5 Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship

“Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.” ~Billy Wilder

I’ve had my share of toxic relationships, or at least what I thought was toxic. Is it fair to say you have too? My guess is that we’ve all endured the company of people who were not shooting for our highest good.

As for me, the relationships that were the most debilitating and unhealthy gave me the feeling that I wasn’t taking care of myself spiritually, mentally, or physically like I should.

I was feeling less than myself, like I was compromising my life goals with each second I stayed around those people. Mind you, these were both friendships and romantic relationships.

I call these relationships toxic because my authentic self withered away into someone I didn’t recognize—denying all that was natural for me.

The label “toxic” means something that drains life and energy. Before I knew it, I was weak and feeble, subject to the whim of the person to whom I’d given my power.

I was guilty of it: hanging around those people too long in an effort to do what was supposedly right by societal standards—fighting to stay in a relationship instead of giving up “too soon.”

Little did I know that my desire to be agreeable and accepted was suffocating what was right for me.

Why did I have to sacrifice my happiness for what society says was right? I was living stifled in self-judgment and fear, and I’m sure society couldn’t have cared less!

While some difficult relationships can open our eyes to new perspectives and expand our awareness, some obviously shut us in and hinder our development. Our intuition will alert us one way or the other. It tells us, change and growth should feel good!

It’s important to know when you’re in a toxic relationship so you can choose something better for yourself.

When I was in my toxic relationships, I ignored my intuition in favor of my logical mind, which told me that losing that person was worse than having him/her around.

But our intuition knows best; unlike our mind, its only motive is our happiness.

“Toxic” doesn’t only entail obvious damage like physical abuse, stealing, or name-calling. It also represents all the internal turmoil that results from an unhealthy relationship. I’d like to share how I learned to recognize when I was in a relationship that was not suitable for me.

These are five signs that you are in a toxic relationship:

1. It seems like you can’t do anything right.

The other person constantly puts you down as not good enough. They mock your personality, and you feel ashamed most of the time. You only feel pardoned when you take on the traits of the person doing the condemning or judging.

2. Everything is about them and never about you.

You have feelings, too, but the other person won’t hear them. You’re unable to have a two-sided conversation where your opinion is heard, considered and respected. Instead of acknowledging your feelings, they battle with you until they get the last word.

3.  You find yourself unable to enjoy good moments with this person.

Every day brings another challenge. It seems as though they are always raising gripes about you. Their attempt to control your behavior is an attempt to control your happiness.

4. You’re uncomfortable being yourself around that person.

You don’t feel free to speak your mind. You have to put on a different face just to be accepted by that person. You realize you don’t even recognize yourself anymore, and neither do your closest friends and family.

5. You’re not allowed to grow and change.

Whenever you aim to grow and improve yourself, the other person responds with mockery and disbelief. There is no encouragement or support for your efforts. Instead, they keep you stuck in old judgments insisting that you will never be any different than you are now.

If you’re experiencing even just one of these signs, check in with yourself to see if the relationship is doing more damage than good. Evaluate the relationship and what it’s worth to you.

Embrace the answers that come from your intuition, as it wants the best for you—and this relationship might not be it.

Take deliberate action according to your gut feeling. You won’t be sorry.

Maybe you choose to talk about your feelings with the other person, or you decide to put more space between the two of you.

It’s important that if you’re feeling uncomfortable or unsettled in the relationship that you not wait around until the effects of the misery settle into depression. Taking any action is the best medicine.

Now it’s your turn: Without giving names, do you find yourself in a toxic relationship? Have you left a toxic relationship and want to share how that decision has changed your life? Or are you afraid to leave a toxic relationship because you fear the repercussions? Leave a comment and share your experience.

An added note: If you’re in a physically abusive relationship, get help today. Don’t wait.

Photo by nattu

About Yvette Bowlin

Yvette Bowlin, an expert in decluttering your life, coaches on how to clear clutter from the inside out. Her trademarked philosophy and techniques are the first of their kind to help business owners declutter for clarity, balance, peace, and productivity. Find Yvette on Twitter and Facebook and visit her site at

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  • looneytoon

    I’m afraid of the repercussions…

  • SocalSB

    I recently just got out of a toxic relationship. I have experienced all 5 signs and was never willing to face the truth. In the end I felt as though I had changed so much from who I thought I was and none of the changes felt positive. I have never felt more confused and lost in who I am spiritually and what path I am going to take with my life as I am now that I am no longer in the relationship. This person was the biggest love I had ever known. All my plans and goals centered around making this person happy not realizing in the moment that it was at the expense of my self worth and happiness. Everything is all in retrospect now and the journey begins to heal myself again. This website helps with that.

  • Irving Podolsky

    Dear Yvette,

    All combined, your five-point check list sounds like the worst possible domination and brain-washing torture conceivable. It almost sounds too melodramatic to be real. And yet people I know have described their failed marriages and horrid husbands in those terms. I can’t imagine anyone tolerating that, but people do, mostly because they’ve been trained to believe there is nothing better to escape to.

    Or worse – that they won’t survive outside their partner’s control.

    Or even worse – that they will be physically harmed if they try to leave, and their children will as well.

    Then someone shoots a gun, someone dies and the story makes the headlines.

    But there are other situations, the opposite in nature, that can crush the soul just as much, but it takes a thousand cuts to do it.

    I’m talking about emotional abandonment. Physical separation too.

    I’m talking about friends and family who don’t return letters and calls, who don’t follow through with a promise only to say they meant to. I’m talking about the passive/aggressive message sent with silence that says, “You’re not important enough in my life to respond to you. Maybe I will someday. But only when everything else is taken care of.”

    How many “friendships” like this do we rationalize keeping, thinking… “They have lots of things going in their life. They’ll eventually call back. It’s not about me.”

    That’s right. It’s not about me. But it should be!

    Unless our friends are really sick or away or someone died, they should be there for us when we need them. And if they can’t be, they should tell us why. And if they don’t tell us why, they’re not our friends, and pretending they are will serve no constructive purpose.

    Frankly, I’ve let those marginal “friendships” go. With family, it’s more complicated and so I’ve kept up the pretense of compatibility. But with friends who drift away, and then pretend it hasn’t happened, I still cut the rope. Because there’s nothing to lose.

    So you’re right, I don’t have a large circle of friends. But the ones I do have, are real. And I’m making new ones.

    Thanks for letting me rant, Yvette. But I stayed on topic.


  • Dochy

    I recently walked out of a toxic relationship of 4 years. It was a very difficult decision, one that spanned over a year as i thought he was the one. We were on our way to getting engaged sooner or later. I can’t put my finger on one or more of the 5 signs listed above but I need to say that I didn’t feel good. The last year was excruciating with lots of changes and sacrifices from my end and nothing very tangible from his. I felt like I was not a priority, though everything he did, in effect was supposedly for me and us. Through these times I realized that anyone who truly loved you, would always pay heed to your needs, stated or otherwise. Someone who’s not doing this, might claim that they have a different way of showing their love, but if thats not in sync with what you want form life,. then that’s your cue to rethink the relationship.

    I believe that in the saying “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free”. Right now, I’m single and though I feel lost and alone on certain days, I need to admit that I feel free, free to be myself, and relieved to be out. That feeling, amidst it all, in my opinion, is priceless.

  • Dolcevita

    IME what is called a toxic relationship can have much to teach us.

    NOT IF IT’S KILLING YOU, OF COURSE. As the writer of the post says, if you’re being hurt, get help and get out.

    But otherwise, and especially if you’re toxic yourself, wait around to learn the lesson.

    I used to be so very angry – as my kids will tell you.

    And though a psychologist might tell me that my undeniably angry husband is ‘toxic’ I think we’re all strong enough to use this for our good.

    1. I have had to face my own unacceptable anger and deal with it. Every day i am thankful for that opportunity.

    2. My husband has had a rough life.

    Yes, we could add ourselves to the long line of ppl who have kicked him into touch, or permit him to walk out on us, or we could give him – repeatedly – the opportunity to be loved for who he is, warts and all. Everyone deserves that.

    3. People have complicated lives. Sometimes I have so much on my plate that, much as I adore my friends, I cannot spare them the energy and time I would love to be able to. sometimes i can spare no time at all. Sometimes i need to talk through a challenge life has thrown into my path with someone i trust. But i can’t return the favour and listen to their problems at the same time because mine are too great.

    and sometimes my friends find the same happens in their lives.

    Do I write them off because they are toxic ppl who talk and think only of themselves, moan about their life, and make our time spent together so uncomfortable?

    No – I. understand. i offer them the space and time they need to do what they need to do. I trust them to be doing what’s right for them. And me.

    And when we have moved past the challenges life threw up – maybe after days or months or years – i know we might spend happy times together again. Or we might not. It’s ok.

    That’s what friends are for.

    Don’t fear the challenges – face them, be with them, sit with them.

    Don’t fear that toxic person! Before you turn your back on them think: could this be the very person I need in my life today ?

    Love and light

  • aryn

    After reading this post I felt relieved that other people consider a relationship to be toxic. After just recently ending a 3 year “toxic relationship” my mind tends to jump back into history and replay moments I still question to this day. I cannot help but draw into one right now. For the good majority of the last 8 months in the relationship I kept saying “this is so toxic” ” I am drowning in a toxic relationship”.. Yet I continued to stay.. Looking back how ridiculous was I not to listen to my own mouth saying the exact words to run and get out.

    I would like to contribute by giving a few more valid signs that can occur in a toxic relationship….

    When your partner/friend cares more about money and materialistic items, there is a huge problem. ” Things” do not buy love. Love is love, nothing more nothing less.

    If someone makes you feel guilty by saying you are too emotional when you express your thoughts and feelings. RUN! Do not walk… leave now.. no one should be put down because they want to express them selves.

    Lastly, if you feel you need to start lying to keep up with all their lies or the thoughts of revenge come to mind. ” I am going to do this to them… because they hurt me… and I will show them how it hurts”. Their toxic waste is changing you into an unhappy version of them.

  • Irving Podolsky

    I’d like to add a more positive note that I should have mentioned when I wrote my comment last night.

    In every case where a friend left me hanging, I explained how that hurt. On a number of occasions, those people apologized and we did come back together. And it’s been good. I dropped the resentments.

    So I guess what I should have stressed more than anything, is that if we are hurt, we should let our loved ones know about it. As my wife pointed out, we own it to THEM. We have to give them the chance to express in action, that they want us in their lives.

    If they don’t, there is nothing we can do about it. If they do, then we are all the more richer in love.


  • ohagi

    I absolutely can relate to this article because I myself went through the same thing. I just got out of a toxic 2 year relationship where I didn’t even recognize who I was anymore. Spending time and integrating myself with his life was so tiring and I felt physically and emotionally drained. It would have been alright for me if my feelings were returned but he was negligent towards my needs. So much that whenever I brought up an issue, he would claim I’m having a “bitch fit” even when I was doing it in a calm manner.

    I think a lot of people out there are afraid to take the chance to do what they know is right. Perhaps its the amount of time you’ve spent with that person, all the time and energy you’ve invested. But I’ve found it very easy to move on because deep down inside I was not happy. My emotional and spiritual needs were not met and even worse they were ridiculed.

    Best of luck to those out there who went through or are experiencing something similar. Honestly, when I look back, I am so much happier now and my soul is calmer.

    Thank you for the article.

  • Great post. As someone who has experienced those rotten ‘toxic’ relationships I can say that once we begin to value ourselves, to see that we are all wonderful unique beings deserving of good things, amazing shifts occur.

    Today I can say, hand on heart, that my lovely husband is one of the reasons I’m the happiest woman walking the planet.

    Believe me. Choose you first.

    Love Elle

  • Roh

    Hi There, the timing of this article is perfect. I have been in a relationship now for 3 years. My wife and I have nothing in common. Mentally, emotionally, physically we are a world’s apart. I was introduced to my wife by my family. Asian family pressures meant we were married before we got a chance to get to know each other. Within a short space of time we ended up having a child who is beautiful and loving. For the last 2 years I have been trying to change myself to be more forgiving and learn to accept my wife’s aggressive and abusive side as I don’t want my child to grow in a broken family. In the process I feel as if I have been battered and bruised within. My wife is all about looks and nothing internally where I am a spiritual deep individual. I try to see the best in everyone and feel we all have a soul and therefore we all should be able to love and give. The problem is that my wife was raised in an abusive family and for me the upbringing was exactly the opposite. My mother has given me so much love and support in life and till this day she is doing that. My wife is not just abusive to me, she is all abusive and aggressive to my mother and my child ( the abuse towards my child has however stopped since I threatened her with police call). She has never been physically abusive it”s always been verbal uncontrolable abuse because of her inability to communicate and love. I know what the right decision for me to do is. I cannot stay in this relationship but the thaught of having joint residency to my child as advised by the solicitor makes me what to continue in this relationship. My house is no longer a loving place of peace and calm instead there is constant negativity and fear of a backlash. I feel I am becoming aggressive too which I really dislike this about myself. How do I get out of this mess? How do I make this decision easier for myself? I am 37 years old and feel a little scared of breaking free from this with the thought of lonliness in the future and hate from my child for breaking this marriage. Any suggestions would be much appriciated. God bless you all.

  • Nik

    Hello, I can absolutely relate to everything you have written. I am just out of a 9 year relationship with a man who had “some” good qualities but left my soul begging for attention. Just as you have mentioned, when I’d bring the subject up he’d accused me of “wanting to argue” (even when I was totally calm in my approach). I stayed for so long because my mind kept telling me I had invested too much time to give up but my heart was telling me “run you’re not happy here”. I thought would be hard but I feel renewed and very optimistic about what life w/o him will be like! Best of luck to anyone who might be going through the same thing. Life is too short and it should not be spent devoting time to the wrong person.

  • beachsand

    Is it the law of attraction or what that this article has come at the right time when I have been trying to think about the health of my marriage. I know I would have never had the courage to evaluate my relationship with my husband on being toxic(how we try to fool ourselves and convince that everything is fine). I dreaded reading this article because i knew I might end up saying yes to all the signs mentioned here.

    But what will you do if you are in a toxic relationship that happens to be a marriage with a year old child. Can you go against everything to save the person you are? The child would need his/her father, is it selfish to walk out and push a tough life on your child. I keep looping through these questions everyday. When i talk to people all they say is ‘Marriage is not eutopia’..there is compromises, you have to kill the real person you are and try to be happy in whatever it is…

    Talking to my husband doesn’t lead me anywhere. The discussions are always a cycle of blame and conclusions that ‘I have a problem’. My confidence is at rock bottom .. I am being ridiculed for everything I am !!

    I sometimes feel that physical voilence is better, at least it gives you a clear signal that you NEED to walk out. Emotional voilence is a slow poison which sucks the very life out of is like a quick sand where you keep sinking deep with a hope that you might come out of it ‘someday’.

    Is it required that I should do a self evluation because it looks like(as per my husband) all my desires are centered around ‘me’ only. Me having some concerns over my MIL is because ‘You have some problem with my mother’..when the fact is that she is the one who is trying to control things in my life and expect me to behave in her ways. Am i wrong in expecting to build my life as i want? 90% of my time I am feeling anxious and depressed…the rest 10% is when I am with my daughter.

  • severina Suriel

    I am so glad somebody explained, so clearly, the meaning of toxic. Something that drains life and energy. That’s how I felt in my 12 years of marriage! Yes, it took me that long to leave because I was listening to my logical mind instead of my institution, and justifying that by living that person life was going to be difficult in other aspects. Meaning, he provided a very comfortable life and I was afraid to go out there and try on my own. I left 2 1/2 yeras ago and I have never had any regrets.

  • Ruth

    I rushed into a marriage , circumstances with my parents at home left me very litlle choice , so I weighed the options and decided to take what was being offered by them my family , who then saw me as a problem to be rid of ….I didnt think much of what I was really entering here…thought i would make a whole new fresh start .. in a new country far far away from them , learn the language and maybe make the marriage work with this new person I barely knew …
    I went through years and years od depression, the marriage too dissapointed me within the first two years but there was no where I could go , nothing I could do to change my situation , I had no money , and noone to help me . so i just continued living the marriage … but was mentally unhappy and just didnt know how to fight for myself . After three children , and 22 years in the marriage i finally started to wake up and want to change my life, this was met by my husband with much resentment and he still wants to possess me till death do us part. I am so stuck at the moment, unable to make changes , unable to enter a divorce since I dont want to traumatise the children for the sake of my search for happiness…… I hope I will be free one day … it has been a toxic relationship. ! I’m still confused how to go about this

  • BellinghamPhotographer

    My suggestion is to get divorced. Your children know what’s going on already. They can sense all the negativity around them and it will affect their lives. I wish my parents had divorced. My father was the most toxic person I’ve ever met in my life. Believe me, your child will thank you when they grow up as a child needs positive reinforcement, not put downs and negativity. I spent my entire childhood being told that I was not good enough, that I was stupid, etc. When I got my college degree, I was told that my degree and $1.00 would get me a ride on the subway. My mother was proud of me. My father was not. It took three years of intense therapy for me to have a self esteem. Don’t do that to your child. If you can find a way to get custody, do it. Judges often give full custody to fathers when mothers are abusive. Start documenting all of the abuse and then get a good solicitor and go for full custody.

  • Shelley

    Goodness me. As with many postings on, this one arrived as I was asking a good friend the same questions about my particular relationship. You are right, dear writer, and I must listen harder to my instincts. Not always easy, as even in the most controlling of relationships, lie good moments of love and beauty. But I do know better. Thank you.

  • beachsand

    I think you should walk out of this relationship. Being an asian myself I understand the societal pressure this will attract but I believe this will do you, your wife and your kid good in long run. I have seen so many marriages in Asian culture which last 50-60 years but there is no love attached to is just a habit of a person which can be seen in two people.

    Few suggestions before taking that final step:

    1. Communicate – you and your wife need to talk..when i say talk communicate…i wud suggest a marriage councellor…they will enable effective communication – talk abt issues and not past happenings

    2. Last chance – After knowing why your wife is doing what she is doing you need to things which you can do to make her feel hopeful of this relationship(trust me in a relationship no one side is right or wrong mistakes are from both sides). This is when you think somewhere in your heart that this is worth a save. From your judgement about her family/spirituality looks like you already have an opinion abt her, may be she has sensed that and it is her ego to live upto that image now(sub consciously)

    3. Take some action – Take some action in next say 5 days. Action can be booking an appoitment with marriage councellor or talking frankly to your wife or something to mk things better. I think most of the time problem with such situations in life s that though they are painful as hell we keep talking abt it, sulking abt it, let it suck every bit of hope and life out of us…but we keep living like this. If you really want to gv your marriage a last change..see next 6 months..tell your wife also about your intensions so that both sides are making some effort.

    If all above fails, i think it is better to move out. It is wasting three lives – u , ur wife and ur kid. What he/she needs most is peace/happiness and good env to grow and kids are very receptive in getting vibes and thus forming their pyche. you can be apart and still give her/him good guidance, may be not as per asian family standards..but do you want best for your kid or want to please society which doesnt even care if you exist!

    I am not sure if I have a right to gv you suggestions, but your situation did appeal out to me. sorry if I have offended you in any way. May God be always with you and your wife..and guide you to a better life…together or apart!

  • surfergirl

    2, 3, and 5 really hit home for me. The good thing is, I realized these things (or finally admitted to someone other than myself what was happening) about 3 months ago and have made a big effort to change what was happening in our relationship, which started with me kicking my husband out. Part of why I never did anything before was because (1) I didn’t want to be “another divorce statistic” like every woman in my family, which is part of the reason I waited until 30 to marry at all, and (2) after digging deeper with my therapist, I found that I was addicted to this relationship. I had enabled my husband to continue doing the things he was doing (I was actually supporting him instead of vice versa – though I didn’t want him supporting me, I’d much rather live as equals), and after 12 years expected him to rely on me, to *need* me to survive. Obviously, my offerings were toxic as well.

    What helped me start to realize my relationship was ‘toxic’ was when my spiritual path changed. I became a student of A Course in Miracles, and as I felt I was growing, things at home would happen like an argument and my husband would throw the Course in my face, mocking my studies and how I was still a bitch or whatever after practicing for almost 2 years. While I would have loved (and still would) for my husband to take this path, I never ever forced it upon. I was hoping to be a good example, but situations at home made it hard because while I felt like I was changing internally, I was allowing the same things to happen in my home, putting up with the same BS I’d been putting up with for years.

    As I go through the steps of healing and learning to forgive myself, I’ve found myself yearning at times to call/text my husband for the stupidest reasons (I baked a giant batch of cookies a few weeks ago and thought I should call and offer him some. Proud to say I did not – I did a forgiveness worksheet instead). I am determined to hold my ground though and do the right thing – for myself and my husband, although he would never agree that what I’ve done is the right thing for him. I hope that he will change his mind. If not, instead of this separation that we’re dealing with right now, it may mean the end of our relationship altogether. I am prepared to deal with whatever happens, knowing that it will all be okay no matter what. I feel lonely sometimes at night, but I try and think of God in those times and trust that I am okay… and getting better 🙂

  • Shelley

    Dear Roh, loneliness is – in my experience – a wonderful place from which to absorb lessons learned. I have also learned that children thrive in a non-toxic environment. Do what you know you have to do, with compassion for your wife, and abiding love for your child. Be stronger than you feel, and act with dignity. You and your child will be better than fine.

  • Shelley

    Dear Nik. Thank you for this. It gives me even more courage to do what I know has to be done, and courage for adding hurt to the lives of people I love; but in doing it with love.

  • beachsand

    When ever i share with my better half that I have changed as a person(not for better) and I feel restless and sad…i get a response that ‘you can never be happy…you are always crying and cribbing’…can it be so…root of the problem can be me too…

  • Ruth

    I’ m kind of going through the same thing with my husband …all attempts to convey that I want to be free , all attempts to do things i wish to do for myself are met with arguments, threats , negativism … and totally draining my energy … and I also feel very alone and sad that life turned out the way it did ….

  • Thanks

    It’s so timely that I read this now in the midst of fretting the Holidays with my family. I dread being around my toxic sister, who brings a negative soul sucking vibe to every festive occasion. I know how to eliminate toxic people in my life and I surround myself with super amazing people. But I can’t seem to avoid this one. I have to stay in my truth and remember I do not need to defend or argue or stand there and get attacked. I choose my response, period. Wish me luck people and I wish you great strength too.

  • HJ

    This was an excellent post! I just wanted to add that a toxic relationship could also be with a family member. A little over 5 1/2 years ago I made the hard decision to end my relationship with my parents. For 36 years I had let them bully and belittle me and I experienced all 5 of the signs listed above, along with many more including psychological and spiritual abuse. Society makes it hard for us to take action when the people who are damaging us are in our own family. However, I managed to make my wishes known to them and have not regretted it since. I encourage anyone out there who is having trouble with a toxic relationship to consider discussing the situation with a counselor. Getting an objective opinion on the situation is unbelievably valuable. Extricating yourself from the toxic relationship is priceless.

  • survivor

    Good article! We all go through it at some point or the other. Some last longer than the others. Mine was 2 years long. I came out of it battered and exhausted. Though there was no physical abuse, the stress and strain that I had to go through each day took its toll on my body. Its been 2 years since, and I’m still recovering from it all. The mental healing takes longer. At times it is tough to keep up the positive attitude and not blame yourself for walking out. But the reality is this; the only way to survive is to walk out! And one should not apologize for wanting to survive!

  • John

    I think everyone in the comment section mirrored my thoughts exactly. This article hits home right now as I am currently purging toxicity from my life. Thanks for tweeting this so I could find it easy. Love you all.

  • emily

    This is a great post. Listening to your instincts is a must. I knew my husband was wrong even before we got married. But I felt I had to go through it all., I couldn’t walk out I could put it right even it felt wrong. I would have been letting myself and others down. How wrong was I. I ended up bankrupt and a single parent but feeling so much better not being in such a toxic relationship

  • Forest

    A couple of criteria to add:

    – They walk all over you because you’re unable to stand up to them, even when you both know they’ve done something terrible. you let things go and bottle them up when they should really be argued out, because you’re scared they’ll leave if you stand up to them.

    – You’re always waiting for and pinning your hopes on the next great thing just round the corner – reaching your destination at the end of a car journey, waiting for the food to turn up in the restaurant – so there’ something to distract you both from how terrible you are together when you have nothing but eachother.

  • Loulou

    I was in the same boat, left a toxic relationship after 2 years, and like you thought I had finally found the one, which was why it was so hard to let it go. It came to a point where I was so unhappy that I used to cry and beg God to let me not wake up in the morning. It seemed the more I tried to fix things, the worse they became and all the blame somehow landed at my feet. Eventually though, thanks to having stayed in previous toxic relationships for longer than I should have, I learnt that this was not serving my highest good, and I walked away. Like you, I have felt alone and sad, and lost, but I am also climbing out of that hole, and I no longer feel put down and unworthy. I realise now that what I was experiencing was not real love, but more a response to wanting love, because love does not do that to you and yes the relief of being free far outweighs the loneliness. I am learning that my own company is actually enjoyable and to love and accept me for who I am.

  • UTA

    I’m in a toxic relationship that has been toxic from the start…going on 10 years…and I feel like there will never be a way out for me. I’m in a country that is not my own, where the laws are not in my favor, and I feel like every day is a battle to keep a grip on my sanity. I want to run as far away from here as I can, but the fear of losing my child is what prevents me from taking action.

  • Bill

    Our dads sound a alike.

  • abbygirl

    I can completely relate to this article. I was in a toxic relationship for 7 or so years, the last 10 months of it was spent married to him. From sooo early on in the relationship I knew it was toxic, I couldn’t do anything right for him, I was judged by him, I was cheated on. I was with him from 19 to 26, so at 28 much of my reactions to things are as a result of how I learned to react with him. Although I am improving greatly, I still find myself sometimes tip-toeing around my current (wonderful) man, only to realize there is no reason to tip-toe, he accepts me for me.
    In the end, after 10 months of marriage I was the one that did the cheating. At the time I wasn’t even sure why I did it, but I have to come to realize that it was my way of ending the relationship I knew I couldn’t stand to be in for the rest of my life. It was a low way of getting out of it, but at the time, I wasn’t able to end it, just like I hadn’t been able to end it from very early on in the relationship. At this point in my life I wish I would have been strong enough to truly be the one to decide that relationship was over, instead of me being the cheater that got kicked out, but c’est la vie.
    Even on my wedding day, and so many times before that, that little voice in the back of my head told me this just wasn’t right…I chose to ignore it. So, today I try and listen to that listen voice as much as possible. It’s hard sometimes, but that little voice has never ever failed me.

  • kd12

    dear beachsand — Can you make an appointment with a counselor? I have faced similar experiences, and when I decided to leave my marriage I went to a counselor to begin working on ways I could stand on my own two feet and recover my sense of self worth.

    The therapy has been priceless. Their guidance, along with my new-found awareness of self-love, has helped me become a person who would never again accept the circumstances I once lived with.

    Your experiences are not worthless — they too are priceless. A gift, really. Your real feelings are showing you just how far off your original, authentic path you’ve gone (me too). That’s why you feel terrible — your feelings are saying, wake up! wake up! This is not how it is supposed to be!

    Once we’ve got those signals, it is up to us to get back on our authentic path to our true selves. And there is so much help out there — bookshelves are full of wonderful, wise mentors who give guidance on recovering self worth and self love, and the internet has great sites that will provide help as well.

    Listen to your feelings — honor them. They are your internal guidance system. Carve out time to meditate; turn off all distractions; cry your eyes out (it feels really good), keep a journal of how you feel; and hug your little girl to make you both feel great.

    Since i’ve been doing this emotional work the relationship I have with my young daughter has improved dramatically. She deserves a happy mom. I deserve to be happy, and so do you!

  • joke

    I think when you deceive and lie and people aren’t comfortable with it and they are fighting you on it–of course it will make you feel defeated. It’s crazy how the people you feel defeated by are the ones calling your bluff.

  • Bill

    I just got out of a toxic relationship with one of the most emotionally unavailable, passive aggressive, uncommunicative person I have ever met. Her character traits were a hybrid of those of my extremely toxic, bitter, abusive parents. A lot of us have a predilection for recreating the toxicity of our childhoods by entering into unfulfilling toxic relationships with both friends and lovers. What makes this so insidious is that each time we get enmeshed in such relationships, it only confirms and fuels our self hatred and our feeling of being unlovable. In my last relationship I contorted myself in every imaginable way to make things work, completely losing my identity in the process. Being with her meant forgoing a career I am very passionate about; a career I am so passionate about I even work as a volunteer in the same capacity. For mere crumbs of very occasional affection I was willing to give that up.

    Our relationship ended and given the fact we were cohabitating I moved out and had to move in with my toxic mother or be homeless. Out of the fire and into the frying pan. Now I am questioning myself and thinking that if I just could have done this or that differently things would have worked out. The last couple of months have been really tough. My family is totally fragmented, toxic, and abusive. All of this just in time for the holidays! I am going over to a friends house for Thanksgiving but will probably be alone on Christmas. Actually, due to family issues, I have spent more holidays alone than with other people. Kind of used to it but it still hurts especially when you see people out and about looking like they are happy and normal, though of course the reality could be quite different, but still it hurts really bad. When you come from a horrible family you tend to put all of your emotional eggs in the relationship basket, which usually ends up being codependent and unhealthy. When the relationship ends you don’t have anything to go back to and feel beyond destroyed. Right now I am out of work with nothing but time on my hands so the thoughts just swirl and swirl out of control. I gotta say this is one of the darkest times in my life right now.

    The good news is that I am attending support groups that address these issues in great depth. Being around people in the same situation, or even reading these posts, is super helpful. Now if I could just get this horrible anxiety to stop.

  • abbygirl

    I can completely relate to this article. I was in a toxic relationship for 7 or so years, the last 10 months of it was spent married to him. From sooo early on in the relationship I knew it was toxic, I couldn’t do anything right for him, I was judged by him, I was cheated on. I was with him from 19 to 26, so at 28 much of my reactions to things are as a result of how I learned to react with him. Although I am improving greatly, I still find myself sometimes tip-toeing around my current (wonderful) man, only to realize there is no reason to tip-toe, he accepts me for me.
    In the end, after 10 months of marriage I was the one that did the cheating. At the time I wasn’t even sure why I did it, but I have to come to realize that it was my way of ending the relationship I knew I couldn’t stand to be in for the rest of my life. It was a low way of getting out of it, but at the time, I wasn’t able to end it, just like I hadn’t been able to end it from very early on in the relationship. At this point in my life I wish I would have been strong enough to truly be the one to decide that relationship was over, instead of me being the cheater that got kicked out, but c’est la vie.
    Even on my wedding day, and so many times before that, that little voice in the back of my head told me this just wasn’t right…I chose to ignore it. So, today I try and listen to that listen voice as much as possible. It’s hard sometimes, but that little voice has never ever failed me.

  • unionmaid12

    my 17 yr relationship is ending, and it has ushered in a period of self-growth like no other i’ve ever gone thru. there is a child involved, but i am certain that embracing my own authentic path — who i really am — is so much better for our daughter than being stuck in depression, low self-worth, and giving up.

    This amazing revolution in my own self esteem has happened as a result of taking action — I began to see a wonderful counselor; I began reading books on how to love myself, how to reconnect with my soul, how to reclaim an identity that had been so buried i didn’t think i’d ever see it again. I signed up for seminars online that were free, aimed at healing the spirit and the mind (Emotional Freedom Technique, or Tapping, is easy to learn via youtube and it is awesome!). I started to eat better, take long walks, pray, meditate, and journal.

    It is nearly two years since the moment i realized I had to change my life and get out of my marriage. It has taken that long for me to honor my own feelings, root out so much negativity, face my anger, feel my fear, and weep a billion tears (which truly washes away so much pain). I stopped getting distracted by stuff — tv, noise, the phone, busywork — and began spending time in solitude and listening to the still voice inside me. these are habits i will keep for the rest of my life.

    and wonder of wonders — it all works. i am happier than i have been since i was an innocent, small child. there is a joy that is indescribable. the inner work is SO worth doing…the payoff is tremendous.

