Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

15 Signs of a Toxic Relationship


15 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

Toxic relationships will cause monumental breakage to people, families and workplaces, but they aren’t necessarily the territory of the weak, downtrodden or insecure. Strong, healthy, independent people can find themselves in the white-knuckled grip of a toxic relationship. Similarly, relationships that seem to begin strong because ‘omg we’re soooo in love you guys,’ can dissolve into nothing but ash and legal fees that could have bought a castle on the river Seine, if they weren’t being used to divide half your assets more ‘half-ly’.

Relationships evolve. They change and they grow. Sometimes they crash and they burn. We never know how things will look when each other’s less adorable, kind of awful habits start to show themselves publicly, or under the influence of alcohol or in-laws.

Some relationships are all shades of wrong from the outset (‘Darlin’ you’re so pretty. You’re the image of my ex. See? Here’s her photo. You can keep that one. I have plenty – in my wallet, as my screen saver, on my bedside table, at my mum’s house, on my desk, on my fridge and yeah, all over the place. Sometimes I just, like, hold it in front of me and run backwards and pretend like she’s chasing me. Wanna get some tequila baby?’) Some start off with promise and with all the right ingredients, but somewhere along the way, the right ingredients get replaced with resentment, jealousy, history and hurt.

We love love. Of course we do. Love sends us to joyous, lofty heights that we never want to come down from, but the same heart that can send us into a loved-up euphoria can trip us up and have us falling into something more toxic. The hot pursuit of love can be blinding. Even worse, sometimes it’s not until you’re two kids and a mortgage into the relationship, that you realise something has been missing for a while, and that something is you.

What is a toxic relationship?

A toxic relationship contaminates your self-esteem, your happiness and the way you see yourself and the world. A toxic person will float through life with a trail of broken hearts, broken relationships and broken people behind them, but toxic relationships don’t necessarily end up that way because the person you fell for turned out to be a toxic one. Relationships can start healthy, but bad feelings, bad history, or long-term unmet needs can fester, polluting the relationship and changing the people in it. It can happen easily and quickly, and it can happen to the strongest people.

Can I fix it?

All relationships are worth the fight, until they’re not. In a toxic relationship there will always be fallout:

  • moodiness, anger, unhappiness become the norm;
  • you avoid each other more and more;
  • work and relationships outside the toxic relationship start to suffer.

If the relationship is toxic, it is highly likely that all the fight in the world won’t change anything because one or both people have emotionally moved on. Perhaps they were never really there in the first place, or not in the way you needed them to be anyway. Even worse, if your relationship is toxic, you will be more and more damaged by staying in it.

Fighting to hold on to something that is not fighting to hold on to you will ruin you. Sometimes the only thing left to do is to let go with grace and love and move on

What are the signs that I’m in a toxic relationship?

Being aware that the relationship is toxic is vital in protecting yourself from breakage. To stay in a toxic relationship is to keep your hand hovering over the self-destruct button. Not all toxic relationships are easy to leave, but being aware of the signs will make it easier to claim back your power and draw a bold heavy line around what’s allowed into your life and what gets closed out.

Toxic behaviour exists on a spectrum. All people and all relationships do some of these things some of the time – but that doesn’t make them toxic. A toxic relationship is defined by the consistency, the intensity and the damage. Here are some of the signs.

  1. It feels bad. All the time.

    You fall asleep hollow and you wake up just as bad. You look at other couples doing their happy couple thing and you feel the sting. Why couldn’t that sort of love happen for you? It can, but first you have to clear the path for it to find you. Leaving a relationship is never easy, but staying for too long in a toxic relationship will make sure any strength, courage and confidence in you is eroded down to nothing. Once that happens, you’re stuck.

  2. You’re constantly braced for the ‘gotcha’.

    Sometimes you can see it coming. Sometimes you wouldn’t see it if it was lit with stadium floodlights. Questions becomes traps. (‘Well would you rather go out with your friends or stay home with me?’) Statements becomes traps. (‘You seemed to enjoy talking to your boss tonight.’) The relationship is a jungle and somewhere along the way you’ve turned into a hunted thing in a skin suit. When the ‘gotcha’ comes, there’s no forgiveness, just the glory of catching you out. It’s impossible to move forward from this. Everyone makes mistakes, but yours are used as proof that you’re too uninvested, too wrong, too stupid, too something. The only thing you really are is too good to be treated like this.

  3. You avoid saying what you need because there’s just no point.

    We all have important needs in relationships. Some of the big ones are connection, validation, appreciation, love, sex, affection. When those needs are mocked or ignored, the emptiness of that unmet need will clamour like an old church bell. If your attempts to talk about what you need end in a fight, a(nother) empty promise, accusations of neediness, insecurity, jealousy or madness you’ll either bury the need or resent that it keeps being overlooked. Either way, it’s toxic.

  4. There’s no effort.

    Standing on a dance floor doesn’t make you a dancer, and being physically present in a relationship doesn’t mean there is an investment being made in that relationship. Doing things separately sometimes is healthy, but as with all healthy things, too much is too much. When there is no effort to love you, spend time with you, share the things that are important to you, the relationship stops giving and starts taking too much. There comes a point that the only way to respond to ‘Well I’m here, aren’t I?’ is, ‘Yeah. But maybe better if you weren’t.’

