Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

Toxic Relationships: How to Let Go When It’s Unhappily Ever After

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Toxic Relationships: How to Let Go When It's Unhappily Ever After

If life ran like a storybook, the person we fall in love would not be the person who broke us. Sadly, we humans tend to be a bit more human than that. We fall in love, we commit, we get hurt – over and over – and we stay.  People need people, but sometimes the cost is a heavy one. When it’s a toxic relationship, the breakage can be far-reaching.

Love is addictive. So is the hope of love. All relationships can be likened to an addiction, but sometimes the power of this can be self-destructive. When relationships become loveless, hostile, stingy or dangerous, you would think they would be easy to leave, but they can be the hardest ones to walk away from.

A bad relationship isn’t about being on the downward slide of the usual relationship ups and downs. It is one that consistently steals your joy and follows you around with that undeniable clamour that this isn’t how it’s meant to be.

Knowing when to let go.

Sometimes the signs are clear – emotional and physical abuse, constant criticism, lying, cheating, emotional starvation. Sometimes there is nothing outstandingly obvious – it just doesn’t feel right. Perhaps it did once but that ended long ago. The signs might lie in the loneliness, a gentle but constant heartache, a lack of security, connection or intimacy or the distance between you both. 

Whatever it involves, there are important needs that stay hungry, for one of both people in the relationship. The relationship exists but that’s all it does, and sometimes barely even that. It doesn’t thrive and it doesn’t nurture. It is maintained, not through love and connection, but through habit. 

Sometimes there are circumstances that make leaving difficult. Sometimes though, there’s nothing in your way except you. Some of the signs that you might be addicted to the relationship are:

  • You know it’s bad, but you stay.
  • You want more for yourself, but you stay.
  • There are important needs in you that are so hungry (intimacy, connection, friendship, love, security, respect), and you know in this relationship they’ll stay that way. But you stay. 
  • You have tried ending the relationship before, but the pain of being on your own always brings you back.

What to do when leaving feels as bad as staying.

Leaving any relationship is difficult. Leaving a bad one isn’t necessarily any easier. The shift from powerless to empowered is a gentle one, but lies in the way you experience the relationship. It often takes as much resourcefulness, energy and strength to stay in a bad relationship as it does to leave. With a shift in mindset, experience and expectation, the resources you use to stay and to blind out the seething hopelessness of it all can be used to propel you forward.

  1. Be present.

    The pull to live in the past (the way it was/ the way I was) or in the future (it will get better – I just need to find the switch) can be spectacular, but the energy to move forward exists fully in the present. It’s always there, but you have to be in the present to access it. To do this, fully experience the relationship as it is, without needing to change it or control it. 

    This might be scary, particularly if the environment you are in is hostile or lonely, but the only way to be okay with leaving what you have, is to fully experience how broken it is.

    No relationship is perfect. All couples fight and hurt each other and say and do things they shouldn’t. That’s a normal part of living and loving together. The problem comes with having to repeatedly live in the past or the future to tolerate the present – the abuse, the harm, the insecurity, the jealousy, the loneliness and the grief of the relationship as it stands – just so that it’s easier to stay.

  2. Keep track.

    Keep a record of how you feel in the relationship, the good and bad. If writing isn’t your thing, take a photo of your face at the same time every day. You’ll see it in your eyes. Photos and journalling will capture the intimate, day to day detail of you in this relationship. Set a time period – weeks or months – and at the end take a look over your photos or your writing. Can you see patterns? What do you notice about the things that hurt you and the things that feel good? The frequency? The intensity? What do you see in the photos? Can you see the life in you? Or has it been drained away. Is this the person you want to be? Or is it a faded, sadder version? This can help to see your experience in the relationship for what it is – stripped of the filters and the softening that comes with time. 

  3. Be aware of what’s happening in your body. It’s trying to tell you something.

    The connection between the mind and the body is a powerful one. If you shut down the messages that are coming from your mind, your body will take over. There will be signs in the way you hold yourself, the sensations in your body (heaviness, heartache, tension) and the way it works. Has your body slowed down? Is there physical pain? Does it ache? Does it feel heavy? Restless? Tired? Drained? Do you feel your body withering, scrunched or as though it’s holding back? If your body could speak, what would it want you to know?

    Try this exercise:

    Finish this sentence: 

    ‘My body is …’ (tired/crumpled/hurting – whatever fits for you)’.

    Now, keep your ending but replace the words, ‘My body is’ with ‘I am’ or ‘My life is’.

    Notice what happens when you do that.

  4. How do you avoid the truth?

    Notice what you do to shift away from your reality. Are there unhealthy behaviours you do to stop from feeling bad? Or maybe there are healthy beahviours that you do in unhealthy ways?

    Try staying with the discomfort rather than avoiding it. Contained in the pain is the wisdom, courage and strength you need to find the happier version of yourself and your life. 

  5. Give it a deadline.

    It’s easy to forget how long you’ve been living with what you don’t want, hoping that one day it will be better. Pick your ‘one day’. Let it be six weeks, six months – whatever feels right for you. In that time, give the relationship everything you’ve got. When that ‘one day’ comes, be honest and act from a place of strength, self-respect and self-love. The answer will be in front of you.

  6. Become selfish.

    The way we think about selfishness is broken. Selfishness is about recognising what you need and doing what you can to meet those needs. Sometimes there will be fallout, but there will also be fallout by ignoring what you need and letting the noise shout you down. You matter. What you need matters. It always has. Sometimes that will mean putting yourself first on your list. This is even more important if it is the only list that has you anywhere near the top.