    When a river gets blocked, it stagnates. that’s what happened to me for years. i hardly recognized myself. we can break through our blocks and get back to flowing like a river — which always flows forward.

    i wish all of you a flowing out to who you really are, and much joy along the way:-)

  • Dolcevita

    Dear Roh, writing as the child of parents who kept a toxic relationship going for fear of what harm divorce might do to the kids, I ask you to consider leaving for your child. The damage watching you and your wife tearing one another apart might do to the child is unknown but potentially pretty devastating. No one enjoys life in a war zone – not even the kids. Good luck in whatever you decide. I hope you find a happier future. God bless.

  • Jami

    What if you have a toxic relationship with one of your parents? How are you supposed to just cut them out of your life? I’m having a really hard time with this right now. I’ve always looked for my mom’s approval, but I’m starting to realize she cause more damage to me than she’s worth. Family’s supposed to be for life, but how do deal with someone who’s never going to change? Am I supposed to just cut her out of my life? I’m so confused and hurt.

  • jg

    you need help . . . & you DONT need 2 be giving anone any advice . . . i know enough 2 KNOW THIS !

  • jg

    in reguards 2 the 5 step plan that is . . .

  • Chris Steines

    Great advice and article.

    It would probably be the understatement of the century to say that toxic relationships are no fun, having been in more than a few.

    I know one of my biggest challenges (especially as a self-admitted saboteur) is to have the something [detachment/wisdom/courage] to know when it’s a toxic relationship and when it’s just my Silly Self analyzing all the ways in which something is not “perfect” and/or not right for me.

  • Guest

    This article really hit home for me. It opened my eyes. I was surprised as to how many of the 5 signs I can relate with. I have been with this person for almost 2yrs. I must say, before I begin that him & I are of different cultures. I’m Canadian. And he, is from the Middle East. Every thing was sweet in the beginning. He was cute, caring. I would stay over at his place any time that I didn’t have my kids. Long story short, I feel as though today when ever I try to express my feelings, he makes me feel stupid. I always have to second guess my self. I have to walk on egg shells not to upset him. Times we have talked I tell him of the things I’m concerned with he tends to turn the subject around like my issues don’t matter but all the things that are going on with his ex & the war back home do. I sympathize to a certain extent. But you know, what about me? There often are times I don’t think he realizes how his words hurt. It’s the way he uses them. For example, tonight he was asking me to watch a poker game (which I just do not understand even though he has explain it to me all’s just not my thing..I don’t get it.) He was saying that there are only a certain number of hands I want you to fold. Um ok, I thought. I did just that but then I seen a card I thought he had mentioned & question him on it. He quizzed me..what is that hand..what did I say?! He unplugged the computer and walked a way. I said, ‘I’m sorry I just don’t understand’.. and after that I immediately became hurt, I felt stupid. I cried. It’s easier for me to be myself when I am alone. I’m afraid to talk to him. To express my ideas. What I like. When it comes to cooking, I’m not the best but I’m able to feed myself and my kids. I must admitt he is really good. And he also makes it known when something I make isn’t to his liking. When have I ever turned up my plate at him because I didn’t like his dish? He is also of the protective/jealous type. I can’t really wear a nice bikini to the pool with my kids without him. Mind you, I don’t care there but he has made it known. He has told me to change before so other men wouldn’t hit on me. He wants me to move to Calgary so he can be closer to his daughter. He wants me to come with. I have made my decision multiple of times. Yes, no, yes, no & maybe. He doesn’t understand the severity of this issue for me. I’m not able nor do I want to move away from my kids. He goes on to say how I don’t see them often enough anyways, so what difference would it make? And besides, they will be in their teens soon enough anyhow (I get my kids everyother weekend). I know in my gut what I have to do. I know I have to stay for my kids. I would be stupid to move with him like I was stupid to let him move in. But I don’t know how to end it. That sounds silly I know. I want to be free to do things the way I want. I know I have change in the last two years. I’m not who I use to be. I fear hurting his family back home. For they are really nice people. I’ve been told my different people of what I should to but every opinion is different. But they don’t see what I do. Everything is perfect on the outside. My opinion is what matters. I know what my ‘gut’ or intuition tells me..I know what I want.but I choose to ignore because I fear being alone, yet I cannot handle feeling this way. So much for a short story. I really thank you for this post I came across. It has opened my eyes.

  • Nefertiti

    This article really hit home for me. It opened my eyes. I was surprised as to how many of the 5 signs I can relate with. I have been with this person for almost 2yrs. I must say, before I begin that him & I are of different cultures. I’m Canadian. And he, is from the Middle East. Every thing was sweet in the beginning. He was cute, caring. I would stay over at his place any time that I didn’t have my kids. Long story short, I feel as though today when ever I try to express my feelings, he makes me feel stupid. I always have to second guess my self. I have to walk on egg shells not to upset him. Times we have talked I tell him of the things I’m concerned with he tends to turn the subject around like my issues don’t matter but all the things that are going on with his ex & the war back home do. I sympathize to a certain extent. But you know, what about me? There often are times I don’t think he realizes how his words hurt. It’s the way he uses them. For example, tonight he was asking me to watch a poker game (which I just do not understand even though he has explain it to me all’s just not my thing..I don’t get it.) He was saying that there are only a certain number of hands I want you to fold. Um ok, I thought. I did just that but then I seen a card I thought he had mentioned & question him on it. He quizzed me..what is that hand..what did I say?! He unplugged the computer and walked a way. I said, ‘I’m sorry I just don’t understand’.. and after that I immediately became hurt, I felt stupid. I cried. It’s easier for me to be myself when I am alone. I’m afraid to talk to him. To express my ideas. What I like. When it comes to cooking, I’m not the best but I’m able to feed myself and my kids. I must admitt he is really good. And he also makes it known when something I make isn’t to his liking. When have I ever turned up my plate at him because I didn’t like his dish? He is also of the protective/jealous type. I can’t really wear a nice bikini to the pool with my kids without him. Mind you, I don’t care there but he has made it known. He has told me to change before so other men wouldn’t hit on me. He wants me to move to Calgary so he can be closer to his daughter. He wants me to come with. I have made my decision multiple of times. Yes, no, yes, no & maybe. He doesn’t understand the severity of this issue for me. I’m not able nor do I want to move away from my kids. He goes on to say how I don’t see them often enough anyways, so what difference would it make? And besides, they will be in their teens soon enough anyhow (I get my kids everyother weekend). I know in my gut what I have to do. I know I have to stay for my kids. I would be stupid to move with him like I was stupid to let him move in. But I don’t know how to end it. That sounds silly I know. I want to be free to do things the way I want. I know I have change in the last two years. I’m not who I use to be. I fear hurting his family back home. For they are really nice people. I’ve been told my different people of what I should to but every opinion is different. But they don’t see what I do. Everything is perfect on the outside. My opinion is what matters. I know what my ‘gut’ or intuition tells me..I know what I want.but I choose to ignore because I fear being alone, yet I cannot handle feeling this way. So much for a short story. I really thank you for this post I came across. It has opened my eyes.

  • Swisars

    I was in a very toxic relationship for 7 years. #2, 4 and 5 really hit home for me. I kept excusing bad behavior, in hopes of change. That day never came. In fact, it got a lot worse. I learned its ok to think of myself and my happiness and my well being before someone else’s. It’s not selfish. Relationships should enhance your life in some way, to some degree- not exhaust it. I also am learning to forgive myself for being stubborn and foolishly trying to stick it out in hope of a better day tomorrow instead facing reality sooner. Share this post with those you love. It may help someone now or in their future. It helps me now to know I’m not alone and helps give me some additional clarity in my healing. Get strong- stay strong- life’s waiting!

  • Sherbear020

    I can check yes to everyone of the signs! I was in a relationship with a narcissist! The relationship with him was a fairytale while he was reiling me in! I ignored all the gut feelings at first! After a year or so intuitions started becoming very strong until they lead my right out of it! I was so in love with him and the life he said that our future would be! He was in love with being in Love, but was not capable of loving anyone but himself! The end of this relationship almost destroyed me! I just couldn’t let go even knowing it was not healthy for me to stay! It’s been two and half years and I still struggle! I wish I could take his power that he still has over me away! I need inner peace!

  • Steph

    What if you know, deep down, that you’re the reason for the toxic relationship. Any tips? I really don’t want to hold my boyfriend back but I have so many issues that I take out on him. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Ruth

    I know exactly what You mean …in the end I just cannot be Me with my parents and its an issue of having courage to confront or just be oneself and let them deal with it … and we all know very very what kond of reactions that would evoke with them …. so i have two toxic to deal with parents and husband… I think we have to be assertive for ourselves … if they are hurt about it they will adapt eventually… i dont see why they dont realise … they got their life and lived it and still live it , why not let me live mine …

  • Ruth

    I would say if You know , the first thing is its good you are conscious about that aspect … and from that point you need to make a conscious effort to change your way of thinking and make small changes in the relationship… to stay positive , to continue to work on yourself ….. have you read JackCanfield .. Living the Law of attraction …We all need to remind ourselves loving the other is about giving our Love unselflessly , love doesnt flourish in an atmosphere of fear , and most of what we try to impose on our partners stems from fear of losing them. Keep Loving openly

  • This is such an important topic and I think you have made the point beautifully. Too many people settle for relationships that are damaging to who they are as a person because of what society “norms” dictate and the pressure to conform to the status quo and a whole load of other reasons too.

    I was one of those people for many years. But I found the strength and courage to say “enough” and to learn how to extricate myself from those relationships that were too toxic to stay in and to set strong boundaries in other relationships that just needed me to protect myself better.

    Was it easy? No. Has it been worthwhile? Absolutely YES. It has been one of the most liberating things ever. Quality of life has rocketed. Feeling fulfilled dramatically improved. I now have very strong boundaries on who I allow into my personal and professional space (I am Self Employed so easier for me to pick and choose business contacts than when I was a corporate employee). Only allowing healthy, constructive relationships in my life is now a non-negotiable part of my life and work.

  • Two books that are very good on this topic are – Toxic Parents by Susan Forward and Toxic In-Laws – also by Susan Forward.

  • Cat

    I have just left a toxic marriage of 11 years. I was excited to read the title of this article and the opening paragraphs, and I agree that the five signs are definitely signs of toxic relationships but for me it was a lot more subtle than that. My intuition was telling me from day one that the relationship wasn’t right for me and I chose it anyway – due to societal pressures, an ‘easy’ escape from a difficult family…and who knows why else. My intuition told me for 11 years that the relationship was holding me back and didn’t feel right for me and yet I kept on with it. We had lots of good times and made it work as best we could and I felt I could express myself and I tried to be myself but my husband couldn’t engage with me on the level I needed him to engage on. I felt alone and like he really didn’t get me one bit. For me I would add a sixth sign; if you find yourself talking yourself into the relationship and finding ways to justify it in your head and have to repeat this exercise on a regular basis then listen to your gut feeling and get out.

    I have no regrets. I wouldn’t have a lot of the wonderful things I have in my life if i hadn’t followed that path but I am so relieved to finally be listening to what’s right for me. I feel alive and energised and engaged with the world again and ready to grow. And I am now in a healthy relationship which has shown me just how wrong the last one really was for me.

    Never try to talk yourself into loving someone. When there’s a real connection you’ll know and it will be worth waiting for.

  • Jessica Burton

    I waited through four “counseling” groups and numerous I other interventions including the courts. Ten years of my life wasted on a man who could not love me or his own daughter. My partner now is very special but I am having a really hard time because of my past.

  • Dolcevita

    You are partly right and we do have help. We are working together, healing our relationship (we are not bad people – all of us are angels at heart); working to a better life and a better way of being, every day. I disagree with you about my right to write about my situation – what you call ‘giving advice’. We are all free to ‘give advice’; none of us has to take it. it is for each individual to decide whether to take it depending upon their own life path, which may be very different to one’s own. My post is not irresponsibly written – it carries a health warning at the top. I acknowledge that I have expressed a different point of view, and have done so because in my case, and so perhaps in others, there is another way. Love and light.

  • Flower

    Yvette ~ thank you for this post. It’s a good reminder for me 😉 I walked away from a very enticing yet toxic relationship 10 months ago and the quality of my life has improved ever since. I don’t know why that negative dynamic was so strong ~ participating left me lifeless and a shell of my former self. I’m a better person for having gone through it and your post reminded me to continue to work on bringing positive people into life and to walk away from the negative, thank you 😉

  • Yvette Bowlin

    Choose you and your health first! Wonderful, Elle. Our only measure of how healthy we are in this lifetime is how we feel. If we feel awful, everything else will feed off that poison and multiply, and we will wither away.

    I’m so happy for you and your happiness! I can feel it from here!

  • Yvette Bowlin

    Absolutely don’t fear anyone–thank you for that clarity, Dolcevita. Does no good.

    Follow your gut in any situation. Sounds like yours told you to stick around? There will always be a lesson to learn, because we seek to find one in all things. It’s how we operate. And that’s great!

    Just because someone might leave a toxic situation doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned that person or abandoned a lesson; it means they’re looking out for their well-being. Until we nurture and care for ourselves (and ‘follow our bliss’ as Joseph Campbell said), we can’t help another person. We’re only exchanging more toxin, like an enabler to an addict. On a plummeting airplane, we put our oxygen mask on first, right?

    If you leave a toxic relationship and believe that it was for everyone’s highest interest, then who knows, all parties will become healthy again, and you two could meet again and have a happy future together. Nothing’s impossible as long as you’re healthy enough to see the light.

  • Yvette Bowlin

    Not to assume that your relationship was toxic, but sounds like you’re in a better place outside of it? Or at least that’s the hope you have. And hope’s a start. A good lesson here might be that we all have to balance the love we have for one with the love we have for ourselves and others. It’s all the same love, just expressed differently. Why should we feel the need to build our lives around one person when we have our families, friends, and others that are just as much a part of our lives?

    All the best on your journey toward healing. I’m glad you’re seeking resources to help along your path. You’re going to be just fine!

  • Yvette Bowlin

    I really appreciate your perspective, Irv. You’re bringing to light our own role in a relationship. It’s not up to the other person to make us happy, however as a joint, mutual effort toward ‘communing’, it’s nice that both parties actually communicate. This is how we get along and flow with each other. We all deal with conflict differently, as is evidenced by what annoys us, irritates us, causes us to leave… As we learn and grow in knowing and understanding the other person (which will be an ongoing practice as we each constantly change and grow), it becomes easier to see the heart of this person and hold compassion for her/him even in the most upsetting moments. Being able to progress past the battles and bitterness is truly rewarding as long as you stayed true to yourself in the process.

    Leaving is not always the solution and neither is staying. It’s all up to you. It’s your call to make. Whether a relationship is serving you or not is up to you–it’s for you to evaluate.

    Here’s to being richer in love,


  • Yvette Bowlin


    I’m so happy to hear you’re forgiving yourself! What strength that shows. I’m in awe of you and your revelation. Life’s only beginning for you. Stay tuned for more greatness because you are walking in yours.

    All the continued best,


  • Dolcevita

    Thank you. yes i agree – that is what I meant to convey but you said it so much better than me 🙂 Sometimes in our modern busy world we can give up on people too easily though, I think. And sometimes i have walked away only to be faced with the exact same lesson at a later date – these lessons do insist on being learned!
    who am i to question them?
    Who am I to judge these ‘toxic’ people – they’re obviously walking a difficult path.
    I didn’t give much detail in my post but yes, my gut says work this one out – at least a while longer. As I said, I’m tough enough to do this for now, although it’s hard sometimes to keep trusting that. I have my eyes open and am taking care to consider the good of everyone involved.
    One of the crucial points you make is ‘can we help’, to which i’ll add even if we can, we still dont have to.
    We’re where we are because it’s where we want to be, and when it’s not we are free to leave.
    Love and light

  • Yvette Bowlin


    I hear the struggle in your words. The truth is, only you can answer those questions. Seeking answers outside of yourself is calling upon you more confusion. Confusion comes when we battle against our own opinions and those of others. Sometimes we need to just stand firm in a decision, backed by our intuition, and we’ll see life take on new light and shape.

    Your confidence is shaken, so you’re seeking answers outward instead of inward because you don’t trust yourself. I guarantee you know what to do, what’s best in this situation. What’s best for you will end up being best for everyone.

    Make a decision. And then make another one, and another. Do it for you.



  • Dolcevita

    Anne Dickson ‘A woman in your own right’ says this, which might help you:
    * I have the right to state my own needs and set my own priorities as a person independent of any roles that I may assume in my life
    * I have the right to be treated with respect as an intelligent, capable and equal human being
    * I have the right to express my feelings
    * I have the right to express my opinions and values
    * I have the right to say yes or no for myself
    * I have the right to make mistakes
    * I have the right to change my mind
    * I have the right to say I don’t understand
    * I have the right to ask for what I want
    * I have the right to decline responsibility for other people’s problems
    * I have the right to deal with others without being dependent on them for approval
    Love and light

  • Yvette Bowlin

    Yes, where we are is where we want to be. Exactly. We are always at choice and thus always free to leave a situation, and there’s no shame in that. What you feel you owe another person in effort or communication is up to you. Whatever you feel is best, do.

    I can understand your point about feeling as though we give up on people too soon. If we feel that way, we’ll see that mental projection reinforced in our experiences. And consider, too, some stay too long… If you feel you can give this relationship more of yourself, then you are following what you feel is best. That’s all we can give, is our best.

    Really, there’s no ‘too long’ or ‘too soon.’ Let there be no judgment in staying or leaving.

    Sending you strength and love,


  • Yvette Bowlin

    Make no decisions from fear, only love. But do make a decision. How can you be more loving to yourself, your wife, and child now? What does that mean for you? Start there.

    All will be okay as long as you are.

    Peace and love,


  • Yvette Bowlin

    Can I just say wow?! Whatever took place to get you to this state, I’m grateful. I’m so happy for you and your newfound peace. Here’s to more where that came from! 😉


  • Tazchicken

    I used to be the toxic person in my previous relationship. My ex broke contact with me 2 months ago (after we broke up over a year ago). Even though I’ve changed, he doesn’t feel he has the energy to find out anymore. I understand completely. I was awful to him, because I had been toxic to myself, I was also toxic to him.

    I don’t think he’ll ever want to communicate with me again. The hardest part is knowing I didn’t just destroy our relationship, but also our friendship.

    I will never treat myself or anyone else that badly again. Learn to love and accept yourself and don’t take those who love you for granted! But also know that many people will come and go in your life, do not try holding on to them so tightly that you give them no room to be free. Just be present and allow life to flow naturally, don’t try to control it.

  • unionmaid12

    thank you yvette — many blessings to you as well:-)

  • Sophie

    I believe that for a lot of people this toxicity you speak
    of within relationships can also be very subtle. To the point where although
    the instinctive part is telling you something is not right, the reasoning part
    overpowers it. I have just ended a relationship where I loved my partner but I
    felt stunted and trapped. I felt I was
    compromising myself a little too much to be happy. I bargained with my instinct
    on many occasions and when I did talk to my partner about it he would add
    further weight to my reasoning mind. He was unable to see how much my energy
    had been drained, how I was not able to do certain things because I did not
    feel inspired on any level and I did not have the space to find my own
    inspiration. All the time I would think ‘but
    it’s not awful’, and it is true it was not awful, we had some wonderful times
    together. Yet I couldn’t push down the instinctive part of me no matter how
    creative I was with my ‘reasoning’ mind.

    I feel, at times, desperately sad and miss him hugely and
    still I battle with my instinct, but my instinct always prevails, I have no
    other choice than to go along with it, not just for me but for him too, I’m sure he felt my toxicity too. I wait patiently for acceptance to come, I acknowledge
    that my pain is a natural phenomenon and that it will pass, I keep busy doing
    things that are meaningful. I was terrified to leave because I was frightened
    about how I feel now, but in all honesty it is not quite as bad as I
    thought…I say through gritted teeth! It’s true though.

  • Sher

    Hi I too have been in these relationships and unfortunatly I have a hard time ending or leaving them I have been married now almost divorsed and finally now understanding the patterns of people I choose to involve myself with whether it be romantic or friendship if only I start to feel able to let go before it becomes totally toxic

  • NinANAIS

    I was, I believe, in a toxic relationship. It maybe that I triggered it, or maybe a relapse of “my then” boyfriend’s toxic relationship with his ex. It was draining, consuming and everytime that I had to deal with their shit, I am sucked inside “their” black hole.

    As much as I know that my “then bf’s” feelings are real and true, he couldn’t, would not, let the girl go.

    I tried to understand their situation, believe me, I even turned a blind eye because they’re living together, but sometimes self preservation comes in first.

    It took me awhile to have the courage to leave him, I went through depression, became needy, even came to a point that I was hurting myself just to feel something, anything
    I’m still struggling and I miss him everyday, but I remind myself 2 things every time that I feel this: 1) once you feel that you overcompensate, there’s something wrong, 2) never BEG SOMEONE to love you. Ever.

  • SRPlus

    11/24/12 Saturday: I marvel at the warmth, wisdom, and love expressed here. I’m a clinical psychologist with a passion for assisting people (mostly women) in breaking free of toxic relationships by, first and foremost, learning (or RE-LEARNING) to love themselves. I could speak all day long about this topic from a professional perspective. But to me, the words flowing from those who have actually LIVED it – and achieved liberation from bondage – carry so much more credibility, and inspirational power. I am so grateful that I have a job where I get to witness intrinsically sensitive, bright, loving human beings as they choose the more challenging path of discovering personal empowerment, versus perpetuating a life of fear-based bondage, devoid of self-respect, happiness, and fulfillment, which constitutes the path of least resistance. I see so much healing on these pages. Very cool, indeed.

  • Liz Roberts

    Great post! Thanks for sharing… love the hat too 🙂 I too was in a toxic relationship until I reached my own “last straw”. I realized that I had to love and cherish myself first and foremost. I would never find this in the the man I was “friends” with. That light bulb moment came when I had been agonizing over an important trip home; money, time off, carrying my mother’s remains to her final resting place (her beloved west coast), the many, many emotions and fear seemed to be swirling almost out of control and I needed a shoulder, a hug… a kind word. I had started to cry in his garage trying to explain what I was going through. He walked away and left me there crying alone without even saying a word. When he came back to get an axe to split fire wood, I had asked for a tissue. He simply pointed to a plastic bag on the floor and said “there are rags in there”. That was it – right that second, I was done. Much went on in the following week and I ended up having to change my phone numbers, my driving routes, I had a safety plan established at work, etc. It was a very difficult time, but I’ve never looked back. I have forgiven him and wish him peace in his life, but more importantly, I have forgiven myself for not loving myself enough to believe that I deserved so much more, so much better. Fast forward many moons later, I am still single and content to just be with me!! And when the time comes to meet that special someone, my heart will be open, and healthy, to receive only love, kindness and a whole lot of respect!! Sending light and joy your way. Liz (on a little side note, I took that trip home and it was filled with tears, laughter and everything wonderful!)

  • nessa

    Finding that this article hits quite close to home.

  • Mb

    Great post. I ended a year and a half toxic relationship in April and it was the best decision I have ever made. I finally feel free and am able to move forward with my life.

  • Rachelle

    Sophie thanks for sharing your story, it has really given me hope.

    I am in the middle of leaving a 9 year relationship, pretty much the only one I’ve had my whole adult life (been in it since I was 18). For years I have felt in my gut that he is not the “one”, but I have buried that feeling due to a mix of (a) insecurity about finding someone else (b) lack of belief in my gut instinct (c) societal pressures and feeling like it’s too late to back out.

    He is a really nice guy which makes matters SO much harder, but we really just don’t connect at all. I don’t feel like he knows me at all, I feel so lonely when I am with him, particularly the last 3 years. When I try to talk to him about plans or goals or dreams, or work on things that are wrong between us, it’s always a hassle in his eyes, me being moody or crazy or ‘that time of the month’. When I try and grow and change, he is not supportive and more or less tells me that I can’t. He thinks philosophy and spirituality, things that are so important to me, are silly and pointless.

    I am moving out in a week, and I KNOW for sure I am going to miss him terribly and feel like I am making a big mistake. But like you, I need to continue to listen to my instinct, and remind myself why I am doing this.

    I can either have the short term gain of running back to what is familiar/safe/warm but completely unfulfilling and dysfunctional… or I can suck up the heartbreak and pain, for the LONG TERM gain of freedom to be myself and to let my soul/heart/mind flourish.

    Like you have touched on, when the pain swallows me up, I am trying to just let it be, to just accept it and observe it and not read anything into it. It will eventually pass, I know it. I am repeating the phrase to myself “this too shall pass” as a bit of a mantra.

    On the plus side, I am incredibly proud of myself for finally having the courage to face my fears of hurting my partner by leaving, and of being alone, and of being judged by my family/friends for making the wrong decision. It’s taken me so long to get to this point and I really need to pat myself on the back for facing such a difficult situation head on, knowing in the long term it’s the right thing to do.

    Good luck to all in the same situation! x

  • Yvette Bowlin

    So grateful it served you. Grateful, too, you made a decision bettering the quality of your life 10 months ago. 😉

    Thank you for reading, Flower.



  • Yvette Bowlin

    Yes, you do know what to do and what’s right for you. You’ll make the best decision for you–whatever you trust that is–soon enough. I have faith in you!



  • Jac

    What an amazing article. More than once in my life I’ve had toxic relationships that had me constantly questioning “how do you know when you’ve done everything you can”? Because of the toxic nature of the relationships, my lack of self confidence, and my fear of being unlovable (hello, core belief!) I suffered needlessly.

    To anyone who is questioning how to know when you’ve done all you can… Be confident in yourself, keep your boundaries, and know when to choose to love yourself enough to leave (even if you still love the other person). This does NOT make you selfish, or mean you didn’t try your best to make it work. And if all else fails, ask yourself what you would tell a friend in your situation (honestly). We often have a lot more empathy for others than ourselves x

  • Chris

    I have been seeing the same girl since high school and there is no doubt in my mind that I am completely head over heels for her. Unfortunately I did some things to break her trust, though I never cheated. Recently, things have been going well but on the other hand, I can certainly relate to some of the signs that I’m in a toxic relationship. I cherish this girl but sometimes that means I let her walk all over me. I always try to consider her feelings and make things right. Unfortunately I don’t believe she cares too much about my feelings or even tries to consider my point of view, even though she claims she loves me. I am still young, 23 to be exact but she tells me I’ll never change. My friends and family on the other hand see that I am a great guy and that anyone would be lucky to have me.

    I’m in dire need of some advice. I hope someone can help me out with this.

  • Lotus Truong

    Wow, i’m in that kind of relationship. I can’t find the way out. But it is true that intuition told me to leave as soon as possible but my logic mind said he can handle it. Day by day it just get worse. After reading your article, I had the courage to cut the pattern now. Thank you so much for your sharing!

  • The funny thing about this article is that my partner favorited a link to it on twitter as some sort of attempt at a subtweet – but when I read this, it seems more of a list of complaints that I have. Thank you honey! 🙂

  • s.s.

    The 5 signs in this article perfectly describe my relationship with my mother. I am now in my 50’s and still cannot break free from its emotional strangle-hold. To those who think it will stop on its own, be aware & take action to remove yourself.

  • Rob

    Well i just quit a relatively short, 7 month relationship due to feeling used and thinking it was toxic. I am a 46 year old male and she was 34. I must admit I am not sure if i am the toxic one or if she is.

    We met in April, I had just come out of a
    pointless shortish relationship that I probably shouldnt have
    entertained in the first place but hey..

    So my ex pursues me and I
    tell her that I want to take things slow but she persists with very
    early stages of love and infatuation, I love you, youre so special
    etc…So eventually I let my guard down, open up my heart and start
    loving her back…

    I have a good job and can stand on my own two
    feet…she has had a very troubled upbringing with next to no
    relationship with her mother, hadnt seen her mother for 16 years and speaks maybe once a month and similar with her father..very sad

    weeks into the relationship she asks to borrow some money as she isnt
    working much if at all, has debts, bla bla…i lend her some money, not
    the amount that she asked for but what i could give her…she promises
    to pay me back, that was at the end of May…

    I and as the
    boyfriend and with the financial ability, pay for everything. Lunch and
    dinners out, her cosmetics, her english classes and books, perfumes…I
    cook if we are eating at mine and of course buy her flowers and other
    presents after all she is my princess…

    Throughout the
    relationship all she could give me were very passionate words of love,
    which I accepted as what she could give me and to be honest I loved

    She never cooked for me once or offered to maybe pick up
    something that may be was needed or even bought me/us a cheap 3 euro bottle
    of wine….

    We had issues not many but a couple and when we did
    she would stop talking to me and not respond to my approaches, whether i
    was right or wrong…I of course would always reach out and apologize even if I didnt think I was wrong

    Three weeks ago, I went out with a female
    friend of mine and didnt tell her. There was nothing in it we just went out
    for a drink…The next morning my ex came over launched into a tirade
    of abuse in Spanish and left….I apologized to her face and also in a
    text but no answer…Two days later she texts me to say that she is no
    longer angry and wants to make up…two days later we meet up to sort
    things out and on the same day she tells me that she needs 250
    euros…which that day i was unable to give her…she got angry and I
    also felt, was this the reason she wanted to make up with me and was in
    a hurry to do so….

    Anyway two days later she asked me again to which i said, i still cant but next week no problem, she was still angry/annoyed….

    following day i invited her over for dinner, which i had gone out and
    bought especially and prepared that afternoon…she finally calls up at
    10:00 that night to say that she was having a drink with her brother and
    i should come and meet up…ok…in the end that special meal was eaten
    at 1:00 in the morning, i thought that along with her anger for not
    getting the money showed a lack of respect. Also that night and not for
    the first time, i went to be affectionate to her, stroke her arm, leg
    and she told me to “leave me alone”….not in a horrible way but even
    so, i would never say that to her or deny her a kiss….she has done
    that before…anyway the night was ok, we slept together etc..

    next morning she got up to go to work and when she came back, she said
    she was gonna go home…i got pissed off as we hadnt really spent too
    much time together and i thought we would spend the day with
    each other…

    So with this, her annoyance from when she didnt get
    the money and the fact that those loving words and texts, were becoming
    few and far between and the way she handled issues, like the silent
    treatment I decided to end it. I felt she was not in love with me,
    showed me little respect and the only thing that she was able to give,
    her words of love, were drying up…Also if she couldnt look after
    herself, how could she ever look after me, if needed, or have children
    or be a home maker….i love cooking, i clean, i work…i do lots but i
    need a PARTNER…i would like a child but not as my partner….

    told her there and then and also told her that the money that I had
    lent her in May was a present and she didnt have to pay me back…well
    she lost it with me and abused me for 20 minutes in Spanish…I have
    never heard so many variations of the word “Puta”!!!! I tried to join in
    the conversation but not for the first time it was a diatribe….so i
    stood there smiling and then ushered her out the door….

    week later I sent her a text saying sorry, I am someone who doesnt
    really stay angry for long unless its something really bad, lifes too
    short…and that I wanted to repair things, the same as her text to me a few
    weeks before…..

    Her answer was basically accepting my apology but its over, have a good life….not even an apology for the abuse she gave me…

    So three weeks on, i am beating myself up in my mind, thinking is it me? am i toxic? or was i being used…I thought to myself today that I dont have one token of love from her that i can look back at….i am not being materialistic but theres not one thing i can look back on as a reminder…..

  • Guest

    My boyfriend is “lost”. He’s in the marines, we’re in a long distance relationship and things have been on and off. In the past, he’s lied to spare my feelings, which in turn made him unhappy. I’ve told him several times to just be OPEN with me, but he still feels that emotionally hurting me is worse than being honest. This is a big problem as communication is (basically) our only lifeline. When he was home on leave, he slept with his ex (we were on a “break” but he was still telling me that he loves me and only me) and began talking to his other marine buddies about how awesome it will be to see the beautiful women (his fb was open). I know he’s a good man, I’ve grown up with him. We don’t have any children, we were talking about getting engaged to the point where he bought me a 2K engagement ring as a promise ring.

