Toxic People: 12 Things They Do and How to Deal with Them

The 12 Things Toxic People Do and How to Deal With Them

We have all had toxic people dust us with their poison. Sometimes it’s more like a drenching. Difficult people are drawn to the reasonable ones and all of us have likely had (or have) at least one person in our lives who have us bending around ourselves like barbed wire in endless attempts to please them – only to never really get there.

Their damage lies in their subtlety and the way they can engender that classic response, ‘It’s not them, it’s me.’ They can have you questioning your ‘over-reactiveness’, your ‘oversensitivity’, your ‘tendency to misinterpret’. If you’re the one who’s continually hurt, or the one who is constantly adjusting your own behaviour to avoid being hurt, then chances are that it’s not you and it’s very much them.

Being able to spot their harmful behaviour is the first step to minimising their impact. You might not be able to change what they do, but you can change what you do with it, and any idea that toxic somebody in your life might have that they can get away with it.

There are plenty of things toxic people do to manipulate people and situations to their advantage. Here are 12 of them. Knowing them will help you to avoid falling under the influence:

  1. They’ll keep you guessing about which version of them you’re getting.

    They’ll be completely lovely one day and the next you’ll be wondering what you’ve done to upset them. There often isn’t anything obvious that will explain the change of attitude – you just know something isn’t right. They might be prickly, sad, cold or cranky and when you ask if there’s something wrong, the answer will likely be ‘nothing’ – but they’ll give you just enough  to let you know that there’s something. The ‘just enough’ might be a heaving sigh, a raised eyebrow, a cold shoulder. When this happens, you might find yourself making excuses for them or doing everything you can to make them happy. See why it works for them?

    Stop trying to please them. Toxic people figured out a long time ago that decent people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep the people they care about happy. If your attempts to please aren’t working or aren’t lasting for very long, maybe it’s time to stop. Walk away and come back when the mood has shifted. You are not responsible for anybody else’s feelings. If you have done something unknowingly to hurt somebody, ask, talk about it and if need be, apologise. At any rate, you shouldn’t have to guess.

  1. They’ll manipulate.

    If you feel as though you’re the only one contributing to the relationship, you’re probably right. Toxic people have a way of sending out the vibe that you owe them something. They also have a way of taking from you or doing something that hurts you, then maintaining they were doing it all for you. This is particularly common in workplaces or relationships where the balance of power is out. ‘I’ve left that six months’ worth of filing for you. I thought you’d appreciate the experience and the opportunity to learn your way around the filing cabinets.’ Or, ‘I’m having a dinner party. Why don’t you bring dinner. For 10. It’ll give you a chance to show off those kitchen skills. K?’

    You don’t owe anybody anything. If it doesn’t feel like a favour, it’s not.

  1. They won’t own their feelings.

    Rather than owning their own feelings, they’ll act as though the feelings are yours. It’s called projection, as in projecting their feelings and thoughts onto you. For example, someone who is angry but won’t take responsibility for it might accuse you of being angry with them. It might be as subtle as, ‘Are you okay with me?’ or a bit more pointed, ‘Why are you angry at me,’ or, ‘You’ve been in a bad mood all day.’

    You’ll find yourself justifying and defending and often this will go around in circles – because it’s not about you. Be really clear on what’s yours and what’s theirs. If you feel as though you’re defending yourself too many times against accusations or questions that don’t fit, you might be being projected on to. You don’t have to explain, justify or defend yourself or deal with a misfired accusation. Remember that.

  1. They’ll make you prove yourself to them.

    They’ll regularly put you in a position where you have to choose between them and something else – and you’ll always feel obliged to choose them. Toxic people will wait until you have a commitment, then they’ll unfold the drama.  ‘If you really cared about me you’d skip your exercise class and spend time with me.’  The problem with this is that enough will never be enough. Few things are fatal – unless it’s life or death, chances are it can wait.

    [irp posts=”1195″ name=”Toxic People: 16 Practical, Powerful Ways to Deal With Them”]

  2. They never apologise. 

    They’ll lie before they ever apologise, so there’s no point arguing. They’ll twist the story, change the way it happened and retell it so convincingly that they’ll believe their own nonsense.

    People don’t have to apologise to be wrong. And you don’t need an apology to move forward. Just move forward – without them. Don’t surrender your truth but don’t keep the argument going. There’s just no point. Some people want to be right more than they want to be happy and you have better things to do than to provide fodder for the right-fighters.

  1. They’ll be there in a crisis but they’ll never ever share your joy.

    They’ll find reasons your good news isn’t great news. The classics: About a promotion – ‘The money isn’t that great for the amount of work you’ll be doing.’ About a holiday at the beach – ‘Well it’s going to be very hot. Are you sure you want to go?’ About being made Queen of the Universe – ‘Well the Universe isn’t that big you know and I’m pretty sure you won’t get tea breaks.’ Get the idea? Don’t let them dampen you or shrink you down to their size. You don’t need their approval anyway – or anyone else’s for that matter.

