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 are 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 become traps. (‘Well would you rather go out with your friends or stay home with me?’) Statements become 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 constant 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.

[irp posts=”1602″ name=”When It’s Not You, It’s Them: The Toxic People That Ruin Friendships, Families, Relationships”]



I have been in a horrible toxic relationship with a man over and over again. You see the difference in all that I am reading here is I am 69 years old.As you get older and if you are smart enough you will gain knowledge. I was on a dating app two years ago. I looked and was built like a 20 year old. I actually broke the app my granddaughter put me on! I was having the time of my life after being in a 31 years of marriage and had a broken heart because I loved him deeply. It took 4 years to finally move on then I met this man that I thought would be my last chance for love. I feel as though I look 100. I have lost the majority of my hair and a total wreck. This man lived 187 miles away and spent the weekend together. Oh it was great until the second weekend. Some how he started an argument with me and was cussing the heck out of me & he left and went home. I thought what the hell did I do? He started the texting I’m sorry I will make it up to you etc. The red flags started waving like crazy. I started writing down all of what he said his actions and so on Before I knew it I had filled out two pages of his behavior, his actions and I knew something was very wrong with him.I started researching and researching. I then hit on it. He is a Bona fide Narcissist. Dear God this had 18 failed relationships and. 5 failed marriages! I had never been even close to a true narcissist.Evy thing was all my fault! Never ever his! There was something wrong with every woman that he had been involved with.He was even homeless at times although he is super smart. Thing is I am a whole lot smarter and I started researching and researching in fact he gave all of the names and cell numbers incase something would happen. I called his 85 year old aunt and told her what was going on. She said “OhHoney he can’t hold down a relationship. You need to get away from him now you will never be happy,you will never be happy because he doesn’t know how to be happy. You will have your heart broke and you need peace at your age. I didn’t listen to her and I kept taking him back taking him back and on & on it has gone. Just when I finally got my self together I got counseling and she knew all about a narcissist is. I came out of counseling feeling strong like I use to but then the worse hurricane that could ever be hit where I live and I know I was in shock! Who drives up but him! He got me at my most vulnerable time and was so understanding. I allowed him to come right back in my life again only for it to happen over and over again. This horrible mental illness usually starts in the teens. Unfortunately there is no help for them and you can’t tell him that he needs help because they absolutely will deny it. It will always be you. From what I’ve read in the previous know and research the hell out of it before you either kill yourself or you will end up looking 100 years old and feel lost and alone. I will make it!!


It’s time for couples therapy.

I am not without fault but I was able to tick a yes to all of the 15 signs of a toxic relationship.

10 years together, 7 married. Adult stepdaughter has moved out.

Been divorced once from someone with a gambling addiction who trashed our finances.

Time to fix things.


I dumped a guy because he wasn’t on the same page as me regarding kids and we know that it’s what men want but not every woman wants kids. He got upset said you’ll change your mind. Well I haven’t so far and may never change my mind but he isn’t changing it by stating this.

Be careful with dating apps. I was lucky not to meet this guy in person. I value myself over him.

Annie T

My husband cheated on me every day with women and men. My sister has been with my husband in her room. I have never had a marriage. I went to live with my sister and her husband. He and I bond for the good of the family. She said he was sexing me and I want her dead. She and I have continued being family but he is not allowed to have any thing to do with me. What do you think I should do? I love my sister. I have not been with him or anything.


I have been ina relationship with a guy for 8 years and he has not invited me to his house once. I don’t even know where he lives. I asked him for an address to send a gift and I found out that it was his office address. Every time I bring it up, he becomes the victim and I was so “wrong” to bring the topic up about where he lives. He has never let me meet his friends or family. When we go out, there is no conversation. He likes to be on the phone for hours without saying anything. I like him but do I need to end this relationship?

Rutuja V

Dear Betty,
I hope you are reading this.
I think your partner is not so serious about you. He doesn’t take you to the house. You didn’t meet his family or friends. I feel that he is liar. He might have started new relationship with another girl. 8 years is a long time to test your relationship. Move on as soon as possible. You deserve a better partner. He doesn’t care about you and your future.
Move on and find another guy who will respect your feeling. And you won’t feel insecure anymore.


We both confessed that we like each other…but nothing is happening after that. Its like we are in a relationship but there is nothing going on. We just casually talk and that’s it. It has just put me in a really awkward situation. I don’t know what’s going on.