    It’s just hard to keep my head up when all I try to do is help him see the good in the world and yet he still seems to think his unhappiness is because of us. I feel inadequate, yet he tells me I’ve done nothing wrong- he just feels inadequate himself. We’ve been dating for two years now, almost three. He flip flops his mind on if we’re “going to make it” and it’s driving me insane. For example, today around 10am he said we were definitely going to make it. Around 10pm, he was unsure about how he was feeling. My friend said he wasn’t in “a relationship mood” tonight but how does he turn it on and off so quickly?

    I guess my main question is this: how do you know when enough is enough? I feel like my heart is constantly breaking, but I keep holding on because I have so much faith in him.

    Please help.

  • Ponyo

    I think you should leave, it will only get worse.

  • eteindien

    I have been in several toxic relationships. The first lasted 3 years. It completely changed me for the worst, I was unable to recognize myself, completely lost myself and sense of purpose. It was my first love, so I did not know what was right or what was wrong in a relationship, I just continued because I loved the person and believed in working things out than just leaving. But I realized, and a bit too late, that the relationship wasn’t bringing any value to me, it wasn’t making me grow as a person. It was affecting my health detrimentally and I was devaluing myself by being the one to make compromises and putting my needs aside, and he was manipulating me in a way that made me seem like the bad guy all the time. It wasn’t healthy. I had to leave after my realization and my intuition that was eating me inside out. It took me two years to forgive and let go of the person. The other relationships I was in moved too fast and the people disrespected me and tried to lower me, but I was able to recognize it right away and left. Maybe I did not have enough love for them to stay. After these relationships and weird dates, I was so lost and felt so hurt and broken, although still hopeful. The person in the last relationship I had seemed initially everything I was looking for. He showed me he cared truly, was worried about me genuinely, wanted me to grow as a person and gave me all the freedom to expand, and seemed compassionate and patient. He promised to never hurt me. And this kind of promise lasted two months. After two months, I started to feel insecure because it seemed that I made him a priority in my life, while for him I was an option. He would do things that would hurt me, although he did not intentionally do them, but he did not realize that these things, you don’t just do them. He was emotionally “dumb” because he came from a broken home where love was nonexistent, hence I was very patient and compassionate, trying to explain things to him, trying to lead the way. After a while he would do things that any normal guy would do for his woman although still struggling. However, he would have outbursts where he would start to disrespect me and lower me for being fragile and wanting his embrace and understanding (I also had my challenges, it was hard for me to communicate openly…I took a lot of courage to start talking, but he would lose his patience easily). Those moments killed me. And I lacked attention from his side as it was constantly me wanting to see each other, invest into the relationship. He said he wasn’t much of a planner, he never learned how to plan these things. Anyways, it seemed that in most cases I was trying to compromise, put my needs aside, find the “right” moment to talk to him about a problem, then burst out myself because it was hard to just wait for the “right” moment, and invest into the relationship more than he ever did. I loved him deeply though with all his flaws and qualities and how he improved and how he loved me on the “best” days although my intuition kept telling me that it isn’t right, something isn’t right here. It became clear to me when after 5 months of having awful pains in my pelvic area, we had a fight. I found out I had endomometriosis and was devastated. The next day, he was all lovey dovey with me and then just burst that he doesn’t understand my physiology, that he is going through hardships too because of my condition, and basically blaming it all on me and not wanting to talk to me about it calmly and just hug me. I understand it is hard for the man as well, but he never experienced the awful pains I still endure almost everyday (only during my menstruation I feel somewhat well). It was a deal breaker for me. I cried that he was so awful to me the night before and he just yelled back that I was awful for not giving him sleep and he just went back to sleep. And I started to pack my bags and left. He never reacted. Never contacted me afterwards. It hurts so much, because I loved him. It hurts so much that he doesn’t care about me or my wellbeing, that his pride and anger goes above everything else. I feel lost, lonely, scared, confused, angry, upset. But I do not regret my decision, because I noticed that I was closing my eyes on a lot of things, putting a lot of my needs aside, and not evolving as I wanted to. And my insecurities were formed not only because I was insecure at the time, but because there were reasons for me to feel that way. I hated that side of me. I know I will eventually forgive and let go. Next time, I will be wiser and get to know the person better before committing all of me to him. Remember that it is wonderful to love someone and to nurture him, but love is an exchange of energy and you also deserve to be loved and cared for.

  • Dear author,

    It is silly to say he loves you but sleeps with his ex even if you were on a break. It is silly to buy a promise ring when he can ask you to marry him as if he is so scared. And he is scared. He is scared to love. It goes way deeper than that, he has some unresolved issues that seem to have traumatized him for behaving this way. He is unhappy, but you are not responsible for his happiness, he is. And you should not act as his saviour either, I have been that road before and I have lost myself by trying to save others and settling for less than what I deserve and lowered my values. Do not do that to yourself, love yourself, respect yourself before anyone else. He is not ready. Love should not be like that and you deserve to be loved truly. Good luck!

  • Dear, you are a true prince and a real lady will see that, have patience. Meanwhile, you need time to heal your wounds and let go.

    I can say with certainty that you are a victim of a toxic relationship. Your only fault lies in being so loving, thoughtful, patient, compassionate with her. Maybe you thought things would improve over time. Maybe you even justified her behaviour due to her unfortunate past, the lack of bond she has with her family. But there comes a time when one must learn to get out of samsara and let love in. She is still stuck there even though the universe keeps bringing her gifts that she should learn to appreciate but instead resents. It is not her fault for her traumatic childhood, but it is her fault for staying there and closing her heart even further. She needs to save herself by herself not by you or anyone else.

  • Why should you change? What does not satisfy her? In what ways does she walk all over you?

  • Veronica.

    Well done for leaving this relationship. I am in the process of doing this myself. My partner was using drugs and this changed him into someone i didnt like anymore. I am hurting as i love this guy, but there is no future in it.

    I am strong enough to get out now before things get worse.

    We can survive this as we can now be ourselves and take care of our own needs. Respect to you! :-

  • Anne

    I live with a difficult man — extremely intelligent, argumentative, and dominant with touches of obsessive / compulsive thrown into the mix. Being gentle and easy going by nature, I realized not too long ago that I have been giving pieces of myself away for quite a while now. Its a toxic relationship for sure made more difficult by the fact that he doesn’t work regularly and so, leaves the debt for me to pay off. Though he did something which for me was unforgivable, he refused to move out. And so, I am in the weird position of having left him and still living with him every day. I am counting the minutes until I can get out.

  • Cristina

    Toxic relantionship is with myself!!! I am going to change that rigth now!!!

  • Em

    I don’t know if I’m in a toxic relationship. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years and I’ve seen him angry, sad, upset and happy. I know a lot about him and what he does. I haven’t been able to tell anyone what exactly happens on the inside, instead for some friend of ours who happened to kiss me.

    My boyfriend is amazing and sweet, usually. But he can snap at me, call me names and put me down and at the moment this happens quite frequently. He has forced himself upon me four times and I’ve given him many chances and many opportunities to make it up to me. He’s punched me only recently in the belly about three times. He says I annoy him.

    I do, partly, think it’s my fault. I smack him a little and when he says really nasty things, I will slap him across the face. We play fight, well, used to. Only playful banter, kick, bite and all that. It was fun and we both were laughing. But then of course, we’d stop as one of us had hurt each other. But mind you, we haven’t played fight since last, mid-year.

    I can be tough on him and put him down, but I always say sorry and try to make up as quick as possible. He tries, but not hard enough. I realise we probably have an abnormal relationship, but I’m used to it – I’m okay with it.

    But not at the moment. I’m sick of it. I can’t do it anymore and it’s tiring me out! I don’t know what to do.

  • River

    I recently had a ‘friend’ of many years leave my life and that may not be a bad thing to me especially after reading this. I had known this friend for 13 years and we often proudly referred to each other as ‘brothers’ yet for me the past 3 years of our friendship have more often than not left me very sad,anxious and quite confused. It really seemed to me that over time it had gotten to where I could do little that was good enough in my friends eyes. I was cut down quite often in private and in front of others . He seemed to focus primarily on my faults , rarely on my strengths anymore. I felt as if I were walking on eggshells in his presence most the time these past couple of years. I mean we used to be so close , he seemed to hold me in very high esteem and of late I mostly got ridicule and harsh criticism. I took the blame for most of the problems because for a time my thinking was “What am I doing to cause this person whom has been like brother to me for years to behave this way?” I have battled with my intuition and reasoning mind over this for sure but now that I have read this article It is very clear to me now that for whatever reason my ‘Old Friend’ / ‘Brother’ was taking his negativity out on me . I have tried time and again to reason with him and about 80+% of the time he blames the problems in our relationship on me. It has been very tough for me , including letting go of someone who has been so close to me but it really came down to accepting the sad n painful truth that this person isn’t interested/able to be strive for a 2 sided healthier style of relating to people . I wish it were different but I am very grateful for this article. It is helping me have greater clarity .

  • Lee

    This sounds like my ex. I was always belittled, called a moron, a idiot, a son of a bitch, etc by this woman that I love and consider amazing still. She kept saying that I was toxic to her. We were in a long distance relationship and I barely had money due to paying off debts and she’d threaten to break up with me on christmas eve if I didn’t came.

    I came on January to be by her side at that time where I constantly told her I love her and that she’s amazing the way she is. I kept her in bed and fed her when she was sick in bed, carried her to my car after shopping when her feet was sore from walking. We held hands many times and I always told her that she’s beautiful and amazing and I kept trying to ask her to compliment me and those around her and appreciate life here on earth and not hate people for no reason.

    She is a pagan and I believe her friends are aswell. I tell her my goals and she crushes it or focuses on one mistake I made and intensifies it with her anger on me and it made me cry many, many, many, many, many times to which I threatened her myself later on saying I will leave and she laughed when I just couldn’t do it.

    I never had her pay while I was there, and she even seemed to expected that of me, and tho it was amazing, she left me saying that I am toxic after all the effort I tried, all the love and care I gave, she just got “bored” and left, to which I’m sure she was just BORED and also not sure of herself and who she was so she branded me toxic instead. She is pagan, I am christian at a church where 10,000 people goes to. I was compared to that of westborough tho I didn’t even take her to church on sunday when we were together nor did I try to force her to become a christian.

    I really tried with her, and I’m afraid that she will hurt herself being the way she is, so even though she left me, I can’t leave her and I’m going to college to get doctorate’s degree and do my best to protect her and just love her no matter where she’s at. I see that people here give up and walk away from toxic people but I just can’t do it. It is sad that this person I love don’t know that she can really read this and agree that she treated me exactly like this, and will even say that’s me but I know that this defines her, and I think it was because she don’t have nice upbringing.

    I am sad for her when I think about her, I pray for her, and I continue to love her and wait for her no matter what she’s doing, it’s the best I can do and best a man can do. I can’t move on knowing she’ll be a danger living like this unless she proves to me that she is safe and that I can leave if leaving is what she wants

  • GreenLady

    I’m in a Toxic relationship and have been for 2 years, although we were very happy for 1 year. We both make each other feel terrible… I’m so confused, I can see those traits in myself (the 5 signs) …I do stop him being himself and put him down all the time…but the thing is if he was being himself he would wake up at the last minute, rush to work, come back play video games for 8 hours and then go straight to bed or just stay up playing video games the entire night….He would smoke, drink excessively and most likely still be on heavy drugs…I put him down because he refuses to keep any promises he makes, he never helps out around the house, he admitted that he doesn’t mind living in filth and doesn’t see why he should help cleantidy. When we argue he reacts like a child…even runs away sometimes and threatens to hurt himself, throws strops, refuses to get out of bed or eat until I apologies. He has such a terrible temper (he’s 27)… Before he met me he was bordering anorexic because he just couldn’t even be bothered to feed himself because he was either always drunk, high or playing video games…he failed uni twice because he just couldn’t stop playing games and get the work done. We argue constantly, make each other miserable..I want a simple, calm life and he wants the life of a young teenager,.. yet every time we go to break up he becomes suicidal, tells me how much he loves me and couldn’t live without me etc. He gave me the option last night, he told me to just walk away if I wanted too and he wouldn’t fight it any more..but I can’t bring myself to do it…even though we are so depressed together…I just can’t walk away.. We are in a contract together for the flat so we would still have to live together for 6 months, and even afterwards we wouldn’t have nowhere to go…neither of us really has any friends.. and we can’t move back with our parents, and we can’t afford a place of our own. He is all I have…My brother died a few months ago, my father is ill and doesn’t have long left…My mum is also ill and I know when something happens to my dad she will turn to alcoholism…and I’ll have no one…The thought is terrifying… i’m so lost…I can’t imagine life without him but also can’t imagine staying with him 🙁

  • Jamie

    I am now starting on my journey of leaving my boyfriend. With my tax return, I am getting out. It’s going to be really hard, but I know this has to end. It’s hurting my son. It’s killing me.

  • Frida

    Bit late in replying to this post, had couple of toxic relationships with friends and a boyfriend. With friends it was easy to stop that kind of relationships since i’m lucky have wonderful friends who gave me good examples of what I should get out & feel about myself. With my ex, it’s still day-to-day challenge, after 15 years of that kind of relationship ( almost half of my life) I don’t know what happiness is and i’m very confused. I wish I could had seen this before and no one would experience this.

  • Loulou

    My partner has expressed a lot of these problems, but I always thought she was the toxic one. What a mess. We have broken up now but I am having a lot of trouble letting go and still looking for answers. Both being women it’s emotionally charged a lot more of the time.
    Thank you for your article.

  • Sarah

    I left a toxic relationship, a marriage i made too quickly. We had a daughter together that’s the only reason i stayed for 2 years. Every afternoon when he came home from work i dreaded it, m anxiety rose – what would he pick on this time? What would i have done wrong now? And in the end my family thought i was so selfish for leaving, especially when i started seeing someone new. No one knew what he was really like becUse on the oitside he was so friendly, so nice to everyone. But he judged me so harshly while on the other hand he’d tell me how much he loved me so much. He didn’t. Every thing he did was for himself, a control freak. I had no role, at home with my child and he didn’t even trust me to cook a meal. All meals had to be from his country. 2 years later and i realised i had almost forgotten what it was like to eat m owm culture’s food. Even when we were alone together, hugging on the lounge, i felt numb. I couldn’t be happy with smeone who was so demoralising and negative. Every takeaway we bought, he wrote an official complaint about it, every shop we went into, he thought the people were rude to him. But at a famil gathering e was sweet and nice to everyone. I couldnt understand him. Im so glad now, to be with a new partner. It has been difficult, starting again, but i love this man who never makes waves. It’s so nice!

  • Cath40t

    I’ve been with my husband for 20 years. I’ve known for a long time it’s not right. I want to start on my own. We have 18 and 15 year old “children”…one suffers from a severe eating disorder………she has her own flat now but would like to live at home but can’t because she can’t stand to be around her dad………the other politely tolerates him to avoid conflict. On top of this we run a business together (my business idea and practical skills, his business management skills)’s a fecking nightmare. Constant battle. HIm trying to control every area of our lives, belittleing, condacending, insulting and verbally abusive. I’m not perfect and can be obstructive but I am struggling to get the energy and mental clarity to leave and be able to support myself and my son(who will NOT want to live with his dad)………

  • lost

    my boyfriend just brought me a knife and told me one of us has to die… he broke my phone so I cant call for help.

  • Hi lost,

    I have your email address and IP address from the email notification I received. I am going to call 911 and give that information to the police! I’m sure they will be able to track you!


  • Monika

    My relationship displays all 5 of these. I’ve been with him for over 2 years. We’ve had good times and that’s what I hold onto. It’s gotten really bad now. There isn’t one person who knows me that wants me to be with him. It’s the most toxic relationship and yet I always find a way to miss him and forgive him

  • Toby

    I’m 18 and my girlfriend is 21 – We have a lot of issues but she refuses to accept that any of them are her doing. She cannot wait to criticise me, and whenever I want to speak my mind or beg her to be committed (like maybe come out of a facebook relationship with the guy she cheated on me with) she just says I go on and that is why she is the way she is. It is an endless cycle. I forget who I once was and I still can’t believe she thinks it is okay to be in a FB relationship with some other guy just because she doesn’t see him…

  • Zasha

    I am in a toxic friendship with a mysogenistic gay man. I am recovering from his latest blast of insults and realize I need to get out. I cant comment on the specifics of the situation but let me explain that he puts me down, makes fun of me in a joking way, and yesterday said im “too old” for a certain career field which requires physical training at a young age. I know my age, but physically I am in top form. No injuries and unusual flexibility which is a must. the problem is I must take class with him and secretly resent it. Basically its a podunk town which caters to cliquey people. I know I should leave, or talk to someone about my problems, but I know tattling will make enemies. Just to vent, hes a drug user, and does self destructive behaviors common to gay men who arent comfortable with themselves. I know I shouldnt take it personally, but hes popular with lots of people and it seems like I am the only one experiencing this nasty side. Another gay man listened and told me if I leave to expect some kind of fallout such as gossip but to respect myself and leave. The situation is more complex than this, but I should not have ever allowed this person into my life and I utterly regret it.

  • Lotus

    It is often difficult to know if you are in a toxic relationship. I had been in a relationship with my ex-partner for two years and he was always so sweet, wonderful, and loving. Nevertheless, he also had internal anxiety and panics that caused him to constantly need to control me. For instance, he would tell me what clothes to wear, what tv shows to watch, and what vacations he wanted to take. He was also very fearful of me leaving him (which made me fearful he would leave as well). When I did not get along with his best friend (“like a sister to him”) he would close off and become cold and irritable. Unfortunately, his behavior caused me to run the extra mile to be nice, to such an extent that I started to sacrifice my own self-respect in order to make her (and consequently him) happy. Over the course of a year, I would repeatedly be put into a position to be viscerally hurt when I was less of a priority. Ultimately, it is the intuition that one must follow, which is why I appreciate this article. I knew that this situation was one where I was sacrificing myself. When I drew a line in the sand and said I can not do this anymore, he broke up with me like he was dropping a hot potato — just reconfirming that it was all about him. Ironically, he could read the five traits above and make an argument that he was in the toxic relationship. I think that is because it is true on one hand and he needs to be a victim on the other. Finally, I take away the appreciation of what I learned from this experience and know in my heart that when I stopped acting like a victim and started taking accountability for myself into consideration (i.e. “I deserve to be happy too.”) that is the moment I became free.
    Good luck!

  • TRY2B+

    My son (13) and I live with my boyfriend and his daughter (9). We moved in together almost 4 years ago. and its been a struggle ever since. When my BF and I are without children we are amazingly happy. We dont argue or point fingers. When the kids are with us or shall I say when my son is with us, its a constant battle. My son in my BF eyes cant do anything right, he thinks he is lying to him when he asks a question and its to the point of my son wanting to be at his fathers more. When i confront my BF about all of this, he says im crazy. i tell him he needs to stop being jealous of my son. He tells me that I always put my son first and that my son is my main priority. he says I let my son “run” me etc etc etc. My son is a great kid, he is rambunctious, good student, plays all sports, but can have an attitude at times.
    I feel like I am walking on egg shells when he is home, I feel like I need to make sure that everything is in its place and I have gotten to the point of doing my sons chores if he forgets before he goes to practice.
    I feel as if I am drowning and theirs no one to save me.
    I try to make my BF happy by doing everything I can think of, down to the color of my hair, or the color of my nails just for him.
    I ask him when we fight why are we even together when i obviously cant make you happy? He wont answer me. He will ignore me and not talk to me for days.
    When he is really mad at me, he will nit pick everything regarding my son..if his chores arent done on time, his grades, his room, if he left something out of place etc etc.
    He will not discuss anything until he is ready, than he wont discuss he will just act as if nothing has happened. I am walking on pins and needles trying to make him happy. I keep telling him we have a communication problem, that we need to learn to talk to each other and not at each other. I asked him to go to counseling and he refuses. he says its a waste of time, he went with his ex and it didnt help.
    I want out, not just for my sake but for my sons. I have no family, and I have no friends, I have been alienated and didnt even realise that I lost touch with all of them years ago.
    I cant afford to move out on my own and I fill like moving in with him many years ago was the biggest mistake I ever made.
    I am lost and I have no faith and no hope anymore. I just get through the days knowing tomorrow is another day and I will see what it brings.

  • Sunflower68

    Dear Try2Be+, Blended families can be challenging even under the best of circumstances. Being in a toxic relationship with someone who will not accept your child makes you feel like you are losing your mind because you can never seem to understand why someone who is supposed to love you can’t make the effort to love your baby too. I know, because that’s exactly my life right now. I can’t offer advice but I can tell you I personally understand your pain. I am in the midst of planning my exit. Because living with someone who doesn’t value you, trying to make them happy day in and day out but never succeeding, knowing deep down that neither or your son will ever be good enough or simply loved and accepted for the amazing people you are, it makes you die a little each day. And you deserve more. So does your precious son. Perhaps you could start putting a little money away to get your own place. Sometimes just making a plan can give you strength. I wish you the best. Try to love yourself more than you love him.

  • R

    I met a guy at work who I allowed to spin me and sweep me off my feet. I fell hook, line and sinker. In hindsight there were so many red flags: convicted felon, living at his mother’s while freshly out of prison and on probabtion for starters. Anger issues, insecure accusations about me flirting with other guys only turned out later to be projections of his character. At one point I even found him active on a dating website while WE were still dating. We broke up at least 5 times and I have finally had it. I feel so duped by his smooth talk, style and sometimes boyish nature not to mention the way he told me over and over he wanted to be a better man and he was trying so hard. According to him I was the greatest girl he had ever met, I confused him I was so honest and real he got a little scared at times and that’s why he did the things he did, acted the way he acted.

  • Ana

    Thank you for the posts. I can relate to many comments here. I met my first partner when I was in my 20s and somehow his emotional distance was a sign for me that it would not be a healthy relationship and I would become stuck in a sense. He was content to not think more broadly and whenever I suggested doing anything slightly different he had a way of making me feel guilty. I knew I had to end it but due to his insistence we went on until I had to really separate myself from feeling any guilt. Then I met a man who I believed would be my husband and the only person I can truly say that I loved with all my heart since my mom. I had unconditional love for him and his daughters. I gave my time, energy and finances into the relationship as if I owed it from some debt I had made. Then it got to a point where I realized that I was not living my goals. I was actually becoming what he wanted, a house wife and yet that never was my goal. I was hooked though as he could make me laugh, made me feel needed and at times he could be extremely considerate in giving me space. I thought this was a type of relationship where I would become a stronger woman. I would be like my grandmothers, be married for life and be the head of the home. Yet I lost my sense of self. Everything was him, I had to care for him and be what he needed. He could be verbally abusive and on several occasions he was threatening physical violence. It was on only two occasions that out of anger he got physically violent with me.

    Yet I stayed out of obligation. i left him several times and each time I felt light and free yet guilty for feeling that. To this day I’m petrified my freedom and peace will be taken from me. I don’t go out much and am a writer, so to not be controlled enables me to feel relaxed.

    At the end of the day no matter how guilty I feel, no matter how much I want to be the strong loving and accepting woman that he claims he wants, I need to take care and love myself. I also deserve care and making me laugh or making sure I have just enough to be what he needs is not what a life should be about. I do feel an attraction to him, yet that seems to be fading as I begin to accept that I have a right to grow and spiritually evolve.

    Life can be cruel and I trusted him, he can also be highly philosophical. I often thought that by being with him I was with a teacher and if I was wise I would put up with all the negative stuff and somehow gain inner knowledge. Living to try please someone else and be what they want is not living.

  • Cyndi

    I ended a very toxic relationship where everything was always about him and his constant drama…. I’ve left him 7 times now and each Time I felt a huge weight lifted and never cried once…this must be a sign….. Be yourself follow your instincts and believe in yourself always

  • xy123123

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    2009 year models.OPS can do coding and programming for cars accept fiber.@link-xy

  • april

    What if you are a young adult and you have been feeling this way since childhood about your family. Also what if you are not old enough to just get up and leave. What can one do?

  • Mari

    It’s just the beginning of what feels like a long endured battle. I feel like my boyfriend only cares about himself and somehow he’s taking control if the relationship. He makes it difficult to express how I feel because I get “too emotional”. He’s taken away my strength to stand up for myself which is not like me at all. I really believe I’m in a toxic relationship and I am ready to pack my things and use this as a learning experience. This article was very helpful.

  • Aboubakar S Bakayoko

    I also believe i’m in a toxic relationship,I have this friend who i met nearly a year ago.since then,i thought we were close friends, she would open up to me about whatever issues or problems she had,I too,did the same,we had a connection ,a connection in which we cud tell each other anything and everything which i think formed our friendship.Over the next few months,i developed feelings for her,when she offered to give me my first true kiss,my feelings has intensified.i was hooked to her like a drug,we hung out,called,text-ed each other almost everyday,as it turned out,she never had romantic feelings for me,but i keep forcing my emotions on her,to the point that she got irritated told me straight up that she doesn’t like me in that way.

    It took me some time to come to grips with my emotions,in that time,everything i did regarding her was perhaps due to my feelings more than my friendship,we argued alot then,and i would go off on her when i feel like she not taking my feelings into consideration,instead choosing to ignore me and act more aggressive towards me.

    there were times where we seemed to have settled things,however,problems still arised between us,and people who im close to started to notice that i was too into my friend,to the point that it dictated my actions,and allow her to have her way with me,like i gave her too much power over me.
    lately,she has been very insensitive towards me,ignoring and disregarding my struggles while i help her with hers,getting a attitude when i don’t respond to her.Also,she would as of recently give me dirty looks whenever i hang with her and other friends,getting the vibe that she don’t want me there. Annoyed,i decided to confront her and ask her why she was being so mean to me,i was assuming that i made her mad or she was embarrassed by me,when i texted her one night to talk about this,a random number called my phone,when i picked up,it turns out it was one of her friends,who in her defense,decided to call me and tell her to leave her alone and not talk to her at all.
    At that point,i was pissed,she had no problem confronting me herself,and the fact she got someone else involved in all this was in my opinion very wrong of her,who i thought was a friend i confided too was someone who probably didn’t respect or care for me enough to at least speak for herself,i hung up the phone and told her she was never a good friend,i was hurt,and the sad thing is,i still want to be friends with her,cuz i know there is some good in her…….

  • laura

    I am from united kingdom am here to testify in the good name of this God-sent called Dr Adams for the great things he has done in my life.. First of all i want to thank mareen for the post she made on how Dr Adams helped her in bringing back her lover. At first when i saw the posting i was so happy and in the other hand so scared,That this might not be real, Then i decided to give it a try in which i contacted Dr Adams and told him how my lover left me for another lady for the past 3years and i have been lonely and depressed without him,So i asked him if he has helped anyone called mareen and he said yes, that was the lady he helped in bringing back her lover. I said good and i told him that if he can help me in bringing back my own lover,He laughed and said once i have contacted him that my problem will be solved.He said that my lover will be back to me within 48hours and do an unexpected thing for me. i said really, Truly when the 48hours was completed i got a text from someone saying am sorry then i decided to call the number i saw it was my lover Steve voice.i was so happy he was begging me and crying on phone, That he is ready to do anything that will make me happy in life,So i told him to come over which he did,As he was coming he came with a brand new Car as gift i was so happy and he made me had access to his account SSN ATM pin and beneficiary to all his account am so happy today with the help of Dr Adams. He has proven to me that he is not going to leave me for another lady again and stay with me forever, Am so happy today and am also thanking mareen for posting this early.Dr Adams you are truly a man of your word. He can also cure diabetes, cancer or any kind of sickness and he can solve any kind of problems in this world. Friends i believe Dr Adams is a man to trust and believe on. You don’t need to cry anymore Dr Adams has been sent to clean our tears you can contact him on dradamsjohnsoncentre12@ gmail. com or cell phone +2348061568574.

  • crooked eye

    I hate whoever wrote this damnit

  • helpless

    I have been with my now fiance for 8 years. I’m not bashing him whatsoever, but simply explaining how our relationship is and I’m in need of advice.

    I met him when I was 16 and instantly I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He joined the service shortly after and we were apart for 3 years. He came home for leave and broke up with me. After returning over seas he begged me to take him back, which I did. Then he came home for good and leftthe service. He immediately got a job and of course he wasn’t the same person (but who would be after seeing and going through the things that he did?). We broke up for a few months but then got back together and have been together ever since.

    We have two children together. One which is old enough to see my tears and see how I hurt every day. I don’t want my child to have to see me like this, but sometimes I just cannot pull it together enough to do the things I need to do.

    Our relationship is odd. We never see eachother because of our work shifts. We both work full time to support our family. We maybe see each other for a couple of hours every week, which has taken a huge toll on our relationship. Every couple of months I get depressed and tell him how I feel, and I get the same response every time. “Then just go if you’re so miserable.”. That was never the response I was looking for. I wanted him to fight for me and want to want me. I guess it isn’t in him to want to love me. This has been going on for years, but for some reason I stay. I don’t know if it is because I want this to work our so bad or if it is because I don’t want to hurt my children by having a broken up family. It just isn’t in me anymore to try.

    He got into some trouble a few months ago which is causing him to have his license revoked. We don’t have family (really it has just been us). I feel obligated to take care of him, which all of my friends have told me its not my problem so why should I worry? Iguess they don’t see it from my eyes. He’s all I’ve had since I was 16. I’m 25 now. Through all the hurt and all the problems we have had, I’m still around. Not happy, but drained emotionally because he’s not giving me the attention nor affection I need.

    I’m ready to walk away, but I’m scared. I also would feel guilty for leaving him when he needs me. I just don’t feel loved anymore and I have told him this multiple times, but nothing has changed. Please give me advice and help me. I don’t know what to do anymore. I want to be happy for my kids, but I haven’t been for a long time and they see it.

  • Catherine Olsen

    Just reading this comment. I can so relate to this. I truly loved this person and as you have done all my plans and goals centered around that. I too am now on my healing journey. This has been a very difficult lesson for me. I hope I can grow and learn from it.

  • Me

    what if you’re the reason for the toxic relationship and want to change?

  • Katelyn

    Our dads sound a like, I currently am in a household where there is no positive re enforcement only negative. My past 20 something years here have been nothing but hell. I can’t voice an opinion about something that happened today in my life, news, etc without being told my opinion doesn’t matter in this house and to shut up. I’m almost finished with school and can’t wait find a new sense of freedom in an apartment or house! I’m so envious of my friends parents who are always so positive towards them and are willing to listen or agree to disagree.

  • K8E_420

    Ya know what’s toxic? People suggesting divorce in the first line of their reply. People saying leave for the child. You’ve heard his side only. You can’t make that assumption. They’ve only been together 3 years – TOTAL. Maybe she is abusive because she herself was abused. Now, I understand the stigmas.. and I realize a lot of people would tell women to leave the same type of situation. But, love conquers all – if it tries. Both need to try. Have you told her you’re considering leaving? That could jar her awake.. get her attention – somehow – whatever it takes. Why? So that if you do leave, you can walk away with a clear head, knowing you did everything. If you don’t, you’ll always wonder if there was more you could have done. Just do it right.. that’s all I’m saying. For yourself if not for her, or anything else.

  • SG

    This is my first time commenting on any blog that triggered a rush of thoughts and feelings. For some context to this complicated web, I’ve been in a 4 year relationship…two months into dating, she was diagnosed with cancer. Three years later, heavy chemo, 2 evictions, a court battle with work, and many intimate changes in our relationship has made me question. Is my relationship now toxic?

    Many times I’ve negotiated my feelings, ideas, and concerns about our current relationship. However, I recently began suppressing to express these concerns because it triggered emotional impact to my partner. I can’t tell you the tremendous guilt and frustration it is, living with someone under such a tragic cycle of grief from a cancer survivor. It’s been 3 years of remission, but many times my partner can’t seem to move on, and I’m unconditionally supportive; therefore, neglecting my needs. Now I feel exacting like this article, so obviously it resonates. Now I find myself contemplating leaving and being on my own again…and frustrated because I blame Cancer.

    I’m confused and don’t know what to do. We’ve talked about therapy, but she doesn’t follow up with action. I do feel like I’m still care-taking and living more as a nurse then a fiancee. Any suggestions??? Talked about marriage this year and I’m freaking out, even though I know it’s perceived fear, and everything will be fine!