  7. Be honest about your part.

    Is there anything you can do to put the relationship back on track? It takes guts to open up to what you might need to do differently, but it’s important. If you’re not sure, ask your partner. Of course, just because your partner names things he or she would like you to do differently, it for you to decide whether this is a direction you want to move in. If the response is ‘Yeah actually. You can stop asking me where I go at night. K?’ then you can either respond with, ‘Sure baby – it’s totally fine with me if you leave the house smelling like man musk and secrets. Just come home when you feel like it hey. Do you want me to keep dinner for you?’ Or, you can Google, ‘Somewhere I can live without idiots.’

  8. What’s your role in the relationship?

    It’s likely that there will be a rhythm in the relationship that keeps it breathing the way it does. You and your partner will each have a role that keeps each other’s behaviour possible. This in no way means either of you are to blame or that either of you deserve to be treated the way you are. What it means is that over time you would have fallen into a way of being together that makes the dysfunction easier and more tolerable – a healthy adjustment to an unhealthy situation.

    It’s common in relationships for one person to be the ‘reacher’ and one to be the ‘retreater’. In healthy relationships, this is balanced or the roles shift around. There’s an easy flexibility. In unhealthy relationships, these roles become polarised. The more someone retreats, the more the other reaches, and this is where the roles become fixed.

    Explore your roles. Which one of you is ‘the commitment phobe’, ‘the non-communicator,’ ‘the abuser,’  ‘the critic’, ‘the disinterested one’? And who is ‘the ‘enabler’, ‘the victim,’ ‘the helpless one,’ ‘the reacher’, ‘the rescuer’, ‘the justifier’, ‘the fantasiser’. Try shifting out of your role. This will shift the dynamic and either force change or make the dysfunction all the more glaring – and easier to walk away from.

  9. Let go of the fantasy.

    The fantasy of what could be will keep you stuck. Every time. It could be better – so much better – but just not with this person. How do you know? Because you’ve been trying. And you’re tired. And there’s nothing more to give.

    The fantasy stands between you and reality and throws flowers at your feet so you never look up and see things as they are.

    The more you fantasise about what could be, the more the reality is embellished and changed into something reasonable. The fantasy will persuade you to hold on for a little longer, and always at the cost of moving forward. Lose the fantasy that things will be different. They won’t be. If you could have lived the fantasy with this relationship, you would have done that by now. Let your fantasy instead be one of all the losers who have ever crossed your path sprawled on the couch, wearing saggy Star Wars underwear as they gaze at your photo, listen to Adele and regret like mad ever losing you, while you eat tacos, listen to Beyonce and not miss them at all. There you go.

  10. Accept what is.

    It’s paradoxical, but the more you can accept where you are, the greater the capacity for change. This will let your decisions be driven by information that’s real and accurate, not a glossed up fairy tale image of what could be. Accept your reality as it is – your relationship, your partner and what it means for you. When you accept the truth, you live the truth. This will expand your courage, strength and capacity to decide whether this relationship is the best option for you – or not. You will have a clarity that will propel you forward, whatever that might mean for you.

  11. Fight for you.

    You have to fight for the things you love and the things you believe in, but one of those things has to be you. What would you say to someone you love who was feeling the pain or the deadness that you are feeling? Inside you is more courage and strength than you will ever need. You are a queen, a king, a fighter, a warrior, you are powerful and beautiful and everything good in the world – and you deserve to be happy. But first, you might have to fight for it. Fight for you the way you would fight for anyone you love – fiercely, boldly, bravely.

  12. Stop making excuses.

    Be honest.What do you want from this relationship? Have you ever had it? How different is what you want from what you have? And how long has it been this way? If you are loved, it feels like love. Even in the midst of a storm, a loving relationship still feels loving. Despite the stress, the exhaustion, the things you do or say – a loving relationship has an undercurrent of safety, security and respect, even when times are tough. If it doesn’t feel good for you, it’s not.

  13. Replace ‘can’t leave’ with ‘won’t leave’.

    Claim back your power by replacing ‘can’t leave‘ with ‘won’t leave‘. Sometimes circumstances mean that it’s difficult to leave. Whatever you choose to do, do it from a place of strength, not from a place of helplessness. If you stay, let it be because you have made the decision that this is the best option for you at this moment in time, not because somebody has claimed ownership of your life. Keep your power and your independence of mind, whatever is going on around you. There’s only one of you and you’re too important to let yourself fade into circumstance or the manipulation.

  14. Not making a decision is making a decision.

    You might decide to put off making a decision, to give it some time. Make no mistake, this is making a decision – to stay. Own your decision and experience fully what that decision means for you. Don’t live on the outskirts of your reality by claiming to be somewhere in between committing to the relationship and leaving it. You’re one or the other. In it or out of it. Claiming indecision might feel okay in the short term, but in the long term it will just keep you stuck, without the energy you need to move closer to what will be healthier for you.

And finally …

If the relationship feels bad, then it’s bad for you. That’s the only truth that matters. Fight hard to keep your relationship intact, but when there is no fight left, the truth will be staring you down like a hunted thing.