  5. All the work, love, compromise comes from you.

    Nobody can hold a relationship together when they are the only one doing the work. It’s lonely and it’s exhausting. If you’re not able to leave the relationship, give what you need to give but don’t give any more than that. Let go of the fantasy that you can make things better if you try hard enough, work hard enough, say enough, do enough. Stop. Just stop. You’re enough. You always have been. 

  6. When ‘no’ is a dirty word.

    ‘No’ is an important word in any relationship. Don’t strike it from your vocabulary, even in the name of love – especially not in the name of love. Healthy relationships need compromise but they also respect the needs and wants of both people. Communicating what you want is as important for you and the relationship as communicating what you don’t want. Find your ‘no’, give it a polish, and know where the release button is. A loving partner will respect that you’re not going to agree with everything they say or do. If you’re only accepted when you’re saying ‘yes’, it’s probably time to say ‘no’ to the relationship. And if you’re worried about the gap you’re leaving, buy your soon-to-be ex some putty. Problem solved.

  7. The score card. Let me show you how wrong you are. 

    One of the glorious things about being human is that making mistakes is all part of what we do. It’s how we learn, how we grow, and how we find out the people who don’t deserve us. Even the most loving, committed partners will do hurtful, stupid things sometimes. When those things are brought up over and over, it will slowly kill even the healthiest relationship and keep the ‘guilty’ person small. At some point, there has to be a decision to move on or move out. Having shots continually fired at you based on history is a way to control, shame and manipulate. Healthy relationships nurture your strengths. Toxic ones focus on your weaknesses.

  8. There’s a battle – and you’re on your own. Again.

    You and your partner are a team. You need to know that whatever happens, you have each other’s backs, at least publicly. In healthy relationships, when the world starts throwing stones, the couple comes together and fortifies the wall around each other. Toxic relationships often see one person going it alone when it comes to public put-downs. Similarly, when attempts are made from outside the relationship to divide and conquer, the couple is divided and conquered as easily as if they were never together in the first place.

  9. Physical or verbal abuse. Or both.

    These are deal-breakers. You know they are.

  10. Too much passive-aggressive.

    Passive-aggressive behaviour is an indirect attack and a cowardly move for control. The toxicity lies in stealing your capacity to respond and for issues to be dealt with directly. The attack is subtle and often disguised as something else, such as anger disguised as indifference ‘whatever’ or ‘I’m fine’; manipulation disguised as permission ‘I’ll just stay at home by myself while you go out and have fun,’ and the worst – a villain disguised as a hero, ‘You seem really tired baby. We don’t have to go out tonight. You just stay in and cook yourself some dinner and I’ll have a few drinks with Svetlana by myself hey? She’s been a mess since the cruise was postponed.’ You know the action or the behaviour was designed to manipulate you or hurt you, because you can feel the scrape, but it’s not obvious enough to respond to the real issue. If it’s worth getting upset about, it’s worth talking about, but passive-aggressive behaviour shuts down any possibility of this.

  11. Nothing gets resolved.

    Every relationship will have its issues. In a toxic relationship, nothing gets worked through because any conflict ends in an argument. There is no trust that the other person will have the capacity to deal with the issue in a way that is safe and preserves the connection. When this happens, needs get buried, and in a relationship, unmet needs will always feed resentment. 

  12. Whatever you’re going through, I’m going through worse.

    In a healthy relationship, both people need their turn at being the supported and the supporter. In a toxic relationship, even if you’re the one in need of support, the focus will always be on the other person. ‘Babe like I know you’re really sick and can’t get out of bed but it’s soooo stressful for me because now I have to go to the party by myself. Next Saturday I get to choose what we do. K? [sad emoji, balloon emoji, heart emoji, another heart emoji, lips emoji].’

  13. Privacy? What privacy?

    Unless you’ve done something to your partner that you shouldn’t have, like, you know, forgot you had one  on ‘Singles Saturday’, then you deserve to be trusted. Everybody deserves some level of privacy and healthy relationships can trust that this won’t be misused. If your partner constantly goes through your receipts, phone bills, text messages this shows a toxic level of control. It’s demeaning. You’re an adult and don’t need constantly supervision. 

  14. The lies. Oh the lies!

    Lying and cheating will dissolve trust as if it was never there to begin with. Once trust is so far gone, it’s hard to get it back. It might come back in moments or days, but it’s likely that it will always feel fragile – just waiting for the wrong move. A relationship without trust can turn strong, healthy people into something they aren’t naturally – insecure, jealous and suspicious. The toxicity of this lies in the slow erosion of confidence. Sometimes all the fight in the world can’t repair trust when it’s badly broken. Know when enough is enough. It’s not your fault that the trust was broken, but it’s up to you to make sure that you’re not broken next.

  15. Big decisions are for important people. And clearly you’re not one of them.

    If you’re sharing your life with someone, it’s critical that you have a say in the decisions that will affect you. Your partner’s opinions and feelings will always be important, and so are yours. Your voice is an important one. A loving partner in the context of a healthy relationship will value your thoughts and opinions, not pretend that they don’t exist or assume theirs are more important.

I think I might be in a toxic relationship. What now?