  2. They’ll leave a conversation unfinished – and then they’ll go offline.

    They won’t pick up their phone. They won’t answer texts or emails. And in between rounds of their voicemail message, you might find yourself playing the conversation or argument over and over in your head, guessing about the status of the relationship, wondering what you’ve done to upset them, or whether they’re dead, alive or just ignoring you – which can sometimes all feel the same. People who care about you won’t let you go on feeling rubbish without attempting to sort it out. That doesn’t mean you’ll sort it out of course, but at least they’ll try. Take it as a sign of their investment in the relationship if they leave you ‘out there’ for lengthy sessions.

  3. They’ll use non-toxic words with a toxic tone.

    The message might be innocent enough but the tone conveys so much more. Something like, ‘What did you do today?’ can mean different things depending on the way it’s said. It could mean anything from ‘So I bet you did nothing – as usual,’ to ‘I’m sure your day was better than mine. Mine was awful. Just awful. And you didn’t even notice enough to ask.’ When you question the tone, they’ll come back with, ‘All I said was what did you do today,’ which is true, kind of, not really.

  4. They’ll bring irrelevant detail into a conversation.

    When you’re trying to resolve something important to you, toxic people will bring in irrelevant detail from five arguments ago. The problem with this is that before you know it, you’re arguing about something you did six months ago, still defending yourself, rather than dealing with the issue at hand. Somehow, it just always seems to end up about what you’ve done to them.

  5. They’ll make it about the way you’re talking, rather than what you’re talking about.

    You might be trying to resolve an issue or get clarification and before you know it, the conversation/ argument has moved away from the issue that was important to you and on to the manner in which you talked about it – whether there is any issue with your manner or not. You’ll find yourself defending your tone, your gestures, your choice of words or the way your belly moves when you breathe – it doesn’t even need to make sense. Meanwhile, your initial need is well gone on the pile of unfinished conversations that seems to grow bigger by the day.

    [irp posts=”1762″ name=”When Someone You Love is Toxic: How to Let Go of Toxic People, Without Guilt”]

  6. They exaggerate.

    ‘You always …’ ‘You never …’ It’s hard to defend yourself against this form of manipulation. Toxic people have a way of drawing on the one time you didn’t or the one time you did as evidence of your shortcomings. Don’t buy into the argument. You won’t win. And you don’t need to.

  7. They are judgemental.

    We all get it wrong sometimes but toxic people will make sure you know it. They’ll judge you and take a swipe at your self-esteem suggesting that you’re less than because you made a mistake. We’re all allowed to get it wrong now and then, but unless we’ve done something that affects them nobody has the right to stand in judgement.

Knowing the favourite go-to’s for toxic people will sharpen your radar, making the manipulations easier to spot and easier to name. More importantly, if you know the characteristic signs of a toxic person, you’ll have a better chance of catching yourself before you tie yourself in double knots trying to please them.

Some people can’t be pleased and some people won’t be good for you – and many times that will have nothing to do with you. You can always say no to unnecessary crazy. Be confident and own your own faults, your quirks and the things that make you shine. You don’t need anyone’s approval but remember if someone is working hard to manipulate, it’s probably because they need yours. You don’t always have to give it but if you do, don’t let the cost be too high.



I don’t really know about handling this situation. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost two years, and things are like a roller coaster. His mood can change in seconds. He’s quick to anger and often blows up on me calling me a slut, telling me he hates me, wishes we never met, calling me a dumb bitch. Then I’ll calm him down, he’ll apologize and beg for forgiveness. Sometimes when he’s angry he’ll abuse alcohol or medication. He’s even resorted to cheating on me. When we argue I feel it’s my right to bring it up to him. He says it’s my fault for not prioritizing him and stressing him out. Is this all normal in a relationship? The ups and downs?


Kick him to the curb immediately. He will likely injury you eventually. You are too valuable to tolerate this behavior.


Hi , currently i facing the issue with my father-in-law . From beginning of my marriage he was constantly hurt us by using the general words in different tone. my husband getting embrass that he is there self-respect. It is all most 1 1/2 half year’s, we tried our best to live in joint family. But at each time there hurting words are going beyond the limit. they are not even try to listen our words that how these attitude , words are affecting me. My mother-in-law just want to end the quarrel and not standing on justice or not even questing them for this attitude towards his son.
we both are being stressed a lot by these incidents and by that i am under going with issue of PCOS.
What we need to do . really i am tried hard to set things . But it is getting worse. they are deciding our life of what next we should do. Plese help me what i decision i need to take.