All relationships will go through make it or break it times, but healthy relationships recover. They grow closer and become stronger and more resilient. Relationships have a limited amount of resources available – emotional, physical, financial. Sometimes the relationship will be barreled around by a storm and this might use up a vast chunk of the resources that have been banked over time. If the relationship is healthy, it will only be a matter of time before this is topped up. If it isn’t, it will shrivel up from lack of nourishment and eventually die. 

Only you can decide whether to stay or go, but be mindful of your reasons. Sometimes the bravest, most difficult, and most life-changing things lie not in what we do, but in what we stop doing. 

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285 Comments

mischa

yeah, i was also in a toxic toxic relationship.

It was physically, emotionally and psychologically so abusive, i hated it so much.

i loved him really so much, it was so passionate, it was spontaneous, it was wild. we did a lot of wild things together.

I however started to see some bad signs of manipulation, controlling behaviour, mistrust, power games.

We eventually broke up, and then he realized he wanted me back and he tried to change everything but then expected me to change everything too that he wanted, was it fair yes.

i was not ready to change in the way he wanted, i felt like i coulsnt do it, he wanted me to show him a lot of love and intimacy but i just couldnt, i really couldnt. I was just stuck with the pain of the past, he was so awful to me and i didnt trust that he would stop with the manipulation and shitty behaviours, it came out in a few more fights that he was still going to play psycological games with me.

I cried a lot, i felt like i was not a good person for leaving him so broken but then i realized, well fuck im broken too, i should be happy too :/

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Rosemarie

Rose

I am currently in a toxic marriage of 30 years trying to find the strength to leave. I still love him but all the lies,cheating, lack of caring has left me empty for so long.

He appears to unrepentant and uncaring as to the destruction that he done to our marriage and family . We are on a break now and I know he will want to come back and pretend nothing has happened and not address his cheating ways.

I just need to find the strength to let go and love me for a change and regain the self respect that he has destroyed in me along the years.

Thank you for this article

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Natalie

I swear this article was a god send. I have obsessed on the internet trying to find something close to my life and this popped up. My ex was perfect when we first met. We had fun, hung out, great sex, we talked a lot and got to know each other. I thought I had really found the one….until i first realized he was a liar. He cheated the entire 4 years we were together then he started hitting me. First time he said he was sorry and that i made him lose his temper and bought me a lot of stuff to show how “sorry”. The temper he blamed on me was the result of finding out he cheated again. The hitting got worse and closer together to the point that it went from once a year to twice a week. I finally got out and he is gone but he still sends threats through text and when i block him he will email me mean things. I feel so stupid for ever loving a man that can cause me such harm. Tried to make me lose my job, tells me how much of a failure of a woman i am for losing two of his children, one of which died in my stomach the day it was supposed to be born. The sick part is everyone thinks he is such a good guy and person and i have helped that image by never telling anything that went on. I am worried that if i don’t stay away he will kill me. I am also worried that if i do stay away he will harm me as well. This just seems like a never ending nightmare. Visions of him standing over me kicking me while crying haunts my dreams. I still have moments that i just beat myself up for letting this happen to me. I used to be the most bubbly joyful person ever now i have a permanent sad face. The article mentioned looking in the mirror…..i did it…..i burst out crying afterwards. I want to be happy and stop feeling sorry for myself. Good to know that i am not alone.

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CJ

Yes! I completely relate to your post Mischa. I have been married for 16 years but I am at my limit. I have ignored the signs of the abuse and now am I resentful and upset with myself for not doing something sooner! But I can no longer put up with the anger, name-calling, screaming and swearing, manipulation, control, and verbal abuse.

He tells me that he says and does these things because my behavior makes him feel hurt, betrayed and unvalued. He says it seems like I purposely make mistakes or don’t do things they way he likes because I don’t care about him or I am selfish and cold-hearted.

So in order for us to try and make our marriage work we both decided we needed to make changes. At first we started communicating more and became more intimate until everything fell apart again. He too wants me to be more affectionate and be truly intimate with him but I simply can’t do it. I used to think something was wrong with me but I’ve realized I can’t because of all the years of pain and hurtful words. I have forgiven him but can’t forget everything that has happened. And I can’t trust that he won’t do those things again.

If you read more about narcissistic behavior, it all makes sense. The put-downs, the control, the mind-games, the complete lack of respect – all red flags for a narcissist.

It is nice to read these comments and know that I am not alone and that we can move on from these relationships.

Does anyone have advice on how to break the news to your spouse (especially one like mine) that you want a divorce and it’s time to separate?

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Shauna

I’m 21 years old and I have been in a relationship for 4 years off and on. The relationship itself has turned into one that is resentful and always taken to a level that is hurtful and damaging to one another. Over the years, the man I was with had many issues he had to deal with, one of those being his anger. We both continued to hurt one another, whether through lies or when he cheated/wanted other people. It’s always been more difficult for me to let go. I get this overwhelming sense that I’m doing what’s best for myself to leave but always have this void in me like even though it will end, I will still feel like he is someone that I wanted to be with. Lately, it’s been so much worse. We fight constantly, break up and say nasty things to eachother and arguments get incredibly heated. Overtime he started to attack my character, the type of person I was, and on top of that with the consistently disloyalty and rage that he had had towards me has caused me to feel broken. I don’t feel like myself anymore, I feel insecure and helpless. For so long I have gone back to him thinking that maybe he’d get it or if I tried harder things would work out. I’ve gone back to him knowing he didn’t truly love me, for reasons that now seem stupid. I’m really hoping now, after breaking up recently, that I have the strength to be secure in myself and have the strength to move on from this debilitating relationship. Sometimes it feels impossible though, and I question whether I have the strength to move on for my own good.