If it’s toxic, it’s changing you and it’s time to leave or put up a very big wall. (See here for how.) Be clear about where the relationship starts and where you begin. Keep your distance emotionally and think of it as something to be managed, rather than something to be beaten or understood. Look for the patterns and look for the triggers. Then, be mindful about what is okay and what isn’t. Above all else, know that you are strong, complete and vital. Don’t buy into any tiny-hearted, close-minded push that would have you believe otherwise. You’re amazing.

And finally …

There are plenty of reasons you might end up in a toxic relationship, none of which have nothing to do with strength of character or courage.

Sometimes the toxicity grows and blindsides you and by the time you realise, it’s too late – the cost of leaving might feel too high or there may be limited options.  

Toxicity in any relationship doesn’t make sense. In an attempt to make it make sense, you might blame history, circumstance or your own behaviour. The truth is that none of this matters. It doesn’t matter where the toxicity comes from or the reason for it being there. 

Love and happiness don’t always go together. The world would run so much smoother if they did, but it just doesn’t happen like that. Love can be a dirty little liar sometimes. So can commitment. Staying in a relationship should never have losing yourself as one of the conditions. You’re far too important for that. 

It’s important to make sacrifices in relationships but your happiness, self-esteem and self-respect should always be on the list – always. If a relationship is built on love, it nurtures, restores, replenishes and revives. It doesn’t diminish. It isn’t cruel and it doesn’t ever violate a warm, open heart. Everything you need to be happy is in you. When you are with someone who suffocates those precious parts of you, be alive to the damage they are doing. You owe them nothing, you owe yourself everything. You deserve to thrive and to feel safe, and you deserve to be happy.

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I loved reading this page. I am confused totally confused.

I am dating a man for the past 1 year. And he loves me dearly. I failed to be honest in this relationship and it took me some months to disclose my secrets, my past relationship to him. He probed into me and i ended up telling him the truth . He was deeply hurt and i didn’t want to hurt him more so avoided telling him everything. It took me months to confess him all the truth of my life. I told him i dated men and was into a relationship with another man for 5 years. He feels being cheated . But i told him i have changed completely and have nothing to do with them. He confronts saying that they are around me, they slept with my woman i cant accept this. But at the same time doesn’t want to leave me because he loves me truly. he says he is too possessive about me and is obsessed with me cant share me with anyone.Where he fails to understand that it was my past. he dwells daily in the past and we have arguments over it.
He makes me feel miserable and says i want you to repent , i want my happiness back. i want them to pay back want to take revenge.
I really dont understand what to do. One thing i am sure of he loves me very much and if i walk away from him he will die .


O he will survive don’t worry. Self orientated,possessive,insecure,pathetic little man. Run while you still can…it will only become worse…btw…he don’t love you…her loves how you make him feel


Hey i feel like sharing my grief too. Very confused to where I am heading? Very unsure of myself at this juncture.
I have been dating this man past 10 months. We started off well but i hid my past from him. Slowly as months passed by I started disclosing it to him. I had a 5 years of intimate relationship with a man I disclosed it to him and that has come as a shock to him and he cant accept it . He says i cheated on him but hiding facts , i agree. He loves me dearly , he is scared of losing me but every time I get close to me he feels cheated , he feels i have nothing to offer him and feels rejected. He feels i have broken his trust. But we both love each other . I don’t understand how do i get him out of this . When this pain gets over him he is deeply hurt an reminds me of everything i did him in a past calling me whore , his keep.. It hurts me more but i am still afraid of losing him.What do i do?


The first sign is the LACK of FREEDOM
This is the most important thing to me – if you are afraid to express your feelings, thoughts or desires freely, at loud, it means your relationship is going nowhere!

Catherine F

i had a horrible childhood , never knew my parents, and i grew up without the knowledge of who they were and were they are and what happened to them, so it was not easy. I grew up as an orphan. I was adopted by a childless couple when i was 7 years old. I graduated from North Carolina High School ( a public school ) and received my commission, I later joined the United States Army Academy because I could not go afford the University at that time so the US Government took care of my tuition. After my Graduation, I joined the US Army and have been doing great until this position. I also hold a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland USA.I was raised by my adopted parents, though they were rich, i suffered a lot but i’m always grateful to them because they gave me life, may be without them i will be dead by now


This comment is so so very late but I just wanted to write my experience as a way of therapy. I have been with my husband over 20 years will be married 10 this year. When we first got together it was special, young love. However without it faults. First inciden (a minor one) I remembered complaining as to why he wasn’t holding my hand, he then proceeded to grab my hand and march through the shops pulling me. We use to constantly argue and break up but got back together. There were couple of physical ncidents which required me to wear a sling, I stayed. I was not a shrinking violet by any means and had been violent towards him later in the relationship. I could be cruel with my mouth and as the years went by this worsened. We had a child together, a beautiful girl. When she was 3 (she will be 16 end of this year) I found out he had been sexting a friend for months and I knew nothing. I threw him out but he was back in a week. Subsequently this behaviour manifested itself firmly in our relationship as he continued with the same behaviour up to this year, like an idiot i forgave as I didn’t want to be a single mum and fracture my daughter’s life. For the last two years we have slept together approximately 20 times. I have been toxic also particularly with criticism (I feel disgusted by this). I also slept with someone else, have never done this before and I didn’t go looking for it but I felt special and thaty needs were important Now I feel that we definitely have to end our relationship….I have not told him about my infidelity I’m scared to


You have nailed it all, after reading this, it becomes clearer to me what a toxic relationship looks like!