Babe jay

Am in a toxic relationship 😭😭😭😭
My partner is always abusing me verbally and always wants to be in control.. am tired of the relationship but I can’t go away.. my heart aches, this is not what I bargained for


I understand what you are going through. It sucks and I am sorry. Leaving is a process. The first thing, after you realize it’s toxic (which you already have) it to lose hope. Lose hope in the relationship and lose hope in him and that he could ever change.
You have to assume that the future will be exactly the same as things are now. You have to know that you don’t want to live like that.
Then start making a plan. Know that you aren’t going back after the next fight or plan a day to move your stuff while he is at work etc.
Have your boundaries established in your head before the “it’s over” conversation starts. Know that if he starts his abusive tactics you will be ending the conversation. When he starts blaming you for everything and calling you names tell him the conversation is over and end the conversation, never to talk of it again. You are done. Period…
Be done with no chance of going back before you talk to him about it, otherwise he could lure you back in.


Cami – I am making my plan to get out. This will be the 5th and final time. However, my bf is retired and rarely ever leaves the house. I keep waiting for him to have a doctor appointment because his doctor is about 2 hours away but he hasn’t yet. What do you advise? Thank you in advance.


I always had a good self-esteem, knowing not to be perfect I had confidence in myself and my body. At the beginning of the relationship with my ex she told me details about her ex sexual partners and their performances in bed, it made me feel bad and during the 3 years of the relationship I did not forget what she told me without my asking. In the end we ended up because I found out she was hiding messages from another guy. I didn’t even think twice, i knew i had to get out of that relatioship… Still, I liked her and so it costs me, but I knew that her toxicity would be the end of me.


I just want to run away and start over. It started out perfect, but slowly after marriage things started to change. First the lies, then the lack of sex drive on his part, then the accusations and lack of trust on his part for no reason and now add #15 treating me like my options or thoughts are not as important because he makes more money and he is the man. Several years into this relationship and with no where to go, I just want to run away and start over. I work hard, am loyal, educated and a good catch – why didn’t I see that this was what would come. 🥲


When I first met my now wife, she wanted to move things quickly. I was lonely, so I went with it. I turned into a “yes man” just to have someone with me, but I didn’t even realise it. I didn’t even see the manipulation until it was all too late.

We have three kids together, but after the third she changed a lot. She began treating me like a bad housemate, rather than a husband, friend, or father. Everything I did was wrong, and she only ever wanted my opinion on things, so that she could choose an option I didn’t or wouldn’t recommend. I found out she had been cheating on me for 5 years whilst I was working. I found out last year, and have had to spend the past year still living with her due to overly complicated circumstances (living abroad and visas don’t mix well with toxic marriages and child custody). I can leave soon, and I vow never to be a yes man to someone ever again.

I would never wish away my kids, but I should have seen this all before we got married – perhaps things could have turned out differently if I put my foot down sometimes. I always hear people saying you can’t change someone, but I changed so much for her, and I wonder if she would have changed if I was more assertive in the relationship.

Patience M

My now ex and I were dating for 6 months have known each other for 7 months, backstory when we first started dating I found out he was single for 7 years and I had just gotten out of a relationship that March and started talking to him June of that same year, haven’t been single since 2012. Well when we first started talking and going on dates twice a week or more and we seen each other at work (worked at the same place same shift) things were amazing but moved fast and said I love you after a week and then broke up because of rumors and people saying things about me and he made the comment things were fine in my life before you now there is problems but he came to me like 3-4 days later and pulled me aside one day at work and said he didn’t mean those things just didn’t know where everything was coming from and I was the only new thing in his life and that he wanted to start talking again and see where it goes and we did and got back together and I moved in with him all within 2 weeks after this happening and we spent every minute together because we worked the same shift at work so seen each other on breaks and when we got home and slept at the same time so we had no time to ourselves which has been an issue since day one well then a couple months later I got moved to his department so we literally non stop seen each other every second and we started fighting badly and had just moved into our place and I started thinking he wanted to get back with his kids mom and started fights because I would think this would happen and he wouldn’t tell me because that’s what happened in my past relationships and well I got diagnosed with ptsd and generalized anxiety and depression from my childhood had something happen to me at 12 years old and then my kids dad and I were together for 6.5 years and he cheated 4.5 of those years and kept telling me it was because I wouldn’t give it up all the time and tried to justify his cheating and he got physical with me once and we caught everyday all the time my feelings didn’t matter and if I braught up something I didn’t like he did it was because of me or something I did every time he couldn’t hold himself countable for his actions and so it got taken out on my last boyfriend and we broke up a few days ago. But he said he still loves me and thinks if I can get my ptsd and generalized anxiety and depression taken care of we could work out but right now we can’t. What should I do? He stuck around and tried for 7 months but nothing helped. He said I love you and care about you but we just can’t be together right now but when I also ask if we have another chance of being together again and I’m not just getting my hopes up he said that’s out of the question and doesn’t want me to ask, so I ask if he means it if he says he loves me and he says yes he still does and he doesn’t have feelings for someone else either and doesn’t want to look or talk to any other woman either.