So I had worked with these few people, and they changed the plan at the last minute. When I said that I had already planned everything according to the schedule, they asked me to cancel, and I said no, and they made it into one problem. When I tried to sort it out, they just brought in all my mistakes from last year. But the thing I’m trying to sort out is the problem that just happened. They blamed me for everything, saying I had problems with them doing the project and that I was the problematic one. So lastly, I ended up feeling guilty about it, and I agreed to whatever they said.


Who is toxic here ? me or my boyfriend ? I have had a 10 year relationship at office where i always fought for attention. He flirted with me (now i understand for fun) but i reciprocated with real feelings and i expressed. He liked my heart he said and i was good as per him. first 6 months were good however once i expressed my inclination to be heard loved communicated with often. meanwhile another younger girl joined the firm and i observed late night both used to be on 2 hr chat (by mistake i once checked and later confronted and he said im imagining). He later started making plans of taking her out of rides long distance journeys and i was left alone and i was told he has no romantic link up but just platonic (no sex was true – but it was flirtatious from the beginning and he told he wants to give her a mans cosiness so she doesnt venture out and spoil herself with other men who will use her – he was 45 at that time and she 25). Everytime their closeness increased i used to be sidelined and i started making noise telling him i understand its not romantic but i could not tolerate as he never planned rides with me or trips with me. I thought i will make him understand it is very hurtful and i too deserved some personal time as a romantic relation. He tried same with other girls but didnt pursue but he increased his affection alone time with this younger girl (i was of same age as him). He told she is like his daughter but he kept planning alone time and spending late nights at office which i am sure was platonic but there was too much intimacy for comfort. the physical connection stopped with me and i used to be the one asking him always but it was me who always approached him and 1% of time we spent time based on his mood. time passed i got used to his time with her but i always requested begged stating i will be ok if he spends time with me alone while he continued to spend late nights with “daughter’. Later the “daughter” got married and he still spent time with her same way as per him non sexual is ok howmuch ever intimate they are and as husband used to do late nights at his office – he felt its ok she spends time safely with him and he used to pick and drop her daily for almost 6 years so he continued, her husband had objecttions with that and they ended up divorcing. I too helped her through her difficult period as she was close to him and i felt if i help it is like helping him. While he was very good to me during that period – there was no romantic inclination towards me changing … his focus his time was always with her and i used to still complain and was treated like dirt saying just because i ask he wont spend time with me … time passed and at the end of 8th year when she married again – my mid aged boyfriend again befriended a new 24 year old girl whom he started taking around in bike nd he used to explain to me how closely she sits – he has to keep her relationship warm so sometime in future he can have a proper relation. I was totally disappointed as i had waited 8 long years for him to connect to me the way i mentally connected to him and he used to share everything with me as information telling he is open with me about everything but i was uncomfortable. Imagine we both sitting in a room and he gets video calls from that younger girl every 20 min and they were throwing flying kisses and talking with so much love between them (this was the non sexual liking) but his attention never was with me. we used to spend around 5-6 hrs working and all the time his talks went on with her either on chat or video calls and i was left waiting for him.. once that stopped he said he had work. i kept crying explaining my hurt asking him to have courtesy to my feelings he kept saying he is next to me physically so why i should complain. after 8 long years i had personal trauma for months and though he helped me by talking thru in the beginning after few months his focus shifted to the younger girl telling after her second marriage he wants to feel close to his “Daughter” so he started taking her out on short rides before her husband came to pick her – they sit next to each other whole day in the office and she full time talks to her so i did not understnd why is a separate close to each other bike ride required to feel close while in 10 years not once has he taken me out on these rides which i am mad about ….i used to sit with him only for going to lunch together which was 5 min away may be max 10-15 times a year. so i kept irritating him about doing time pass with all young girls but me whom he told he loves me never got anything romantic. One fine day in the 10th year of relationship when i was crying my heart out due to a family trauma situation were there were multiple deaths and coma patient care and financial troubles and he saw right thru me as if it didnt matter and he walked right in front of me taking her for her ride while i was crying unable to handle my family stress. That did it for me i felt he was not even a friend forget a lover and i did what i shld never have done … i exposed him behind his back to the young girls husband without realizing her marriage will be in trouble rather than exposing him…. i regretted the next day and when he questioned me whether i had done anything (only i knew the details i exposed about so guessing was not difficult) i wrote a message to him telling i had done the unthinkable. He has cut me off since then and even though he is in same office in the next cubicle i am hurting very bad. I am unable to let go of him as i was ready to lose the relationship and our lunches tea time etc but not connection to him – he completely blocked me everywhere and when i want to express whats happening to me or my life is is least bothered – he doesnt even talk or share anything about his family or even one bit about anything …. my health is suffering even after 6 months of breakup and im unable to handle this breakup in anyway. i need him a lot to be around me to be able to talk basic things but he has blocked me and i am going through serious health issues.

Wendy H

This is abuse. Find another job and dump him. He is the worthless one, not you.