  • Mar

    Seems like this thread is kind of old, but I’m going to give it a shot.
    I am in a 2 year toxic relationship with someone I do love, but often guilts me and makes me feel bad about myself. I have an 11 year old, and a 14 year old and my partner lives with us. We had a fairy tale beginning after I went through a very painful divorce. He is generally a good person. My problem is I don’t know when to draw the line, when to give up, when to let things go. We argue constantly, he is very critical of how I do many things, including communicate with him. He is emotionally and physically very needy.
    I am not trusting my gut, which is saying go. What if leaving is a mistake? It is gut wrenching every day. My foot is halfway out the door, so of course things are strained and have little chance of getting better? Any words of wisdom?

  • Ella Riella Cox

    This is great! I just want to add that both people involved in the conflict can exhibit these toxic behaviors, even if they don’t realize it. Everybody wants to be the innocent hero of their own tale, but the reality is it takes two to tango, and if the relationship is toxic odds are you just as much to blame as your friend/partner.

  • Anonymous

    Wow I feel every single one of these. It’s too bad there’s no way out for me.

  • Elix

    What if the toxic relationship is with yourself, and you are the toxic person?

  • Yvette Bowlin

    Nice point, Ella. More often than not, we’re doing to the other what we don’t want done to us.

  • Lorry

    I just left a toxic relationship. The guy was seriously mixed up. He had another girlfriend. I was just the ‘other woman’ and he said that things ‘just happened’ when he was with me. I almost always made plans to see him and when he did make plans with me, he would always add, ‘if you are up for it’ and he would say things like, ‘it’s up to you’. He never took initiative. He said he had feeling for me, but I don’t believe it. He NEVER told me he loved me. He would just say it in a round about sort of way. I kept telling him I loved him though. Also, he would constantly vent to me about his problems and then occasionally ask how I was just to be polite. I told him that was asking too much of me but he just blew it off and he NEVER apologized for that! I had to tell him that he was driving me away! Did he care? No. He blew me off because of work. We ALWAYS talked by facebook or texting! We even fought that way. I also found that he’s haunted by ghosts from his past with his relationships and he thinks women are going to give up on him and then he’s mean to them and he doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong and then they don’t want to be with him! When I was being supportive of him, I felt like I was talking to a brick wall! He would blow off my advice without a second thought which prompted me to say that I can’t help him if he doesn’t want it and he was asking too much of me. It’s because of him that I got addicted to facebook, became clingy, needy, and started nagging him (I was simply reacting to him. I’m not naturally like that). I told him he needs to grow up and get his career sorted. I’ve had similar life problems too, but I’ve got beyond them and I’m very proud of myself. I felt dragged down again trying to help him. To me, being pessimistic and running at the first sign of adversity is not being sensible in a bad situation, it’s being a loser! The good thing was that we did keep communication channels open. I was able to voice my views.

  • key

    Hello I was in a 4yr toxic relationship..I feel like someone died close to me inside.he me feel like I was nothng inside…I didn’t do anything to harm him or hurt him so y do I feel so bad

  • key

    Thts how I feel I’m trying to get more and more closer to god becuz he always was here with me…..hwevr it seem like god is not listening. To me I feel he. Is

  • sam

    i would suggest for this man to set up a non violent confrontation. tell her that there are problems. bring it into the conscious mind be civil and explain your side short and sweet without getting lost in the details. plain and simple. make it clear that if she doesn’t adapt…. if she doesn’t change then everything will end. i’m always surprised how much gets lost in translation over time… without speaking out its like shaking up a cocaine bottle and watching the whole thing explode.expecting a different outcome.

  • Susan Hill

    I jjust went througn all five with a guy that I thought I loved. It was more like a brain wash obsession. Even after I finally detached from him and went another direction I kept feeling like he was in my head and I could not get him out. I ended up contacting him again thinking it was all my fault it did not work. After one hour with him one evening recently,.. I knew rapidly what time it was..! Thank you for that article.. and I hope anyone reading it will not wait, but remove themselves as fast as possible.. You are so right, , every minute with him did damage to my spirit, . No joke.

  • Geffrey

    My name is Geffrey i want to say thanks to Prophet.Galala from what he has done for me you are a man of your word me and my lover are happy together again… Prophet.Galala on his email vie

  • Geffrey

    My name is Geffrey i want to say thanks to Prophet.Galala from what he has done for me you are a man of your word me and my lover are happy together again… Prophet.Galala on his email vie

  • angela

    i was and at times still am half of what you are calling toxic in our relationship, there are two of us. I have reproached with physical psychological violence on several occasions saying terrible things using filthy language in the past due to frustration, confusion, misunderstandings, which led me into depressions and guilt for the following days, after which I would come back to myself and our relationship would seem to be healthy happy and sharing. I know my emotions sky rocket a week before menstruation and as we are a lesbian couple the emotions are doubled. she has always said she forgives. something clicked every time it happened and I knew deeply that this was not who I wanted to be, and the last time I confronted her with violence I raised my hands to her and something just would not allow me to touch her I physically could not move, and that’s where I made tracks to start on the road to healing. we are still journeying together although we don’t share the same bed anymore, she still supports me financially, and every month I must cope with pms. I don’t use pms as an excuse, if I have not been keeping a record of the monthly cycle then bang the emotions are overwhelming. I have never used a chemical treatment only used soothing teas (which act instantly) I have also learned sound healing and positive affirmations even story telling for healing. I know I was wrong I have held on to guilt and it is a very heavy burden, a burden which is actually more healthy to drop. still every month we have our issues, but never again with physical violence. I mentioned earlier in the post that I am only half of the toxic in our relationship as she also has her toxic attributes. something inside tells me to keep on going with this relationship and something also tells me to leave it……..

  • amybeth

    Do not walk away from that of which you love .. you can never teach your child to forgive and love unconditonally , Unless you love that way.. you and though You may not have a lot in commen.. you can build a beautiful bridge between the two worlds.. you just cant teach love by leaving..
    Watch the movie WHAT DREAMS MAY COME..
    The love it represents the power of that love and overcome .conquer any deamons.. dont teach your baby to give up.. dont you give.. we all have battles… maybe she really needs you there to help her fight. . In sickness and health… wishin you love and happiness for her and you to have and share with your baby too

  • kholynn82

    What if I’m the one who caused my bf to feel all these? I’m deeply sorry and realized too late that I have to face my deepest issues.

  • Crystalclearimperfection

    Huh…. So today I see that my wife was reading this site on the shared computer (makes me defiantly know I’m the “toxic” partner)…


    I’m no fool, I see we both have been loosing interest in one another, not talking as much NO physical contact etc…. (She says she’s just always tired or headaches)… Yup… Heard that b4… :-/

    I’ve been figuring she has a boyfriend in most honesty…. 🙁
    And event considered looking myself…. But seeing this today just hurt my feelings more than anything else……

    Way to go whoever made this site!!! You deserve a award or something! (Yeppie),,,, Peoplie’s spouses can’t talk to their significant others face to face???? But they can dump there problems to a bunch of nobodies on the random Internet????? Wow,,,,, way to go social media!!! And even though its shared computer…… GOD forbid I ask her about her post!!!!!!! She’ll freak about me ” snooping”. Hell….. At least I care enough to want to fix it, and even feel bad about it,,,,,,,

  • Hi there,

    My name is Lori, and I created this site. I am so sorry to hear about what’s been going on in your marriage. I can only imagine how painful it’s been to see the distance growing between you. I’m sure this is an obvious question, but have you asked her directly about this?

    You are in my thoughts.


  • Yvette Bowlin

    Hi HJ! Yes, there is sometimes a stigma attached to doing what you need to do to stay emotionally healthy. Sounds like you did the best you could with the options you had, and that’s all anyone can ask for. Wishing you continued happiness!

  • Jose

    Oh Yvette, thank you so much for this post. My toxic relationship was with a friend. Someone I used to hang out with and who I treated like a brother. It happens that one day I fell into deep depression and, desperate to find someone who could help me, I found the door closed and realised that my best friend was avoiding me. No need to say that things got worse as in my depressed state and low self-esteem I was constantly trying to understand why someone would abandon a friend who needed help. I felt better after a while, recovered from depression, stopped talking to that person but I still feel a bit bad whenever I remember how close we used to be.

  • Yvette Bowlin

    I’m so sorry to hear that, Jose. I know how it feels to look for a friend and feel like no one’s there. I’m glad you’re recovered from depression and hopefully are finding new ways to keep your spirits up? Who knows, maybe you two can rekindle your bond when the time is right?


  • nikita

    I am facing this xact problem since 5 years i really need to move on but then its completely impossible from my side to end it…i ve tried all possible things to make the relationship work this long but now i feel lost and dont know whom should i seek help..please suggest

  • Chicana Queen

    Please please please sum advise. I feel I am in a toxic relationship but dont have the courage to walk away I feel as if my wings have been broken.
    I do n do I try to make him happy but constantly overlooks anything positive in me n seeks all negativem.I cam truly say there is a thin line between love n hate,I do all I can to see him happy and his selfishness pushes me to a dangerous point I feel so angry and feel so stupid for allowing myself to stay in this .
    We have seperated many times and its always.the same I end up looking for him and him with that smurk as if saying I knew u would be back tells me its going to be different if u want me back and begins with his demands and I fold and agree to everything then I hate him for it but just try to seek that approval from him but never get it when I say to him i cant do this anymore he says why do u look for me then and I say bpecause I thought things would maybe be different and he starts to pack n sayz are u sure this is what u want I question myself is this what I want I say no but I cant take u hurting my feelings anymore then when he is 90% packed and said so many hurtful things u have kids that arent mine..ur going to go to the bar and be a b**** find another man and im like wth he then says im not going to go I love u grabs me holds me says hug me im sorry it wont happen again and in a few days it happens again. Why cant I walk away and stay away? Please sum advice !!

  • SadSackx

    I am shouted and and belittled every day for not doing anything right. The bins too full, your not looking after the dogs properly, im useless, stupid, a cunt, a bitch. He says everyone thinks im lovely but they dont know the real me. I cant have a proper conversation as im scared of saying something he doesnt agree with and ill get screamed at. Im ashamed. Im currently off work with stress but i actually think im stressed and depressed because of him, not work. Work is my sanctuary but he callls atleast 10 times a day. I went oustside in the garden with my pjs on without a bra and he said im trying to flaunt my body to other men. He has to judge each outfit i wear, im not allowed to wear it if its too short or im showing any cleavage. Im finding it hard to communicate with people lately and i dont find anything funny anymore. I cry most days on the floor of my bedroom, i dont kow why but i feel safer there. Am i over reacting like he says i am

  • Nrlthrhh

    I do have something to share. I’ll be nice if any kind souls would talk to me and help me clear my mind. I’ve been dating this man for 2 years now.
    What if the one that’s causing the relationship to turn toxic is me and not my partner, does that mean I’m unhappy too? I made him feel that nothing he did is right nor what he said. In my thoughts, I just want him to understand me. What a lady said is not exactly what she meant. I’ve tried to be in the 1% of women category when the woman doesn’t say what she doesn’t mean, or throw tantrums when he doesn’t hug her or hold her hand, or when he doesn’t buy her flowers even though she has mentioned so many times that it’ll be nice to receive a flower or two. Sometimes I hate myself for being the woman in the relationship. I don’t want to do what I’ve said, but that just seems how women will react and it sucks.
    Recently, we had a disagreement. And instead of talking it through, he shuts the down and ignored my calls. But he texted me and said, “I hate us fighting. I don’t like that. And I want things to calm down first and talk in person.” I understand that he is tired and he wants to sleep, but I’m mentioned so many times that he can’t just do that because it’ll make the matter worst. Different relationships have different ways to resolve disagreements. I mean shouldn’t he at least try the way it works for our relationship and instead of comparing how other relationships solve their disputes?
    If someone is drowning, you don’t wait for the next day or went home to change your clothes before jumping in to save the person. You dropped everything and jumped right in.
    P.S.: I love you him I do. At least I think I still do.
    Someone please help me see clearly. )’:

  • Smurfette

    My husband has a toxic relationship with his parents. Recently we just had our third child. And they criticized me for not answering the phone…my husband got very upset. Also my daughter has a peanut allergy…they had nuts out. So my husband sent both his parents a direct email about not having peanuts out when we come over. His mother apologized, his father bit back denied the peanuts being there, and criticized me not picking up the phone. he snapped back at my husband. Who responded back by protecting me saying that she has only been out of the hospital two weeks…. and because he was upset he sent a bit of a harsh email just to his father. Hubby was hurt. Then his father told him to stop corresponding with him and got very offended by the email. He , the father, said something’s rude in the email. So my husband said fine done. All communication is cut between our families. They haven’t spoken since. Been 2 days. I think…his mom is upset,… And I have no idea what his dad thinks. I don’t think he can stay mad at him…. But my husband is furious. He says its all history…he loves his parents, but he cannot stay in this relationship where he feels so criticized. Always compared and put down. He says that his parents bring out the worst in him….. I do agree his father has a hold on him that is unhealthy…but I don’t think he can dismiss his parents like that and be happy…he thinks he can be……I told him this but he gets really upset. I myself and emotionally and physically spent with a newborn…andt this stress on top of it. He just snapped at me tonight for no reason….and I think this will happen more. He keeps telling me thus is yrs coming. He always had problems with his dad. His father is a very emotionally charged person, he had calmed down quite a bit….but hubby says he is trying to have peace of mind. And for that he needs to cut them out of his life. I don’t know what to do am caught in the middle.he tells me to stay out of it,,,,,but I don’t know what to do….do I let him cut them out? They compare him to a son who uses them and they don’t see it. Lots more…

  • Miss Lei

    Thank you for your article. I am 6 months pregnant woth my first child and have been in a very toxic on amd off relationship with the father for two years now. There’s not enough energy to relive my story and tell it here but I will state my story in the present. My ex is a tormented soul whom suppresses his consciousness with alcohol and drugs and one moment is evil and degrading and judgemental and verbally and emotionally abusive then the next minute is sweet and kind and affectionate. He sais when the baby is here he will man up and take care and provide and put the partying on hold while I have already sacrificed and also delightfully chosen to be as emotionally, spiritually and physically healthy as possible. I dont like myself around him, i feel insecure amd critical, angry and resentful. He has stated countless times how much he hates me and that i am pregnant with his child yet tells me he wants to helpme and provide out of fear of me pursuing child support. I have compassion and feel sorry his life story hurts him so deeply but he chooses to continue living his way of drugs and alcohol and socializing while for me…well my baby is my savior. For her I am going to have to put aside my ego, let go of my part time job and move back in with my parents. I feel unhappy about feeling like a failure, for lowering my standards to settle for an addict, yet my child needs a strong foundation and my family will help me build that for her. Im sad because I keep thinking what if I stay..maybe he’ll change, but I dont have time or patience to wait to find out. My faith and hope for the future fuels me more…to rebuild, to clear the emotional baggage to allow new opportunities for a healthier and happier life. I deserve it and so does my baby girl.

  • writer7

    The exact Same article was written by someone else on psychology today past August.

  • sadmommy

    Hi Ive sumbled on to this page without warning and its sad to say that this is the only place right now were i can leave my thoughts ive been in a 5 ear realtionship with my soon to be ex we have a one year old baby together we fight all the time and the baby crys not good at all i guess my thought was that i had to stay for my son but now im thinking that he should have to see this everyday today was the first day that i got the strength to leave for anhour to gather my thoughts i cant stand the he always names calls trys to belittle me and make me somad i start yelling he says he cant stand me and if i havent seen it for the past 5 years im trying to leave smart with somewere to go with my son were he will be comfortable but its hard tobe under the same roof with him any ideas tips till i feel stable enogh to leave …thank you for reading …god bless u

  • john
  • Nuria

    Sorry this is an abusive relationship that also affects a minor. It is not anyone’s job to sacrifice their lives to heal another person. I did what you suggested it exposed me and my children to 10 more years to a DAMAGING SITUATION. The harm to children cannot be undone. I wish you could see the before and after. One healthy parent is better being and the other the abuser. Exposing a child to this sets them up to be victims or victimizers. 3 years is enough!!!! I wish I could show you the aftermath, I really do

  • Kitty smalz

    Can I tell you something. I would love a man like you, because I am going through the exact same thing. And I have never seen a man as open and honest as you. I am so proud of you that you are so loving and spiritual and you are a earth angel who doesn’t deserve to be in such a position. If you were my husband I would love you to no end. If you have discussed this with her and have done all you can (as in giving 100%) then it is time you leave. I did this with my child’s father and it was one of the hardest things I have to do. But you must understand you are putting your child in a worst position if you stay because they can sense the energy and believe it or not they do know what’s going on and they will imitate it when they get older. Think about it, would you rather have you child raised like you or her?


    wow didn’t expect all 5 points to hit it on the mark w/ my current situation in my marriage of almost a year, been together over 3 yrs now…… a part of me feels like a failure, because I can honestly say I tried my best to make this work, but it wasn’t good enough, and it’s compromising my morals and self-respect….yet deep down my gut was telling me something wasn’t right all along and just couldn’t pinpoint why…. I wish I trusted it sooner….if anything, I’ve learned so much and all the hardships I’m currently going through are overall making me a better stronger person…. what I’ve learned the most, that applies not only to him, but myself and anyone, is that you can’t make anyone change for the better unless they truly want to themselves.

  • Broken Soul

    Yes I am in a toxic one and it is hard to let go,The relationship started with him cheating on me with a married woman,kept lying about it ,till I found out ,then continued to lie about small things ,in the meanwhile he accused me with many men with no whatso ever proof ,I never created doubts ,I am always sad and doubtful ,he tries to ridicule me and contradict me all the time ,he creates drama and creates suspicions all the time and I know I should leave but feel I am cursed to stay

  • Guest

    I feel this way all the time now. With everybody in my family. I actually cried and am still crying after reading this.

  • sosad1

    What do you do when u have messed up so bad and involved three kids now knowing it wasn’t a good idea but you have nowhere to go at all and are an at home mom with no friends or family and your mother is abusiveand tthat’s why I left with him because anything was better than my mother. I am so depressed and tired. I do what I need to for my kids and I just want to die most of the time. I have no one as I moved away from everyone I did know and just seem to keep finding toxic people. I am not ugly or stupid at all and have a good personality but why am I so sensitive and sad all the time?

  • RoseWolf

    I have been with my partner for over 6 years. We have 4 children (2 of which are mine from a previous relationship. 2 of which are ours together) we fight constantly. He is so aggressive and angry not just to me. But to my children and our friends as well. We have lost many friends due to his nature. I used to be so calm chilled and laid back. But now I feel always on eggshells. He has never been violent towards me. Although I feel he can maybe get a little rough on the children. I have tried to get out a few times. But he always threatens suicide and refuses to leave or let go. Unfortunately due to my nature I am so scared to hurt him. He was great at the start. But has been getting steadily worse. He promises to change. However although I see some Improvement he is still very angry. I just don’t know how to escape without causing him too much pain. Xxxx

  • KK

    It’s a year old post, I hope you have found the peace. I have read all the replies and wonder how many of us is having a unhealthy relationship. I myself didn’t end up on this blog for nothing, I am also having a toxic relationship and my situation is some what famaliar with yours, only difference is that I have been in a relationship for 10 years. After reading all the comments I am still baffled what to do? It’s is not easy to let go the relationship even the unhealthy ones. In my case I’ve tried all the remedies in the book but no result and now after 10 years I gave up. I am very much agreed some of the comments posted here but the most important thing a person needs is a ” COURAGE”. In my case I lost my courage to make a right decision on right time but my prayers goes to all those people who are suffering from unhealthy relationships that may God help you and give you the strength to make a right decision.

  • Bear

    When someone is passive aggressive with me, or mocks me, or is downright disrespectful – I don’t take it personally anymore. I realise, they are going through something, they need space, they need something other than the friendship I can offer, and they are focussing on the flaws they see in me – because it helps them to avoid those very same flaws that are present in themselves.
    Sometimes we cannot understand why other people are the way they are – but we should try to understand, and if it does impact on the ourselves in a negative way, the simplest way to deal with it- is to walk away. It does not mean that you do not care for that person, but it sends a clear message to them, that they own their own behaviour. If there is someone in your life that does you harm, or wishes you harm, don’t blame them, take responsibility, do not keep placing yourself in that position, take care of yourself!

  • Vanessa

    He is obviously writing in because he has tried EVERYTHING. Being a spiritual individual myself, and giving my relationship all I had…patience, hope, love, everything!…I have found that the OTHER person has to want to change.. YOU can’t make anyone change, especially if she doesn’t see that her actions are negative & hurtful. I am sure that you have even tried different things to change yourself, in an attempt to somehow conform to your wife’s behavior. Maybe you’ve even found yourself tip toeing around certain issues, and walking on egg shells, lest she find any little thing to get upset over. This is not right. And in actuality, its a form of mental and emotional abuse. The other individual will eventually make your life harder than necessary, and it will take a toll. Be strong Roh, and do not be afraid. If you REALLY feel like giving it another try, like you haven’t tried everything in your power, then do it, but sometimes its just better to walk away before it gets worse for both you and your child. A relationship should be equal. And from you have written here, it seems like you are doing all the work. I’m sure you are emotionally drained. Could you imagine doing all that work, and even more, for the rest of your life?

  • Jon O’Brien

    Good read…

  • Jennifer

    Come on, you surely haven`t lost what it takes if you are writing this.


  • bob

    Sometimes it’s just a bad fit. “Toxic” people are just people that don’t, won’t or can’t care about you, but that doesn’t make them bad people; it makes them a bit dishonest. I have been a toxic friend many times without realizing it.

    Typically I am “toxic” to people who approach me for friendship and whom I do
    not have a genuine interest in, but am too polite to just ignore or flat-out
    turn down. My initial plan is just to be acquaintances or casual superficial friends, but it’s clear they have other expectations and want us to have a real connection. I am as nice to them as I can tolerate for the moment, but as the
    friendship progresses I get more resentful of their demands on my time and
    energy, especially because I’m not interested enough in them to expend my
    energy in this manner. On top of that the people who I am “toxic” to
    are almost always people who are fundamentally different from me, who have
    different personalities and communication styles and I can’t help but be
    critical of these differences. They end up annoying me and my negative feelings towards them bubble over, which is when the putdowns and snide remarks start. Eventually there is a big fight and we never speak again.

    I am a naturally blunt and aggressive person, and due to this I always get painted as the “bad guy” or the “toxic friend” in the relationship which is very
    hurtful to me because I am not a bad person and I should not be shamed
    for being bold. These labels deny the responsibility of the other person (who is typically more underhanded and manipulative) in the relationship, and knowing how it feels to be considered “the one causing all the problems” makes me want to stand up for all the people that are being labeled “toxic” in these comments. It takes two to make a toxic relationship. Everyone is to blame.

    I have hurt and been hurt by many an ex-friend because I didn’t know how to tell them in a nice way that I’m just not that into them. If that makes me “toxic” then ok, but I resent the label “toxic friend” because to me if feels like a very harsh, self-absorbed and one-sided judgment on a person’s character. It also denies the agency of the other person, who knowingly chose to engage with someone they knew was not a good fit for them. If you got to know the “toxic” person’s side, maybe you would see that you just bring out the worst in them. Which means you are also toxic to them.

  • Flowerchild

    Hi, I have been married for 12 years with someone from a European country. We barely got enough time to get to know each other when I had to leave for work in school in India. In order to avoid confusion or doubts I took him to my mother’s home so he could see where I come from. We met again after being away from each other for 10 months and because of some cultural constraints I suggested to him that we marry because it’s really difficult to live together in India as a couple without being married, especially if your partner is a foreigner and a male. So for legal reasons we got married. Of course, I loved him and changed myself so drastically that my relationship with my family started to weaken. Each time my family and I took pity on him. We thought because he comes from a different culture he needs more time, but actually I have started to see that this person is very arrogant. He only relates with people who think like him intelligent. Even a 5-year-old child is ‘Okay and acceptable’ for him only if the child does exactly what he thinks a child should do or behave. In order to make this man’s life easier I have left jobs I liked three times. Of course, there was the issue of finances and being a software developer he earns a lot more than I did so I let him have it his way. Each time we make a move to another country or place I have to search and if I am lucky enough, take up a new job. Each time I have to start from scratch because when we move to another country or place we do not know anyone. I have to make an effort to make friends with people and introduce them to him because he won’t take the initiative. The story goes on and on. Because of our son, I am staying with this man. Of course, I love him, but I do not know how can I make him see how insensitive he has been. I feel at times he is at his best behaviour around our son because he wants him to like him, and I am the impatient and angry mother who gives my child a tough time. Our son goes to a boarding school which also allows day pupils. So for now he is a day pupil. Sometimes I think I should seriously talk to the school openly and tell them that they are my only hope. Because it is a democratic school and children govern the school the policies and environment is just and understanding. My biggest fear is will I forever to parted from my son if I leave for my country ? Of course he could come and visit me, but I cannot finance his schooling and so naturally his father will have more rights over him. Will this separation traumatize him and cripple him for life ? I feel helpless most of the time regarding my relationship with this man and feel I have tried everything and am at the end of my tether. Every time I have to make an effort to patch things. I have also considered the fact the it may be difficult for him to vent his emotions, but I really cannot bear this any longer. What shall I do ?

  • Taylor

    This sounds exactly like my situation. My partner and I got pregnant very early into the relationship. We are both now experiencing who each other “really” is and “making it work.” He is a tremendous , hands on, loving father. He has come from a prime example of a toxic relationship. His father was physically verbally and mentally abusive all throughout his childhood and to this day spits nothing but negativity. His mother, an angel whom I adore (I lost my own mother at the age of 6) has stayed with this man for 28 years! I see the effects of that relationship on my husband and I hold on to resentment towards his father. I feel my husband has so much love, compassion, and a huge heart to give, but it is blocked from all of the abuse. He is now clinically depressed and I think borderline OCD. My main concern with not leaving is our beautiful 1 and a half year old son. I relate to the constant feelings of anxiousness and depression. I find myself hiding behind the computer or phone because I am tired of walking on eggshells for him. He drains me. My fear tells me to stay because our son needs a father, my husband needs me, and things will get better eventually. I am so lost and confused. I at times feel like I am the toxic one in the relationship.

  • Taylor

    Now reading this post back, I realize once again, it’s all about him. I feel almost guilty like I am the answer to his happiness. It’s at the price of my own though. I really don’t know what is right. I just know I am not myself and haven’t been in a while.

  • Taylor

    You are beautiful, and you already know what you should do, since you are on this post right? Meditate pray do what you have to do to quiet his judgements and listen to your inner voice. Think of your best friend or sister coming to you and pouring her heart out to you with this same information. What advice would you give her? You’re worth it and you deserve to laugh again 🙂

  • Taylor

    At first I felt bad reading his post, then his toxicity just poured out all over the page. Hmm…

  • Tee

    Thank you Yvette for the article. I didnt realise I have been holding on a toxic relationship after I have spacing out from an old friend recently. After I read your article that reaffirm my realisation. The energy I spent to maintain that friendship has been drained my energy out of me. I felt angry and invisible to myself. My relationship with my family and other friends suffered and they draft away from me as time goes on. I was not aware at that time I was negative and emotionally unavailable. After less frequent contact with that person, my awareness grew healthier and I am reaching out to others who have been there for me all along.

  • paula

    My boyfriend havee been togather 4 about 7 months the person he was with cheated and moved his friend in. Thay have 3 kids togather. I don’t understand why now I’m. The vilin when I try to talk to him he says I’m arguing with him he. Screams at the top of his voice he can talk to other women I can’t talk to any one he say I like my sisters man 4 that matter any man Please! Help paula

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  • KC

    My boyfriend is extremely nice and friendly to everyone he meets. He’s “that nice guy” but no one ever sees his true colors. I am a sensitive person. Maybe that’s a bad thing to be, and I wish I want like that because whenever I feel frustrated or furious I just feel so mad that I can’t hold it and unfortunately cry. My boyfriend always tells me I act like a 5 year old because of this. I’ve tried to stop crying when he’s yelling at me or when something is wrong but I feel so defeated and disappointed not only in the situation but myself. I don’t know what to do. I feel so stupid. I don’t know if he’s right, I feel so lost.

  • fedup

    What if the abuse you’re describing is coming from your parents?
    My Mother is a master at using guilt and manipulation to break me down emotionally to get me to do as she wants. She’s always plays the victim buy using some illness and it’s always
    exaggerated. I’m 44 and not once I mean not once has there been a phone conversation (even during a visit) has there ever been a conversation
    that didn’t revolve around her being sick with something. The thing is that it’s been from everything from making a hospital stay into something so serious when it really wasn’t. Just to use as a form of guilt to get me to be submissive. I rebel and don’t fall for it as an adult because I’ve been there way too many times.
    And like you said above in your blog its always about them, I had a hip replacement did my parents come to see me while in hospital? No, does my Mother call me on my birthday or send a card? No. And I’m not exaggerating here when I say that I have never been given a birthday present from my Mother, nor Christmas present. However my Mother expects the opposite from me. My niece (my sister’s daughter) asked me once why her grandmother never gave her a birthday present or Christmas present. I didn’t have an answer for her what could I have said?
    My parents do treat my two younger sisters totally different than they do me, could it be because my sisters submit to my parents I don’t know.
    Thanks for listening.

  • WhoKnows

    I guess it depends on how you love. If your able to walk away, then that’s definitely the best thing to do and in the best interest of the child. Having said that, if your not able to walk away, then you should work on doing whatever it takes to make your ‘wife’ a better person. Stand beside her and show her ‘unconditional love’ something she has never seen. Give her a reason to change. She obviously doesn’t know what that feels like, show her.

  • GSystems

    This is a five-month old comment, and it’s likely that your own viewpoint has changed, so keep in mind that I’ve kept that in mind.
    There’s no way that you can somehow expect a man to hang around in an abusive relationship (like I did…which only lead to more judicial interaction because of power-hungry women with weak minds…who abuse the system set up for them to abuse like little sadistic sheep) when you clearly would ask a woman to leave. This idea of “it takes both” normally is code-word for “the man should work harder…and excuse his woman who is both mentally incapable of handling her own affairs, but more than capable to have custody of children…hmmm…

    I’m proud of this gentleman for knowing when to say when. Interestingly, I am at a similar point in my four year relationship. I tell you: The older I get, the more I see the vanity of the whole “intimate relationship” nonsense…

  • Rogan

    My gf is pregnant we argue all the time over stupid things , we see alot of things very different, and she makes me feel terrible,when i don’t agree with her she calls me childish.
    What should i do

  • Daniel

    I am the toxic one that has been slowly poisoning my relationship of 5 and a half years… How do I stop my negativeness!!! I want to be a better person and help my relationship …

  • Karmaisanswer

    Zasha , I know you think others have not been abused by your “friend”but I can assure you you are not the only one! Emotional vampires like him operate best in the dark…. You can get your strength back by shining a light directly on his insults and negativity just by repeating back to him what he says to you in the form of a question and simply say friends don’t talk to friends that way then don’t continue to look at your self through his eyes as a reflection of your self! Then move on . Make effort not to sit with him if he comes to sit by you smile then excuse yourself to ladies room , when you come back sit else wear … He will be kissing you ass to find out what gives….but don’t give in ….if he asks why you are snubbing him tell the truth ,say to him he says mean things and you are not willing to accept his behavior no one can fault you and if he starts roomers remember true friends won’t listen or care what he has to say and the others you don’t need any how

  • Fed up

    I am in a toxic relationship with my grown daughter. She is all about her all the time. She constantly expects me to jump and run no matter what plans I have made for my life. But, if I need her, she will refuse to help me at all.
    Here is one example. I fell down a flight of stairs a couple of months ago. I could barely walk. I asked her to pick up a sandwich on her way home and bring it to where I was and I would give her the money for it when she got there. I was starving had not ate in a couple days because I could not walk much less stand to make me some food. She refused to do it of course it was too much of a bother for her to drive 5 minutes out of her way to help me. I dealt with it of course. I crawled out to the car and drove myself to a fast food rest. and bought me a sandwich.
    I am in college and must do volunteer work that is mandatory to my degree. So I set it up to be done over thanksgiving break. So that it did not interfere with the week of finals. So knowing this, she makes an appointment to get all her teeth pulled. So that I am stuck taking care of her the entire week. Of course she did not ask if I had plans because she did not care.
    She is constantly crying because she says that her childhood was so terrible and I am a worthless mother. Well, I am to the point that I’m tired of all the extra stress she causes me. She makes me feel like I let her down when I do everything for her. She appreciates nothing I do for her and says that it is my job because I am her mother. I am anxious all the time and can’t stand it. She keeps me depressed and it has gotten so bad that I feel my only recourse is to just walk out of my life and start over in another state.
    How wrong is it for me to finally force her to start being a grown up and just not talk to her anymore? To show her what not having a mother around all the time to pick up the pieces for her is like. Both my children seem to think that I am their slave and I should drop everything for them but when I need something they can’t be bothered to help when I need them. They are both grown. The oldest is really bad about it though and I am to the point that in order to get out of the depressed state that I must just walk away and start over.
    I buy food for her, I listen to her rant all of the time, I take care of her when she is sick, I do everything I can do for her and nothing is ever good enough. She is almost 30 years old and still expecting my life to surround her. It is affecting my health, my schooling, my life and there is only one thing I can see to make it bearable for me anymore. To walk away and let her live with her own consequences. She keeps me in tears all of the time because she is always screaming at me how bad her childhood was. Well she had a roof over her head clothes on her back food in the fridge and money in her pocket. Yeah I worked a lot but I was a single parent of two children and had to make a living as a waitress.
    She was constantly lying about where she was and stealing from me and being disrespectful. The older she gets the worse she gets. She does not steal from me anymore but she is very disrespectful and expects me to take care of her constantly. No matter if I have no food for myself she expects me to give her my money to get her food. I can’t keep living like this and I feel horrible about wanting to leave but I don’t see any other way to keep my own sanity. Am I being selfish? Probably.