Hey there.. My toxic ex keeps making accounts to stalk me and talk to me and keeps messing with me and my emotions and keeps trashing my friends and I am scared and don’t know what to do because one of his friends said he was going to do something really bad in a few months and he knows where I live.. what do I do? should I get police involved?

terry c

my dad big mean. he insulted me, called me an old man and then called me a pig. and then he told me to look in the mirror to see how srupid look. and then when i siad no, he tried to smash my phone. he smashed it twice on the ground and then the screen protector came off. and then my mom came and siad it was wrong. and then my dad started fighting with my mom and insulting us and yelling at us. and now he siad that we need to wake up at 5 in the morning to workout for an hour and then eat. :(((((((
i have no idea what to do

Melissa M

Just know that it’s not you, it’s him. Don’t take anything he says to heart. Working out to bond may be a good thing. Find a hobby to release the bad energy coming in. And you and your mother support each other. See if he will see a therapist or abuse counselor. And when you are old enough, put up boundaries and if he doesn’t respect them, make stronger boundaries. If he doesn’t respect them, he doesn’t deserve to be in your life. Focus on your mental and physical health too, it’s very important bc abuse will drain you. I’d also read about ways to cope and look at YouTube videos of narcisssit fathers.


Um hey so me and my bf had broken up last night after 6 months because he accused me of cheating which i clearly didnt cheat i just texted one of my old friends to see how theyve been so I would want to know what i can do in this case because i really do want a future with him and i also want to clear things up so i dont know what to do


Hi, I don’t usually do this but I’m starting to get concerned and scared of my partner. Let’s start from the begining, about 3 months ago I went for a job interview and the boss interviewed me and he came off as very flirty, then me and him a couple hours after the interview went back to his and he cooked me dinner, I know it sounds corny but I believed it was love at first sight for many reasons. But everything was going good, until a week into the relationship, i found out he’s 24 not 20 as he told me. That was one barrier that he lied to me, then about on the 2month into the relationship he said “your mine now, you do what I say when I say, you leave when I say and we go when I say…” And at first I was very concerned as I’m only 19 years old and he’s 24?? Some people will say it sounds bad, but that’s there opinion. But then as soon as we hit 3 months yesturday he said to me “you will listen to me” and I said “and what If I don’t” and he said “then I will be beat you up” I asked him repeatingly if he was serious, and he was dead hand on heart serious.. no laughter nothing.. he acted like beating his girlfriend was normal, he’s never abused me or anything but he gets mad at small things. Like if I shake my head, he shouts at me saying “I don’t you not to do that, listen to me” and I am scared that one day he will actually hit me, I feel like it’s a ticking time bomb, and you all will say why don’t you leave, but it’s not that simple.. I’m carrying his child as we speak, I’m 2 months pregnant.. and he doesn’t know. I’m scared to tell him…. He’s a Turkish man, he believes in different things, all the time we are constantly loving and laughing around with eachother, sex life is good.. love is good… It’s just he gets aggressive for no reason, I can see it’s turning into a toxic relationship. Any advice please. Thank you


I don’t know if its me or him. He says things like this to me: you let little things get you all hung up. why are you so dramatic… He used to call me names.. Well about 3 weeks ago he called me a Lush. I am sure I play a part in all this. I had an abusive father and I know I can get triggered easily. I have been told all my life I am too sensitive. I’ve seen therapists and I am a therapist. I have worked really hard to clear all this old stuff out. I just repeat the scenarios over and over in my head that it is so confusing. Then I get depressed and lonely.


I am a therapist as well. I am actually a bisexual male married to a man. We have an adopted child, and a foster infant. The relationship has been toxic for a while, and we have been working through it because in some odd way he grounds me, or maybe just sucks the energy from me. I want to literally not move for his promotion and divorce; I try to tell him I don’t think the baby is in our best interest right now because I am trying to further my career and education; our son has major trauma and behavioral issues and the only reason we have the baby is because he thinks we need a full family right now and can’t wait. Gaslighting is literally what I’ve gone through for the past 6 years. I need out. I have no money because I have had more medical and mental health issues in the past year than I’ve had in my whole life, and I have one of the highest ACES scores of other therapists I know. There are all of these resources and research for women in emotionally abusive relationships, yet minimal to none for men in Southern states within the LGBTQ community. I get what you are going through for sure.


I really don’t have anyone to talk to. I’m hoping maybe someone can see this soon and have some encouraging words for me, to say I’ve got this – because I am in serious need of it.

I’ve been with my boyfriend on and off for 4 years, he did a lot of damage to me. It was only off ever because he’d leave me for his baby’s mama and tell me how much he doesn’t want me, can’t stand me, just wants me to go away and leave him alone.