One should get rid of toxic relationships as soon as possible to attain mental peace, staying single is much better than being in a toxic relationship where your thoughst are not taken into considerations,fight happens often.
these things destroy the mental peace


im in high school and ive only been dating my boyfriend for a little over a month. in that time he has made me feel like a fat, and ugly girl. i know that a month long relationship in high school seems like nothing compared to some of the stories people have posted on here, but he has somehow already managed to wrap me around his finger. on rare occasions when i catch him in a good mood, he tells me that he loves me and im perfect and all this other bs. as someone who has struggled with my body image for sooo long it was really different to hear someone tell me that they think i am beautiful. so i let myself think that he was being honest. but he always cancels our plans if better things come up, he tells me that he doesnt care about me. i know that he doesn’t love me and this whole comment probably comes off as super dramatic and cringy but i feel so stuck. everyone told me to not get involved with him but i thought i would be a genius and do it anyway. now here i am. i know i don’t really love him and it is not healthy to be with him, but just as i get ready to break up with him he will either refuse to break up, or tell me that he loves me and i am his dream girl and then i feel bad. i can’t do this. i have a lot of other stressors in my life and this is too much. i don’t know why i can’t just break up with him since i know that i need to, i just let him get me so upset and chicken out of confronting him. also, he has some “blackmail” to use against me. (nothing super serious, i don’t feel the need to go report him or anything., but humiliating enough that i do not trust him with it) i had some videos against him, but he deleted them off my phone so i won’t have anything. please help me find a way to cope with the breakup. i get such strong feelings of worthlessness that i find myself not wanting to break up with him becuase he makes me feel like someone may actually care about me. he is so overproctetive of me he calls me a sl*t when i talk to other boys, even boys that i’ve grown up with and are like brothers to me. i am scared about how my mental health will be if i break up with him. i don’t want to go back to my old self destructive habits, but if i stay with him i will probably end up with different sets of problems. i just need someone to tell me what they would do in my situation. i don’t know if anyone will see this or respond, but if you do: thank you very much (in advance). i truly appreciate it. i don’t have anyone else to talk about this stuff with. i do have a therapist, but as this is a cringy month long high school relationship i feel like an idiot telling her about it.

Cesar M.

I was in a toxic relationship/friendship and i’m now just realizing that it was a toxic relationship. We became friends about 20 months ago. We met at just the right time in our lives when we both were in need of something… I was in a troubled marriage and had been very lonely and starved for affection and attention; she was new to the country and had no one. We became best of friends almost overnight. After a few months she was diagnosed with skin cancer and since she had no other family here, and less than a handful of friends, I took on the role of caregiver and then from there my life became about her. Ultimately i fell in love with her. I was blind to her narcissistic tendencies; I wanted so hard to believe she was the perfect person for me. as time went on, i started to notice how I was never really 100% happy in that friendship, but I continued to hang on because I was blinded by my ‘love’ for her. she became my world, everything I did was for her and because of her. I have to admit that she did teach me a lot about spirituality; in fact I do believe god sent her to me to teach me lessons I needed to learn. Long story short, I the friendship became very one sided with her taking advantage of my affection and willingness to do just about anything for her. She played on that and was always able to get me to do what she wanted. I was always trying to do little things for her to demonstrate my affection and love, but I never really got anything in return. My other friends would often tell me i was in a toxic relationship but I never believed it… to me a toxic relationship was one where there was physical, emotional and mental abuse. No way would a sweet beautiful, spiritual person, would in my eyes, be toxic.
but that’s what I ultimately realized; and while she’s not necessarily a bad person overall, when a relationship becomes too one sided and there really is no effort from the other person to reciprocate, that also can lead to toxicity in a relationship.
This past weekend I made the decision to walk away from this friendhsip. it wasn’t easy, and I miss her to death.. but at the same time I have noticed that even though it has only been a few days, it is not as hard as I thought it would be. it gets better each day.

Simon J

The third point: “You avoid saying what you need because there’s just no point” resonates with me a lot because I’ve personally experienced it multiple times.


I done been married for 4 1/2 years all I done is good to him even when I felt like living I stay to help him. And ima smart woman by putting call recording on his phone. When he think he deleted everything!!! He talk with alot of females tried to meet up an everything with them. My oldest daughter even caught him with our neighbor from across the street from our house driving her car. And not only that she was 7 months pregnant by him. I divorce him in 2018. Gave it a couple more years tried to date again. Everything went well for a couple of years until I found female underwear in my van an then lie saying it’s mines lol…. smh… mens come up with da worse lie!!! So I test him… I’m not a stupid female!! I put all of my makeup in there my sunglasses on the rearview mirror just to see if he move it are not. Answer yes he did. I ask him why??? He got a nerve to say cause I had my home boys in there an I diding won’t them to steal it!! Come on now use makeup yea right, My sunglasses wat that have to do with it?? Nothing. I caught him with a female an I left him for good…. I guess it’s a warning for me to stop looking for LOVE cause i would not find anyone on my level. And not only that that’s all i hear people’s cheating, people’s having affairs in my eyes it’s more of that going on every day. No one knows the meaning of being faithful are honest, loyalty, trustworthy ETC…. I’m done in relationships an dating.