  • johnanthny

    Last sentenced – loved it..

  • drvn13

    i ve been through such a relationship a month back . it was supposed to be with a girl i was going to get married to . a month after the relationship started she just started blasting me,avoiding me,avoiding family encounters even refused to meet me on my birthday. i was trying so hard to please her or not to displease her ,but i didnt give up. she was never happy with whatever i did and always kept on blaming me for one or the other thing. after a month i am feeling so better .

  • Cool Sun

    This site attracts people who are probly more spiritually compatible, should have singles section,

  • Lady Soul

    Very well spoken….written…and conveyed….Also….let me say….very well received…..I left an abusive childhood….to marry…and start a family with an abusive man that ultimately ran me over with a maxi van….we were married for 10 years…with 2 AMAZING children….breaking free of that toxic pool….I found myself involved with a fella that was equally damaging….he just packaged it differently….so I donated 10 years to his cause as well….(haha) we had a child 5 years….when I came to my senses…:-) my daughter had gone off to college…and embark on her new world….so knowing that the disrespect…unhealthy mess I was living…was NEVER going to impact my sons in a positi e way….I packed up our lives….filled up the explorer…and left my home of 22 yrse in Alaska

  • kimmy

    I have been with my husband for nearly 20 years, married 15 of them. We have 2 children youngest being 17 husband comes from an abusive upbringing by an alcoholic father and a subservant mother that to this day is still belittled on a daily basis.My husband is a hard worker and has strived to make a life better than his fathers to prove his worth is abundant – I have always treated my husband good praised him and did all the things and gave him all the love I felt he missed out on being raised in that atmosphere.over the years – we purchased property – started a business together in the field he was working – I did EVERYTHING ELSE -in our lives children ,home ,holidays its easier to say the only thing he had to worry about over the years was WORK.
    I helped with properties helped with the business I have always pitched in wherever I could and frankly if me and the children wernt helping him work over the years we would havebarly seen him.I have always put my
    everything into my marriage and family figuring as a team someday this will pay off , all throughout these years my husband was mostly always angry aggressive yelling very negative he belittles what I have done for this family acts as though where we are is all because of him alone-i always have to argue my worth and what I have done and for the most part I feel like its because he has NO idea he has really never given any of us credit for anything, and when hes outragous the best he can say is I cant say im sorry more than I have but the fact is he doesnt apoligize at all and I really feel he is – selfish belittling demeaning ,ungreatful mostly so absorbed in his lone wolf mentality he sees nothing else -this has forever caused me much grief n heartache and caused me to what I feel constantly fight him to treat us GOOD like he loves us !!! He feels by him working to pay the bills and comes home at night that is love and if I want anything else that im ungreatful. Needless to say over these years of UNSELFISHLY doing everything for this family before during and after having both of my hips replaced 12 years ago with barely any help and never complaining – I am now 44 years old – because of his its all about me and none of ur business and demeaning to me attitude I stopped helping with the business and I started to have a life. NOT that its any different because if I ask anything about OUR BUSINESS that I helped start and worked for 8years in or OUR apts rent IM GREEDY – I have done nothing when he admits I have done something the word ONLY is always attached to whatever it is , I know where all his ignorance comes from because his father to this day feels he was father of the year since 69 and thats who taught him how to b a man ,I have surrounded myself with insperation to go on because other than the way he is I do like my life and try to keep love for him in my heart ,BUT that is not easy when everytime I have a question or a feeling I am demeaned and treated as an ingreat – I would like to go to councelling but of course he feels we dont need it because theres nothing wrong with HIS RELATIONSHIP I m the only one with a problem – he makes me cry more than smile.I feel lost in my own life and unsure besides leaving him which I really dont want to because I do love him and we have built a nice life together BUT I also feel I will never get over his selfrightiosness it crushes me everytime

  • lost love

    Hi this article sums up my relationship of three years just today he told me he is unable to talk to me because of who I am. I have to change my personality around his friend and family he judges the way I dress,talk,walk,my activities,who’s around me and my family. He treats me like I’m a slave and stupid putting my down constantly even though I’m pretty smart.I look out for him when he cheats or blows me off for his friends I always do everything for him and so does my mom. He is rude to everyone and didn’t care if I cry he doesn’t like texting me when I am at his house i have no voice I am invisible I’m never touched from hug to kiss or anything if I try to do it I’m seen as doing to much

  • ohhmMama

    Oh my goodness. I saw myself in nearly every part of this reading! I just got out of a 2 year relationship that sucked every bit of life out of me. I constantly made excuses for the lying and cheating thinking that we truly loved each other and could work through it. I reached a point of horrible depression and felt as though I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I ended it just a week ago. It’s a slow climb but I finally feel like I am headed in the right direction again. I know that it won’t be a fast or essy journey but I am excited to start growing again!

  • lawless

    My whole life has been one long string of abusive or codependant relationships with women far less than worthy of my in therapy now,have two children with two different women that id rather eat glass than talk to and at 35 I find myself frequently just wanting to unplug my life as I know it,disconnect from society,get an acre of land with a solar and microhydro electric power plant on it,do some gardening,web surf and have anal sex with a big breasted asian silicone doll all this normal for a man my age?

  • Brett

    Wow ! I read this and was blown away as it was spot on. How quickly a loving relationship can turn toxic! I broke up after reading this and my life turned around so quickly. I felt full of me and confident once more. My concern is not that I was in a toxic relationship but my pattern to create it!
    What I’ve taken away from this experience is to take responsibility of myself so that I won’t allow myself to be lost again. Life is short and we all desire to be uplifted by our own unique self xx

  • Hope S. Maynard

    I was looking on the website for scars that are left behind after having an emotionally abusive relationship. I came across your article. I didn’t know that my relationship that is now really over was toxic. As I read the five signs of a toxic relationship. I rated 4 out of 5. Its unbelievable to me that even though my ex always let me know at every turn that there was something wrong with every part of me from hair to clothes and that she preferred dating a certain type of woman and I wasn’t it. I still continued to allow myself to continue with this “relationship” knowing that I wasn’t receiving all the love that I should have, and that I wasn’t receiving the respect that I deserved, but I still wanted to be with this person. I still couldn’t imagine my day without having some contact. We could argue one day and talk the next. Even now as I’m writing this, she is on my mind.
    We had stopped seeing each other, and used “friendship” as a way to still see each other which worked out for her because she was looking for someone who fit what she was looking for, and was still able to keep me in her life, and around her. If I tried to see someone, it was a problem. There was jealousy from someone who didn’t really want me. I could never understand that. She didn’t want me, but didn’t want anyone else to have me. She knew that I loved her. Unconditionally. Loved her more than I loved myself. That was the problem. I began to lose myself. Even though the “we” is over, I still think of her. We haven’t spoken in almost 2 weeks. I miss her, but I know that this situation wasn’t healthy for me.
    I felt unattractive in regards to how she saw me as a woman. We didn’t have a physical relationship. I had never been with anyone who treated me that way, but still I hoped that she would change, and there were times when we really got along well, but those incidents of disrespect and feeling unloved by the one person that I wanted, was too much.
    I know I deserve better. At almost 47, I’m too damn old to allow someone to control me, but I have those scars. Those feelings of being inadequate. I wanted to please someone who only cared about themselves. No matter what I would never be enough, and that’s a hard pill to swallow.

  • Elaine

    It is always reassuring to read articles and comments like these and realize that I have not gone insane in the process of being in a toxic relationship. I can often think of many reasons to blame myself for making the wrong decisions and for feeling like I pursued a relationship with the person in some way. Reading these 5 signs helps me remember there was more than one person involved and my reactions and behaviors were often in response to feeling out of control and trying to understand why I felt that way. When romantic feelings for someone are involved it can be so complicated and feel. I know for myself I have a tendency to blame myself, so when someone else started doing it, it took me a while to realize that my intuition and gut feelings were telling me something. This person tried to make me feel guilty about their financial situation, and at the time I didn’t see it, so I lent him money. Despite all the promises to pay me back, I have not seen a cent and the times I brought it up, he turned the conversation on me and told me I offended him by brining up such a delicate subject….WHAT?!?! Yes, he was good at making me feel crazy. We have mutual friends and everyone thinks he is such a sweet caring person. Little do they know he talks about them behind their backs. I feel sick thinking how skillful this man is at using people and getting them to do favors for him. I did end the relationship and he emails from time to time saying he thinks about me and wishes me well. I don’t respond and set up and autoresponse saying I am not responding to his messages. Hope this article gives others the reassurance it gave me.

  • Just Saying

    This is stupid. It is too general. It can be a description of a point in everybody’s relationship. This article was well intentioned but is not good for making life altering decisions by. I do not agree with the whole “if you are experiencing one of these things” bit at all. The bold points before the actual list are far more helpful. Be careful people….

  • zom

    Sounds like someone’s a little butthurt about their own experiences, and therefore, taking it out on an entire group of individuals who’s only shared trait is that they all have breasts and vaginas and societal stereotypes forced upon them from a young age. Just like what happens to men! Well, my oh my isn’t that strange? But surely it’s totally coincidental.

    What you’re saying has nothing to do with what Roh is saying, and sounds more like you’re simply taking out your own frustration. You are not giving any sound advice based upon anything but your own insecurities and hatred. You’d sound far more trust-worthy if your entire spiel wasn’t based upon the fact that you hate all women.

  • zom

    I definitely agree with whoever’s been saying that, for both your and your child’s sake, you should probably get out of there. Unless, of course, you believe that she would resort to abusing the kid, in which case you must decide whether you want to try to get custody over the child, stay and take the abuse to protect your kid and support them, or do your best to remain in contact with your child and support them from afar. I’m assuming from your post that you would be entirely unwilling to completely lose contact with your kid, but if that is an option you’d want to take, then that’s still definitely your decision. In times like these, it’s most important to follow your gut. If you feel like you want out, you should find a way to do so.

    I wish you all the best.

  • blondie

    I fear leaving a toxic relationship of 31 years, and I am almost 60 years old. I never knew what a ‘good’ relationship was, always thought it was normal to be ridiculed, put down or deceived by a man. Until now. I have met someone from my past and am in love. I realize the happiness I haven’t had in so many years and want to live the rest of my life happy. I figure I don’t have much time left on earth, so I want the rest to be lived full of happiness. I fear leaving my husband because I worry how he will get a long without me. How sad is that? Worried about him and not myself. I don’t get it. I don’t understand why I am having such a difficult time leaving him. It makes me disappointed in myself. I know what is right for me, yet I have difficulty going after it. I guess it’s the guilt part of it all. I need help!

  • Monique

    I am sitting here…In tears. The First Step Is Admission! !! I am so tired of living like this. I have stayed for numerous reasons, or so I have told myself. However today is the day I start moving towards healing myself. This marriage is taking its toll on my physical and spiritual being. The doctor says I am severely dehydrated and on the verge of hospitalization. Who is this????

    Today is the day… of the rest of my life. I am not sure how but I know that my husband does everything in the 5 questions you asked. I cannot and will not live like this anymore. The manipulation ends today. The verbal abuse ends today. I will protect me and my children today! !!

    Please share your ideas on how to move out…how to take the steps. I have tried talking to him. He isn’t willing to change. …it’s time to move on.

  • Monique

    I agree with you on that., Nuria I knew my marriage was wrong from the beginning and instead I have stayed for 14 years now. Unhappy, unhealthy and lonely….he does what he wants when he wants disrespecting me and my children in our home as well as in front of others. I even planned my own suicide a few years ago. For me I will agree that o wish I would have gotten out a long time ago because the repercussions on the children are now being seen….my eldest son has the same disrespectful ways. So sad….

  • REal girl

    I am in a toxic relationship, I moved from New York to Cali after my mother passed away to be with this guy we went to high school together and I have a son. The next week I moved in with the guy I went thru his phone and seen that he was texting this girl he use to deal with saying that he missed her. From there I couldn’t trust him because I just moved my son and I all the way from my confront zone and you texting your ex. i felt betrayed. Its going on 5 yrs since Ive been down here and looking thru his phone time after time I always find things with different girl. his ex sending him her butt pictures and he’s in New York chilling with girls he use to deal with. I had to put up with this for 5 yrs and I do want to leave but I am scared of being on my own he doesn’t do anything for me but pay the rent and besides that no thing at all. I don’t feel like I am in a relationship at all I feel like I am a room mate and this year I think it is time for me to move on. I can’t put up with this anymore. Since being here I have gained some weight and I am so insure about myself and he doesn’t make it better. He doesn’t motivate me or anything. He doesn’t even play with my son he has never been to none of his basketball games he plays with my dog more than he plays with my son. I don’t regret coming down here because I learned to like it but I regret being with him for so long. This year I think I am going to really move I’m not going to have anymore car payments and I just need to start my life over and fresh.

  • nora

    Thank you so much for this article. After catching up with an old friend, I was so confused about why I felt so bad about myself. Unfortunately some people are so fixed about who you USED to be to the person who you are NOW even if it makes you better.

  • champagne

    I’ve been married for under a year but together for 3 years, my husband totally drains me emotionally. I find it difficult to describe. I’m not an angel, and swearing and bad language has never bothered me, however, my husband is constantly swearing about absolutely everything. At first I tried to just ignore it but it’s happening way to often. He doesn’t actually swear at me (he knows I’d have something to say about that) but he’ll wake up in the morning and the first words would be “for f**k sake” it puts me in a bad mood immediately. Then if he happens to drop me to work he’s swearing at everyone on the road and he uses the most disgusting language of all. He’s always nit picking as well, never happy with anything I do, always got to find a way of criticising it. As soon as he starts to behave like this I can feel the frown forming on my head despite telling myself not to allow his behaviour to bother me.
    The other day he told me that he feels useless, I know it’s because he isn’t bringing any money into the home at the moment, but I will support anything he does. He is starting up his business at the moment and it’s not making anything. Now it’s got to a point where I’m putting my money into his dream and he just doesn’t seem to have any drive. I would never throw any of this in his face because I do love him.
    He doesn’t like to listen if I try to speak to him about it and acts like there is nothing wrong.

  • mermaid

    interesting timing. I guess you could say i’ve been in a toxic relationship for a while. the first year was great, the second two, something changed in him. i’ve experienced many of the things above, but it’s confusing because he mingles it with messages of having my best intrest at heart, always being there for me, loving me more than anyone. and he is actually kind and helpful and encouraging at times. His mean/toxic streak though… much as I love him, it’s not something i can live with “till death do us part” so tomorrow, i’m breaking off our engagement. I’m trying really hard not to back out, because I know this is what I should do, even though it hurts.

  • Wondering

    My sister hits four out of five on this list. I finally told her today how I feel after living the past 15 plus years feeling this way about our relationship. When I told her my feelings she responded with indifference and lack of understanding, which is how I knew I was making the right decision. Even though she’s family (and we have a small one) I need to do what’s best for me and not keep letting her be a toxic part of my life. She’s family and it makes me feel guilty to not try anything and everything to have a good relationship with her, but I know I HAVE tried everything and it has gone nowhere and by this time I think the truth is on the wall: she will never change or desire to make our relationship a positive one.

  • eloisemay

    Holy cow, 3/5 completely hit the nail on the head. I’m tired of feeling like I can never do the right thing for this person, so I wonder what the point is at all. I’m in the process of trying to get out (thankfully it’s just a friendship that’s dragging me down), but it’s not going to be easy. I’m sure she’s going to continue to put up one heck of a fight. >_<

  • Jerid Robinett

    I was recently left and was told I was a toxic relationship. When we first were together, everything was great. We talked about everything. We could do anything together and be completely happy. We were inseparable and we loved every minute of it. She quit her job because of a boss she had severe conflicts with as well as fear for her nursing career being put out. After that, she began to spend her time with social media(i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, etc.). I started to feel a silence settle into our relationship. We talked less and less. She ended up getting a girlfriend around the same time, which I initially didn’t have any problem with. Her girlfriend and I did not get along very well. I would become agitated around her and snippy. I could feel something growing inside me, but I still ignored it. About six months later, I proposed to her. Just before Christmas and it was the happiest I had felt in a while. My gut told me that this was the beginning of the end. I ignored it, yet again. A couple months go by, with the continued bickering between my fiancee’s girlfriend and I, and they decide to go on vacation together. I was working, so I couldn’t take the time off to go with them and I had a terrible feeling that this trip would end our relationship. I put this on the back burner, but not out of mind. They returned and the bitterness her girlfriend had for me had intensified. I couldn’t ignore it and became increasingly agitated to the point where it started spreading to others, including my fiancee. I started into a severe state of depression and paranoia. My fiancee also started to distance herself from me. As time went on, she started going to her girlfriend’s more often and staying later, despite my asking for time with her as well. Things didn’t look good. Then I find out there was a convention coming up. My fiancee asked me if she could go. I told her we didn’t have the finances at this time, but I would love to take her to the next one. She tells me her girlfriend and the group of friends we shared were going to buy her ticket. Not wanting to be left out, I did some shuffling of money and found there was enough for me to go for one day. I asked if I could join them, but the excuses had started. I felt purposefully excluded and it hurt. My depression spiraled out of control even further and my actions toward my fiancee started to become dark. On one particular night, I got a little aggressive with her in bed. She turned me down for the intimacy I was seeking. I made a hugely inappropriate comment that snapped me to my senses. I needed help and fast. I asked her to be there for me while I got help and her response was cold. “So, go get help. I may or may not be here, but you need to get help? Go get it” I felt crushed. My thoughts consumed me and my depression was at it’s lowest point yet. She went to the convention with her girlfriend and her friends and while there I noticed she was no longer wearing her engagement ring. I tried to talk to her on several occasions during the convention to try and work things out, but to no good end. She officially left me exactly one year before our decided wedding date. I then became suicidal. I couldn’t be alone and so I turned to the only place I could, my family. I had been abandoned by my friends and mainly by my fiancee. I could see nothing but trying to get her back. The time I had to spend alone with my family gave me time to reflect on our relationship and the points at which things started to turn. I tried to get her to see them, but she didn’t want to hear or see them. Her girlfriend was the source of my pollution. I know that now. The venom she had started putting into our relationship was corrosive and volatile. I have begged an pleaded for my fiancee to at least listen to me, but she is wrapped into the web of her girlfriend and is being consumed by her. I know what I did was wrong. I shouldn’t have to plot and scheme to win my now ex’s attention. I have lost sight of who I truly was and I have a long journey ahead of me. I just wish I was not making that journey alone. I allowed others to corrupt me with their toxic relationships with me and it turned me into a toxic person. Don’t let this happen.

  • ilovesting

    Wow, very powerful words of expression. I’ve been trying to work on marriage for four years. Thousands of dollars on counseling, police called to our home. Staying in hope for change. I had a break down and a major anger outburst that scared me because I didn’t recognized this person lost and full of fear and expressing in anger. I pray to God he gives me the courage to leave and to protect my child from our toxic marriage. I pray I keep my eyes forward and don’t become vulnerable to look back or take him back. I just filed for divorce and doubt creeps in that I’m doing the wrong thing. Fear is so debilitating.

  • Changed

    I was the one making the relationship toxic… And I never realized it to be able to change it until he pointed it out to me when we broke up. I love him with all my heart, and never saw what I was doing to him. I have never been like this with anyone before…so it’s not repeated. How can I let him know that I’m sorry and that now that Ive realized these things Ive changed? I was the way I was because I was scared…I had never had a good relationship…and when I finally did I panicked and became all these things to avoid losing him

  • Lost

    I could really use some help. I’ve been married for 33 years to a man that is good but that I do not feel is good for me. We are like the last people that people would think are not connected and will die together. We are actually complete opposites. We were forced to get married when I was very young. He loves me and I have loved him but the marriage was not started the way a marriage should be. I am not a very confident person. I went from a very controlling mother to a nice but controlling spouse. He does love me and that is what makes it so hard. I will not say that I do not love him because I have 5 children from him and have never been with another man. My dating was very limited and I was very shy due to things in my youth and past. I did finish college while I was married and got work in my field right away. That was the first thing I felt really good about in my life. We both wanted children and I had them about every two years. I enjoyed that part of my life very much but have felt myself drifting away from being capable and self efficient for many years. The kids have been a real joy to both of us. We only went on a vacation with just the two of us twice in that 33 years. Everything was always centered around the kids. I said things throughout the years but he was never really receptive so I felt selfish for not wanting the kids with us. I eventually did not say anything anymore because it did not seem to be something he was interested in. We never really even went out much together either because it seemed to be more trouble and too costly to do so. That was money that we could put into the kids their education and our retirement. He is a very responsible future oriented man. He is very happy being at home with his wife and family and has no interest outside that. I on the other hand have always wanted to do and experience new thing and events. I have put it aside for years due to guilt of wanting to spend money wisely like him. I let myself believe that he made better choices than I did so I never pushed the issue. He has told me things through the years that make me feel like what I say is not very important and made me feel like I should not interrupt him while he was speaking. He notices anything out of place and not done and comments on in in a nice way but it still makes me feel like I am good at anything. He is like Mr. perfect that I can not keep up with. I’ve truly complemented him throughout our marriage. He talks mostly of basic facts and news and not into talking about feelings and deeper types of spiritual and cultural things. I have always tried to communicate with him on the things he likes, other than sports, but he has never really made the effort to do the same. Recently I had a complete break down. Some of the things I was feeling were over felt which sent me into paranoia. A lot of it was for good reason. I realized he had complete control of my life and I did not know how to do anything. I left the house and went to a summer house that we had recently bought. I was paralyzed, depressed and suicidal. His reaction was that I was having an affair, a brain tumor, brain strokes, midlife crises, or some kind of hormonal imbalance. He makes me feel like I’m crazy and ruining our family and future. He has my kids thinking the same thing. He even had me believing it. I was house arrested by my kids for psychiatric evaluation through his advice to them. I made it through the evaluation not crazy but acute stress. I’ve gotten a therapist and was feeling much better as I learn to do things I’ve never done before. I need to be independent and have confidence in myself. I have a hard time putting myself first with him making me feel guilty by being the one to tear our family apart. Most of our children are out of the house now. I am just now functioning and learning to be strong and have a little confidence. He has taken on the role of wanting to know and care about everyone’s interest now. He is being the lost person that loves me deeply and wants me back and will do anything. I feel like it is just a role he is playing to keep things the way he needs. I’ve been there for my kids all my life loving them and accepting them just a they are. They don’t understand that I am not trying to ruin everyone’s lives and future. I just feel that if I go back I will be lost forever. I’m weakening and hate hurting everyone.

  • Monica

    I feel trapped in a toxic relationship. I want out, but I also don’t want to give up. We’ve only been together six months, but it feels like six years, and not in a good way. When we have good days/weeks, they’re really good, but when they’re bad, they’re extremely bad. I feel like I’m at a fork in the road. Not to mention I moved from Southern California to Texas with him.

  • Frustrated

    I can relate to the article about toxic relationships. I divorced my husband recently because of dysfunctional issues. In retrospect now, I characterize my husband as having no backbone dare I say having no balls per se. He was a momma’s boy. In the beginning, I was thinking this is a good thing. My marriage lasted 5 yrs. In the beginning my thoughts were I have a good man. A man that listens to his mother, who is very thoughtful and caring as well to his mother. In turn my thought processes were he will treat me as well if not better. That wasnt the case. I was almost if not a no-regard. It’s so sad to say. Even though we are technically divorced (I divorced him) I received the court papers back in January 2014. We are still connected by minor ties and that would be of his doing. I’m trying not to have remorse about my decision timing-wise to divorce; however when I decided to divorce my husband wasn’t great timing. He had just separated from active duty with the Army a 3.5 yr contract. We both agreed to a no contest divorce since we were married less than 5 years and we didn’t own any property. We did swap cars. My car was paid poff. He took my car and 3 yrs ago he bought and financed a used Nissan Altima, so I took that car. It took some time to get the car title from him. Got that but he didn’t sign it. That’s an issue that needs to be resolved. I’m still paying for car insurance for him and his 19 yr old daughter. It’s been over a yr. My husband is not good with his word nowadays. He keeps telling me “you know i have a condition.” Apparently all the wrong he gets into, now he’ll have an excuse. Yeah! Right! That would be an enormous right flag. We’ll say we’ll meet up at so and so day and so and so time. It never happens. That would be the number one frustrations among the frustrations. Unlike my husband I have a conscious I could easily cut them off from the car ins, but I couldn’t do that to my beautiful sweet step daughter. I’m patient with my husband because he’s had a rough life. Early on in our marriage I realized he was depressed and or suicidal – fast forward that now with the PTSD my husband is experiencing. Unfortunately i know my fate. In my opinion ultimately it will be me who will loses in the end.

  • bakersdozen

    I’m 81, female……husband found a women to cheat with. I am devastated….she left town but will be back. Husband yells at me if I bring up situation…….He is 6 yrs younger than me and women friend is 66. I’ve been married 32 years…..I contributed to my marriage with work and money, over the years. I don’t know, at this point what to do. If we get divorced, I will live with the idea that this women is living off my years of working and saving and making correct financial decisions. Help!

  • Nida

    You are telling the story of my life

  • Alez

    Yeah, so much for a person staying to try everything so they can leave with a clear head… My mother had tried that with my step dad, and it did not end well. Maybe what’s more toxic is suggesting that you can “save” someone from their own toxic behaviour by staying with them and trying to work it out. Sorry, but sometimes only a couple of years is more than enough to realize that a relationship is bad for you, and for all involved (children or no children). Staying in an unhealthy/toxic relationship is NEVER a good option.

  • Alez

    I’m so sorry to hear this… This is no way to live.
    I hope at some point, you’re able to find refuge from this. And I’m not the type to pray, but I hope I don’t have the same fate and that I’m smart enough to prevent this.

  • shana squier

    I love this site. The toxic relationship article was so helpful to me. I have been leaving toxic romantic relationships since I was 18. I am now 32 and I have come to a place where I am happier alone than in a toxic relationship. For example, this person and I spoke about future plans, yet as time went on there was always an excuse on his side why we couldn’t. I knew in my gut he was telling me lies, even white lies are toxic, especially when they were piled on top of each other day by day, causing heartbreak and feelings of betrayal and mistrust. I no longer trusted him, and I didn’t trust myself with him. He and I had such passion and were best friends, had similar life experiences, however, he was significantly older than me and at times I felt belittled and treated like a child. I was not HEARD. I loved this man deeply and it was such a hard decision for me to leave the relationship, but deep down my intuition told me I was making the right decision for me. Aloha, shana

  • princelcd

    I made the mistake of getting involved with a man who already had a girlfriend. It lasted about six months, and I finally ended it by changing my phone number. I regret disregarding my inner voice telling me to avoid this man when I first met him. He was a co-worker. He laid it on thick and convinced me he wanted to be with me but couldn’t afford to leave her, etc…excuses…Over the months I was involved with him, he revealed himself to be a promise-breaker, liar, controlling, and emotionally abusive. We never dated. He would use his girlfriend’s car to visit me for sex. He left two jobs in the time I knew him. Just generally no-good. My adult children despised him. He had no intention of leaving his girlfriend (fiancee, actually) and I finally had had enough and changed my phone number. About this, I have no regrets. Last I heard, he is still engaged to the woman he has been with for four years. If she is as bad as he said she was, they deserve each other. I finally woke up to reality and I would never ever allow something like this to happen again.

  • sebastiandunbar

    I too have had my share of toxic relationships, but the current one I’m in (married) is turning out just like the last toxic one. I fear I somehow attract these types of women into my life, I don;t really know what it is, but I know it’s there. Aside from that, I dearly love my wife, but have come to the realization that one day it’s going to end, and be just like the last one. Clearly things have changed, she’s not only turning toxic, she wallows in it and I think she thrives off her mood. Anyway, I am doing what I can, but the article somehow missed the point of what a toxic relationship is.

  • kavin paker

    Have faith in yourself. I think you will be surprised by how much you will do, all in good time!

  • joey

    this concept saved me from bad relationships where I would blame myself even when I was right, I saw the light and I am free

  • Jack Meoof

    slip out the back jack, make a new plan stan, you do not have to be coy roy just get yourself free, and time will heal the wounds. it is the only way my bro be strong





  • Rose

    I’ve recently cut all ties with the guy I was in a toxic relationship with, I never felt like I could truly be myself around him – his tendency to condescend my every word didn’t help either. I was beginning to travel down a very dark path that I feared I would not be able to get out of. Walking away was honestly the best thing I’ve ever done.

  • trami nguyen

    I been in a 11 yrs relationship, left this guy once for a 1 yrs, but he kept coming around so I decided to give him a chance since we had 2 children together and at the time the youngest was only 12 month old. I feel like a single mom of 3 kids and inherit another child. I am at the point of just running away, feeling very drain, feel like I repeat my self more then I should. I have 3 kids, 2 with him. I work full time, I cook, I clean and I paid for everything, but I think my most frustration was not about him make money to help out, but that he makes me do everything, a stay home mom/ a working mom. So when he moved back in with me, he also decided to have his younger brother moved in too, never once ask me if that was ok. After 1 and a half year later, I feel so drained from cleaning and picking after him and his brother every morning and every evening, knowing that I work all day and at the same time I have to pick the kids home from school/cook while cleaning they just come home eat and go on their ways leaving me the mess. I been sleeping on the couch for 8 yrs since we been together for 11 yrs. He never want to go anywhere with me, but expect me to go everywhere with him and his family. I want to end it so many time but I fee so bad for him, he has no where to live. and i really dont want my children father to be a homeless guy living in the street. At this point I am so exhausted. His father call me a home wrecker when I first left his son. I feel that they had taken advantage of my kind heart. For 10 yrs I have always been the one that welcome his family into my home, cook for all of them and throw special events by myself for all of them. Not once had anyone of them did anything for me, not even a birthday wish. His family wanted me to get marry but I have to paid for the wedding… I can’t seem to get them to understand cause no matter what I say or do, I am just a stupid girl. and that I am lucky to have their brother/son. I hate to repeat myself cause it seem that I am just nagging or complaining all the time. So I gave up on talking. I just work all day, care for the baby, keep the house clean, and keep my mouth shut until I can find a way out. Life can get so depressing cause I feel that he is playing this innocent card. I am not a negative person but feel like he is making me so negative. I am very kind but he make me feel like I am this evil person. Being an Asian we are all about family, but since I dont have a family beside my children, the resentment of helping him and his family without question just so they can step on me have throw me over the edge!