I’m moving to Florida, I have a friend there…she is currently mad at me because I won’t agree to everything she wants to do to help me. Isn’t it my right to pick and choose what I want help with? I feel I have to be silent around her…she goes off on these rants if she disagrees with something I’ve said. I’m under enough stress with the move as it is. What the heck do I do? She’s currently giving me the silent treatment because I nixed a heavy bedframe she wants to lend me. Gosh, I agreed to a nightstand, lots of kitchen stuff, towels…etc….this is making me crazy.


Sounds like she’s just trying to pawn off all of her unwanted stuff on you, and you’re not cooperating by taking all of her junk off her hands.

Toni T

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 4 years now. My mother is also dying of cancer and has maybe two weeks to live. So needless to say I am under a tremendous amount of stress, and my boyfriend and I fight all the time. He says it’s my fault because I started and I get back a barrage of insults and devastating comments the absolutely Tear to shreds. I’m the one that ends up apologizing and he tells me I’m the one that needs to show him that I wanna fix things. Yesterday I went to the store and when I came back he was very respondent and I asked him what the matter was. After a minute he informed me that he “accidentally” Recorded me having a very private conversation with my dying mother. I said some things that I felt about him venting I have no one to talk to you and my mom is my best friend so we discuss things about the future and things that I feel he does to me in our relationship. He told me he heard the entire conversation and he can never forgive me or get past the things that I said about him. I know the recording was not accidental but yet I am being punished for this I don’t know what to do if I’m wrong what to do. I’m at a loss and I am in desperate need of some good advice because I feel like I’m losing my mind right now. I do have a Behavioral as well as a mood disorder and I know that that contributes to a lot of our problems. But I’m absolutely at a loss because I can’t even be mad that he recorded me he says but I will definitely pay the price for what he heard.


OMG I’m so sorry about what happened I don’t know what to do for you but I do know something that will help just remember the loved ones is always going to be their friend more than your boyfriend OMG I can’t believe this Your Mother start with cancer I don’t know what to say I will be praying for you guys every step of the way

sue c

Girl trust me take it from experience you better run like hell the opposite direction it won’t get better


It is not right that he recorded your private converstation with your mother. Plus you have a right to be with her and put her first. She needs your love and attention. He has to realise that he needs to be more understanding that you need to spend time with her. He is trying to use the recording as evidence to prove that you can’t share things with your mum. I would advise helping your mum as she needs your care and support, love and attention right now as she is the most important, who gave you life and raised you. You won’t be able to get those precious time back and you’ll regret it and feel worse. He has no right to make you feel that way. Either end the relationship but communicate the above, and/or make it clear that you need to dedicate your focus and engergies on her. This is your choice but please don’t waste her precious life wasting time fighting with him

Rhonda M

Maybe this is a blessing for you. Your beloved mom can pass on in peace knowing you are going to be free of this chump. RIP that bandaid off. Dump him and spend as much time as you can with your mom. Good luck to you


I moved in with my friend and her cousin for college. I am an introvert that likes to stay in my room to read or watch videos. I know I need to learn to be more social. In the beginning we all got along until one day they had a problem with everything I did. Eg. Not liking avocados, or I wait until my dishes are dry on the rack before I put them away instead of drying them right away.
They made up lies to tell their parents that I am the aggressor and I am the one who yells at them and belittles them. Everyone who know me knows that I am very soft spoken even when I talk about things I am passionate about.
I mustered up my courage to have the difficult talk about why they are ignoring me or giving me dirty looks. They wrote a list of all my shortcomings and how I need to change in order for me to stay friends with them. Needless to say, I was floored. Not only did they nitpicked almost every insecurity I had about myself, they told me I need to stop acting like I was the victim. I even apologized for things I didn’t do, but I apologized anyway to try to make things better. They didn’t.
My mom saw one of them on FaceTime giving me the finger behind my back when she didn’t know she was on camera. My mom got mad and called her mom. Her mom admitted her daughter can be difficult but she won’t interfere because we are now considered adults. Her mom also told my mom that she also can’t talk to her daughter because her daughter told her she’s constantly studying during her free time. That is a lie, she’s always out partying.
I cannot live like this anymore. We have another 3 years of college and if I have to keep living with them, I will go insane. I am doing well in my classes despite all that is going on. They constantly get in trouble in class because they are loud and fooling around.
I found another place to live but I will be leaving my lease early and leaving them to have to come up with my portion of the rent. I was so excited to live with them and they couldn’t find a nice affordable apartment without me. My mom paid for all the furniture and she said she will sell it or return it all if I move out. My sister said I shouldn’t feel guilty or even tell them I’m leaving, but I still feel like I’m the bad guy. Should I leave and not tell them or should I give them a month’s notice so they can find another roommate? My friends think that they will try to make my life worse if they know I’m leaving.