This is one of the most helpful articles I’ve read. Written with such compassion and wisdom. Really helped me to clear my head and understand what was going on when I was struggling to make any kind of sense. I will be forever grateful for these words.

Samantha L

This article helped confirm what I was feeling. My husband and I dated for 8 years straight, high school sweet hearts. I trusted him whole heartily. I found out on the 7th year, he was cheating on me since day 1. Even during my fathers illness and passing. There were so many red flags but I was blinded by love and I trusted him, no questions asked. He promised, he wouldnt cheat on me again and that he loved me.. we got engaged 1 MO later, said he couldnt lose me. 5MO later, got married (June 2018) Im on cloud 9 thinking, ok, he may have treated me bad all these years but hes changed so much.. Oct 2018, Im 7MO pregnant and find out he cheated again. I was so scared, barely married, 7MO pregnant, I stayed with him because I didnt know what to do and I love him so much even though he hurt me.. now almost a year later. Its a million times worse, he hasnt cheated and is changing but now I feel I am falling out of love with him each time I think about all the things he has done to me.. and let me tell you.. it was so many women.. on my birthday.. he would leave my house to go see them.. point is.. I cant let anyone step on me anymore, I dont deserve any of this. Life just sucks so much right now


Hi your story sounds almost exactly like mine, so sad hope you have found the guts to leave him that is what i am working on myself.


I’m currently in a relationship and I’m starting to think its toxic but it’s hard for me to figure it out. Our relationship started out bumpy, my mother didn’t approve of him and eventually after all the nagging (on both ends) I moved in with him. That made things good for a little bit but then he became more controlling in the aspects of who I could hang out with and when. He doesn’t want me talking/texting men and if there’s a guy that shows any type of friendliness towards me he calls them “my boyfriend”. He made me block high school friends because they weren’t “healthy” for me. He even made me block my bestfriends little brother because he was my first kiss in middle school. Overall now I resent him and I want to leave and be alone because everytime we have a conversation it turns into an argument and I’m always sad. When I cry he says I’m getting my period and that I’m bipolar. I don’t know what to do. I love him but it hurts.







5 months out of an emotionally abusive relationship with a controlling female. Finally recovering myself worth and self esteem. I couldn’t do anything right, she was a perpetual victim and if I didnt go along with her program, she would makes serious threats.

All I can say, and I cannot emphasize this enough, if you find yourself in an emotionally abusive, one down relationship GET OUT pronto!!!! Recovering was the fight of my life (and I quit drinking 15 years ago and thought that was hard).

Life is too short and I PROMISE that you will find another in due time, that will love and respect you for you.

Claire P

I totally agreed before breakup i was into toxic relationship as mentioned in above article u have disused all the situations i have gone through ..really helpful article…keep going

Darrick g

Ian there. Very deep. I may have the record of having my guts and all taken out and let out for days. Dead and flies on my skin I get kicked around. Accused for drug use and cheating. Iam an awesome single father. My boy just hot student of the month… for compassion,respect,and going above all means to help other people. Plenty of love and emotions here. 6th grader and he even tells me to run. Ian going to. I have to. I love her and she is sick,booze everyday,ect


I have been dating my head hurts girlfriend for 3 years and She saids I need to tone it down a bit Bc I give her too much affection an she saids that I’m never grateful for anything when I feel as I am I feel so insecure am I constantly feel sad but I love her and she always puts me last I feel like she doesn’t love me an she recently told me she’s 99% sure that she won’t leave me but I’m 100% sure that I wouldn’t leave her for anyone in college because we’re going to college an I got her a promise ring Bc I love her an I feel like she only got me one because she knew it would make me happy but she always tells me that I need to tone it down and that I need to chill out because I talk about marriage with her a lot and she Says she would want to but then she says mean stuff to me like that An I feel like she never consider my feelings and whenever we argue she asks if I want to break up I don’t know what to do I love her but she makes me so as I feel like she doesn’t love me


What’s keeping you in this situation? If someone loves you it should feel like they love you. That’s right. Think about it. If you’re feeling insecure then there’s a reason. You must trust your gut and at this point I think yours is literally screaming at you. It really shouldn’t be that hard in a relationship. If the woman wants to be with you she will find the time and make it happen. People tell you who they are by their actions not by their words. PAY ATTENTION. Also, if you’re constantly feeling confused and uncertain and emotionally off balance then that’s a sure sign that you’re dealing with a game player “cluster B” type personality. Save yourself…. RUN FAST!!!


Thank you for this reply, because after reading your blog I started thinking maybe I could be the toxic one, quickly forsaking the fact that I’m on this site for a reason. My boyfriend is a taker that never gives. Oooh he’s such a stingy lover.

He drives my emotions crazy, I’m always confused and feeling unloved. He never does anything with me, it feels like he’s hiding me. The scumbag never wants us to break up. He NEVER does anything nice for me. After we make love he always turns the other way. He never cuddles me, and now he’s withholding sex from me with his endless excuses. He criticizes me but never compliments me. When I tell him that he doesn’t love me he says he loves me a lot and I’m just being negative and I think a lot.