Unfortunately, I was head over heels in love and wasn’t ready to give up. I stuck it out and fought for “us”. Severely out of character for myself. I’m very much a flighty person, the first sign of major red flags and I’m gone so fast.

When things were on, it was SO good. That’s what kept me hanging on, I think. I had this crazy idea in my head that we could make it through every rough patch and eventually be “ok”. Live happily ever after.

The baby’s mama has been gone for over a year but I recently found out he had been trying to get their family back together, again.

It has been so disheartening because I thought we really had it together finally. He was loving me, spoiling me, doting on me. Everything I’d ever wanted – finally after 4 years of hell. He was even telling people that he’s going to ask me to marry him. Which was a shock since he’d been telling me for years he’d never marry me, which was also very hard to go through.

Every once in a while, something reminds me of the past – it really does haunt me. I admit, I’m the toxic one when it comes to the forgiving forgetting and moving on. I don’t think I’m capable of it anymore honestly. I pick fights when something is bothering me about it. I think I’ve been conditioned over the years that I have to be angry to be able to speak my mind.

Tonight, I took a new approach and brought up what was bothering me point blank. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a very non issue but it has a major issue that festers below it.

For a long while, he had an internet romance with a girl almost two years ago. It was pretty progressed by the time I caught on to it. I got a fake profile onto her social media and let me tell you – it was devastating.

Everything I wanted him to be – she had.

He was loving all of her pics, giving her sweet nothings, promising her everything he knew I wanted from him.

Fast forward to today and embarrassingly – I still check her social media from time to time. Mostly waiting for karma to catch up to her. When I told her that he is in fact NOT single and living with me, she really did tell me I’m his crazy ex and obsessed with him and kept on doing her thing with him.

Today id checked on it, I hadn’t in a long time and I happened to catch a phrase that was familiar within her comments on a post.

One of her friends had quoted one of his compliments to her and they were both making fun of him, calling him thirsty and having a good laugh at his expense.

Remember, this was close to two years ago and his stint with her had that big of an affect on her. I couldn’t help but think “I wish he would say those incredible things to me so I could remember them for forever, too.”

I decided to bring it up to him. To let him know I would love that same treatment. Except I wouldn’t make fun of him years later, instead I would still be cherishing it. I told him that if he’d lay it on thick like that for me – I could heal myself. I’d be so happy. Instead I’m wishing that the love of my life would give me the same type of romance he’s given everyone but me.

I thought he’d hear me out and listen and want to fix that. I was dead wrong.

Instead he hit me with a barrage of insults – I’m jealous, insecure, needy, shelfish, manipulative, etc. – granted it probably wasn’t the RIGHT time to bring it up (he has court tomorrow for threatening his baby’s mama – whole different long story) and he made sure to let me know what an awful person I am for that. But I really can’t hold things in otherwise I do go crazy (I’m an anxiety ridden over thinker).

Maybe I am those things, who knows – but he really did dump me instead of wanting to uplift me and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I’m really am past the point of the bottom of the erosion of my self esteem and confidence which is probably why I’m being toxic as well.

I just hurt and I can’t stop bleeding all over everything all of the time. I want to leave so badly. I feel relief when we’re “not together” but I also feel like I can’t breathe when we’re “not together”. This really is the worst place I’ve ever been mentally or emotionally.

I just need for someone to tell me I’m right for wanting to run and I’m validated in it, or to please tell me I’m the toxic one and I need to fix myself for him.


You don’t need to “fix yourself for him.”
You’re not toxic as far as I can tell, I’m afraid you’ve become the victim of a toxic person instead. Truly, this is not just a toxic relationship, he seems to be a problematic person and you shouldn’t spend any more of your life suffering along side that.

You are right to want to run away. I hope you do, I hope you did, because you do not need him.
What you need is some time to heal.
What you need to do is sever ties. Completely.

And I promise that eventually you’ll find the person who never hesitates to whisper sweet everything’s to you. Someone who will always find you interesting, and worthy, and strong, and loving, and everything else you are.

Take some time for yourself, but stop giving time to this person. Please.


Run and don’t look back! The guy is a full blown narcissist! Save yourself and get some counselling as to why you stayed as long as you did in such an abusive relationship!