Wow…I had a toxic roommate once but you got the double-whammie with not one but two! I think if it were me not only would I not tell them I was moving out but I wouldn’t even wait it out another month. Look for a time when they’ll both be away, then get your furniture and other stuff out, leave a note and be gone when they get back. You could explain that you tried to make it work but they left you no choice but to do it this way.


Thank you Terry. My parents will be coming to help me move. It won’t matter if they are there or not while I move, they are scared of my parents, especially my dad. I decided not to tell them I’m moving out. I don’t want to live a month of sleeping with one eye opened!
They have now doubled down on their pettiness by not letting me use what her parents bought for the apartment. Eg. Salt and pepper. I don’t stoop down to their level by not letting them sit on the couch or watch the tv my mom bought. Those items will also be coming with me when I move. All utilities are in my name, including wifi. I will transfer those services to my new apartment too.
My mom told me they already made me a villain in their eyes, nothing I do or say will make them change their minds. It’s been 9 long months, they won’t change, and that their actions have consequences. My mom said her parents will need to step up after I move and possibly get them some psychiatric help because their behaviour is not normal, it’s darn right toxic. My mom’s word’s, not mine!
I thank god everyday I have my parents to talk to, especially my mom. Her nightly talks keep me from breaking down mentally. She should have been a therapist instead of a lawyer.


Good for you…that is truly bizzare. I think it’s hilarious that you’re taking the wifi and tv with you (does that make me toxic?). In my own experience I think part (not all) of the issue was just getting out into a larger world and learning to deal with personalities I hadn’t encountered before, but it’s good that your parents are there to offer perspective and help you sort out what is and is not acceptable behavior. And you mom is right – they’re not going to change. You need to get out for your own mental health. It sounds as if your roommates are scared of your parents because they can’t pull their (ahem) crap with them.

Best wishes, and enjoy your new life! Hopefully in the future you’ll have some perspective of your own to draw from in dealing with more such people (whom you WILL meet at some point) and even help others to do so.

Robin W

You don’t owe them any explanation other than good luck with your new housemate. I hope you find them easier to live with ! I know you won’t miss me ( draw a F@#% You picture lol)


This is my husband 100% except even worse and I am trying to pull myself off his roller coaster.

Coco Chanel

It’s time to leave the relationship. She is taking you for granted. She has no respect for you or what you are feeling. Sometimes it will take walking away from an toxic or onesided relationship before a person realize what they lost.


Now I just need to rant and let off steam because woopdy dooo I’m pissed

My brother is an absolute jackass. I don’t think he is by any means Toxic, but he does share some pretty nasty qualities with people like this. He is really, really good at making anyone he does not, and for lack of a better term, “respect” feel like absolute crap. The dude won’t even let me speak when I want to talk to him, yet when he wants to talk to me, I’m all ears. Now I’m by no means a good person either. I am a very talkative and very annoying person which may stem from a personal need for attention which I am now starting to believe that I have. That being said, I still want to talk to my brother. And half the time it’s about things we both enjoy, like video games. Now I might take it too far, describing things in such detail that we can spend hours just talking about one thing, but that is just how I am. I like researching and want to tell people about what I have learned. I want to talk to a person who can keep up with me, or just listen. When I want to converse with him, he has some very popular phrases, some while greeting me. “Shut Up”, “I’m done with this conversation” “I don’t care” “why won’t you shut up” “be quiet” “This is why you don’t have friends” “this is why no one likes you”. Now while the last few eventually happen when we get in an argument, it still hurts to hear him say that. Again though, I am by no means better than him. I have also insulted him just as well, and oftentimes, it ends with us either getting into a tussle, or both of us walking away pissed. Still, I feel like I am not respected or loved by him. I feel he does not care, and while I don’t want to toot my own horn, I do care for him. Any one of my friends you can ask will tell you so. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t want him treating me this way. I don’t want him to act like I am the scum of his earth. I don’t want to feel like I don’t have options anymore. I don’t want to be in situations where my anger gets the better of me and I hit him, and he retaliates. I want to be his brother and I want him to be my brother, but I don’t want to hate him. I might have issues that need solving, and I should probably talk to a therapist, but that is expensive, and this is easier. I just need someone to talk to. Really someone to talk to. I am not a good person, but I hate feeling like I am losing someone I love.


This is my brother who we don’t get on whose abusive. I want absolutely zilch to do with him and his equally toxic money grabbing partner.

He’s very abusive and ticks all of the above. I have looked after my mother 16 years and when she had a heart attack and was poorly he asked me to transfer everything to him which I refused.

He then said the will was not valid it was as I was not there when it was signed and witnessed by two independent witnesses. He then pestered my mother to move in to his house to exclude me from the will and gain control whilst he and his partner moved to my mother’s house.

She refused and had heart failure at the time. My mother made a good recovery still early days thanks entirely to me and she’s seeing a new solicitor to make sure the will is watertight.