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Aaron

I’ve been going through the same thing for 2 years, we met, fell in love then she just started the toxic behavior 5 months in, constantly flirting with other men, on and off again, making me feel like it was me? All I ever wanted was a normal loving relationship. I tried to convince myself she wasn’t good for me but we kept coming back to eachother, I was in love with her! Finally she had told me there were other guys she was seeing after 2 years together, I think I was in a fantasy imagining what I thought we could be and she was never there emotionally or physically, I compromised my values and feelings for the few and far between connection we had for a chance! In the end it wasn’t worth it, we put our lover on a pedestal for unknown reasons and they become an emotional vampire sucking the life from you to prop there self up because they know you will always be there go to person! But they never really loved or respected you to begin with.

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Annie

It amazes me how toxic a relationship can become. How two people who are so in love can be so cruel to one another. I believe it’s the worst kind of pain in the world aside from losing a child. He was my soul mate – the man I wanted to spend my whole life with. I still don’t understand why we couldn’t make it work- I will probably never know because nothing actually happened – it was always fighting over the fear of what might happen. It was him being triggered constantly over little things which I believe stemmed from his fear of being hurt . He would get mad and mean and say the worst things to me – questioning my character – he would work so hard to try and change everything about me – the way I dressed, friends EVERYTHING!! I always felt so picked apart . It got to the point where I stopped living my life ( stopped seeing friends, stopped exercising , deleted social media , stopped being myself ) to try and make things work and It STIll DIDNT WORK- I felt like the life had been sucked out of me. I wasn’t the same girl – I had been beaten down. I kept telling myself that if I did something different , it would work. We have broken up 20 times and gotten back together, EVERYTIME with the same results. We have gone around and around in circles in this toxic Marry go round and basically have lost a year and a half of our lives . When I speak to him- he feels the same- it’s time to end it for good. We have no other choice. My heart is broken.

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Jakobi

It’s a difference in emotional intimacy, different vibration, an unseen force. Do not dwell on this, no one is at fault, the universe is vast we understand very little. Just trust that you will love again and be wiser next time, propel yourself forward my friend, times ticking!

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Cristina

Im 24 years old have 3 kids and ive been in a toxic relationship for 9 years. I just woke up after i graduated with my AA and i had a conversation with him about how i wanted to get my masters and he said im stupid i barely got my AA ill be wasting my time. I was pregnant at the time with his 3rd baby but i realized im in the wrong relationship because no one who loves and supports you will say that. He’s a con artist, a narcissist has PTSD, depression, no respect, doesnt listen,selfish i have no freedom no friends.when i was younger i wanted to grow up and be independent go wherever i want and for the pass nine years i never did. I have to bulid my self up again i couldnt go to church the gym the mall anything i want or need to do is a problem i just want to help someone else who in highschool and are in love and tell them to keep focusing on you because a boy isn’t worth it.

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CLee

Shauna, I can’t help but comment on your post. I am 43 and I am almost finally divorced from my husband whom I have been with since I was 26. The dynamic you describe between you and your ex is almost exactly what my husband and I shared. I too lost my sense of worth and self and I have spent this last year trying to rebuild and learning how to live my own life.

I want you to know that as hard as I am sure that this time is right now, you are so brave and smart to know that boundaries are being crossed and that you want and deserve more. I stayed because I too thought if I just tried harder, our issues would stop. I went back to him time and time again even though there were many red flags: insecurities, anger, bullying, threats, etc. It never got better but because he was a “good guy”, decent, hardworking, talented and funny I stayed.

I am ashamed to say that I would have kept on trying but he came home one day last March and told me he had filed for divorce. I was furious and outraged but now I am actually bothered that I didn’t have the courage to do what you did- walk away on my own. Through therapy and research, I finally understand that he is a narcissist and that we should have parted ways years ago. I am resentful and regretful that I allowed some of the best years of my life to be wasted on/with him.

Don’t settle. You are so wonderfully young and you have many years ahead of you to find someone who loves you exactly for who you are and not who you are in relation to them. You sound incredibly strong and healthy to me, even if you don’t always feel it or at least feel that way right now. You know at 21 what it took me years to figure out. You’re impressive and you will find someone else who thinks so too.

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Falling leaves

I feel your pain. Like you, I’m 43 and been with him since 24. I fought ALL ODDS to be with this man. I knew I should not because of many issues with families, but I tried.
Years of being neglected, emotionally abusive, I finally said enough. I’m done. I deserve way better.
It’s tearing me apart but I know I’ll get through it, once and for all.