I need some advise. I feel trapped, but I don’t know why. Some days I just don’t want to come home to anyone and an empty apartment where I can decorate and have my own. My S/O and I have good days and bad days, but I’m always doing something wrong or annoying her. I can do anything right. Everything is always my fault and I over think everything. Which I know I can do, but not with everything. In her eyes I do everything in the most round about way or I take the long way to find out an answer. I’m always the first to apologize and give in to make her happy. I do all the cleaning, cooking, pay all the bills, laundry, and take care of the animals. I work 2 full-time jobs, gave up on college, while she says home as full-time college student. I feel burnt out. She doesn’t do anything for herself and I’m always picking up after her. Every time I say something about how I’m feeling she comes off that I’m making her a victim, and that she can’t anything b/c of her depression/anxiety/PTSD. I’ve encouraged her to medicate and go to therapy. She can’t do anything by herself so I can never have a day just to myself b/c I’ll get texts all the time wanting to just talk b/c she can’t leave me alone. If I’m out an about and she texts me she expects an answer right away, or “i’m ignoring her.” Some days I just want to have a me day, but I can’t. I work at a place where I can’t have my phone, so we use google chat to speak. Sometimes I can’t get to my computer in time for her and she gets so annoyed and mad at me for not answering right away. I’m also hard of hearing that annoyed her to no end, but she speaks so soft. I’ve been very patient, but I just don’t know what to do anymore. We are set to get married in a few years and she has a dress and we have a venue. I’m afraid to leave everything we have. Also over the past month or two she’s told me that she doesn’t like her engagement ring (i’m still paying on it). She had huge “requirements” for a ring to be 2.5-3+ carats. I can’t afford that. So we went together and customized a gemstone ring at 4.16 carats within my budget. Now she doesn’t like it, “b/c it doesn’t sparkle enough.” My family also isn’t the best (story for another day) so I would have no one. Her family has been ever so accepting of me and loves me (which I’ve never had). She has a back up plan too if we where to separate, I’ve never had that or thought about one. I just don’t know what to do. I know some days I’m hard to love b/c I have anxiety/depression and my family isn’t the greatest.

Mike A

I enjoyed this article, although I have definitely noticed a bit of gender bias in the comments section. I’m male, and I am the first to admit that, I, for the longest time, was the toxic individual. I didn’t do a lot of the the things on here out of being selfish or toxic. I never have been one to open up about feelings after I messed up with the love of my life. I locked up my heart and did everything I could to keep anyone away from it. I still do that. I do it honestly now though. I let my girlfriends know at the very start that I am a damaged individual that may never let anyone near to me as I did A*****a. So far, I have not. But, If I choose to suffer, that’s my choice. I feel that after what I put her through I deserve every bit of sh!t that rains down on me. I don’t put anyone else through the ropes now. It is going to work or it isn’t and most likely, it won’t because my old heart will only belong to one person. My body is another thing entirely. There are no head games and there are no lies. I grant myself no delusions that I will ever be as happy as I once was. I don’t want to be that happy with anyone else as it is not fair to her. Her happiness, to this day, is now I all I care about. She’s gone, and I hope every day that she is happy. That’s what matters. More guys need to catch on to that before they crush the delicate flower that is only blooming for them. You stop giving her the things she so needs, and she will have to fight or or leave to get them as they are necessary for her survival. Not physically, of course. But emotionally, certainly. You guys that read this: They need a love story, they need the real deal and not a novelty distributed to get into their pants. They are living and breathing things of beauty that need care and delicate way of being handled at times. They are not things to be harvested, but only to be nurtured. You take care of an apple tree and for the rest of your life, you can can have sweet delicious apples. So don’t cut it down to make room for more driveway space…..I know that if this is ever read, that I will probably catch some guff, but so be it. I know where I went wrong and I will never do that to anyone else just as I know that I will never be in love with anyone else. 16 years later and no one has ever come close. But I am not empty, because I find much truth in the old saying that “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”. Some people never take the time to even think about it. I do, all of the time, and it doesn’t bring me pain because the love I do have, although it belongs only to me, brings me light, even in the darkest of times.


i’ve been with this girl now for almost 1 and a half years, she’s literally my first relationship. i did almost all of my firsts with her. i even lost my virginity to her and vice versa for her for this. however, last year we had many arguments and it all started because of me. i cheated, multiple times on her and despite all those, she gave me chance after chance. after that we had a month of time off (a break) and that’s when i took the time to reflect upon myself and my actions. i loved and love her so that’s why i couldn’t afford to let her go. early this year, we got back together but the vibe wasn’t the same. she became colder to me although i promised her multiple times and i even screenshotted my chats to prove to her that i don’t do what i did anymore. my self pride was gone and i did everything i could to get her back. i felt suicidal at those point in time. and everytime she treated my harshly and unfairly, i js feel like giving up but i didn’t want to. before our break, i had this girl bestfriend who i always share my problems to because i trust her. my girlfriend hates her and is jealous and insecure of her and so i blocked her on all social media platforms and even most girls. there was even that one point where she started to like my bestfriend and was losing feelings for me. side note: i’ve met her family and they like and approve of me. however, a month ago, because of her attitude i’ve been keeping up with and bottling, i couldn’t take it anymore. i felt like breaking up but my mind told me not to. so we took a breather. i cried and cried because i didn’t know what to do, whether to leave or stay. she was crazy in tears too and even felt suicidal. she even reminded me that she lost her virginity to me and vice versa. i asked my bestfriends for their opinion and one of them said it was a toxic r/s. now, things have started to get better but recently, i just feel that my love for her keeps going up and down. almost everynight, i dream of me and my ex-girl bestfriend being together as a couple, i even wished i was .. now i don’t know what to do anymore ..