There were further incidences of not talking to my mother to make her choose which she won’t and withholding Granparents rights. He’s a nasty piece of work.

He is not getting a house I helped pay for and which I worked for as a carer. I won’t talk to him or send him a card now for his birthday or Christmas. He is judgmental saying I’m mentally ill but he has a history of violence and abusing women and anger management issues so take’s one to know one I suppose. I told him don’t abuse me. Toxic through and through. I will make sure my mother lives to be 90 plus when his health is declining rapidly.


My partner has an anxiety disorder and is also control freak and perfectionist. Her last partner was a narcissist. I think that she is using his behaviors on me the last period. We aren’t living together. It is a long distance relationship.


I started having feelings for a guy (I am in retail and wait on him daily) that comes in Monday thru Friday for a 12 pack of beer. He said he has to quit to save his marriage. Over and over said that. Than he said she is (wife) is tired of him. We started talking also on the phone and met in the park and than it got talking constantly at night. He got a burner phone so she could not find out he was talking to someone. We started having feelings He even said he could not sleep thinking of me constantly. He said there could never be an us because of his drinking I encouraged him to get help to save his marriage. He tried quitting on his own (cold turkey) and he could not do it and started drinking again. She ask him to leave. I know nothing after that. He comes in still but tells me nothing. Just he is doing him. So what do I say? should I just say hello and nothing else?


Girl if he’ll do it to her. Then he’ll do it to you. You AREN’T his therapist. This is unhealthy & you know it. Don’t walk, run & don’t look back. You owe him NOTHING. Save your time for someone whose worth it & not a cheater.


Yes he is broken, leave him alone because you can’t fix this and your feelings for a married man are toxic so work on your own boundaries before seeking attention from a married man. You need to realize that you participating in the deceptive tactics against his wife are toxic. You can’t help him because you aided in injuring his marriage. Marriage is sacred. Not fair game.

Coco Chanel

I understand you like to help. However, any man that’s marry should not be with you period. You should cut off all communications with this guy. He is married, what are you looking for being attached to a married man and another woman’s husband? What does he has to offer you other than sex?


I’m in a 21 year relationship and we argue every day. I have always done everything that I thought would please him or make him happy . This has been so severe that even the color of my hair was done to his liking. I am a very well rounded person- very optimistic. I always say ,” I can dig in the dirt or go to the ball”. I have from day one done everything for him possible and he liked that until approx. 10 years into the relationship and then it became ,” you need to act like a lady & still expecting me to do all the things that a tomboy would do- man stuff. He cut me down for being ann by le to do the things he ask of me. Nothing I have done has ever been good enough or has made him love me as I love him. He married and was used and abused by his ex wife 3 times and he still loves her I believe . I am a good person , was raised with hood morals and values and know how to run a household and take care of my man . I feel that is why I’m still around because I feel like I’m a maid that puts out. Excuse that but it’s the truth. He never touched me or has anything to do with me physically unless he needs something! We are around each other all the time 24/7 mostly. But it’s always an argument because he is a very competitive person and I think he thinks I’m a challenge to him instead of his companion. So sad.


Leave him . The one who truly loves for that person your feelings should be important not his own sturbboness.
Good luck !

Finally Free

It’s funny. Someone sent ONLY portions of this to me and called me toxic yesterday. I read it and was like OMG! It described to a T, the individual that sent it to me. So I googled it and read the rest. After 2 years I finally feel FREE. I struggled for so long to try and please him. To wait while he sorted his feelings and apologized for the horrible things he did. Instead he would just dig deeper holes and expect to “move on” without addressing problems, bringing up irrelevant issues and fighting over semantics and context. I often wondered if I was being a narcissist for giving up. Near the end I had started to get angry, yes resorted to name calling (after he did) and after being hurt repeatedly and then sucked back in again with sweetness…only to be hurt again. After reading this I see now that it hasn’t been my fault all along and not only am I NOT a narcissist, I am NOT the toxic one! Thank you for giving me hope and clarity. Thank you for helping me keep some semblance of SANITY. I really thought I was losing my mind for a bit.


Similar story.
As soon as I TXT the number he gave me, he blew up my phone for days and wouldn’t stop calling and txting even while I was at work and without my phone which he knew.
He sent flowers to my work which made me really uncomfortable, as I had already asked that he remain a “customer” and not make a show of the relationship too soon because it would cause issues of comfort for me.
I discovered very quickly he was calculative, angry and really obsessive.

