure it out.

About the Author

Sara Glass, Ph.D., LCSW, is a therapist, writer and speaker who helps members of the queer community and individuals who have survived trauma to live bold, honest and proud lives. She lives in Manhattan, New York, and is a mother of three, raising her nephew. Find out more at www.DrSaraGlass.com.


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