I’m always the one working on fixing our relationship, all he does is make one empty promise after the other. He disgusts me because he holds an angelic facade while he’s pure evil. I gave him everything, he had nothing when we met and now he treats like I’m worhtless. I just don’t understand why such cruel people exist. He has hurt me so much I’ve lost so much weight and so much of myself trying to make him love me.

And now I have mend my broken heart. And I hate that I still love him. But I know I am better than this shit!

Amy S

Reading this has honestly made me realise I deserve better. And that all my thoughts and instincts were true. The relationship I am in is not healthy. She is my first love. And I didnt know what to expect from a relationship, but I now know it is not this. I am slowly losing myself with each day that we are together. I left them once because I couldnt take how low I was feeling. But then I saw them again and they said all these things and we decided to give it another go. But the more days that pass, the more I realise I had been right the first time in ending things. That my mind knew what I needed and now I am just waiting for my heart to understand and let them go. I need tk love myself more than I love them. Thank you for this great read. I have learnt some things and I hope it helps others in finding their own inner strength. Wish me luck


I am in a yo-yo toxic relationship. When we met my mother was in hospice so some of the red flags were over looked. He was grabbed by a strange woman at the state fair and he stepped all over me and pushed me til we got away. He says he didn’t know her. I am not so sure. The always accuses me of cheating and not loving him til I explain myself and over compensate him with all my time. He has met my family but I have only met his mom on rare occassions. The went on a dating site twice because I was processing my emotions over my mother’s illness and didn’t respond to him and he saud I made him do it. He goes through my phone to see who I have texted or talked to. He doesn’t want me to talk to anyone but him. He even called me a liar when I said I was going to shower but went to sleep instead. I heard a woman on his end of the phone and he called me crazy. I know I what I heard. He said I didn’t heard it on the phone but voices in my head. Everytime I want to talk about my feelings, he thinks I am trying to start a fight. I wanted to volenteer and he said that I would do anything to take time from him. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I shut down and get the strength to leave then I get reeled in again.

Alice S

Sometimes one may have a pattern of toxic relationships, even starting in the childhood, in general early in life. Their parents have toxic behaviour and the child reproduce some of them throughout their lives. People accept and stay in toxic relationships because they’re mostly scared of being alone. If there is no happiness, joy, respect, affinity and love, a relationship can show up signs of constant disagreements, exchange of words, grudges, rancour, resent and anger. One can notice and finally accept of the ‘not happy’ it is! Take action, change or get out.

Honey J

It is really difficult to see for yourself when you are in a toxic relationship sometimes, I know I have been there. No matter what your friends and family might be telling you, if you’re in love, you won’t be honest with yourself. But this article is really good, all the points and the signs are absolutely right. I hope it will help a lot of people.


Got married to my husband, he married me for papers, then had a kid, got kicked out twice and then he came back I said no.. he was so abusive, so why am I suddenly feeling guilty after 4 years of being separated

Jason C.

Some people are hardwired to blame themselves regardless. Perhaps feeling responsible for the transactional nature of the marriage (for papers). Perhaps wishing it would work out for the child. Either way…walk away and don’t look bad.


Any input on my marriage of 14 years? I find myself longing for other men that hold qualities that i would love to see in my husband. My husband is 11 years older than me. we have a long story so long story short, Im always wrong he’s always right, my past gets rubbed in my face constantly making it so what I want does not count, we argue a lot, I try to get out of the arguments before they start but he has to make sure it ends bad. he doesn’t respect my religious views which Ive had since he met me(all my life and I don’t ask for much). Everything we(kids included) are things he likes to do but not things we like to do. I have bent in his direction in every way but he only bends in mine just takes teensy weensy bits in little steps that he really doesn’t want to take but has to for the sake of not looking like an ass in front of everybody. I am a different person because of him. I am so stressed and anxious all the time my doctor has prescribed me medication for it. My kids don’t respect him anymore, he has to drink and use some kind of substance as soon as he gets home from work, he doesn’t like anybody including my family. I do the man work in the house, I do all the work in the house and with the kids, the house is NEVER clean enough, he doesn’t allow me to go back to school and doesnt care to see me become successful at anything, I get in trouble for every penny I spend including groceries(I have 3 kids 9, 13 and 15). there are so many other things. On a positive note, we care for each other and love each other, sex is insane, he’s loyal, he’s a hard worker and a great provider, he still comes to church with me but its the bare minimal. Please excuse my punctuation, I gave up!:)


This doesn’t sound loving. Also how do you know he’s loyal and is it just because hes old tired and cheap? And how can the sex be that great? Sounds like you have no real intimacy. I dont know what else to say but this sounds lonely abusive and hurtful.

Nicky r

I’m convinced my husband is toxic and a narcissist,he’s constantly putting me down and our sons,he feels he’s the better person and he wants to be the centre of attention and that we’ve ruined his life. I dread going home and I’m sick of walking on eggshells. We haven’t had sex for over six years. He binge drinks at the weekend and go through fifteen cans a night,then come the morning he starts again. I hate being around him, he’s selfish, ignorant and is unable to show feelings other than anger or disappointment.Sorry this is long winded.