He convinced himself I was into my co-workers and forced me to quit my job because of it then insisted I open a duel bank account with him saying he was so wealthy ect, I said no.
He tried to buddy up with all my friends at work and boss, then said if I didnt quit my job to be dependant on him, he would tell my boss all my gripes with the job.
Right there, cant be trusted.
He told me i could talk to him about anything, tell him if i thought he was being an “asshole” but when i did confront him about anything he gaslit me, laughed in my face and repeatedly followed me from room to room screaming at me calling me names and making accusations and diversional throwbacks to other fights that had been resolved. He told me he would never pressure me for sex, he raped me twice.
He wouldn’t let me spend any of my own money but kept getting speeding fines and quitting jobs. He was so vindictive that instead of formally quitting one, he just parked the truck somewhere random and walked off leaving the keys in the ignition.
He ran out of money then started treating his closest like crap including me while maintaining a facade of wealth outside. He didn’t even actually own the forks in the draws.
I couldnt get out .. he kept stalking and harassing me and love bombing me only to repeat the same horrific BS again and again and now 2 years later I am primary custodial of our son with mounting evidence against him poised. I am so sick of this person. He forced me to have the baby (long story) and he kicked me out in the middle of the night in a dangeous town pregnant. I ended up alone in a homeless shelter with no support and gave birth alone during lockdown.
He has done so much awful stuff to me and still after the IVO and all to this day, he is horrible and lazy father who has all but abandoned our son who his nephew told me, he planned for, so that I wouldn’t leave because he was insecure.
All this in 3 months.

2 years later… He controls my life through use of his son. He is so bitter towards his son, he calls him “mummys boy” and tries to pick fights with em at every turn.
He’s scored a new girlfriend and lied about it for 6 months, if only she knew that this man is a rare kind of psychotic. He plans to knock her up then use their offspring as leverage against me as the primary care giver. He wont win, i still have the footage and all the messages to prove what he was and even though he apologised and begged for me back again and again, he still denies ever doing any of it to my face.


Wow, I’m
So happy to read this, my husband of 15 years is all of the above, I left him
For 5 years he stalked and harrassed me the whole time, then stupidly he faked the niceness and I thought let’s try again because he was being the man I fell
In love with, only to be trapped in the cycle of mind games, belittling, confusion, doubting my own sanity, thoughts, feelings, perceptions. Being told that what I felt was wrong, what I believed was wrong, and telling me how I should really feel and believe?! He’d dig and dig and dig at me any opportunity he had to the point I stayed out of his way as much as I can in the bedroom, to be called lazy and none idle for being in my bedroom all day, I’d reach my limits and stand up for myself and my way is shouting because I’m at that level I can’t hold it in, to be told I’m a narcissist I’m toxic and I’m abusive! Along with telling others that know us the same and he was an abused victim!!! He is so clever and manipulative and I know what he’s doing but still he manages to avoid conversations and turn them about a wrong word said or something that happened last month to completely change the direction of the conversation to something we have gone over and over and over again so many times?! I’d end up having to give him a itemised list of what I bought from the shop with the £20 He left me? And then he’d tell me I was lying about what I spent it on!!! It is debilitating and the illness it brings on mentally and physically is monumental!!! And you end up feeling your the one in the wrong?!!!! He’s told me nobody would put up with my shit and he’s the only one who would have me?!!! When all I’ve done is try try and try?! He is a hoarder and the house is crammed with old junk, not just from him
But from customers houses, old boilers, lamp shades, cable, old plug sockets light switches he’s changed at customers house, old fuse boards and showers!!! So when I attempt to clear anything he goes ballistic and tells me I’m over stepping my boundaries! It’s horrendous!! Anyway new house coming up soon for me for my escape! Cos I wouldn’t wish that on anybody!


I have a boyfriend but nobody but my closest friends believe me. I have been asked many times for photos of him to prove his existence but he wasn’t comfortable sending them and I respected that. I honestly felt like I was being peer pressured to send them. I decided to find a picture online to send to that person and they sent it round to everyone and people didn’t believe me so they started to look online for a matching picture. After I realised they were doing that I told them I sent a fake picture because I knew it would be sent round and he didn’t feel comfortable with that, they ignored me and started spreading rumours. My once best friend, was sat behind me in a lesson and I could hear their conversation loud and clear. She was saying things like “I was never HER best friend!” And when one of my friends asked her, “why did you say that she was your best friend and always hang out with her?” She replied, “I’m just an amazing actor.”
I felt really hurt by this but I didn’t say owt because I knew that my ex best friend and one of the most toxic person in our year weren’t going to let this go. I tried telling them but they just don’t listen. I really don’t know what to do now.


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We humans feel safest when we know where the edges are. Without boundaries it can feel like walking along the edge of a mountain without guard rails.

Boundaries must come with two things - love and leadership. They shouldn’t feel hollow, and they don’t need to feel like brick walls. They can be held firmly and lovingly.

Boundaries without the ‘loving’ will feel shaming, lonely, harsh. Understandably children will want to shield from this. This ‘shielding’ looks like keeping their messes from us. We drive them into the secretive and the forbidden because we squander precious opportunities to guide them.