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Miranda

Hi sorry my English is not that well but I will give it a try so I’m currently 27 I have been with my partner since I was 21 he never believed in marriage and to tell you the truth me either we met October 2013 by February 2014 we were living together it just happened so fast he was the comfort and peace I wanted I was so young but with so much emotional baggage all I wanted was to leave my house were there were drugs no abuse but seeing my brothers doing drugs and the same routine growing up since my dad past away I feel like I just wanted an easy way out and he was my easy way out we were partners and that’s all we have been the first year was okay but towards the end of the first year everything went down hill all the cheating, lies , emotional and physical started he haves destroyed me in every possible way just when I think he has changed he proves me wrong I found out on Tuesday he was cheating again most likely at work since he makes it in time and never leaves the house alone I been up all night trying to put together why does he cheats I do everything to keep out relationship happy I cook, clean, I pick up after him in there for him emotionally I do everything you can imagine for him I’m not ugly I just don’t understand why he cheats on me and treats me like if I was trash today I told him I was leaving and he told me good like he doesn’t care he always seems to tell me the same thing but within a week he begins to look for me and he begins by doing everything right but within months we go back to the cheating I’m so tired and emotionally broken

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Cristina

He has no respect for you. You both are addicted to the elated feeling of heartbreak dissipating with false promises. I am in that situation. Off and on constantly this last time was the longest, I recently saw him and MY feelings changed. I can see clearer but no doubt I still want to believe he was the one, probably always will. We rushed things and we have a 2 year old which makes it that much harder to give up on someone. You deserve better and you know it. Highly suggest absolutely no contact for at least 3 months. Good luck!

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Amanda

Am leaving for good i dont want to do this anymore am tried this man is evil and i dont care anymore am going to struggle am going to by my self bet that

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Renee

I needed this today, I cannot tell even begin to describe how many times I’ve googled or binged different words but today it’s like a God given word without scripture reference. I was dating a trans man and he had so many issues from drinking, yo being abusive mentally and then ultimately physically. I always went back, the drinking stopped and he began to get himself on track but it never felt right because his anger would send him over board. I even went back after an argument we had that resulted from him choking me in front of my 5yr old daughter. I made excuses by saying he was fighting 2 hormones the estrogen and the testosterone he was taking, I said it was the drinking, his temper etc. I loved him and care about him deeply but I knew I couldn’t stay, in my heart the damage had been done and he could of taken my life. I had to look at my child and choose her, choose life, choose me. Even though I’m typing this with tears in my eyes this entire article is how I felt for a year and a half. All the signs the inner desperation, the loneliness I can identify with every word. This only reassures what I’ve known all along, love me and continue to move forward as I should have so long ago

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Vincent K

You need to seek some councelling to help you in this decision I was in a toxic relationship for 6 years and I was also abusive and the toxic person. Sadly it ended in tragedy and with a range of other emotions and circumstances my partner hung herself.

I would advise you to seek help for this situation as it will end badly if you or another stay. I urge you to please seek some help. You can not do this on your own.

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Tracey D

I fell for a guy instantly. He didn’t have a job, because he said he is in transition so I, of course helped out with his bills well let’s say I really poured everything I had into him. He has 2 daughters and I treated them like my own. Surprise to me!! I eventually realized he is an alcoholic. I have never dealt with one. It’s been over 2 years with so much pain, unbearable pain. I was supporting him as a child. He took it all to. Was living with me, kept his car legal and credentials ins plan phone plan clothes gifts. By now you are shaking your head and thinking what are you stupid? Well yes, yes I was. I drai ed everything I had for this man and his kids financially to where I have nothing to fall back on if Iose my job. I am disabled and can only do certain jobs. We belong to the same organization, which I believe, is what kept me blinded to what I have been heading for. I since have kicked him out, took him off my ins and phone plan but we still stayed together. I just couldn’t understand why he would want to keep staying with me. I have now been to ala non and CoDa for codependency. He is also a drug addict as I found out after he got a DUI.
Now I’m facing the fact that he has been with another woman in the same organization whom is married yet offered him a room in ber home and is also dating another guy in this same organization. WTH! right. This has just happened as I asked him about her once again. He denied but he said “even if I was interested, do you think I would really want to be 2nd or 3rd?”
I was shocked because to me this was the admission. My gut has been telling me this all along for the past couple of years. Now, I’m so humiliated, overwhelmed devastated constantly breaking down which this part is normal. It’s just so painful. I wonder why I haven’t just gotten rid of him a long time ago. I am in love with an addict. Toxic. Paying such a high price for loving caring supporting someone I thought was on the same page developing a future together. All I can do now is do my best to avoid him and pray for healing. I do not know how to do this. I’m lost and in despair. I have been financially, emotionally, mentally and verbally abused. I need help and have no idea at this point where or what to do. Not sure if this could be posted but I just want woman to know if you suspect an addict stay away learn those red flags. If you don’t your life will be unmanageable and left I despair

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priya

I can relate to this, im in a toxic relation ship.. going round in a vicious circle of lies, married to an alcoholic.

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Consuelo B

Hello My Name is Consuelo and I’m 26 I am going through a toxic break up as well. It’s been tough but I’ve been hanging in there every day having mixed emotions confused, lonely, and sad. We’ve been broken up for 7 months now! My ex would manipulate me every day accuse me made me cry all of the above!! I wake up every day trying to get him out of my head but it sucks it is hard but I’ve been distracting myself by riding my bike going to parks for a walk and going to the gym. Let me tell you it has been working, you just always got to be occupied or you will sink in the ship again! Be with friends paint, hang out with family. I have blocked him on social media because he would call me every other day around 4:00 Am he always tells me that’s the time I’m awake in his dreams (weird) He stalks me every day and even shows up at the locations I am at to see who what when where and why ? I used to think it was kind of hot lol but then he would threaten me and I was like wow okay that’s not cool ! I have a restringing order on him but I haven’t heard from the court. He always tells that he will find me and who ever I am talking to he’s going to kill us He is CRAZY AND PHSCO but I ask myself why do I still love him! I’m not sure myself why I do? Maybe I’m lonely or I just fantasied too much with him Love is blind ! but we got this! It’s all mind over matter just have faith it’s a slow process but I’m pretty sure we will get it threw we just have to have faith!