should i breakup and date my ex-girl bestfriend ? because honestly, me and her have nothing against each other. i do feel that i have the slightest feelings for her but idk what to do anymore honestly. as much as i love my girlfriend now, i feel like breaking up because i just get too stressed nowadays .. and idm us being bestfriends .. and i just feel that me and my ex-girl bestfriend will work out just fine


Just had a baby girl a month ago…It might be the hormones or idk WTH is going on. I still feel pregnant and still can’t stand my husband. He is just too annoying I guess. He is a clean FREAK, and wants everything perfect, we renovated the house while I was pregnant and he was so stressed out he kept yelling all the time. I tried to be as patient as possible because of the baby. Still it seemed he was the pregnant one. Now, he is just too much into keeping everything neat. I have 2 kids plus a newborn, I do not have time to maintain the house. There is a little scratch on the wall? Oh he goes crazy! The girls drop food while eating? Oh he goes extra crazy on them. The other day I was giving a bath to the baby in the bathroom and accidentally spilled water and he went crazy! Like saying I don’t care about the house bla bla bla. I put the dishes in the dishwasher then he says that is not the way to put the dishes. He is too much OCD. He did not talk to me for 2 days then he pretended everything was ok. I barely talk to him, he is too much into his work and playing tennis or doing his workout. In the mornings he stays asleep not even care to help with homeschooling the other girls.
Then he asks: what’s for lunch?

I am BuSY homeschooling 2 children and handling a newborn who is fussy all the time and on top he wants me to cook! I just can’t…I ignore him because I have other important things to take care of but I do not like to be like this. He is a hard headed so do not tell me to talk to him because all he will say is the I am the bad person here because in his eyes he is perfect. So no, I can’t talk to him he takes everything I say wrong. It just seems he annoys me now because he is too annoying and worried about keeping everything clean while I barely have time to take a shower🥺 the only good news is that my mom is here who helps me with everything he is supposed to do as a father.

Long post but don’t have any friends neither. It’s sad I know. I quit my job to be a FTM so any words of wisdom will be appreciated. Thx

Swati S

You are a rockstar. I do not know how you are managing all this. Just try and communicate wd ur husband.
This post makes me self-reflect as I am a clean freak too and tell my husband to not load the dishwasher because he does not know how to. Being so particular abt cleanliness adds stress. I am mostly cleaning my house. I hv started to work on myself now by ignoring clutter and there are days I do not clean to make myself at ease wd not so perfect surroundings.


Omg I’m feeling for you. That was my life 10 yrs ago, I’d just become a FTM and felt so stuck. Try not to let him have the power. I have made the mistake of “keeping dad happy” the priority over all else, day in and day out. One day I decided to stop reacting, giving into his negative energy. When he freaks out about something, you handle it – whether it’s scratch on the floor or whatever — as you would if he wasn’t there. It’s super hard, and it’s not fair, but eventually he will realize his tactics aren’t working. Stay cool, rise above and if he still doesn’t calm the f down, start planning a way out. Be bold and confident and cool. Establish those boundaries and be willing to act. That’s the only way people like our husbands will actually modify their behaviors. Counseling helps, simply bc there’s a another non crazy witness. Stay calm.


Well first congratulations on the newborn.
I was exactly the same when I gave birth to my 2 nd daughter,(I am not with the father of my kids anymore )
I believe that we as women are expecting too much from men especially when we have a newborn.
However it also can be a baby blues . I think you should maybe take some time to reconnect with him both of you , like when u where dating . Men are very selfish and immature ( not all of them
but majority)


I would talk to a therapist if possible. He is controlling and toxic and not helping in the way you need. If you can’t access it and talk to him to resolve this, then I’m sorry to say that it is not a healthy relationship.


It sounds like we have the same life.
My mom doesn’t support my decision of needing a divorce because she thinks I’m over reacting and am just stressed after having a baby but the thing is. . . He’s been like this for 5 years- our entire relationship- just behind closed doors, or not around my family at least.
Now it’s gotten so bad he no only treats me horribly but he also compares out parents and speaks badly of mine. Then will tell me that my mom knows Im complicated. He’s trying to make me feel alone and trapped and it’s working bc now I have no money after leaving my job too.


dang im so sorry ro hear that. people like you are the real heroes maintaining children and a foolish man at the same time i cant compare because im a 13 year old boy but i show a lot of empathy for my age and that just sounds horrible.