  • A Man

    I do not think you will read this but, you really helped me ease the pain of ending 2 years of an ultra toxic relationship. Thank you.

  • carrie steve

    i want to give thanks to the great doctor kizzekpe who help me in getting back my ex-boyfriend i saw a testimony post by miss rose from Spain about how the great doctor kizzekpe had helped her, i decide to email him and to my greatest surprise my ex-boyfriend came back to me after 68hours days of contacting him.i simply want to say thanks for what he had done for me and am so happy may he live long. if you have any problem just email him and you will not regret contacting him…CARRIE STEVE

  • Mirah

    I am a 58 yr old with two adult children. My husband has exhibited all of the pointers for toxic relationship. It is sad that I stayed over 30 yrs in this relationship which has been that way from almost immediately. I thank the lord that I have two beautiful sons, but my husband is totally influencing them toward his way of thinking: the wife is in charge of the house and the children and the husband can do whatever he feels like doing.
    He blames me for everything that is wrong with our relationship. I know it takes two but am I to be blamed for everthing wrong? Does not sound right. There is so much I can say but I am physically, mentally and emotionally tired. i have taken the first step in leaving everything and moving forward. I know I will be depressed soon but I am trying had to occupy myself so as not to think to much.

  • JGracen

    I’ve been in a similar situation but less violent, from what it sounds. My wife was having an affair and when it came out in the open, not only did she not apologize, she blamed me! I sued for custody, won most of what I asked for and now have my life back! Don’t let shitty people rob you of who you are and don’t let ignorant philosophies of “Marriage is til death” destroy the person you are inside. My life is SO much better now that I’m divorced and she is still toxic, still pissed off whenever I see her and crying half the time! HER life is a mess, mine is not and my kids (and my dog amazingly enough) are much happier now!!!!

  • JGracen

    AMEN TO THAT! I got out while I could and firmly believe my children (and me) are better off as the result!

  • JGracen

    This sounds all too familiar! I think I’ve been on the same train, perhaps in the seat adjacent to you.

  • Anon

    Hello everyone!
    Even though I am not married, I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for two years now and it is tiring. I really feel like he sucks the energy out of me and tries to leave me with no happiness at all. Whenever I’m out with the girls and I’m having a good time, he calls me up and tries to find anything to fight with me about. He can never tell me to “just have fun” or have a good time because he gets upset when I have too much fun and he’s not there. I know he is toxic for me and the relationship has taken me nowhere but downhill but it’s hard to leave someone you’ve been with for two years. He keeps saying he’s going to change but he never does. I feel worthless all the time because of him and he takes more interests in what other girls have to say than what I have to say. What do I do? How can I find the strength to leave him?

  • nessa

    Hi, I’m new to this discussion and need to vent and get advise about my current toxic relationship. I’ve been in this unhealthy relationship for almost 6 years now and each year he has cheated on me with someone new. I have taken him back each time, which I know is my own fault in itself, I just thought that I believed in change. Given this, trust has and probably will always be an issue. Well most recently, he has been going through MY phone and questioning MY whereabouts and just giving me a hard time in general about the little things. Well, he went through my phone last night and saw that one of my male coworkers asked to go to lunch and I agreed, mind you this coworker is friends with everyone here in my office and we all get along well. This coworker hasn’t shown me any romantic feelings and nor have I to him. I guess deep down I knew that my bf would get jealous if he knew so I didn’t tell him, and I would in turn get upset if he were to go to lunch with another female employee, I still believed that this was innocent. After this, he basically wants me gone.. out of his life and wants nothing to do with me. I’m lost, confused, and I’m finding myself feeling guilt and wanting forgiveness. He has always been verbally abusive and disrespectful and I can never talk back or express my true feelings in fear of havoc arising. He has a way that he manipulates our problems into making them my problems and that I’m the one who has caused this relationship to fail. He rants at me and says the most hurtful things to me and I just sit there and take it like a little girl getting scolded by her father. I’m always apologizing for everything and feel that I can never do anything right. He really has made me believe that it’s me, and that I will never find someone as great as him. I know deep down that he is no good for me, and I’ve known this since our first 6 months together. But now we share a son and I’m scared to leave due to the downfalls that will happen on my end while he lives life with no worries. If I leave he will become a bachelor again, he will live life everyday with no worries while I have to be a mom, a student and a breadwinner for my son and I. I know he is a great dad and wont abandon him, but since he thinks that this is all my fault he will make me reap the consequences and ill get the short end of the stick. I don’t know what to do? I’m lost, confused, and scared. 🙁

  • Margaret

    I know this is quite an old post, but I would like to express my concern as well and ask of any opinions and advice. I have truly loved reading each post,it is truly quite inspiring. My boyfriend and love of my life (dated a highchool boyfriend, then a few more during college I liked) but nothing like the love I have for this man. Or boy. Hes 24 (im 23) and just healing from an opiate addiction of a two years. I have stayed and sent him to rehab/help twice (and he has succeeded now bc he chose for himself to be clean) but we plan to one day marry and have a family, as we both feel we have been already through so much together and we are both best of friends as well as lovers. He is on medication and moved across the country after graduation to the beautiful Wyoming and where he lives with good friends and influences. However, he says I complain about wanting him to call me more, and that I “freak out” with my worries of our LD relationship derailing. I worry that he thinks I am a burden, but I also know he loves me, it might be just me overreacting which is why I look for guidance. My plan is to move to Colorado and be with friends in Denver, I have applied for a couple jobs but my plans are up in the air trying to figure out what I want to do and go after college graduation Aug 9. He wishes to move back home (where I live) to work and I still plan on moving for myself and leaving when I am ready (or never leaving). Sometimes I wish I was stronger and could not love him anymore because I feel sometimes taken for granted and am worried about my neediness although he is doing the best he can (for living with 5 guys and trying to keep an LDR up). I know its me, not him but I dont know if I can stand to lose this person. Am I overreacting?

  • “Pick a Name”

    I have found myself in a toxic relationship as well, a friendship of 10 years within a Christian church. It began in high school, four years later we went to college together, and in college we discovered we were totally different people. That’s when the judging began. I sank, believing the comments and it ate me alive. I developed an eating disorder and was hospitalized with mental problems leading to anti-depressants… purely from the weight of not knowing how to handle the situation. Mutual friends over the years have been warning me about the health of the frienships and ths obvious tolls it had taken on me. Many suggested I leave the frienship earlier, but that felt wrong at the time – “unchristian.” Over the past five years the situation became more and more grim… until recently where i asked to end the friendship on the grounds of not being the same people we once were and not having anything in common. The issue has blown up and been manipualted into me being the bad guy, putting family against family… I finally feel good, like my skin fits me again. She has posted several terrible posts on social media calling me out, and while that hurts, it’s stll much better being free of the chains. I am recently engaged, and my fiance has been the most wonderful support system. If a relationship doesn’t feel right, get out!

  • Gary

    I just got out of a five year relationship that became very toxic. From the beginning I knew that we wheren’t right for each other. There was so much physical attraction and chemistry that we couldn’t stay apart. She was drop dead gorgeous from head to toe. She didn’t even own or need to own make up. I tried ending it before it even became serious. It was like the more I didn’t want to commit the more she want to. After a year I realized that I developed some pretty strong feeling and finally gave in and made a commitment. I take commitment very serious and won’t commit unless I’m ready to be completely faithful.

    She constantly lied and acted shady. She always said she was sorry and was going to change. Well I waited five years for her to change and it never happened. I caught her talking to other men behind my back and of coarse they where all “just friends”. She promised me the world and told me I was the answer to her prayers. She said she could never live without me or replace me, she actually still says that to this day. I never cheated on her or lied. I never did anything to hurt her. I always treated her with respect and honor. She did so much to hurt me and make me feel so insecure. I spent so much time resenting her and being bitter. That put a hamper on our relationship and caused me to not feel comfortable with her.

    Right before our five year anniversary of being in a committed relationship I found out she cheated for a fact. I knew something wasn’t right for a while but just couldn’t accept it. It was to emotionally devastating to accept reality. I tried so desperately to believe her lies, even when they made absolutely no sense. I could never understand why people say, “love is blind”. Now I fully understand the meaning. I also learned what “gaslighting” is, it’s a form of emotional abuse. Its when someone lies or cheats and when you confront them they tell you your just crazy, paranoid or insecure. I actually started believing that I might really be just paranoid and insecure. That caused even more emotional pain and confusion. I spent so much time trying to figure out what really happened or was still happening.

    It was an emotional roller coaster. I always tried holding on and thinking that relationships take hard work. I always though that eventually she would change and stop lieing. I never knew what a sociopath was until I did some research about a year ago. I learned that she exhibits many characteristics of a sociopath. It seems like my feelings never mattered to her even the tiniest bit. She never showed any compassion when I was upset and almost never apologized for anything. I think any time she did apologize it was just to shut me up.

    I went from being so happy and ambitious to depressed and lost all my motivation . I had developed really bad anxiety in the last year and got thin from not eating enough. I finally realized I had completely lost who I was. I was miserable and wanted my life and happiness back.

    I finally ended it with her about a month ago and at first I felt completely devastated. That lasted for about a week and then I just starting to feel better. I was surprised because I expect to be completely miserable for months. I finally feel like myself again and am so happy that I was able to end it. I haven’t felt so good in years. At this point I’m always happy, carefree and laughing.

    I realized that holding onto negativity from the past will do nothing but destroy your happiness in the future. I completely let go of all the emotional trama, resentment and disappointment. I decided that I was going to learn from my mistakes and become wiser and stronger because of them. I actually forgave her too and that made me feel so much better too. I just hold onto the good memories. I would never get back with her but I wish her the best. I hope that she learned from hurting and losing me and won’t hurt someone else in the future.

  • Gary

    If you’ve realized that your relationship is toxic and it’s not just normal relationship issues you need to end it ASAP. The longer you stay with them the more time you waste being miserable. Also the longer your with them the harder it is to end it with them. Me and my ex where extremely attached and scared to let go. I was actually terrified to let go and thought I might be making a huge mistake. Trust me and go with your gut feelings and intuition. If you feel like something is wrong it probably is, that isn’t always accurate obviously. The way I look at is if your reading what I’ve wrote you should probably be ending your relationship. Why stay with someone that doesn’t make you happy?

    I also feel like if something was really meant to be you will probably end up working out your problems and getting back together. If you know that letting go is the thing to do don’t be hesitate or be scared. At first it’s going to feel like your whole world is falling apart but that will all pass. Before you know it you will be looking back and wishing you did it sooner.
    Life is just way to short and precious to waste with the wrong people.

  • Greavesie

    This rings so true! I woke up on Monday morning and wasn’t prepared to face another day of being sapped of energy by my girlfriend. We have known each other since we were teenagers and have been great friends, eventually turning this into a relationship in 2012. Her daily “woe is me” attitude had physically and mentally worn me to the ground. We had a temporary break up (3 weeks) earlier in the year during which time I addressed my issues and was diagnosed with depression. This had been longstanding and the relationship wasn’t helping but I went back as I felt I was letting her and her kids down. Everything seemed to be back on track and I thought the bad times had now passed but it became increasingly clear to me that despite trying to talk through problems as soon as they surfaced her victim mentality would rear it’s ugly head yet again and we would get nowhere. Her constant “I’m scared you’re going to get fed up of me” and “I know you can do better” got too much and I took off the rose tinted specs and decided I couldn’t carry on anymore. I love her to pieces and always will but know we can’t have a relationship anymore, my life totally revolved around her, her kids, friends and family whilst hardly seeing my own friends and family. I didn’t know who I was anymore but now it’s time for me to think about me for the first time in 2 years.

  • Vania Louis

    Now, I just realized set back and thought about everything that I just read and this article.. And Iam experiencing every last one of of these signs.. Yes I am in a toxic relationship and I need to get out of it.. Its what best for the both of us. So I can have room to grow. He’s about 7 yes older than me. Yea, I think it is time for this relationship to come to an end… I have to do what is best for me. I mean I love him but, I love my self more…

  • Fulano DeTal

    Hi there! Very helpful article, but please I need an advise… ANYONE. Please, I’m desperate!
    I’ve been in a toxic relationship for about 4 years. The major issue is that NOW when things are worse than EVER, we have a 1-month old daughter.
    I’m afraid of telling her NOW that I want out, because of blackmailing or retaliation on her part. Even if I give her an amount of money for my kid every so often, (which I’m doing and gladly continue to do) she might put child support on me. She might even restrict my visits or even prohibit me to get close to her. We are not married. She is a US citizen and I’m not. She’s a business owner and my earnigs are WAY less than hers. What can I do? Since my baby is barely 1-month old, is it too soon to end the relationship? My intuition tells me: “RUN, she’s such a negative person and is draining your energy!!!!” My mind says: “Give it a try and roll with the punches, tolerate her passive-aggressiveness and negativity in the name of being close to your daughter”. I don’t know what to do now. We live in separate apartments, so it’s already hard to see my daughter on a daily basis but I try to visit at least 4 times a week. I know I sound like I’m all over the place, but really: I’M DESPERATE!
    Any kind of feedback will be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • Broken

    Hi, my ex and i have been speaking since our break up nearly almost 3 years ago. There are periods when he has been distant or we have stopped talking. i have always found that everything was about him. Even when we used to date, he would want me to say or do certain things and then get sulky if I didn’t. He would also put me down, say i was not interesting enough, chewed my food or rubbed my nose funny. If I was meeting a friend and turned up a few mins late he would get angry and sulk. If i didn’t tell him where i was he would get angry and sulk. i new the relationship was not right for me so I tried breaking up with him several times and then he would say he really liked me and wanted things to work. So we would try again. Then a week later he decided to call it off because again he didn’t find me interesting! I am sure that I also did stuff to make the situation worse. Anyway we stopped talking for a while and then we got in touch. He wanted a ticket of mine for a gig and kept messing me about, in the end I sold it to someone else. He was really upset and said that he wanted because he met a girl and wanted to go with her. As if my ticket was the only one in the world. Anyway after this I stopped talking to him, if I saw him out he would always hover around trying to get my attention. Trying to talk to my friends. Then finally he moved to another state. He got in touch and I thought he couldnt really effect from another country but in fact it stopped me from moving forward. This went on for 5 months, i told him i couldnt speak to him anymore. Then he returned to the same state and we got chatting, (Yeah I know I am stupid) he made a real effort to be nice and kind to me. He was going away for work so said that I really dont want to mess you about and feel i should tell you honestly. So I thought wow maybe he really has changed. He moved and then continuously contacted me. Told me he was thinking about me, flirting, sending in appropriate messages. I kept saying that i dont think its a good idea as you live in another country. This went on for 7 months and then he said he liked me but agreed we should just keep it friendly. He still contacted me asked me personal questions etc but not as often. I let him initiate all conversations. We had a fight where I said somethings that he didn’t like about him not taking responsibility for his own work choices. Then a week later he asked me how I was and when I said that I was thinking about the loss of a recent loved one while on holiday, but having a good time meeting people. He started asking if I had any romances, I avoided the question because it was inappropriate thing to say. He said he has been seeing someone really lovely and he would like to meet her. All after just 2 months I decided that only I can take responsibility for my actions and the toxic people I let into my life. I have decided to cut this person out of my life, when you breakup with someone you fail to see there flaws and live in hope that one day things will be different. You convince yourself with this crazy hope that only if you change what you say or how you behave will they treat you the way that you want. Well if someone really cares for you, they would not intentionally wish you harm, they would not say or do things to hurt you. Its a hard lesson to learn and move on from and rebuild trust. I am going to take one day at a time.

  • cs

    The kids will stay with you or with your him? SInce you will live in different places, probably one house, the one they are now in has to be their home. You can’t just take them from one place to another. I have kids too and there are lots of problems that need both parents to solve. That’s my bigest problem. What will you do?

  • cs

    the toxic persons needs the relationship and takes possesion of you. the toxic person also rejects all of your friends, interests etc so you can belong to him. you are not toxic – just not interested. the toxic person will want to keep you as possesion and not caring about what you feel.

  • cs

    he does not care about you. that’s not toxic. just leave him alone, don’t make plans for him as you stated – if you insist on him doing something he does not want, you are being toxic to him. you are trying to control what he feels – he does not what to grow up, his career is his own business and so onn… you are calling him a loser – there is also a problem with you.

  • Mary A.

    I simply want out! We’ve been married for 20 years, and I’m only getting more depressed as time goes on. It’s his drinking habit, he abuses alcohol and he also suffers from nightmares from being in the war. It becoming more than what I willing to deal with. He can be so kind and giving one minute, and then flip the script to become very rude and disrespectful. I deserve respect, I consider myself to be kind, generous and honest. I want and deserve happiness in my life. Life is short, enjoy it to the fullest!

  • j.

    I am afraid of the repercussions. I am afraid I have already lost myself and what the retaliation will be.. I want to be able to talk but every time I try or think differently I am told what a terrible person I am and how its just all about me. I feel stupid because I do love her but I like to discuss things instead it is always a fight and I always just give in because I don’t want to be told how awful she thinks I am. Idk what to do anymore. .

  • Karen

    I’m 23 and I’ve been dating my boyfriend for just over three years and we’ve been living together for one year. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression throughout our relationship and took matters into my own hands a couple years ago and went to a therapist which really helped me. My main trigger is other woman who are open sexually and flirt with my boyfriend. My boyfriend took a job as a security guard about 5 months ago and it was really tough for me the bar is known for sleezy patrons and I was upset the thought of him being hid on by drunk woman. This brought back a lot of anxiety for me and has caused many fights. Another issue is he has had this long time female friend who is bisexual who I found out in the past they were exchanging nude pictures and sexual messages but I was told it was all jokes they don’t see each other that way. So my question is, what should I do this situation am I being unrealistic to not wanting him to work there? Its really put a strain on our relationship. Any constructive feedback is appreciated.


  • Concerned Guy

    From a personal standpoint, as an employed guy in his mid-20s, I have been in a wonderful relationship for 2 years now, and have surrounded myself with other friends/acquaintances who also care about their relationships as well.

    However, like most other Millennials, I still must live at home for ~1 more year to save up for an apartment/condo of my own. Being at home, I have had to endure the sight and sound of a toxic relationship between my parents – where it’s my father who has become an absolute drain on my mother. To elaborate on the connection to the 5 symptoms:

    SYMPTOM #1: When my father wants something done his way, he will, “calmly but pointedly” tell my mother (in 50 different ways) his thoughts on the matter. As readers can likely predict, when she answers in the negative, he overreacts by throwing a verbal tantrum. What follows are insults, put-downs, and other like venom. Then, it’s “silent treatment mode” until the desired resolution is achieved.

    SYMPTOM #2: Not so much. My father will not battle for the last word, but he will make it all about how my mother does not care, does not follow the Ten Commandments/Golden Rule, is a horrible person, etc., etc.. Again, you just cannot win against such an unceasing torrent of criticism – especially when your spouse almost always assigns the most evil of motives to you.

    SYMPTOM #3: When my father’s in his rut, there’s no enjoying anything, as the house becomes about as much fun as the DMZ dividing the Koreas in two. At meal-time, no one says a word, as everyone knows about the latest ‘spat’ between Mom and Dad. More so, everyone knows that it’s Dad who is giving Mom the cold shoulder. Seriously – you cannot appreciate just how looong those meals seem.

    SYMPTOM #4: This symptom is the most prevalent between my parents. While she does have to vent every so often, my Mom absolutely cannot reveal her true opinions without a shouting match/post-game silent treatment ensuing. So, she had adopted the ‘false face,’ and actually takes joy when he is not present – mainly so she can vent to me (or, on the rarest of occasions, to my sisters).

    SYMPTOM #5: Not so much, and actually quite the opposite. While Dad did allow Mom to go back to work, he mandated that the domestic life not be adversely affected (i.e. keep the house clean, watch over the kids, spend time with him, etc.). Well, when he (wrongly) suspects that mandate is breached – well, think of what Mt. Vesuvius did to the city of Pompeii. Get the picture? Furthermore, when she contests his accusations, he uses social psychological catch-phrases from the 1960s-1970s (i.e. “I CANNOT BE YOUR FATHER!!”). In effect, Mom is allowed to grow, but her actions paint her as a child in his mind. How can you progress when your spouse views himself as your father?

    As a sidenote, I have witnessed the above-dynamic has been present for at least 15 years – while my mother claims he’s been that way for much, much longer. It has grown to the point where all of Mom’s family and friends have privately expressed disbelief over his way of handling things. On his side, all select family members can do is privately counsel how best to approach to him, and to be patient. Yet, in front of both his and Mom’s side of the family, he is the perfect gentleman – mild-mannered, polite, soft-spoken, humorous, etc.. No one ever gets a feel for just how toxic of an environment he creates at home.

  • Dana

    My boyfriend lies about everything. He uses me and takes advantage of me. I question him nc I don’t trust him he has a pill problem. I do everything for this man I love. When I fell in love with him it was for his sweet heart his kindness his words. It took me 16 years to give anyone my heart.he knows all flaws. He doesn’t show affection at all. He says he loves me but does he truley love me. He works in work and I pay for everything. The bils he’s suppspe to pay he can’t even pay on time. All bills inmy name. He never does anything nice for me. We never have money for food or fun. Never go out. Does he even want to be with me or love me… I’m a emotional mess most of the time. On blamed for everything nc I get stressed over bills he always says I rack his nerves. What about my feelings they dont matter he just calls me crazy and I need to goto Dr for help. Am I being used. Does he love me. Help please

  • Redd

    Hello everyone I real didn’t know what a toxic relationship was tell read the story of this man. Iam in one toxic relationship. .. I feel stupid right now because I’ve been in physical abuse relationship before. And I feel now Iam in a relationship that the same. We where friends and where fine then just being friends. And my mom and his mom push us togather. Now I feel I can’t do anything thing right. Been reading this story now I know what I have to do end my relationship with my best friend. … We can ne friends but not lovers.

  • Sara Fields

    You don’t even want to know. It’s bad

  • Deathbylife

    I am in an abusive relationship and I can’t get out because it feels too much like home

  • Robin

    I couldn’t possibly tell the whole story here. Is my boss. Very successful financially but very unhappy. I’m accommodating, always wanting to please, and afraid to show who I really am because he always pts down people who are a lot like me. Due to a recent medical condition he has slipped into severe anxiety and depression with panic attacks leaving me to be his therapist. This article has validate my thoughts that I am not happy in my current situation and it is harming me. I find myself lying to him so I don’t hurt his feelings and send him deeper into his depression.
    Anyway, I think the real point here is; we have to stop trying to validate what our inner being is telling us and just listen to it and change the situation.

  • C

    Hello… Im C, i just happen to read this article and it fits to my case perfectly.
    Im 28 and having a possibility of toxic relationship with my mother. We used to be a very close mom-daughter as we share same hobby and interest. She has been a very close friend of mine. Up until about 1.5 years ago, i have a relationship with a great man. When i share the happy news with her, at first she was ok. Until my cousin giving a negative comment about my boyfriend. She started to be very rude, to me and even to my boyfriend she never met.
    She forced me to give up my relationship with hate emails, suicide threat, physical and verbal abuse to me.
    I hate what she did to me however i always believe that a mother always want the best for her daughter. I always believe she would change.
    So i had backstreet relationship with my boyfriend for 1.5 years while waiting for good time to finally talk to her. I have spoken to all of my family member and they are all supportive.
    However, bad luck.. she found out the relationship and she lashes out her anger in any crazy ways. Because she has hypertension, we are all afraid of her getting stroke. So my dad forced me to give up my relationship for the sake of her and the completeness of the family.
    I think this is not right, not fair, and bottom line, selfish.
    I have given up my relationship with my boyfriend however she still not being the old friend of mine. She belittle me for my decision to have my relationship with my boyfriend, she commented negatively about my work, my new hobby diving (that she consider dangerous), my looks and basically everything about me that is not agreeable by her.
    I don’t know how to improve my relationship with her without losing myself.
    I love her so very much… And i always believe she does too…
    If you guys happen to have some advices. Please reply me…

    Thanks & have a great day folks !

  • CFM

    I’m sure I have at least 4 out of the 5 of those signs. I have a daughter with this person. They’re always critiquing my hair, makeup, clothing how I spend money, the way I do laundry, pretty much everything. I found this article through tears and desperation. I’m at the point now where I second guess myself. Maybe I’m the one that needs to change for surely I can’t be wrong 100% of the time. Yet the same things I’m being criticized about I’m constantly being asked to do. My gut keeps repeating over and over ‘get out’ but I’m still here and don’t know what to do. What should I do? It’s not that easy to leave

  • Tiffany

    This article totally just said it all. I’ve been in a toxic relationship for 9 yrs and today I finally see that I’m not crazy. Thank u for this article….. I need myself back…. I know what needs to me done

  • Jay Suffering

    Until I read this article, I was struggling with staying in my situation even though I knew mentally and physically, this relationship was killing me. I literally dreaded answering the phone of my wife before work, during, and after as she called me over the phone to voice her displeasure about me and put me down. Our bedroom became a place where every night, she ambushed me… almost like laying in wait for me to come in the room and attack. I felt like an abused child. I didn’t want to go in my room. I didn’t want to be in my house. When I escaped, the mental abuse I suffered going back, only weighed me down even more, till I couldn’t go on.
    This relationship is toxic in every sense of the word. My body is in constant pain, my blood pressure is up, and my heart is racing all day long. I thank you for this article. It has given me the courage to do what I know I need to in order to be ok.

  • Bobbi

    hello my name is Bobbi I am definitely in a toxic relationship I have been with the same man For 8 yearseverything that I read in the article of if you know that you are in a toxic relationship or not all five of them was like I wrote it myself I feel stuck I have no one to turn to adjust to be and I’m not saying that for anyone to feel sorry for me that is my truth this man has beat me down to where I don’t even feel like myself anymore my friends don’t even know who I am anymore my best friend of 26 years 2 days ago just told me I don’t even know who you are anymore and when I read that your article about that it blew my mind I am stuck I want out and I don’t know how to get out if anyone has any ideas or anything suggestions or whatnot could you please respond thank you very much and I really enjoyed the article it helped a lot sincerelyI need out

  • Anonymous

    i don’t knoe what to do can someone give me some insight because i have to sit up here and do anything and everything this person likes but when it comes to a simple activity i like its a fucking problem im ready to explode… im a very active person i like outdoors and to have fun im not readying to stay in the house all bored im filled with alot of energy and i like to use it for good when i get bored i tend to get into alot of trouble… i really need this marriage too work but i dont what to feel like a hostage in my marriage i want us to embrace the love and be free as one like i love him dearly but i dont knoe how much more im able to keep letting this happen!!!!
    Can anyone relate to this problem if so please comment some words of wisdom please no negativity!!! 🙂

  • Deb

    Hi, I am reading this article as once again my thoughts return to leaving my partner of 10 years and father of my 6 year old. You see we have had a pretty rocky relationship the whole way through, but have really stuck it out for our child and worked hard at it. Time and time again the cycle repeats itself….we hit crisis point, things change temporarily and for a time we are blissfully happy again, and so the cycle repeats. We have tried relationship therapy and all sorts. It is hard to describe how exhausting this whole cycle is. We don’t fight in front of our child, infact we don’t really fight at all. It is just feeling that evolves between us steamed various on going issues. I can’t really bring it up with him, because he reacts aggressively and it is easier to suck it up and keep the feelings to myself. He is 10 years older than me and we don’t have a lot in common, intact we are complete opposites. I see many good qualities in him, but deep down have always felt he wasn’t quite the right person for me. But when a child’s involved you give it your best shot don’t you? Anyway, reading your article I identified with all of it, but what I was shocked to see was that I identified my self as being the toxic one for some of the statements. It isn’t a nice feeling and I guess years of always compromising on what I want out of life have turned me into somewhat of a toxic person. I invite all insights please…..I am not sure what to do.


    I’ve only been married for two years but I had a feeling from the beginning I was in a toxic relationship. As time go by it gets worst. I cannot get over when he attack me two years ago after we were only married 2mts. Ever time we separate I end up feel sorry for him, being out in the streets or he makes me feel like this. I let him come back HM, drop the protection order and before long back to the Sam old ways. I feel he is holding me back from doing so much with my life. He brings so much negative energy with him. I go from happy to sad in minutes when I’m with him. Sometimes even aggravated, angry, just want him gone. There are time I feel I need him but know I can survive on my own.

  • Jane

    Wow … I so agree with this post. 2.5 years I was in. My guy did everything for me. Everyone thought he is such a good guy … Then I got made redundant. I lost my confidence my self esteem my identity. I recognise myself from the independent woman I was earlier. I asked my partner to help me. He did everything. What people didn’t see was what he didn’t do. Yes he made the right noises but things somehow never happened and I remained on my ass findIng solice in a bottle of wine vodka you name it I drank it. i looked at him one day and questioned … Why is it you do everything except what I really need your help with??? I concluded he liked me there. I concluded that he wanted me to run out of money, so couldn’t afford my apartment and that I would have to be dependant on him…. Well he has denied this. I feel quite mad to be honest but there really isn’t any other explanation on why you would take a vibrant funny outgoing lady and watch her reduce to a dithering wreck, to frightened to go out, ashamed and a drunk …

    When this dawning came for me, I left his house, went back to my unfinished apartment and started again. I got help with the alcohol (not touched a drop in 6 months), have 2 new jobs starting in the new year and I am finally smiling again … But like you said in your post… Everything was subtle, he was nice and ready to do anything for me. I didn’t see that slowly I was losing control and he was taking it. I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong. Until that day. It was like a light came on

  • *B*

    How did I get here, you know? That’s what I ask myself all the time anymore. I’m a kind-hearted caring person, and I feel like I have been taken advantage of. I’m also an independent, strong-willed woman, yet I let myself get here. What’s wrong with me? I can tell others to just walk away and move on, but why can’t I take my own advice? Why is this so difficult? I know the answer, I know what I’m supposed to do. If I want anything left of myself I have to let him go. Am I willing to throw myself away just because I love him? I know the out come if I stay, yet, why do I feel guilt?? I know all about guilt trips… I am my mother’s daughter after all, so why have I given into him so much?? I don’t do that. I don’t make mistakes like this… yet, here I am. My damn pride. I know what it feels like to be alone, I am not afraid of it, but that doesn’t mean I like it, and boy, I have not felt this alone since my father died. He would be heartbroken if he knew my situation. He just wanted the best for me… I feel like I’ve let him down. I feel ashamed. I have given so much to this person… I’m starting to lose myself. I can’t figure out how long I have had this front of us being such a happy couple going on. I keep telling myself that I just need to try harder… it’s only a rough patch… but then the other part of me says that if he can’t treat me right in the bad times, what makes you think that he will when times are good again? It all comes back to the question I ask myself… if I died right now, would I die happy? I like to live my life answering that question with a yes… It’s an honest “NO” right now… something is not right. I feel like I can’t even breathe half the time, yet, I do my best to keep on a happy face. In theory, I have support, but deep down I know it’s up to me and me alone. I have to make the choice. No one can make it for me. Do I stay or do I go? My intuition says to run. Why am I fighting it so much?? It has never, ever been wrong before. Do I love myself enough to leave him? Do I feel like I matter as a human being?? When you truly love someone, the last thing you want to do is hurt that person…. Here I am worried about hurting him. I hate getting yelled at. I hate being called degrading names. I hate getting the blame for everything. I especially hate when it comes from the one person who is supposed to be my best friend. It will be 10 years together in May ’15… He wasn’t always like this, well, maybe I have overlooked a lot over the years. I look around me… it’s mostly about his needs and his wants. Where am I in all this?? I feel I am the only one making any effort for myself. I give him everything. I just want some affection now and then, and he makes a big deal out of that.. This article is right… the only thing that can help is action. Taking the first steps aren’t going to be easy for me… I hope I am strong enough…

  • TinAv

    Oh when I read this it was scary how everything is right on point. I am married for a little over a year and my husband and I have been together for 4 years. I left him once and returned only for him to be worse than he originally was. I have 2 children ages 12 &14 and he has a daughter age 7. I can never do anything without him yelling or finding fault in what I do. He controls and follows my son around harping on him and then wonders why he is disrespectful to him. This last time after he was so verbally abrasive with me I said that’s enough. I started to pack up again and then he said he will go to a counselor. So I got the information for him and he refuses to go? My dilemma is I am very Godly and feel as though I made a commitment and I am afraid I am giving up on that. On the other hand I have to protect my children. I can handle the abuse but its my children I can’t have them go through this.
    Example: I came home from work, he already was mad because my son forgot to wash a dish. So he treated me terribly when I didn’t agree that it was a big deal. He called my children names, not to them but to me. He told me I was his worst mistake. He was in my face like he was going to hit me. When he yells I feel my body shaking. Here is my question. Why do I work up the courage to leave and then when he is nice feel guilty and stay? Also is there any hope? I am working on me but he isn’t making any effort. If I do leave should I tell him or just go when he is at work again? Or do I stay and pray?