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May S

I am in love with a guy who I believe loves me too. Every moment of his display of love is usually accompanied by an equal measure of display of hatred. Insecure, he constantly fears that I could abandon him and from what I read about his symtops from Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified by Linsy B. i cannot help buy feel perhaps I should walk away

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tania

I was married for 11 yrs. Things were hard from the beginning as he was very controlling, but since I was from a different country, I always thought maybe it is me, I need to change. We had two kids, and thru all the time I was working so that he could become a doctor. Once he graduated, he started loosing a lot of weight and gained a lot of confidence and made me feel like I was not enough for him. I always had been athletic so I helped him in his process. He screamed at me, told me how in the world I became an engineer if I was so stupid? how he was so smart. He told me, I don’t know what did I looked in you to marry you. Things wend down the road and in 3 months from filing divoce we were divorced. Things haven’t changed much, he still yells, he stills repeated told me how stupid I am… He does has a gf, a nurse since before the divorce was finalized. I don’t talk to his family, or him unless is regarding the boys. I just don’t understand why does it still hurts so much each time, I go to a game, or a family event to drop of the kids and all his family, who was in his favor all the time, look at me and say nothing.
My ex mother in law was cruel to me, she even came one time and yelled to me, how I didn’t deserve the “great doctor” that I was artistic, and he needed something better.
I had to move place, as my ex mother in law lived two blocks away from me, my ex a mile and were following me and my mom when dropping kids to school.
I don’t understand this type of controlling situation and if it is common here in the USA.

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Jonathan L

I have about 2 months without my ex. I miss her so fucking much and we both loved each other its just things kept getting in the way and kept picking at our relatioship. We were together for a year but we were constantly on and off. The last time we broke up she met someone and she had feelings for him. I tried loving her so much her to make her fall for me but she had feelings for him still. Our break up wasnt a formal break up I just stopped talking to her. I want her back so much but I know that there are lots of problems involved. Im with someone new now ,I know im on the rebound, and shes a lot more like me but its not the same. I miss my ex so fucking much.

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Lerato

I gave him 10 years of my life. He swiped condoms with my debit card n had a nerve to lie about ever buying them or even cheated. I dumped him the same day he went and buy a ring. He proposed but everytime I asked him we must sit a set a date he gave me excuses until 4 years after the proposal he then told me tgsf he feels that I’m putting pressure on him. Hes not ready for marriage. I remember crying that whole week because his mistress told my colleagues that there will never be any wedding happening between us he proposed to make me. forgive him. As if that wasn’t enough last week after 10 n half years he had z nerve to tell me he met Gugu and he cant do us anymore. He stopped caring about me last year December. His reason for leaving us(me and the kids) is I’m too overprotective. Like seriously after 10 good years. I’m stressed I cant even eat all I do is cry. He calls me it’s ok I have to answer I call him he doesnt pick up he feels like I’m keeping taps on him with a phone. I want so desperate to forget about him,,to hate him and stop loving him but I cant. Hes making all kinds of excuses it’s like he doesnt wanna move out anymore like he enjoys sticking around just to make me suffer. I’m tired crying I’m so worried about our kids. What I’m I gonna tell them?? How do u tell 5 n 7 years old that their dad found a new girl and hes leaving??

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mark

You will find a great guy who will make you happy and be grateful for 2 kids as well. You will look back and think… what was i thinking..

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Unknown

Wow, that really brought a tear to my eye. I really hope that you are ok and so are your children. I have been broken up for 2 months officially. Though we kind of ended the relationship back in March. We lived together but slept in different rooms since March. I started having panic attacks because I knew she didnt want the relationship anymore and was just staying because it suited her financially.

The thing is, over our 3 year relationship she lied and even stole money from me but yet I still miss her. A part of me wants to be with her even though I became miserable. I done everything for her. Helped her financially, I even homed her. And all I ever wanted was to feel loved.

It takes many truths to build trust but one lie to destroy it all.

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Jen

I needed to read this today… I’m in the middle of a very ugly, very abusive, very toxic relationship. It has cost me my healthy, happiness, and most recently my job. My life has turned upside down and I find myself even more attached to the one thing that’s ruining it all. I cannot believe I love a man who has simultaneously ruined my life. I feel crazy. I feel like I can’t tray my own thoughts and emotions. I’ve tried to walk away so many times, but my love for him keeps me coming back. I’m drowning because I can’t walk away. My career is ruined. I look like I’ve aged 10 years in the last year. I cry constantly. I start a new job tomorrow and I’m hoping throwing myself into that and being surrounded by new people and new energy will give me the courage to leave for good.

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Laura D

I can’t believe what I’m reading. There are others out there going through pretty much the exact same thing I’m going through. I’m on the same boat. I feel crazy. He used to be the crazy one and now tables have turned and I’ve allowed myself to be the crazy one! I’m not going to play innocent…I have contributed to the toxicity! I cannot understand why two people who love each other so much can also have so much hate for one another! They say it isn’t love…but to us we fell in love. The first 6 months were the best times of our lives. And we’ve been hanging on for another yr or so just trying to get back to how we were the first 6 months. This is insane and I cannot explain it. I love him and don’t want to leave him. But it has gotten so bad that I got him arrested last night for assault and battery. And yet I still want to be with him! I’m such an idiot!! I do not understand this addiction!