Claudia C

My boyfriend pretendes I don’t exist when we are out with others or in public ! Whenever I try to talk he just shuts me down and make funny faces he won’t listen to anything I add to a conversation ! Some of my friends have notice and said he doesn’t seem to really care about me ! He just treats me like I’m invisible ! At home is like a puppy to me but in public he acts different he really pretends I don’t existe he even turns is back on me when he sits he won’t look at me he want even talk to me !
My voice and or any movement I do irritates him !


Hi Karen
My name is Greg . I met a women 2 months ago it started with a moment at the beach .Than we met again on a dating site . Everything been great intill I learned more , ya see she has issue’s daddy issues , two ex’s issues , the third was her soul mate that cheered and left and claims that she was allways the giver in her relationships ! Now I’m with her ! I am an honest , caring , loving man who really likes this woman . She doesn’t want to date , doesn’t want a committed relationship but is interested in us , says I’m everything she would want in a partner, but allways wants me time ! She’ll spend four day with me and gone ten back for two and gone for five . I was understanding to her needs . Than she tells me she happy alone , but I still see her once a weekend for a day and a half . I’m thinking it’s a toxic relationship because I’m willing to work for a relationship but she puts little effert in and I’m putting my all in . Sex is great and when we have one on one time she’s the one for me . Recently I heard this saying.
Never make someone a priority who considers you an option and doesn’t want to commit to anything . She had plans all Friday night with her mom / canceled intill Saturday and I asked what time Sunday she would like me to come over for dinner on our two month anniversary she said 4 pm eat and watch a movie . I said I wanted to come over early and spend quality time together , talk , go for a walk . anything . She said she had things to do .I said what ? Clean , fiddle fart around watch a movie , what ever . Toxic & I’m an OPTION when she wants me there for whatever & sex . I guess it’s a different type of toxic w/ friends with benefits .But she says she doesn’t want to hurt me !!! As I write this I realize I have two options it in to it what I get back or get the hell out .


Hey Greg, it’s a shame when a good woman doesn’t recognise a good thing when it’s starting her right in the face. You seem to be very aware of wise so trust you will make the right decision but this woman has been through a lot of shitty relationships by the sounds of it and needs to heal her heart before she can open it fully, let someone else in and make them a priority. I have compassion for you both, it’s hard when 1 person wants the relationship to progress faster than the other. I also believe the man can be a great source of healing for the woman but don’t allow yourself to be used. You will know if she feels a deep connection and love for you. If not, she won’t express her struggles about opening her heart to you because she probably isn’t aware she’s doing it. She sounds broken and I would tread carefully. All the best.


My current relationship started like you are describing. 5 years later it’s the same. I finally left 3 weeks ago and am now homeless sleeping in my truck because I couldn’t stay any longer. I’m still questioning if I’m the toxic one because my self image was so damaged there. My advice…stop dating this woman. Don’t waste anymore tiime. He was perfect sometimes too and that’s what kept bringing me back. And my belief that he knew better what a healthy relationship was and I didn’t. So when he was hot and cold. I’m and out. He would tell me that’s healthy and I believed him. But it’s ultimately just made me doubt everything about myself and love. And I don’t have the doubts or confusion before him. Kept yourself and your self image intacted by leaving the confusion of your relationship with her. You’ll be glad you left. The confusion will leave and a better suited partner will come because you’ve made your statement to the universe what you are willing to accept and not by your decision to say goodbye to someone who wasn’t meeting your needs.


Hi Greg not sure if you will read this get out asap! She doesn’t deserve your commitment good luck and drop her like a hot potatoe she might even be using you x


Jeezus Greg…I’m in the same boat. It’s the sex that is blinding us.

I just recently wrote down that same quote too. It’s from Mark Twain.

“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”

Unfortunately, we know the answer to our instinctual question. Our relationships are unbalanced, creating lots of negative feelings and doubts, and therefore unhealthy.

Allegedly there is someone out there who will love us, prioritize us, and give us great sex too.

Maddy A

Hello! Me and my wife moved in together not long ago. We used to be so close and she really made me feel better! But not it isn’t and I’m wondering why. She just isn’t what she used to be and is always leaving the house late at night. She is always complaining now “Why did I become a lesbian if girls are a pain in the a**?” It really makes me sad to see she doesn’t like me anymore but I love her so much. What do you suggest I do?