Harsh consequences don’t teach them to avoid bad decisions. They teach them to avoid us.

They need both: boundaries, held lovingly.

First, decide on the boundary. Boundaries aren’t about what we want them to do. We can’t control that. Boundaries are about what we’ll do when the rules are broken.

If the rule is, ‘Be respectful’ - they’re in charge of what they do, you’re in charge of the boundary.

Attend to boundaries AND relationship. ‘It’s okay to be angry at me. (Rel’ship) No, I won’t let you speak to me like that. (Boundary). I want to hear what you have to say. (R). I won’t listen while you’re speaking like that. (B). I’m  going to wait until you can speak in a way I can hear. I’m right here. (R).

If the ‘leadership’ part is hard, think about what boundaries meant for you when you were young. If they felt cruel or shaming, it’s understandable that that’s how boundaries feel for you now. You don’t have to do boundaries the way your parents did. Don’t get rid of the boundary. Add in a loving way to hold them.

If the ‘loving’ part is hard, and if their behaviour enrages you, what was it like for you when you had big feelings as a child? If nobody supported you through feelings or behaviour, it’s understandable that their big feelings and behaviour will drive anger in you.

Anger exists as a shield for other more vulnerable feelings. What might your anger be shielding - loneliness? Anxiety? Feeling unseen? See through the behaviour to the need or feeling behind it: This is a great kid who is struggling right now. Reject the behaviour, support the child.♥️
Can’t wait to see you Brisbane! Saturday 20 May had bounded up to us with its arms open - and we’re so ready.

If you don’t have a ticket and would give your very last lamington for one, don’t worry - tickets are still available from ‘Resilient Kids Conference’ (on google). Here are the details:
Date and Time: Sat 20th May

Time: 9.30am – 3:00pm (Doors open at 9.00am for a 9.30am start)

Location: Main Auditorium, iSee Church, 8 Ellen Street, Carina Qld 4152

Parking: Free parking onsite

Cost: $85.00 AUD 

We’d love you to join us.♥️
Our nervous systems are designed to receive their distress. Fight or flight in them raises fight or flight in us - to get our bodies ready to fight for them or flee with them.

When they’re in actual danger, it’s a brilliant response, but ‘danger’ is about what the brain perceives. 

Big feelings and behaviour are a sign of a brain that has registered ‘threat’. A felt sense of relational threat and emotional threat all count as ‘threat’.

This can happen any time there is any chance at all of humiliation, judgement, missing out on something important, felt disconnection, not feeling seen, heard, validated, not having the resources for the immediate demands (stress).

Think of this in terms of interruption, transition times, sibling arguments, coming home after a big day at school.

When the threat isn’t a true physical danger, there is nothing to fight with or flee from (except maybe siblings and instructions).

This is when the fight or flight that’s been raised in us can move us to fight with them (we might get irritated, frustrated, angry, annoyed, raise our voices) or flee from them.

These are really valid feelings and signs of things working as they should, but it’s what we do in response that matters.

Think of it this way. Brains don’t care for the difference between actual danger and things that are safe, but annoying or upsetting. They all count as ‘danger’. 

Pause for a moment, and see that this is a young person with a brain that doesn’t feel ‘safe’ right now. Whether it’s emotionally safe, relationally safe, physically safe - they all matter.

First, they need to be brought back to safety. We’ll do this most powerfully through relationship - co-regulation, validation, touch. 

In practice this looks like breathe (to calm your nervous system so you can recalibrate theirs), be with (validate with or without words - let them feel you believing them and not needing anything from them in that moment), and wait.

If you need to hold a boundary, add that in (‘I won’t let you …’) but don’t take relationship away.

Then, when they are calm, have the chat - ‘What happened?’ ‘What can we do to put things right?’ ‘What might next time look like?’♥️
Brisbane - not long to go! We’d love you to join us at The Resilient Kids Conference. The feedback from Launceston has been incredible, and we can’t wait to do it again with you Brisbane.

All the details...
Date: Sat 20th May,
Time: 9.30am – 3:30pm 
Doors open at 8.30am for a 9.30am start
Location: Main Auditorium, iSee Church, 8 Ellen Street, Carina Qld 4152
Parking: Free parking onsite
Cost: $85.00 AUD

👍 What to Bring: Print your e-ticket or show your ticket on your phone at the main entrance for easy scanning and entry.

👍 Resources:  A big aim of RKC is to resource communities. For that reason, we offer a range of stalls filled with helpful resources, and of course the speakers books. Eftpos will be available on the day for all purchases.

👍 Food on the day:  We strive to keep our ticket prices low, to make it possible for anyone to experience RKC. To help, the ticket price does not include food or drinks. While a cafe and other food options nearby will be available at each event, we hope this low-price gesture enables you to be with us!

Grab some friends and let's make this a day to remember. It won't be complete without you....🧡
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