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Shivangi jaiswal

I’m sorry for you Laura.. 😔.. Hope everything gets better ASAP… For u..

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Juliette

Man, for 10.5 yrs. it’s not going to go away quickly. Now you have to take back your pride and self-respect. Let it go. Check off each day you’ve avoided hem on a calendar and give yourself a small reward each week. If you are starting a new job in the same field, then you haven’t ruined your career – yet.

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Taylen

if yoy dont do it for you do it for your kids and your family andn remember that person doesnt love you and the they are trying to control you so they can keep being abusive and pray and stay out of the smaer relationship becuase these niggas out here are lame and they are playas and they have an huge ego they they are fighting to make themselves look like their in control nd they run you.

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Vic

Ah, the story of my life.

I’ve been through a toxic relationship pretty much my all childhood (14 to 24). We’ve spent 10 years together and I regret it so much, basically I’ve lost some of the most beautiful years of my life being in a relationship I never wanted to be part of.

Whenever I could come up with a reason to break up with her, she was suddenly becoming suicidal. I couldn’t live with the thought that she could hurt herself because of me…

Looking back now – how stupid was I. She was never going to do it, all she was afraid of was being alone. We finally separated and we both have a special relationship with different soulmates.

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janice

I have been with my husband for 9 yrs now. I feel like i should of seen the signs long time ago when he was behind my back stabbing me for his baby momma even when we were married. I gave him the love he never had as a child, but every time i would find out he was talking and entertaining his baby momma behind my back he says it was because he didn’t want her to keep his daughter from him but i helped take her to court with plate sales and other stuff so he can be in his daughters life she calls me mom and she knows no other women but her mom and me. Things are getting worse than ever before i every time he came home tripping it is because he was doing things behind my back and flipping it on me a few weeks ago her was almost hit by a car he said it was life changing and opened his eyes that i don’t love him the same. Its not love that i do home things because i am a women and married these are things i am suppose to do 🙁 I am not a maid he sits on the sofa while i do everything and get the kids ready he cant keep a job more than 6 mnths. few weeks ago he left took all his things and my step daughters things i told him not to contact me unless it was about his son then he came back the next day and i had to help bring his things home but i felt different now that he left us i have been trying to work it out but he says things that hurt i told him why did he come back if it was the same thing different day last night we got into a fight that was so stupid because i asked him if he closed the gates now here we are i don’t know how to let go when i am close to his 2 daughters ive been around them since they have been so young and stood by his side supported him with his boxing when i tried to go back to school he shut me down and said no 🙁 where is my support i don’t know how to let go i love him but i feel like i am better off with out him that its to late for him to change after everything he has done for 9yrs to me when all i did was give him all of me. 🙁

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Luna

I’ve been in an extremely abusive, and toxic relationship for 2 years now. Everybody, and when I say everybody, I mean EVERYBODY tells me I need to leave him. He has hit me, pushed me, spit on me, called me the worst names ever, lies, manipulates, gas lights, and ignores me and my needs on a constant basis. Why do I stay? He has broken up with me so many times, and I beg for him to forgive me for the things I never do. I hate who I’ve become. I don’t even recognize myself at all anymore. See, I’ve known this man since I was 17 years old (I’m 30 now) and the past “feelings” and experiences we had as kids, sticks with me and I tell myself “it’s meant to be”. We both always believed we were meant to be together and he has told me this many times, but the way he treats me blows my mind. I’m so confused. I know I need to cut ties with him before he really hurts me or possibly kills me, but the love I have for him is stupidly intense and I stay. I feel like I’m fighting alone. He doesn’t want me, his actions show, but his words are opposite. His mind games are horrific yet its a thrill. Its almost as if I like living a miserable life. See, that’s all I’ve ever known. Men treating me like shit. I don’t know what it’s like for a man to take care of my head and heart and treat me gently, respectfully, and lovingly. In so turn. I considered suicide, but I’m a coward. They say no one can save you but you, but if it’s you that you need saving from? Prayers please, God knows I need a miracle and a side of strength.

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adeline p

Im reading some of the comments and i can relate alot too some of them .The story of my life i met this guy at school we been together for almost 4 years. We been off and on i dont feel like myself anymore i feel lost!. I dont have energy at all we will always fight ,argue he was abussive he treated me bad . He cheated he lied i had left for 8 months and as soon as we broke up he had got with a girl .i thought he was the love of my life but no i waited for him to get his sh*t together but he kept on doing it again and leaving me for other girls .I dont have hope anymore he tells me he is gonna change but he never does im attached to him but deep inside im hurt and i cant deal with this anymore . i prayed and i told god please help me get trough this situation . i really hope things get better .