I met this guy online 7 years ago and we started talking. We have dated and I cheated on him as it’s been a long distance relationship. We separated. I contacted him after 2 years and we got back together. He proposed to me and I moved to his country to try to stay with him. I had to leave because of the visa problem and money. He hasn’t been working for more than a year. I have been always the one paying when we went out while I was in his country. Anyway I came back to my country to work and make money as I was running out of money and he can’t support us at all. Then we have our long distance relationship again. He always think that I am cheating on him and he always says disgusting words to me with no respect at all. We would get back together and he would say those words again and again. He would block me and then unblock me and said ok let’s move on. After awhile, he just mentioned the past and accuse me of cheating. When he doesn’t response to my text, it is fine to him. But when I just texted him good morning and good night, he thought I was dating my colleague because I didn’t text him during the day or during lunch time. I didn’t text him because he doesn’t response to my text so what’s the point of me texting him? He deleted his whatsapp and I have no way to find him. I truly love him. I know I did something terribly and wrongly but I have changed. But he doesn’t believe that and he doesn’t respect me at all and I know I was in a toxic relationship but I just don’t want to lose him. It’s been 9 days I got nothing from him even I sent him emails.


Hi Ashley, I’m sorry and I feel you pain. I have experienced this in the past and my only advice to you is to remember who you are. You’re a kind and loving person who never meant harm. We are only human and we make mistakes. This doesn’t discount the fact that you cheated but I would get to the root of the problem and try not to focus on the symptom. You may have cheated to begin with because you didn’t feel safe or secure with this man. Because of that you may have subconsciously seeked out security from somebody else. This isn’t your fault but it is your responsibility to own. Try to see this man for who he really is and not as a symbol of God in your life. He is just a man. Be kind to yourself. What would the 5 year old Ashley do? Does she know she deserves better and relationship that is filled with support, love and care? Or does she believe she is only worthy of a one way relationship that is familiar to the pain she may have experienced growing up? I wish you all the best. Stay strong. All my love and support, Iva x

rodney s

Been dating my gf for 1.5 yrs and she told me four-five months ago when I asked her what’s wrong she had been acting funny that her job was stressing her out and she missed her family who lived 2hrs away I asked her are you sure that’s all I feel like it’s me and she said no and that I couldn’t maker her happy she had too. Two months later she found a job closer to her family and the plan was for me to move out there and to be with her. Now she is working two jobs and trying to get a place and I haven’t had a solid job in close to a year because of the pandemic but she knew how hard I tried and I finally get a job in her area and was ready to move she hit me with she can’t trust that I’ll always be able to help finally which was a fair point.she also says I don’t listen to her and never has addressed that issue and she has felt alone and don’t think that’s going to change I have moved down the list of things she’s prioritizing. But just two months ago she was saying she still wanted to be with me and now she says she don’t think we should be together. I went and changed my status to single because I thought that’s what she meant she wanted but I’m not sure I got a new job and I message her every so often and she says she needs her space I’m so lost.

Hannah R

My ex messaged me a few months ago he’d just lost his ex wife and mother to his three children to suicide. I obviously messaged back as we dated when we were younger and had stayed friends so we met up a couple of times. Although at the time I was with my current boyfriend and I didn’t tell him straight away till like 2 weeks after. Although I didn’t sleep with my ex my boyfriend still feels like I cheated on him. Yes I lied because I didn’t tell him straight away and obviously I have broken the trust. Do you think we’ll ever fix things? Like we’re trying to work things out and it has been a few months since it happened and I haven’t been in touch with said ex since but still at times it crops up and we end up arguing. How long will this last and is it worth sticking it out in the hope we’ll fix the broken trust?


It is an eye opening article on how toxic people are instrumental in breaking the heavenly relationships. Since most of the people are so innocent when it comes to love and relationship that they fail to read the signs of trouble and the inevitable happens. I have shared this article to one of my friends whose marriage is going through a bad phase. I am sure it will help him. Thanks a lot.


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Honestly isn’t this the way it is for all of us though?♥️

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Big feelings can be so beautiful. And so tricky. 

We want our kids to know that all feelings are okay, and we also want to support them to handle those feelings in positive ways. This is going to take time. We were all born with feelings, but none of us were born able to regulate those feelings. That will come with time and lots (lots!) of experience. 

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We have to change the way we think about school. When we prioritise academics, it's like building the walls - because that's what we see - before fortifying the foundations.

So many teachers know this, but with the increased focus on reporting and academics, they aren't being given the time and opportunity to build the relationships that will ensure those foundations are strong and steady.

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Schools are spending the resources anyway, but reactively on behaviour management, disengagement, reduced capacity to learn.

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As brutal as separation anxiety can feel, it also comes with transformative opportunities to strengthen your child and build their brave in ways that will serve them now and for the rest of their lives. 

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