Jason C

That sounds eerily like my experience…only the gender roles were reversed. Married seven years and I went from being on a pedestal to being marginalized and soul crushed. To make matters worse…the relationship had “just enough” tender moments that I stayed longer than I should have vainly hoping it would get better (it didnt).

That’s the quandary you’re in. Is the glass half empty or half full? Is my partner Dr. Jekyll or Mr.. Hyde? If he’s a narcissist…he’s the latter not the former. Narcissists are masters of manipulation…they’ll leave their partner starved for affection but drop just enough bread crumbs to keep that person from leaving but never enough to feel secure. If their partner is an empath or an optimist…these bread crumbs will give that person vain hope that the relationship can be fixed (when most of the time it can’t).

Bottom line. You have to decide if your life is better with him or without him. If this dismissal of your feelings and that if your children is a phase or simply who he is. If it’s who he is…time to seriously consider a different path.


So I’m 4 months pregnant with my partner’s baby. My emotions are all over the place anyway but I keep telling myself that it will get better when the baby arrives.
I’ve always been such a positive person and I enjoy making others happy. I’m very social and work in public house. My partner doesn’t like this.. he doesn’t seem to like me having any sort of realtionship with anyone but him.. if I organise a day out for us both with a friend his face drops and he says it’s fine but I can tell that he doesn’t want to do it. But yet if I leave him to organise something it doesn’t get done and we end up playing separate video games and barley talking to each other.. The longer this has been going on the more distant I have become and j find it harder and harder to talk to him because he gets so defensive and he ends up raising his voice and then in return so do I. He’s constantly making digs at the things I do and instead of pointing out the positive he always bring up the negatives in what I’ve done. For example: you’ve done really well stopping the drinking but, that one pate sandwich you had is going to ruin our babies health and it will be all your fault. Obviously he doesn’t word it like that but that is the underlying dig.
Don’t get me wrong I am no angel myself. I am quite defensive over the things I care strongly about, but he knew who I was before and everybody else seems to think I am a good person and I am so proud of myself on how far I have come (we both used to drink and smoke quite a lot before we found out we were pregnant) and I’ve always had insomnia but have stopped my treatment incase it causes growth problems, but he doesn’t praise me on this he makes me feel bad about having the odd cigarette yet he hasn’t cut down on cigarettes at all!
I feel like I can’t say anything because I am being selfish and eveytime I bring something up I am the bad person even though in feeling so bad inside he makes me feel like I’m in the wrong for feeling that way.. am I in the wrong for feeling that way?
He says he loves me and will ‘change’ but that makes me feel so guilty because I fell in love with the carefree fun person. Not this miserable negative person who puts me down.. and the longer this relationship has been going on the more toxic I have become towards him.. even to the point that I no longer want to have sex and will bottle it up so much that he starts Getting upset.. but yet the more he gets upset now, the more it frustrates me and annoys me that we can’t have an adult conversation without him getting petty and emotional.. I know he is a sensitive person but sometimes I wonder wether it’s just his way of using it against me to make me feel even worse about everything. I guess I’m looking for someone to come forward and tell me that I’m just worrying too much about this whole thing. Is it me? A response would be appreciated, I have gotten to the point where suicide though enter my thoughts most nights.

Jennifer Q

Kat. My life seems to mirror yours down to the time married and the ages of the kids. I’m spooked. If you could email me at ( Qualls.jen at Gmail) I would genuinely appreciate someone who understood and could be a source of validation. What has happened for you in the past year?


Honey, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
Are you happy with him?
Can you see yourself with him forever?
Do you love him unconditionally?
Does he make you feel happy and special and lucky to have him?
Are you staying just because you have a child with him?
If all of them are no, you need to evaluate your relationship with this guy.
I’d you are thinking of suicide, don’t do it. There are people who care about you.
Even me, a random person on the internet who read your comment and wanted to try and help..
The bible says this about love. Love is patient,love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, and it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, and it is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs.love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, and always hopes and always perseveres.
Is your love for each other like that?


Sadly, I am in this type of relationship. I live with my partner since the day I got pregnant and we both live with my parents. We are not married yet And I don’t even see myself getting married to him at all. Our son has just turned 1 year old. He is very controlling. He decides what dress I wear, to whom I hang out with, he decides who I make friends and not make friends with. He even made me choose between him and my longest time girl BFF! He makes me feel like I owe him a lot! When it fact we were both depending on my parents since he was just a student and I just graduated college. He is 19 and I am 21. I don’t want my son to grow up without a dad since his been doing a good job taking care of him, and I just don’t see other people if ever I will meet another person someday that would care of my son as much as a real parent would. My only problem is that he is very controlling and I’m afraid to make a mistake I’m not even guilty of. I want to end our relationship as early as possible but how? We were both too attached to both our in-laws and relatives. And it would break them if we split up.

I know that some of you will say we can still fix this or what but I feel like I deserve better. He disrespects me most of the time. I feel like I’m changing and I don’t think I love him that much anymore. All is left was hatred. I want to fix it but I don’t want my son to grow up in a toxic relationship. How should I end this? How to make our parents understand? Please give me an advice. I dont have anyone to talk to since he doesnt like me to talk to my bff behind his back.