  • Garci

    Dear Yvette,

    Thank you for this informative article about toxic relationships. I’m currently in one myself and hope that one day I’ll gather enough courage to leave. I’ve been with my boyfriend for about 11 years. Things were initially great but then he started to nitpick about little things such as my guy friends, personality, what I would do. I just thought sometimes he was in a little mood and it will pass. I was wrong. We have had great moments but then there are the ones where we have terrible falling outs. Falling outs to the point where he constantly argues his point, shouts and calls me out of my name, insults my character, harasses me by text messages and unkind posts on social media. If I don’t conform to what he wants me to do or if I start to speak my mind then he tries to shut me down. The verbal abuse has been on the increase and it makes me uncomfortable. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells and have to constantly explain myself to him. Prayerfully, however, I’ll conjure the strength to leave and know the value of my self worth . Until then, many thanks for this article. It has touched me in many ways.

  • Alex Do

    It is easy with outsiders, i can just leave them if i know they are toxic to me. But what if the toxic person is no other than your own family, what should i do?

  • Kemal Miller

    It is absolutely true. Every word of it. Toxic people are hurting deep inside. It is not for us to figure them out. If we value the relationship then they will need professional help. Just like we cannot change a alcoholic. The only thing that can be done is to give them a loving ultimatum. Offer to be there for them through psychotherapy or walk away. As hard as it may sound to walk away, if they do not get help and change, it will be harder when you are forced to walk away. Take control of your life by making the right decision. For those who are suffering I recommend finding inner peace. I chose faith and writings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Pray for me to heal from my toxic relationship. Pray for the one who is toxic. She needs more help than I do.

  • Guest0003

    I had no choice but to leave a 6-year long toxic relationship. It came with all the bad things you could imagine a relationship having…I am sure we did it to each other. I had to get out because there was no other way, I was the first one to leave. To fix myself from the damage it left me with. I left behind everything, the home I shared with him, the life we built together, and moved in with my parents. I had done a exceptionally dramatic change to myself, and still working progress, it actually was the around the time I experienced a heart awakening…and is probably the reason why I left when I left. Like I had said, I really did have no choice but to leave. It’s painful, but it gets easier everyday.

  • Victoria

    I think I am in a toxic relationship with my mom and one of my siblings.. Is that possible? I don’t know what to do

  • collyg

    i hope that things have worked out for you – feel the fear and do it anyway. I hope this message reaches you, and that you have stayed strong.

  • T

    I just recently got out if a toxic relationship with this 40 guy named Tino Real. I could never have any kind of communication with him about my feelings or stand up for myself when he hurt me, he didn’t care what my point was and didn’t want to hear it or see it EVER. All he cared about was his point, what he wanted, etc regardless if it disrespected me, hurt me, etc. One minute he was the sweetest, caring and thoughtful guy I met and fell for, the next he was cold, heartless and distant. If I tried to bring it up, he would shut me down right away and ignore me. I finally walked away from it and luckily it was only 3 months wasted, but still. It really disappointed me and broke my heart.

  • GhostofOurForefathers

    Yes, it’s a really weird feeling. But you just know, I guess. I really liked this woman, and I still have feelings for her in some form or another but I know that at this point in my life, she would just bring out the worst qualities in me. And I really don’t need that. Ever. When around her, I became jealous, insecure, needy and just completely incapable of being comfortable with her and her with me in turn. Now granted, she was playing games with me, and like a fool I went along with it. But now I just ignore her. She says she wants to be friends, but I’m not ready for it yet. I need to be completely over her. I don’t want to fall in the cycle I was in before. I would do things to try to get her to like me in that way that I never needed to do. Her hot and cold nature with me and the awkwardness that would ensue was just too much sometimes. I guess I should mention that we have to see each other everyday due to certain circumstances I will not go into. But overall I’m just trying to live my life and be happy. I thought she would make me happy, but after I kissed her and she kissed me and then I told her I liked her, things haven’t been the same. Ultimately it was my coming on too strong and her indecisiveness and subsequent rejection at my persistence that got us to where we are now. I’m coping with it as best that I know, I’m just really glad that I told her I couldn’t be myself around her (she actually asked me one day interestingly enough). She’s a really good person for seeing things like that I guess. I guess I do love her in some weird way and part of me believes she cares. I’m just disappointed over the fact that she sent me such mixed signals and that she said some of the things she said to me. Very personal attacks that really hurt when coming from someone you care about. But I guess that’s what a girl does when she doesn’t know what she wants. Her frustration with me rubbed off onto me I guess. So obviously we’re not all that compatible. So hopefully she finds someone. Hopefully I find someone. Hopefully I can find a way to be her friend when we were never really friends before all this happened.. Im just glad I finally understand my feelings. Which can be really damn hard for a guy sometimes. But when you’re forced to see them everyday, you kinda have no choice but to face the facts of reality.

  • kapu

    This what exactly happened to me … i m having a distance relationship.
    Over calls and msgs i get always disrespected, unable to speak freely, unable to ask her anything important which would make our relationship stronger. Tried for six months to hold the relationship just to get accepted by her but i ended with a hell of depression . Lost myself . Cut myself. I m sorry . I still love her and blame myself.. all the above mentioned five signs, i was undergoing it but was unaware . Thanks to this site .

  • humming gyrd

    people dont change… situations do…

  • Cass

    I have a question what do you do when the toxic people are your mother and older sister? I have put distance and severally limited my interactions with both of them, thus decreasing my depression quite a bit. But it has caused a rift in my family now and I have been blamed! What do I do, I feel like I am the scape goat for my dysfunctional family, but I don’t want to disown them, they are my family.

  • Beata

    14 years it’s been long enough to understand that things will not change for better by themselves. People don’t change unless they are highly motivated. Everyone deserves happiness and you too Monique. It’s never too late. Don’t be afraid ; you have only one life. Maybe you made that decision already. I wish you and your children find peace and to find happiness.

  • L

    I guess this is kind of late in coming, but does anyone have any advice when it comes to immediate family members? I have struggled for years – my entire life (24 years old) – with the relationship with my mother. My earliest memories are of verbally abusive/violent situations (though she has never actually beat me) as a little girl. These violent bursts were always followed with her spending money on me (a new dress, shoes, taking me out to dinner, etc) to make up for it. My mom shows many signs of BPD (borderline personality disorder).

    I have really struggled with both sides. I have always wanted to have a close, loving relationship with my mother, but feel I have constantly compared her to what I imagined moms “should” be like – loving, attentive, affectionate. My mom was none of those things. A lot of behavioral/lifestyle differences have put a wedge between my mom & I. For example, she drinks coffee, smokes, watches TV all day, doesn’t help out around the house (so then my hard-working father comes home to take care of everything when he is done working).

    I realize that those days are over, I am no longer a little girl. I am an adult, but I do happen to be a bit of a boomerang child, as I work abroad & come home for months at a time before heading back. So, when I am visiting home (like right now) I am disgusted with who I become around my mother. Normally people are always telling me how nice & friendly I am – because I think that is more or less my true self. But around my mother, I am always looking & assuming the worst in her. I know it is wrong, and it isn’t who I usually am (not with anyone else). I develop anger issues (or they surface, rather) when I am around my mother too long (some days more than 60 seconds).

    I know my mom & I cannot have the close mother/daughter relationship I sometimes still hope we can have, but I am having a hard time letting go of that/those expectations & appreciating my mom for her good traits (for instance, that she can be funny). What are some tips on developing healthy relationships to parents as you transition to adulthood?

  • L

    Dear Rob,
    I’m hoping that you found a peaceful resolution to the situation you wrote about but if not I hope this may help you. I have been married for 10 years. We separated came back together with pressure from family and it was a disaster. When we separated we lived very close to each other. The kids could literally walk to the other parents house across a court yard. We still loved and cared for each other but we were a horrible mix when it came to living together. My husband was always mad at some one or about something if he wasn’t getting or doing what he wanted. He was very set in his ways and that is fine if you live alone. Living apart but close enough and being of the understanding that the love is there but the emotional baggage is now something that is your own. An agreement no one goes after any one about kids or support. We had a lot of conversations about how to do this. So many people told us we were crazy but this worked for us and it worked well VERY well. The kids were happy because we were in or around the same space but if either of us had a bad day or a rough time the kids would just migrate to the other parents house for a bit and get grounded and feel secure. Our spaces were our own. I had the more expensive place with two bedrooms, why? Because I really didn’t mind. If money is an issue take it off the table if you can. If she still has toxic behavior she needs to spend some time just being with her. She’s got to find out where the triggers are and why they are taking her to negative places but that’s on her . you have to focus on you. It sounds selfish but its really not if you want to keep your marriage from ending up in a very unhealthy toxic codependent relationship that just goes around and around and gets worse and worse….how do I know? I’ve been walking this path for ten years now. You’ll get a lot of advice take from it what WORKS for you. Don’t think that because someone has been down this road and gives you advice blindly follow it, try not to get pressured by family or friends. They are not you. what works for them may or may not work for you. Breath deep smile and trust yourself. If you feel more comfortable with you child living with you or should I say you having the more expensive place suggest it. Its tough to put that out there with out the other person thinking that you don’t think or want them around the kids. You just want to make it clear that this is not the case. If she’s angry all the time she’s got some work to do, if she so chooses and that’s better done alone at first while still having the support of family close by but far enough away that its not effecting you and the kids directly. If she’s mad she gets asked to leave and go to her place where she can calm down and get grounded again.
    I hope you find or have found what works for you. Its not easy but it is worth it Find your center.
    In all conflict you must first find the source of the motivation…. The Dali Lama
    If you don’t know how to defuse a bomb… move away from it and let it explode by itself.

  • FarrahShalyn

    This article confirmed what my intuition has been telling me for months… I was at one time completely in Love with a man who emotionally drained me to the point of not even liking the sound of his voice. Its always about how he feels, & what makes him happy. No matter how hard I try, Its never good enough. He has to b on the phone with me constantly, texting or talking, I cant do anything else when i’m away from him or he starts saying things like; “you dont have time for me”, or “f you, I hope your having fun with whoever your with”. Even while im working!… He tries to make me feel guilty about any kind of social interaction with anyone other than him! Its always a pity party for him and how nobdy cares about him, I cant take it! Im about to have to cut this short bcuz he wont stop texting me! I could go on and on, but ultimately the conclusion ive come to is People like that need a therapist of some sort not a girlfriend!

  • Franki Valli-Girl

    I actually just left a job where the boss was like that, despite having been “friends” for 15 years. I didn’t realize how toxic the situation was until reading this and now I’m so glad things came to a head and are over.

  • summer

    im in one now im in my room crying because he”just wants to be away from me” i did nothing wrong every morning he finds a new reason to go off on me and finds new flaws i didnt even know i had to point out. every problem he has is my fault, like his tax refund isnt here yet..hes taking it out on me. i have no where else to go. but i want out.. im so insecure now. i never was before, i even modeled before i got with him, but now i cant even stand to look in the mirror im worried that the way he sees me is the way everyone sees me.

  • Ted

    I’ve been married for 48 years to the same person. Over half of it has been a blame game, I can never do anything right. It seems as though there is constant competition. I just recently retired but while I was working full time i also started a side business to bring extra income and to fulfill the artistic side of me as well. Throughout the years she tried various businesses but hey all seemed to fail for one reason or another but mine continued to grow and i received a lot of public recognition for it. At first she was supportive in the business that I had started but that quickly changed once she saw that it was no just a hobby but a real business that was becoming successful.
    She joined a religious organization and wanted me to join as well but i felt that their doctrines and beliefs were not for me. As the years went by she became more disturbed that i would not join the faith that she had chosen. That is when the sexual intimacy began to dwindle and she became more controlling in that regard. As the years went by it gradually dwindled down to no sex at all and in her mind I became the fault for everything that was wrong in the marriage. We went to counselors and if they did not agree with her then the counseling would cease. Even the elders in her choice of worship had difficulty understanding her anger and condescending manner. I became so unhappy and depressed that I began to drink to numb the feelings of helplessness and that caused more problem and issues that sent to me into a two stint of counseling. The counseling helped me to see the root of the cause, I became more aware of the whats and the whys of my spiraling. I became stronger. When she saw my improvements and my new found confidence in myself, she began to put me down for it, saying that all that counseling did me no good.
    I learned something deeply profound during those two years, it is called “transference”.
    People will call and say that you are the one that is evil, uncaring and just downright no good. There is a deep spiritual voice inside of you that knows when someone tells you things like that about yourself that it is total BS. It’s not you it’s them, be aware of the toxicity that is hurled your way, it is difficult not to return it but instead look at things for what they are and do not feel pity for the person hurling the toxic things but feel compassion that their life is spent in such a judgmental way that as much as they try to make life as miserable for you as possible, they are consuming the poison that they hope you will die from.

  • cindy

    Hi. I guess I’m in denial n confuse. Figuring out why can’t I let go n blaming myself for d break up. Had few emotional outbursts n said hurtful things to my lover who is a married man. 3 days ago he found out that I might know about his new affair, so he posted sarcastic indirect msgs to hurt me more. Though its very painful, I’m still holding on that one day he’ll realise but with a doubt. He has been in and out of my life pass 3 years. Never had a complete full or normal relationship with him. If he was upset which he wouldn’t say, he’ll just disappear. And in few months would post indirect msgs to lure me back n call him. But this time its different since he knows that I’m guessing he has a new girlfriend n all, he might never come back. I’m confused, can’t let go because I’ve loved n invested my all. Pls help tq

  • Cisco30

    how do you leave someone who is bad for you

  • Gabi

    I couldn’t believe how much this applied to me and my relationship. We fit 4 out of 5 and I almost cried reading them. I haven’t been able to function lately at work and I am so tired and exhausted from not being good enough for my boyfriend. I am not happy at all. thanks for sharing this.

  • Mandy

    What if you are worried about how what they said about you after you break-up the friendship will affect how other people you both know treat you and you have to see them everyday because they work with you?

  • vmkgk

    I’m 17.. and im the toxic one.. I’ve been up all night crying and hurting because I always feel like I’m hurt in him and finally decided to look this up.. He always comes back to me and forgives me and says he understands.. and I always feel so horrible for this.. But no matter how much I try I cant control my emotions.. I feel they’re worse than anyone else’s but my doc says I’m just a normal hormonal teenage girl.. And they’re just getting worse.. I have really bad stress problems but my parents won’t allow me to see a therapist because they don’t want to pay, don’t want me to go, and make me think everything is Okay.. By nothing is okay.. a and I can’t talk to them about it.. I just want it to stop.. And I’m not even the victim..

    We’ve been together for two years. We have almost everything in common except everyone loves him and I’m invisible or hated.. I’m just a toxic person.. I have social anxiety and stress and ant control my emotions.. And maybe I’m meant to be alone for him to be happy..
    We were both suicidal.. But since we’ve dated wev been getting better grades, planning for the future, and happier.. Except for the.. Times..
    I know he feels basically every single one of those.. Maybe its just better if I was… Gone…

  • hopeless luv

    It’s been 6 yrs in this relationship and times have not always been bad there has been some good times but this time out differs from the rest because we’re as before I had no one like family or friends around. Fortunate enough I have some support system around and need to finally do it but how do I get it done with the least eruption or anger and drama. To be caused

    Because between all this toxic of a relationship is a beautiful little girl who has a good dad, but mommy has decisions needed to be made


  • Cole

    All 5 signs listed here are generally true about the relationship I have with my wife but, it’s not as obvious as this article makes it out to be. I am, quite literally, always the one who has to compromise, and not only in small everyday situations but in my professional life as well. She is unwilling to listencil, she hears the main idea and the complaint only to turn it around and not only make it about her but one-up the complaint as well if only to make my complaint seem weak and unnecessary of acknowledgementioned. I know if I stay with her I will never lead the life I feel I was meant to live and our children will never have the father they were meant to have. I have decided to return to school, an idea which she constantly tries to poison me against. I have applied and have been accepted into an engineering program. I will be the man I set out to be and if she doesn’t like it then I guess she really doesn’t love me after all.

  • fedup

    I have definitely been in a toxic relationship but he tried to convince everyone including me that I was to blame and abusive. I knew he had a history of affairs and swingy but he swore “that wasn’t who he was anymore.” I believed him. He also said he had a fear of commitmnet. I believed that too. Well we started dating and agreed to keep it casual. But then he wanted me to spend every night with him. He wanted me to meet his daughter, his parents, his friends. He wanted my children to meet his family. I calmly explained that theese were not casual relationship things. And I wasn’t going to get that emotionally involved with someone let alone let my children and his child get involved. Well he said that he was finally ready to be committed and in a relationship. So we proceded. Well he started getting caught texting other women about sex and meeting and started asking me to swing. I said absolutely not. Well then he would claim to only be acting out of his fear of committment and ask me to forgive him as he loved me and had changed. Wellevery time he got caught texting he would say I was trying to control and change him that he couldn’t be himself around me. I simply said well if your a cheater and a swinger than no I don’t want to be around you if that is truely who you are. He would then say it’s not who I am. Well back and forth back and forth. When it was good it was soul mate type amazing. Then it was like he got in these moods, he would psyically look and act different and the inappropriate behaviours would start and of course I was jealous and controlling. He agreed to counseling but just went it and bsed and manipulated her. I love you/I hate you. I will never cheat on you/I want to break up because I know I will cheat. Your amazing and perfect/your just not my type. And he wondered why I was a mess.. He still calls and I want it to work but know it won’t.

  • Tiffany

    In one month, I have been dating someone with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and I know, the first thing anyone says is, “Run!”. However, it’s my belief that everyone deserves to be loved, regardless of an illness and even then, the illness can be managed with love and support. My girlfriend and I are constantly battling (ironically only because we want to be together) however, there are times she hits below the belt with comments (Because I was engaged before, that THAT person- that it didn’t work out with, clearly- Was my 1 true love,; Because I’ve had multiple partners- and yes, double digits- that there’d be nothing left for her) and I have been called so many names and when we fight, I don’t call her names, I fight fair as I was taught to. I’ll admit that I have been encouraging her to take medications and go to therapy and she states that she will… But therapy takes a VERY long time and with us being long distance already… It’s very difficult. I’m stating to understand that, in fact, this is a toxic relationship. I wish I could see her and us through but, if it’s more damage and bad things than good, what else can I do?

  • Kim

    It’s strange because as I read this article searching for truth I wonder if I am the toxic partner? With the battle of an abusive and sex addicted husband I became somebody I don’t like in response to my pain. The only question is how to stop the cycle.

  • Kim

    Thank you

  • Sounds like his wife has NPD no silly wowo stuff can fix that. No contact might be the only option. Stop watching Disney films will you.

  • Josh

    I have been with my girlfriend for 2 years now and I knew from day one that it was going to be a struggle. She and I both had issues from past relationships. In the beginning it was great. We accepted eachothers past, and we helped eachkther grow. The. Things turned bad. She started berati g me and belittling me for even the slightest infraction. Telling me that Im stupid, worthless, unreliable etc. She would throw things at me or near me, even break dishes or anything in hand because in one case…..I burned dinner. Things eventually got to apoint where I felt afraid of displeasing her and so I quit taking initiative. I quit making my own decisions and simply bowed down to her choices for me. What to wear……how long my hair was ( I have grown my hair out for two years because I wanted to…..but recently when I decided I wanted to cut it……I asked her opinion and though she told me it was okay to do so…..the way she looked at me and the words she used made me feel like I was somehow wrong or inconsiderate to want to cut off the long hair she so enjoyed.) Fights became more loud and angry and mean. They became more frequent. She regarly tells me shes done and doesnt love me and doesnt want to be with me….and then when I leave she accuses me of walking out on her and the kids. She reminds me that O had promised her I could handle her crazy and I wouldnt leave her and then gets angry that I am leaving. Eventually, usually only a couple days, we have a heart to heart and we get back together and all is fine…….for a while. She has made jokes about our future sepeartion and when I express my discomfort of such jokes I am told mockingly ” You know that its eventually going to happen. Im going to be done and leave you. That or I will wind up killing you.” Today we had another blow up….because I miscounted the number of diapers we had remaining and ran out in the middle of the night. Another shining example of my incompetance. When i went to get more….at 4am……she called and told me that because I apparently had money that I was hiding from her that I could use to get diapers that she was done and to pack my shit, get out, and she doesnt need my diapers…..she will worry about HER son.(My son is not biologically mine….we started dating right after she got pregnant and the bio dad up and left stating he wanted notjing to do with her or “the kid”. I have raised him and been his daddy his entire life…..2 years next month. And it is her MO to throw my non legal parent status in my face during arguments.) She again td me she doesnt love me and she isnt happy and that ” its not fair for you to be with someone who doesnt feel the same way about you.” The problem is……..its the same line every time…..followed two days later with I love yous and Im sorrys. I have been unable to maintain steady emoyment because I end up so stressed and upset most times that It flows over into work and causes heated arguments with bosses and co workers. I feel lost, depressed, sad, angry, indignant, and inexplicably i just want her to again say im sorry and i love you. Why do i still want this woman to love me? Is there something wrong with me???? And worse…….im scared that if i go i will never see my son as in my state i have zero legal rights to him due to being a non biological relative who has not and cannot adopt. what do i do???

  • Shannon

    My gf and I broke up 3 months ago and have been going back and forth about whether to stay in eachothers lives or not. It was definitely toxic because she was trying to change me and I was letting her. I finally stood my ground about my boundaries and what I can and cannot tolerate and she hit the road. I’m am choosing to move on for good this time and it truly is empowering.

  • Shannon

    Unfortunately love is what’s lacking here. True love conquers all and abuse is not part of that equation

  • Gone too far

    Everything above is a tick for me. It goes one step further when I try to engage a distance like moving out, as we recently moved in together, it wasn’t working before hand but for the sake of trying I committed to the move. He accuses me of leaving for another man. Major trust issues. I just want us to be happy, he just can’t see that I’ve out up with emotional abuse and accusations for 3 years I’ve attempted to leave several times but always end up back there. I’m depressed and not in a good place. I hate his judgement when I try and change for the better, he makes me feel like a cheat when I’m not so I stay to prove I’m not leaving for another man. I’m confused and hurt ad feel helpless

  • Max

    After reading what you have posted here I can but feel sorry about where my heart can actually lead me into. I have been going out with a woman who is separated but not divorced yet. Our relationship started abruptly out of desire rather than friendship since we were very drunk and started kissing each other. Currently, not only do I feel I have been in a toxic relationship, but also I feel I have just been a rebound after her failed marriage. Although she has always said she loved me, now I simply don’t know if I should believe it.

    Although she always told me she had gotten over her marriage, the scars her failed marriage had left were evident. Hatred and anger towards her husband and men in general, because “they are not loyal and they cheat”.

    I have been so blind that I used to take her every single day to have lunch just because we both felt that if we didn’t do so, we may be cheating on each other. As a result, I spent most of my savings inviting her over for lunch and buying presents for her and her little child so they could be pleased.

    When she gets angry at me, mostly because I am busy or go out with my friends or simply can’t go out with her at the time, she simply stops talking to me and leaves without saying a word. I have cried so much because of that attitude to the point that now I feel tired and miserable, and I feel that this is slowly reaching the end. It hurts to think about how much time I have lost that I could have spent working on my life goals and expectations rather than asking her what I can and can’t do.

    There are many things in which we are very different. For instance, she and her family members love drinking and every single party they have invited me over, we ended up really drunk. Since I don’t approve of alcohol abuse, I have felt forced into doing something I have never approved of just to please her and her family.

    Both of us have stopped talking some days ago and now I am considering breaking up. I am aware I am going to need the strength to do it as she always tries to find a way to make it seem she is right so I can feel bad and guilty. I hope this time it is for good… at this point I don’t feel like starting over. At least not for now…

  • Stephanie

    I have found myself in toxic relationships before. Particularly this last one, right after we started seeing each other I found myself enduring very difficult life experiences so I think that clouded my judgement about the relationship. I felt like I needed them because I felt like I had no one.
    He made me feel special too. He told me he felt like I was good for him. and he would say things like, “I don’t understand why you’re with me.” I would tell him he was good enough and he needed to stop being so hard on himself, and he said that I was right. And he did stop. But now, his hyper-critical mentality was directed towards me.
    He started criticizing my personality. I tried to communicate using non-accusatory language because I feel it’s more conducive for a positive relationship. But he would tell me he thought criticizing meant you cared and that the world wasn’t all peaceful like I was making it out to be.

    I told him I didn’t appreciate racist jokes, and when I asked him to please stop he made sure to tell me one.
    I told him I didn’t like when we made plans and he’d show up super late or cancel 4 minutes before. He’d say he understood but he kept doing it.
    He told me I didn’t listen when he talked- and I thought, he’s right I have been very self-absorbed with my problems at that point. So I listened to him, and I repeated back what he said and he snapped saying. “you weren’t even listening to anything I said.” But to be honest I felt like what he said made no sense at all. I felt like he did that a lot. One time we went to Starbucks and they ask for your name there. He gave a fake name, but he was saying a lot and they misheard the FAKE name he gave them. And then he acted rude towards them, telling me, that: “see they don’t even listen anyway.” But I would have easily misheard that because he was making the situation confusing.
    One time I stayed at his mom’s house with him while he was watching the house for her while she traveled. I spilled milk on the floor. I had to trek across to grab paper towel, which mean spreading the milk more. I felt his presence hovering over me. He was just watching and it made me nervous. He got made about how I spilled it and made it worse by walking it everywhere. I said it’s not a big deal, it will all get cleaned up. He said, “well you left some right there (pointing to a tiny drip) but it’s fine.” I’m not even sure it was milk, I think it might have been water from earlier.
    I eventually just felt like I was having to ignore a bunch of red flags. I broke up with him at one point and he said something to the effect of “there’s nothing here for me, nothing to keep my in this town I might just leave.” With this sulky look on his face. When I told to him he said, people tend to give up too quickly on relationships. I gave him one more chance, but it was the same. I finally broke up with him and I feel like myself again

  • Alex Ozorio

    Hey so as I write this I am 19 years old and currently trying to reconcile with my mother whom I have had a shitty relationship with most of my life…my anxiety first started when I was 6 because of the verbal abuse I was succomed to at such a young age. Mind you I’m a young man and my mother constantly gave me shit for the way I looked the friends I had the way my hair was cut how I dressed and appearances aside she caused me to develop low self esteem and low self confidence from her constantly telling me how weird I am how serious I am how annoying I am and so on. It took me until I was 16 to realize enough was enough and I moved out. From that point up until recent I self inflicted harm from drugs alcohol cutting burning and wreck less behavior. I hated myself without ever getting to really know myself. Crazy isn’t it? Anyway a year or so ago I started working at a job with employee housing and was shocked at how different I am then what I was told growing up. I went to a sober living house a few months back because i am gaining an understanding of what it means to love yourself. It’s great however I packed up and left to move across the country so I can be here for my brothers and try to make amends with my mother. Needless to say shits not working out and as far as distance goes I’m all for it however what sucks is that it won’t be a win win situation by distancing myself I’m still left with the traumatic experiences that came from the mother I love. I really do I love my mom for what she is but I cannot LIVE and Prosper around her company. I also feel as though the guilt I have will be with me for the rest of my life which is difficult but I have been suppressed of my true self for way to long to continue this nonsense. Thank you -Alex

  • Robert


  • lynne

    Also get out if you are being emotionally manipulated and abused.
    That abuse is harder to spot and it damages your soul.

  • Abel

    I would describe a “toxic relationship” as simply an egoic relationship, a relationship aquired for what can be gained rather than what can be given and most relationships are this way, at this point in history. Our relationships are simply a reflection of our level of consciousness, and intended to indicate as such. When one becomes more conscious they will attract relationships that reflect that.

  • Melissa

    Hi I am currently in a 4 yr toxic relationship his drinking n control led to my infidelity and once he found out my life has been absolute hell I am not allowed to have my phone or leave my house or go to bed without permission I work two jobs n he sits home n wallows in self pity bit he has no where to go if I make him leave so I feel as if I’m totally stuck

  • lover

    Well… I just learned a lot… I was in a toxic relationship with a girl I once knew as my best friend.. she treated me as if I was never going anywhere so she could just do whatever she wanted and say whatever she wanted to me .. it didn’t matter to her because in her mind, I would always be there by her side and in my mind were those same exact thoughts.. I sacrificed my happiness for her’s.. I did anything for her and also her family just to prove some kind of loyalty to them.. but nothing I ever did seemed good enough and I still stuck around…. Although I valued our friendship , she would make it very blatantly clear that she didn’t care if we stayed friends or not , she would be fine either way… So I had to put on that “okay cool I wouldn’t give a fuck either” being that we were friends since the 3rd grade , I loved her and I thought for a second that she actually loved me back.. she always judged me after I told her a secret … I never judged her about anything. If I took my boyfriend back I was stupid… If she took her’s back and I said she was stupid for it we would get into an argument lol it’s funny to me now….. But anyway…… It took for her to tell me she didn’t want to be friends anymore for me to leave… She never had a real reason to say it but she was so determined , she made one up and tried to argue about it…. And told me everything I ever did for her wasn’t Shit and didn’t help anything at all LOL!! then had the audacity to laugh when I told her how I felt….. And that was the day I lost what I knew to be my best friend.. but it made me a stronger person.. my boyfriend is now my best friend and I wouldn’t have it any other way..

  • Kuki

    I can’t leave because something holds me here with him, I love him and he’s been better for me in life than any other man before. I’ve grown quite a bit into a strong, responsible woman. Unfortunately, most of the bullet points covered in this article hit very close to home.

    I have suffered a lot of loss and heartache in my life yet I just truly want to be happy. The positive outlook to my current relation ship seems bleek, I think we need professional help and with his not recognizing his faults that have added to our problems I don’t feel I’ll ever get him to that point.

    I know the obvious thing for outsiders looking in is to say “just leave” or “you deserve better”. And although the statements are probably true, I can’t rightfully, for my own wellbeing, do that. I don’t want to be the final say that it’s over, I need him to make that decision but more than anything I want what we had and know it was possible once, why not again?

    How do I convey to a man who makes all the rules, conversations are 1 sided (his) and is too busy with his work to make time for our relationship, understand we need an intervention, someone on the outside to help guide us in the right direction?

    I just don’t know how to talk to him anymore, my thoughts, feelings or opinions get twisted into whatever he wants them to mean and its always negative, when in all actuality, my comments, thoughts, feelings were truly positive and genuine.

  • Phil

    Hi. Reading this article has cleared a lot up. I’ve been in a relationship with a girl for over 5 years now. It currently ended a week ago. Everything you put there was to a T of what was happening to me. Mentally I’ve been beat down. I don’t feel like my self anymore and my friends have been telling me for years that i was in a bad relationship and deserve better. Love does funny things tho right ? We haven’t talked in over two weeks beside the hurtful things texted to me by her. I’m at our now her place getting my stuff packed and ready to go to storage because at the very moment I haven’t got anywhere to go. I have lots of time at night to sit and think about things and it’s really hard. I’ve travelled all over with this girl and have so many fond memory’s with her. And that’s one of the hardest things for me now to get over mentally. Where do I go from here ?:(

  • Anonymous

    I am a girl of 31 yrs and I have a boyfriend with whom my relationship is on and off. I am completely drained of all emotions. I know him from past 2 years and apart from physicial compatibility I feel I have nothing in common with him. He left me all of a sudden 6 months back. I was completely torn at that point of time. I begged him, mailed him, stalked him but he was too cruel to even listen to me. Now after 6 months he came back and asked me to forget everything that happened in past. I was fine with that. But somehow I boozed and I yelled at him and his mother for taking such s stand. Then again hes doing the same thing.
    I wrote an apology mail however there is no response from him. He even switched off his cell and is not at all responding to any of my mails. He even told me that now that he is all alone and doesn’t have any friends he just needs friendship from me. I am somehow very repelled by his presence. I am even planning to leave this place. I am so sick of everything. My confidence level has come to 0 and I feel I should commit suicide. Please help.