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Elizabeth

i have just ended my 2 year relationship and i feel terribly guilty. there was a lot of toxic behaviour in the beginning but we tried to work through it, however certain things i could never seem to forget even though i forgave. i grew up in abusive childhood and he got drunk and angry a few times, although he felt so bad about it and he has not done anything like it for the last year, i have still seen something in him that i seem unable to ‘unsee’. he has tried everything to make it up to me and be a perfect partner, but i think i fell out of love. we would try to see each other, but i started to get a lot of nausea and headaches and just tired after spending time with him, even with him trying so hard to be perfect. i dont know why i feel guilty, i just think he made a mistake and i dont know if i am throwing something good away because i just couldnt let go of the mistakes. i know he is a good person, but i also feel he depended on me to keep him on the straight and narrow, like our relationship became his sole focus in life, and i am very independent person, i felt many times like i was trrapped in a web of him being too kind and trying too hard, but he was always there for me when i need him too. i am not close to anyone really other than him, so i think i see him more as a best friend or family, but i know he is deeply in love with me. but i think the kindest thing i can do is let him go because my feelings died and i have tried to get them back, and i do see he has made improvements in himself and continues to do so, but i dont feel the same anymore. it is really hard. its not like he was evil or uncaring or anything as bad as these other sad stories in the comments, so it makes me unsure, like he tries to show me in every way how much he wants to be with me, but i could not get past the side of him i saw so i guess it was time to let go and move on. i know he is crushed, i hope he will be ok and not go off the rails now. i feel guilty that i feel like i have stopped being smothered and can breathe again, but maybe i was taking him for granted. i guess time will tell. take care, everyone. x

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Chloris S

I am so glad I came across this page. I too am going through a rough situation and reading a all the post made me feel a lot better. I can totally relate to a lot of the post.

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Jenn

CORRECTED REPOST*** Hi I am in a relationship for 6 years going on 7 years next month. He is 28 years old and I am 33 years old. And we are engaged for 6 years which he proposed for the first 8 months of dating. The first 2 years of our relationship was great. But once our son was born, things between us was beginning to be stressful. He has the signs of a Narcissistic personality. He started to be controlling towards me and a bit possessive with of our son and decided who should watch him and what not. He pick on my family not his family when they do things that could harm our son as a infant. I mean I get it, it’s our first child. His family is the same way demanding and controlling. And my family and my fiance don’t get along either because of how he is. He is very direct and harsh. So years of being together he became judgemental and picked on my flaws, tells me that he doesnt trust me, one time he had told me that he doesnt want to marry me or have any more child from me because “you are like your mother”. That hurts. For the first 2 years my son was only by his family and my family wouldn’t see him because he made the arrangements since he decided to move us five minutes closer to his parents. So I decided that my family have rights to see or watch him since they’re first time grandparents. I arranged both sides of family to watch every other week when we both work. Now that my both parents much older and have become ill. My son and I would sleepover at my parents for 2 nights every other weekend to see them as much he can plus he request to see them everytime. I understand it sounds unfair. He works the 2nd shift and works the weekends for 10 – 12 hours. So we dont see him as often and now he sort of blames me for alot of things for being on unhappy and tells me that I have too much on my plate and unsure he wants to stay together because I am not the person he wants me to be. He thinks that I do alot for my parents but he does the same and I am very supportive of that. But I dont get support or any understanding from him but instead being blamed, compared, judged and demanded. I know my situation is very different but its stressful and hurtful. We are seeing a theraptist but I feel it gotten worse and he became so distant. I know we are unhappy but could he be right that I could be the blame of our relationship to collapse? There is so much to this story but this what main reason he wants to leave. Help!

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Aurie

I’m currently 24 years old and I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 and a half years. Our relationship actually didn’t start off good. He actually tried to break things off pretty early on. I wasn’t what he wanted. He didn’t see a future with me. I was single for a very long time until I met him. I dated but when I met him he was so different. Or so I thought… he treated me nothing from the beginning. He was always breaking up with me because of something I did or didn’t do. I was always sorry and asked for forgiveness over and over again. I begged for another chance ever time and he gave me a few chances but than would break up with me again and tell me he didn’t love me, he cheated, he doesn’t want to go back to the relationship, he just wants to move forward… I finally moved on about a year ago and than out of the blue he text me saying he missed me and I denied the thought of ever going back and told him I was seeing other people. A few weeks go by and I call him and we get together again and he tells me he has a date that night while i’m at his house! He goes in the date and leaves me bragging for him not to go I was hysterical. We finally get back together after a period of just hooking up and I still feel so broken. I would cry sometimes after sex because I felt so used up. I just wanted to make him happy even if I wasn’t happy. It didn’t matter. I never mattered i felt like I was just someone to be with. He didn’t care about my emotions, my wants, and needs. I was always the one trying to change him my asking for a little romance sometimes or for him to spend time with my friends or family.. while I was always with his. I loved every part of him while he did whatever he wanted. He picked and chose what he wanted to do in our relationships. When I was uncomfortable about something I was in the wrong I was acting different. When he didn’t want to do something I made excuses for him all the time. It’s been a month and I already tried to go back a week ago and he doesn’t want to talk about the past he only wants to move forward and not be in the relationship. I felt like a fool. I don’t know why he treats me like that after all we’ve been through together it makes me sick. I wake up feeling so hallow and he doesn’t care. I’m the one to blame always and I still feel like I failed him. When all I wanted to do was make him happy and love him. He was a big part of my life I spent a lot of time and energy trying to be the best version of myself for him and when I showed the slightest bit of weakness he didn’t care he took it personally and told me we should break of because of my mood. I still miss him so much but I know it’s not good for me to think about the past and all the pain. I still feel like things could be great if he only put in a little more effort. I know I can’t change the past so I have to focus on the present and what I can do for myself. It’s just been so hard as terrible as I felt in our relationship at times we had some really amazing moments and I still love him so much. I know I have to let go eventually. I just don’t know how to quite yet.

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