Hi Kim. What you’ve described is not a healthy relationship. It’s not just you. Your feelings are valid and important. Whatever you do, do not let him isolate you from friends and family. Keep in touch with the people you are close to. It sounds like he has some of the same issues that I experienced with my son’s father. After I had the baby it only got worse because I got postpartum depression and I just felt myself giving in more and more. Reach out to friends and family. It would be good to talk with your doctor too, maybe they can refer a counselor. You want to be as healthy as you can for your baby physically of course (kudos to you for cutting down on the smoking and not drinking!! :), but you also want to be emotionally and mentally healthy for your baby’s sake and for your sake. You’re a wonderful person and will be an awesome mom. Good luck to you!!! Xo


I was a child growing up with a mother who was treated as you now are. Hurtful, belittling, bullying, controlling, did everything and nothing good enough and it also transferred to me and my siblings. I, as are my siblings are mentally scared from this and no amount of counselling with heal the wounds.

He too has good qualities and my closest friends have no idea but the environment was so toxic and we were always afraid of his mood. Think of your kids and the impact on them if you can’t think for yourself.


I am reading these comments and have seen lots of what i am going thru was he your father or step father. I feel my kids are afraid of him like you say


Hi after reading your page,i did not note am in a toxic relationship been with my guy four years but he changed canceling our dates lies.he says he is busy now we see each other months n he refuse I go to his place instead he insist he will come.communication became less and if we talk we end up arguing. I end up so sad that he chose his best friend over me and says every fight i start is that I don’t trust him


I went thru every single one of those stages.. she left me and moved on to someone new..she even called me and compared how great this girl is. then strung me along txting me while with this girl telling me she still loves me and that she’s confused. She’s very manipulative..I hate that I still love her. Deep down I want her back. How do I shake that feeling off! I feel poisoned by her



I am also in the same situation where my fiancée is very toxic she always tells a lie and over her boyfriend she broken marriage before one day blaming me in the public again she came back with her parents and then she started the same things. I really always tired or exhausted she never loved me she always threatens me to leave the relationship. But now I tired and said to her No so my dear friend I say come out from such relationship.


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Hey Warrior - A book about anxiety in children.

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The need to feel safe is primal. We’re wired to The need to feel safe is primal. We’re wired to fight or flee anything that presents itself as a threat - and shame, punishment, judgement, exclusion, humiliation all count as threat, even if they come with loads of love.
When our kids or teens mess up - which they will, because they’re humans not robots - the way we respond can open them up to our influence or shut them down to it. It can expand the fight and the disconnection, or it can shrink it. In time they will learn to be more in control of their urge for or flight, but for now, we will need to lead the way. (Of course, we are also human, and sometimes despite our biggest efforts to stay calm, we will step into the ring rather than wait for them to step out. We’re human. It’s going to happen. And that’s okay.)
If we want them to be open to our influence, we first need to calm their active amygdala (the seat of anxiety and big emotion) by sending the message that we aren’t a threat. We can do this by validating their feelings or the need behind their behaviour (if we know what that is).
Validation doesn’t mean agreeing with them, and it doesn’t mean approving of their behaviour. What it means is letting them know that we want to understand the world through their lens. ‘I can see you’re really upset about this.’ ‘It sounds as though you’re worried I’m going to get in your way. I can see this is important to you. I really want to understand. Can you talk to me about this?’
When we do this, it sends a message to the protective, powerful, emotional amygdala that it’s safe and that it can back down. This will start to switch off the need to fight us or flee (ignore) us and open them up to our influence, support, warmth and guidance.
It also doesn’t mean giving them a free pass on ‘unadorable’ behaviour. What it means is letting them know that we see them, and that we understand there is something important they need. When things are calm, they will be much more open to exploring their decisions, their behaviour, the consequences of that (including any consequences for them), and what they can do differently in the future.

The need to feel safe is primal. We’re wired to fight or flee anything that presents itself as a threat - and shame, punishment, judgement, exclusion, humiliation all count as threat, even if they come with loads of love.
When our kids or teens mess up - which they will, because they’re humans not robots - the way we respond can open them up to our influence or shut them down to it. It can expand the fight and the disconnection, or it can shrink it. In time they will learn to be more in control of their urge for or flight, but for now, we will need to lead the way. (Of course, we are also human, and sometimes despite our biggest efforts to stay calm, we will step into the ring rather than wait for them to step out. We’re human. It’s going to happen. And that’s okay.)
If we want them to be open to our influence, we first need to calm their active amygdala (the seat of anxiety and big emotion) by sending the message that we aren’t a threat. We can do this by validating their feelings or the need behind their behaviour (if we know what that is).
Validation doesn’t mean agreeing with them, and it doesn’t mean approving of their behaviour. What it means is letting them know that we want to understand the world through their lens. ‘I can see you’re really upset about this.’ ‘It sounds as though you’re worried I’m going to get in your way. I can see this is important to you. I really want to understand. Can you talk to me about this?’
When we do this, it sends a message to the protective, powerful, emotional amygdala that it’s safe and that it can back down. This will start to switch off the need to fight us or flee (ignore) us and open them up to our influence, support, warmth and guidance.
It also doesn’t mean giving them a free pass on ‘unadorable’ behaviour. What it means is letting them know that we see them, and that we understand there is something important they need. When things are calm, they will be much more open to exploring their decisions, their behaviour, the consequences of that (including any consequences for them), and what they can do differently in the future.