  • Alena Kennedy

    I have been in a relationship for almost 12 years I have a child and we have three children together. We have only lived together these past four almost five years. It has,the relationship real toxic for the past couple years. I am a stay at home mom as of three years ago, he controls the money. He works a lot but recently no nearly as much. The funny thing is, is that when we argue I told him I felt like he was doing exactly what your artical talked about. It wasn’t till I read it that I got the definition of the word or phrase toxic relationship. It is spot on because I feel all those things. I have begged him to leave several times he. He tells me to leave knowing I will not because if I had money myself and my kids would be gone. I don’t know what to do or how to get my children out because he is now starting to make the children feel the sane way. It’s not drastic just small comments. I am always defending the way he talks to them. I am sure I haven’t heard or been around for everything he says to them. If anyone has any advise I would love to hear it.

  • Sophie Brown

    Hi I ended a narcissistic relationship a year ago and it has truly made me strong enough to want to help others who’s going through a toxic relationship. I still have a bit of work mentally to do on myself, but I am am glad I did leave, it wasn’t that hard to finish it but was hard getting over it.

  • Sarah

    You go girl! I need to end mine ASAP 🙁

  • Mary

    Hi I’m a wife of an Asian man he is not a typical Asian man due to being first generation Canadian and I’m not an Asian woman I am a Scandinavian woman. But like you I was raised in complete harmony with amazing parents who raised me to be passionate loving and caring and unfortunately my husband was raised with parents that honestly didn’t care his mother was typical Japanese but grew up in Canada and had nothing but white males raise her son and daughter he never had a chance to get to know who his real father was except for what his mother told him and when he had a chance to meet his real father he couldn’t even open up the door for him. My husband and I are 14 years apart I am pregnant with my second child and my first being 8 years old. I was very much in love at least I thought I was and I will never understand if he is or ever was in love with me, now all I see is that he scared of being alone. 15 years we have been together and like your wife it is been nothing but abuse perhaps not physical but mental…. I feel sometimes is worse. I have stuck around for 15 years the first part thinking I was in love and that it would work out and the last 8 years because I was scared that my son would not grow up with a father. I was lucky enough to have both my parents… let me just say from experience as I have read all the other people who have written to you. Staying with her any longer when you know in your heart that it truly is wrong for you toxic and you are not really in love anymore or ever was get out of the relationship be with your child as much as you can possible without the toxic person in your life speaking from experience where I still have not left because I am petrified of what might happen to him without me or his child and new born baby in his life but I do need to leave him as fast as possible and have no idea how I will be going about it. You only being a few years in leave as soon as you can if you truly love this woman and you believe she truly loves you too and you’re able to work it out then try and work it out but I’m telling you now if you think it’s truly toxic run as far away as you can or you will end up like me I am 36 years old have been with him since I was 22 and I regret it except for my child and now my unborn baby girl. Your children will completely understand why you had to go just make sure that your kids know how much you love them and always be there.

  • NaTika Sharron

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. I understand you both from personal experience. I wish you the best

  • startingtogetbetter

    The last draw was texting about faith I kepted being told I never wanted to divorce some things have stuck with me I have little faith understand very little about religion they say hope and faith go together I have no hope I feel sometimes others I feel great hope me and my wife were arguing we have a toxic relationship I’ll share one thing that may inspire another in a dire situation like me I texted Footprints in the sand and I’ve been told by mental health professionals my wife in fairness I have great Doctor she shows up nice sweet says hello but the signs are there I said you lie and your soul at the time your judged will go to he’ll something to that effect she texted you always wanted the divorced she was caught in not only a lie but she quoted her faith to me I forwarded the texts to her everything is clear she still lies something has changed I read a book I have faith but always carried this saying Footprints now with faith I believe faith didn’t stop her latest lie and put down I stuggle I’m not perfect I feel guilt maybe my job I unconcisely made this shy girl this way people are responsible for the hear and now and she choses’ to not have a healthy marriage it’s all my fault everything rather then attempt to prove I’m in a toxic relationship I’m not myself and I’m making changes the best help is a hand up. I thank this websites and the guidance I’ve received in finding it maybe it was luck or something much greater. I’m happy this site exits.

  • bh

    Hello – I came across this article when i just ended a short term relationship, but which left me feeling very low. Wow, these points all resonated!! I knew I did the right thing leaving, but my problem was that I have a bad habit of “shutting down” or disassociating emotionally during painful interactions with an intimate partner, because I learned to do that as a kid when I experienced derogatory or painful situations in which I felt powerless. This meant that I only felt I could let myself feel all the hurt when the relationship ended, at which point my feelings of being disrespected and demeaned completely overwhelmed me! I was wondering “Why do I feel like crap when I just left the relatinship so I wouldnt feel like crap anymore?” Well, because i put much of the pain in a corner of my heart and didnt let it come out til I felt I was safe.

    This article helped me quite a bit. I stayed in the relationship for as long as I did (4 months) only because it started out “sweet”, then little hurtful comments and behaviors would come up, but compliments would soon follow so the person could feel he wasn’t a bad guy. And of course I did the typical, “he didnt really mean it”, because I liked the good parts of the relationship, and deep down I felt he had a heart. But that was worse because when I would pointed out how he made me feel, he tried to make ME sound like the wacko! He couldnt take responsibilty because he could not get honest that he could even possibly make someone feel bad! These narcissists are professionals, and it’s so subconscious!

    Well suffice it to say I’ve been out a month and it’s been bumpy dealing with the wreckage and feelings of insecurity I did not even know I had. I didn’t aniticipate feeling this bad this long, but I’ve worked through a lot of crap of what attracts me to these types and how to have better boundaries next time or else avoid them altogether. So I guess I should have gratitude for the lessons it left. It seems people like this look for people who have self-doubt and kind natures. I read your comments and I seriously do not know how people can go 3+ years in these kinds of relationships. I was having panic attacks after only 3 months! Thank God I did not get pregnant. I know those thing complicate relationships. Anyway, I hope you all are doing well on your journeys and I hope you are all in nurturing relationships of your own. Thanks for listening. Peace.

  • newty30

    I feel as tho I’m in a toxic relationship I’m constantly un happy ,but have been afraid to leave afraid that he will find someone else we have been together for about ten years this is very painful please share advice I’m confused. ..

  • anci

    The accuracy of this post is perfect.

    I have been with my husband for 5 and a half years – married for 18 months.On an average of every 2 months he “needs a blow out” – this entails him going to another city, purchasing class a drugs, joining tranvestite sexual websites and spending a night with someone having a “erotic, sensual bondage session” in which he is in full control. And when he was caught by me? My fault.

    I have a brilliant job in senior management. But to him I should be asking for more money. This is coming from the same person who walked out of his job in October last year and then spent his days drinking bourbon for breakfast.

    Eventually his drinking caused a situation in which I was required to call the police. He was arrested for domestic violence. He went to London. Had yet another blow out and then decided, once again he was sorry, it was all his fault and proceeded to go to alcoholics anonymous. Hearing his decision to seek help, I once again gave him my support. On occasion he would come stay a weekend with me. Unfortunately he has caused that much mayhem our landlord issued me with a section 21 simply because they do not want my husband back in the building. So now I am in the process of packing everything up ready to move. I literally lost everything I have worked for since arriving in the UK 5 years ago (note – I moved here from NZ because he was deported. I came here to be with him.)

    However only 2 nights ago he is back on the websites and arranging a “meet” with someone. He tells me he is not on the meth and not drinking and fully denied being on the websites (i know for a fact that one is a lie) – so the reality is? It was a conscious decision.

    And this time? I didn’t even think. I have begun to systematically delete him from my life. I have sent him a message saying he is collect his goods when I am not here. I don’t wish to see or speak with him ever again.

    There is literally no more room in my life for someone so toxic. Someone who can cause so much anguish and pain and then play the victim. And blame me for it.

    I once thought he was a good person but now I realise – he’s just toxic. I no longer see the good in him that kept me by his side.

    As a consequence of choosing to remain in that situation I rarely go out and mix with other people. I have lost confidence in myself. I question everything i do, don’t do, say, don’t say. I don’t even really think much of myself anymore to be honest. I have been broken, pulled back up and then broken again. I have turned into a nervous person who is not able to deal with normal day to day stress like I once used to. I won’t go to the doctor because I don’t want to be on medication. I just want peace.

    The latest episode taught me that having him in my life would mean no peace. I would be forever living in the shadow of what he has done. Of his selfish wants and desires. Of him believing it was acceptable and I’d just take him back with no outlet for my own anguish.

    This week, something in me changed.

    I see he is toxic. I don’t know if he is like that with just me or with everyone but either way – peace is a requirement in my life now and I intend to have it.

    We all deserve a life of peace. And if you don’t have this in your relationship then you don’t have it in yourself.

    I’m not sure how to move on in myself yet. I don’t know if it’s ok to be crying and be upset. And then angry. And then overwhelmed. And I can’t get what has happened to me out of my head – I tell myself he is taking up to much space in my brain but it’s still in the background. Wondering what hes doing, who hes doing it with. Why he couldn’t see how much I loved him and why it was never enough. I guess its small steps and I was never the most patient of people when it came to myself. Maybe theres some anxiety there that he has damaged me beyond repair. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to move forward and get that total peace I have been craving?

  • angel Roque

    I have been dating an older man for the past year, he has had 2 failed marriages and has very deep anger issues that set him off, he remembers not what he says and offends, humiliates and even threats to either kick me out of our apartment or leaving during his outsbursts. I am a very patient non confeontational person who was taught to listen and agree to disagree, no issues was ever belittled or dismissed because if it worries someone its important. I try to apply these traits of mine on to him so that he feels listened too as well as important, i have also tried numerous times to give him space to vent instead of hovering him. My issue is that he gets very offensive and i have tried to address it and he will recognize it to certain degree because in his mind his argument is valid. He will show his sweet and sensitive side for a time and make me forgert our heated arguments (i never forget his insults and how he degrades me ) and there is a calm for a few weeks.then something out of the norm happens , we maybe talking , something happened at work, one misunderstanding, ill react fast antry to avoid any co frontation he will get angry and we are back to square one again. I love this man, he is creative, sweet, in his own way he supports me and encourages me to do what i love, he had a rough life and shows me glimpses of the man he says he once was and that makes me feel like i am getting him to open up little by little. I know maybe deep inside i know the answer and i know i have stopped being myslef and happy, therefore it affects not only me but my job as well and the stress just makes me feel defeated almost all the time, i have had very dark thoughts….i am a week and a half from leaving him and he doesnt know, i have given my two weeks notice at my job and i have a friend picking me up, i am afraid and unsure of the chain of events i have set in motion. In a sense i feel brave and empowered but i also feel guilt, regret, sorrow and like a quitter. His insults and they way he lowers myself esteem keeps me sure of my decision and yet the pain in my heart because deep down i know he is a good person keep me second guessing myself….just writting this makes me anxious.

  • windy

    Hi I’m emotionally abused by my in-laws. ..I meet ths guy 14 yrs ago we were madly in love both frm frustrating exs we came tgther build our future from nothing. ..he ws a vasity dropout we encouraged each other he obtained hs degree, he gt a highly paying job. ..hs family started to love & protect hm from me nw. ..calling me names he is 1yr9mnth older thn me. ..never new he hd such a strong bond wt thm up until he became a responsible man. ..he loves hs children he loves me to death. ..I feel lik let go bcz of hs siblings & parents coz evrytym I’m arnd thm I gt hurt I try so hard to gt along well wt thm 4 hs sake bt no thy continue to criticise me….I love vry mch & besides he is a vry humbled somebody

  • Shirley Smitten

    Everybody else is lucky because they can divorce their husband or wife. My mother is the toxic one and I can’t divorce her, not to mention I’m stuck living with her. I’m stuck because I don’t make enough money to live on my own. I get food stamps and Medicaid, and have worked up to three jobs at a time and still can’t make ends meet. She does all of these things and more, and thinks she does not have a problem. I’ve been in therapy for years, suffering from depression and anxiety. I’ve learned SHE is the problem, but I have no money to get away from her. She loves to make people miserable, as she did my dad, step-father, me, and my daughter (who is now an adult out on her own). There is no way out.

  • Shannon

    This text is old so I’m not even sure if anyone is gonna respond 🙂

    I think my husband is in this toxic relationship. He feels drained and depressed and I think I did it to him… I’ve been going through a lot and he has been doing everything to make me happy for the last 2 years. I’ve been snappy and awful. I wanted him to change, I attacked him.
    I love him more than anything and he loves me too. But we are going to break up unless I do somethimg… How can I change it? I want him to be happy and to flourish…

  • Victoria Thorn

    I’m grateful I stumbled on this. And it gives confirmation that my intuition had been trying to make me see. My marriage is the living breathing example.of every sign mentioned here. The worst part is we have a baby together. 15 months old. He threatens that he’ll fight me for custody if we divorce and I have a wonderful 6 year old daugher from a previous relationship that he refuses to accept. He constantly points out everything she does as if she understands exactly how to behave at all times. She’s still a baby herself and hes so hard on her. I want to leave but I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness when I think I’ll be alone with my kids. He’s put me down so much that I just rather lay down and accept how things are. Give in and give in to his demands and keep trying to be better for him. I knownits wrong butI just don’t have it in to just walk away. And I know iys awlful for my daughter thatnhe doesn’t accept. I just dont know what to do. I’m at my wits end. And when I tell him how I feel and that I can’t takr it anymore he somehow always flips it on me and makes it very clear that he doesnt care if I go or stay which for some odd reason it makes me cling on harder and want to make it work even more. I keep telling myself if only i can be better things will be great. If i could be a better homemaker, wife and mother. Get everything under control he’ll be happier. Please someone anyone. Help! I wish someone literally can hold my hand through this. I’m so weak!!! I need a hug and its like im pullimg teeth asking him for one. Why does he hate me soooo much!!! I try so hard! I’m so sad!!!!!

  • Raq

    I was going through some old things on my computer and ran into this article I had saved… Only AFTER I got OUT of this kind of relationship and found my current magnificient, kind boyfriend did I realize how deep into that toxic relationship I was and how much I was denying it. My advice for anyone suffering from this evil is, sometimes it hurts to let things go, but letting your own happiness and yourself go is much worse… Let it go, much better times are coming, and YOU WILL feel better and YOU WILL find someone who will treat you just right! 🙂

  • SoMessedUp

    Omg! I finally broke free from a 28 yr marriage to get into a relationship 2 yrs later with who I thought was completely different! So not true! I just got into a relationship with someone so much worse and I’m putting up with it, because I don’t want to fight back anymore. I am tired of being defeated, and most of all I don’t want to try anymore.

  • Los

    Hi, I feel ironically much in your shoes. I have been dating my girlfriend for about 7months. She comes from a very strict and very verbal abusive Asian family. Where In my case I have a very relax open spanish family. I deeply studied buddisim for the past 3 years and I was vegetarian for 2 of them. Which my family thought to be strange because I’m almost 7ft tall, but my family are understanding and supptive in anything I do. But some reason I can’t make it a few days without heated arguments with the girlfriend. I started eating meat cuz she made me think we couldn’t enjoy time together if we didn’t enjoy the same things. She drains me so much, and getting verbal aggressive goes against everything I had read and understood. I try so hard to be understanding and see everyone’s perspective but some reason it’s always something new with her. I found out recently she is married to and African man, after taking her phone in a heating argument. My gut told me something was up, but never in a million years would I thought it to be that. But still I kept my cool and now I’m helping her with the legal aspect of the divorce. I told my mother last week about this news, which clearly she is very upset and is telling me to make the decision to leave at the end of this month. I’m 37 also and my life seems rideculos, when do you draw the line on a loved one? She always seem so willing to change, but she has exusted my peace of mind.

  • unknown

    Hi I was born in a vary uneasy environment. My Mom’s true love left her to Florida. In return my mom made a mistake which resulted in my creation. My mom was thrown out of her home at 17 years of age, and began to live at her ex’s moms house. Her ex came back into the picture when he found out what happened. My biological dad was asked to stay away and he did. As I was growing up my mom always justified her actions by what her mother has done to her, stating what she went through these talk sessions could last for hours, making me feel drained as a child. I felt responsible for her angry and pain. Things got much worse when I became of age of 18. My mom threw me out of car and took all my possessions. I was left with only a shirt, sand shorts on. When I learned about my biological dad from a drunk family member the situation only got worse. A couple years later I feel in love with someone who I thought understood my pain. Years later he to begin to criticize everything I do, often would apologize and justify his action on what his mother did to him. Over the years things dot worse he would question my every move, to the point I thought I was nothing. I lost amazing friends that I considered family due to this man, I changed my foundation for this man, and I was never good enough. He called me names then would apologize the next day and say sweet things. Right now were breaking up and he is using my broken family dynamic as saying I have mental problems. Right now he has me truly questioning myself, how can it be everyone, maybe its me that is messed up.

  • Salma diaa

    My problem might not be that big as i am only 17 , but I havent ever read an article that I could relate to so much . The toxic relationship is actually with my friends and I just recently started realising how unhealthy the friendship is . I could find multiple incidents that can directly be identified by the 5 signs . The only problem now is that I dont know if i could face them or should I just walk away . I had a friend last year in the same group of friends I have a problem with now and she just suddenly distanced herself away from us and only now I understood why but I am afraid of doing the same as i dont know if i can find other friends or not which is important to me as i hate being lonely it kills me , however I am also afraid of confronting them in fear that they would make fun of my feelings yet once again . Can someone suggest how i should make the decision or what i should do ? I would be grateful thanks alot .

  • Salma diaa

    Never question yourself as you’re the only one who knows the exact truth about yourself and your feelings , if all what you said is true then no one has the right to say anything is wrong with you . What has happened to you definitely wasn’t easy and you are to be excuse if you did something wrong or irrational but thats not the case as your decision to break up with that man was the right decision in my opinion . You cant keep giving someone excuses for treating you badly and no one should find excuses to blame you . you are your own person and should only be blamed for a thing you do not something that has happened to you that you had no say in .

  • Elonda Ball

    My gut, intuition, whispers to me all day long that I need to leave this house and that my boyfriend is sucking the life right out of me. He is a golf pro and only works 6 months of the year. During the summer months, everything is fine and perfect because we both work and I have alone time at home on my days off. But now that fall is here and my boyfriend is home all day every day I feel so trapped and unhappy. He wants to know every person that text me or calls me, he wants to know why, why, why and pretty much accuses me of being a lying cheater when I am not at all and never given him reason to even believe I would be a lying cheater. When I am away from him I will start feeling happy again and my inner passions will start to reignite. I can come home feeling almost wired, talking and happy, and within 10 mins of being home and telling my boyfriend about why I so excited or just talking and almost like I am a balloon full of air he deflates me and 10 mins later I am out of all energy and all passions gone. Oh yeah, I have it made here, as he loves to tell me all the time. Live in a huge million dollar lake house and no bills other than wireless to pay. I have known my boyfriend since I started kindergarten, being we live in a very remote, small, resort town on top a mountain. I do have everything, a hot tub, a dock, a jet ski, a boat and about the nicest house on the lake, and yet I am not happy. You tell about spotting the toxic relationship and about how you should listen to your inner self, and yes it is true. I am in a very toxic relationship that I need to remove myself from BUT, seeing how I am a 1st degree felon from years back, the only job I can get is as a server. I was a heroin addict 10years clean now, but because of that, I am unable to use my college degree to make enough money to even live on my own. I also have an 11 and 12 year that I pay $400 month child support for to the father. So how the hell am I supposed to get out of this. He knows I am stuck as well and so says mean things all the time, knowing I have no where to even go. So, Yes i spot my very toxic relationship and I know I need to leave but I do not even have a chance in hell of affording to do that. Child support can take 60% of my net income and they do not care if you are homeless. So great advice but maybe you should include some suggestions about how the hell getting out can be done!! I am trapped in hell and have no way out. No friends to stay with or no family to help me so don’t even suggust that because I am very smart and would know that without advice also.

  • sparkles

    Love conquers all = Delusion. Love does NOT conquer abuse. When someone feels abused they need to leaved immediately. I dont feel that you should ever give anyone relationship advice because clearly you dont understand the literal affects of abuse.

  • Neil


    I’ve been with my partner for 5 years and have known them for 7.
    We haven’t had sex for at least 3 months due to difficulty communicating (whenever I try to talk about my sexual preferences my partner becomes defensive, uncomfortable and non communicative, they are also the more dominant partner sexually).
    Recently I was away for the weekend. On return my partner seemed unenthusiastic to see me, not asking anything about my trip, and giving bored one word answers to the questions I asked about their weekend. I asked them if they were ok and they became angry with me, whilst denying any anger.

    I am so tired of being the one to make all the emotional effort in our relationship. I even bought them lunch on my way home which they were not particularly grateful for.

    I don’t want to leave them but there seems little else I can do. Any advice welcome.

  • Beau Lucas

    I think I’m in a toxic relationship. I have a child to this women. I have bad traits to, one being I can’t stand her daughter. I just never know what to expect, I work give her money pay for shopping. Its never good enough. I’m not myself. But when I leave her I get really depressed an feel like I’ll never be good enough for anyone. Like I don’t deserve a good women or I’m not worthy. I think I have depression.

  • Brandy Mundy

    This describes to a t the relationship I have chosen to put great distance in. I have never been 100% about the relationship and it took me a long time almost three years to figure out why. I know two people can love each other yet a component in the relationship ends up missing and because they may not understand why they end up hurting each other or they try to push something forward that won’t go forward because they have a lot of incompatibilities. These force you to start working on you. This relationship has really helped me to see how to grow and expose what I need to work on within myself. It taught me to say how I feel and it taught me that there is a stark contrast between compatibility and opposites that can challenge and motivate you to be true to yourself. Relationships like this propel you on the road to self discovery.

  • t

    Im 19. I was an early bloomer into the relationship world once my dad died when in 2012.
    Im now dating a guy (24), we’ve been dating for 10 months.
    He hasnt trusted me since I told him i needed alone time when were arguing and I ended up hanging out with my best (guy) friend. And he was upset that I lied to him, which I totally understand. But, if i had told him i was going to hangout with my best friend, i think the situation would be much worse, because for some reason he claims to hate my best friend, not even meeting him. I put my phone away and I played games with my best friend, darts/ping pong. The guy Im dating (ill call him J) came over unexpectedly and saw me and my friend hanging out. He wasnt happy with that because I lied, which I do understand was wrong.

    Now, 6 months later, Im STILL held to that situation. And everywhere I go i have to send him pictures of where i am. I cant have guy friends. I cut off all of my girl friends because id feel guilty even hanging out with them. He constantly is upset about a mistake i made months and months ago. He cut off sex with us until a few weeks ago. The reason being because he knows about 4 past partners and he thinks thats too much and he cant handle the thought of it. He told me that every time we hangout he “sees” me with one of those guys and holds me to it. I have a past, and I’ve wanted to get rid of the thought of it for so long, but now its constantly held over my head with the person who should typically take all of that away and keep it in the past.

    Every problem him and I have is apparently all my fault. Ive tried explaining how i feel and the reasoning that i get is “this isnt my fault, i wasnt the one who brought this on, im here trying to fix your mistake and youre complaining about it” (the lying mistake). Its like he always has to hold something to me. And i cant take it anymore. I care about him so much, but I just cant go on like this.

    The reason why Im writing this today is because just a few hours ago he got so upset with me that I slept all day and didnt tell him. He constantly needs to know what Im doing. And at this point, I dont even know if its my fault or his, or if its anyones.

  • Co Co

    Tired tired, beyond tired. My 4th marraige. I have let go of four marraiges hoping to find someone unique and compatible. Only to indulge with men with different tendencies and like behaviors. Im a beautiful smart intelligent individual who who believe in trusting God and allowing her husband to lead. Unforgently ive met men with great influence of approach and great at making promises. Im a go getting, i believe if i can think it i can achieve it. I have spent much time writting books, developing organizational plan, creating programs for at risk children and adult. Ive raised 5 children with men around but no patental help and no assurance of good or decent guildence. In short with marraige ive been a single parent along with raising and being thete finanically for 6 stepchildren and 4 grandchildren not even of my own. Today ive learn weather i agree, like it or not that i have been living in toxic relationship. Im been beyond depressed even since childhood. Raise in a disfunctional home. Unaware of my spiritual connection and abilities. Though i degreed with AABM and BSHS, i have become so fatigued i cant and refuse to work. My 6 inches of hair in now skin bald and i havent cut a strain. Even my husband today. Dont understand his lack of companionship. He buys what ever i want. But fall short in taking manely care of the house paying bills and parenting. Yet he takes me to fancy resturants and buys me nice things. But have no understanding of morrals and obligations. My depression has lead me to violence; stricking and yelling fusing and cursing. Which i cant stand about myself. I have gotten a record for stricking my spouse. Who with his excessive spending cant even keep us in a house. But they all have claimed to love me so they are disturbed that i chose to let them go. My husband now just desire to by me weed he depression hit. But we are ministers in church. So that is so unreal. My children think the weed is best though they dont indulge however, i feel its the toxin of getting into relationships with individuals who have little or no respect for me. And they all were very selfish. I trust God. But this stuff has gotten so distructive i dont under. It no longer caring or love. I feel i stay in these relationship cause i feel are felt they owed me for helping them get thete lives together and sacrificing mine. I thought thats what a wife suppose to do. Only God knows yet i need help anyhow.

  • QueenJess

    Wow that sounds exactly like my husband! He still brings up a lie I told him from 3 years ago! And he also was ‘disgusted’ by my past and held it over my head for a long time. I will tell you what our couples counselor told me in confidence. We are dealing with a deeply insecure person who is unlikely to change unless they see it in themselves. Let me guess, he is also easily offended that you can’t mindread what he wants, he criticizes you constantly, and blames you for his anger and being upset. I am still deciding if it’s worth it to stay but since he’s going to therapy with me, I’m giving it a year. Good luck to you, I know how you feel and it’s a tough decision to make!!

  • Miranda Caroline Guilkey

    Hello! I have read many of your articles and I really enjoy them. I’m stuck in my own life and I have nobody to really talk to about my problems. Let me start out by introducing myself by saying Hi I’m Miranda, and my boyfriend and I have been together now for about 5 months.. I’m 19. He’s 25. He’s a Taurus, I’m a Sagittarius. Although despite those 2 major differences our relationship has just gone to complete shit compared to the previous months. I’m stuck in a whirlwind of emotions and I’m not sure if our relationship is toxic, or if it’s from where we moved from Ohio, to Tennessee. Since we have moved I haven’t worked and I stay at home (all the time) while he works. Granted after he gets off he comes home. He takes care of me and supports me with practically any desicion I make. If I want a job I can go get one for the most part. Although moving I left some important things behind, but for the most part yeah, I’m taken care of. But my emotional needs are just not met. I spend a lot of time analyzing every situation and if we argue it’s never subtle anymore. Sometimes we resolve it, other times we kinda just sweep it under the rug with hot make up sex. I thought I was ready to settle down and do this but now that I’m here and in the position I’m in, idk if it’s right for me… I don’t want to hurt him and I don’t want to make the decision of leaving a good thing. But I feel like my goals and dreams are put off.. because I moved my whole life for this man and his goals and dreams. Thinking I would go to college here and pursue my goals here but my goals aren’t here and I can barely even get out of bed. I’m soooooo depressed and I have no family or friends where I live. I just feel like I’m at a pause in life or a really really long dream as of now. Any advice?

  • Andy

    I think I’ve known all along that I was in a toxic relationship, but this article definitely confirmed it. I’m not exaggerating when I say my partner is one of the most beautiful ladies I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I compromised myself way more than I have ever done before just to be with her.

    From the beginning, she made me feel weak, ugly and generally inferior. A day with her was a mix of insults followed by some fun. I allowed myself to be dragged into situations I was uncomfortable with and to be blatantly disrespected only because I enjoyed sleeping with her, which was frequent enough to satisfy anyone’s appetite. Alas, it took about two weeks for me to break it off…I took her back though…she really wanted me (mostly because I have a large cock) and I couldn’t resist. Our relationship has lasted a year since then and I found myself strangely comfortable with being insulted on a daily basis. It wasn’t only that…it was that she was steeling my identity and values too. From the day I met her, she wanted to change how I dress, how my body looks, what I ate and so many other things that essentially tore at the core of who I am. She never accepted me for who I am. She instead, always assumed she knew what was best for me.

    There was no point in telling her when I had a hard day at work, because she would be completely unsupportive and essentially just point out how I was wrong and try to tell me how I should solve the situation. She also dragged me down into some rather unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking excessively, while limiting my physical activity by having no desire to do anything active with me. All the while, she leached thousands of dollars from me, because she never had a job. She would spend most of the day just laying around, then want me to entertain her after a long, hard day of work. She had no concept of personal time and would make me feel guilty anytime I wanted to leave her to take a nap or do some other activity.

    As annoying as all this was, I still managed to make excuses to stay with her. We spent so much time together that I really did fall in love with her. However, I always had this feeling that I couldn’t stay with her long term. She just didn’t fit into my long-term life goals and was exhausting to live with.

    I’m breaking up with her now, because I just can’t imagine doing it any longer. I have lost sexual desire for her and am usually not happy being around her. Confronting her with my feelings was difficult, and now she’s making me feel terrible for doing that. She said that this all came as a complete shock to her and that I’m so terrible for not saying anything before. At this point though, I’m so drained, that I really don’t care anymore. I’d rather just be done with the bitch and go on with my life.

  • Michelle

    I think this kind of relationship drains a person mentally ,emotionally and physically.We stay in relationships because of children but what do we teach them, to except bad behavior of parents as right or we wait until they start to mimic us to see something is wrong .i have spent the last 20 years of my life in a marriage that i should have left years ago because of children 6 to be exact i am now pregnant at 41 again with a next one ,is it to late for me now? why i say this is to tell you run for the hills you already see that it is toxic marriage ,you already see you have nothing in common don’t wait 10-20 years again to be you.

  • Manda Elizabeth

    Hi this article is amazing it fits me to a T I’m in a toxic relationship and I don’t know how to get out everything​I do is not good enough for him and he constantly puts me down and calls me names he wakes up every day mad at the world please help me leave him

  • Anna

    I saw your post. My situation is fragile. My life was strong & spiritual. I married this man so I thought. But he had not divorced his wife. We have been together married 2 half years. I told him he myst divorce his first wife he did that. But our marriage is not legal.
    I have refused any sexual relations till we remarry.
    So we tried that today the strangest thing happen when I tried to make a withdrawl for additional funds for same day marriage to give to the Clerk the machine detained my card.

    I was so sick I kept putting in the wrong pin. So I rrturn to the Clerk and paid cash for the marriage app to be filled out by a minister within 30 days. He was do upset.

    For these past years my business has fallen off. I no longer have a desire to write for clients. I sm a Pastor my membership has fallen drastically. So many these I accomplished during my 17 years are dwindelling away and I am watching it happen.

    I have been so physically sick as well.

    I can not marry this ma. He has drained me. I. No longer vibrant a ho getter. Its all about sustaining him.

    Gotta get out!

  • chris

    It is funny most women seem to blame men for all there relationship problems. Also, they never take accountability for any wrong doing. I am sure if my ex read this article, she would play the poor abused victim, even though she had a big part in destroying our relationship by never appreciating anything, her lies, being unable to communicate, long silent treatments and being extremely selfish. I think if you want to have a successful relationship… you need to be honest, learn to take accountability for mistakes, have good communicate skills, communicate and compromise. If you are a person who is prideful, just looks out for yourself and is selfish, gets bored too easily, please stay single and do not ruin other peoples lives.

  • chris

    I completely understand you as I am also a spiritual and deep person. How did things turn out for you?