39 Toxic Relationship Quotes So You Don’t Feel Alone

Crystal Jackson

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It’s a terrible feeling to know that you’re in a toxic relationship but have no idea how exactly you’re going to get out. People often will tell you just to go — as if it’s ever that easy.

You’re not waiting to hit rock bottom; you live at rock bottom. You’re not waiting to reach a breaking point; that point is long gone.

You know exactly what you’re dealing with, but you also have to work through all the issues standing between you and that door — issues like attachment, codependence, trauma, and all the other things that keep you from being ready right now to walk out and keep going.

If this sounds like your relationship, you’re not alone. I was in a relationship like that. Everyone I know has had at least one of them. There is hope. Until you find your way out of the relationship, here are some toxic relationship quotes to help you feel less alone.

39 Toxic Relationship Quotes

  • “It’s amazing how someone can break your heart and you can still love them with all the little pieces.” ~Ella Harper
  • “It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
  • “A bad relationship is like standing on broken glass, if you stay you will keep hurting. If you walk away, you will hurt but eventually, you will heal.” ~Autumn Kohler
  • “Sometimes trying to fix them, breaks you.” ~Steve Maraboli
  • “No partner in a love relationship… should feel that he has to give up an essential part of himself to make it viable.” ~May Sarton
  • “You make me feel like a firefly. Trapped in a bell jar; starved for love.” ~Ayushee Ghoshal
  • “Poisonous relationships can alter our perception. You can spend many years thinking you’re worthless. But you’re not worthless. You’re underappreciated.” ~Steve Maraboli
  • “At some point you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.” ~Tara Westover
  • “When being in a toxic relationship in life at times you may have to step outside yourself, to see yourself, so you can find yourself and love yourself again.” ~Angel Moreira
  • “The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” ~Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
  • “One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” ~Michael J. Fox
  • “Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?” ~Mary Manin Morrissey
  • “I have to remember it is not love that has hurt me; but someone who could not love me in the right way.” ~R. YS Perez
  • “You create more space in your life when you turn your excess baggage to garbage.” ~Chinonye J. Chidolue
  • “Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.” ~Shannon L. Alder
  • “Maybe I fell in love with a version of him that didn’t exist.” ~Namrata Gupta
  • “The wise do not consider the chains and shackles of jail to be the toughest restraints. The chains of attachment are the strongest of the ties that bind.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Nothing hurts more than being disappointed by the one person who you thought would never hurt you.” ~Gugu Mofokeng
  • “When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will seem unfair but rise above it, trusting that others will eventually see the truth, just as you did.” ~ Jill Blakeway
  • “Love should not make you feel like walking on eggshells.” ~Emma Xu
  • “It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and continues to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go.” ~Daniell Koepke
  • “A bad relationship can do that, can make you doubt everything good you ever felt about yourself.” ~Dionne Warwick
  • “Like arsenic, toxic people will slowly kill you. They kill your positive spirit and play with your mind and emotions. The only cure is to let them go.” ~Dennisse Lisseth
  • “Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” ~Steve Maraboli
  • “Dear Self: Stop re-opening your doors for toxic people, then calling it ‘seeking closure.’ Certain things don’t work out in life . . . and that’s ok.” ~Reyna Biddy
  • “Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.” ~John Mark Green
  • “When you notice someone does something toxic the first time, don’t wait for the second time before you address it or cut them off. Many survivors are used to the “wait and see” tactic which only leaves them vulnerable to a second attack. As your boundaries get stronger, the wait time gets shorter. You never have to justify your intuition.” ~Shahida Arabi
  • “We can deeply love our poison. We can love the taste of it, the scent of it, the comforting weight of it in our belly and find ourselves woken in the night with stabbing cramps, arms around porcelain toilet bowls, hurling every last bit until collapsing on bathroom tile, limp from dehydration. Sometimes parting with love is essential for survival. I’ve found the most tragic aspect of losing loved ones wasn’t the big boom of the fallout, but realizing later how much healthier I was without them.” ~Maggie Young
  • “There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.” ~Tennesse Williams
  • “We should fight for our relationships, but if fighting means ripping yourself to shreds and piggybacking all his demons, you need to leave.” ~Tara Love
  • “This feeling of lessening disturbance, coming from within myself, unexpected, was profoundly disturbing. As I sat still, growing less and less alarmed by the situation, I knew that I had to move fast, as fast and as far as I could within this small, cramped house.” ~Alexandra Kleeman
  • “What I want back is what I was.” ~Sylvia Plath
  • “Toxic relationships are dangerous to your health; they will literally kill you. Stress shortens your lifespan. Even a broken heart can kill you. There is an undeniable mind-body connection. Your arguments and hateful talk can land you in the emergency room or in the morgue. You were not meant to live in a fever of anxiety; screaming yourself hoarse in a frenzy of dreadful, panicked fight-or-flight that leaves you exhausted and numb with grief. You were not meant to live like animals tearing one another to shreds. Don’t turn your hair gray. Don’t carve a roadmap of pain into the sweet wrinkles on your face. Don’t lay in the quiet with your heart pounding like a trapped, frightened creature. For your own precious and beautiful life, and for those around you — seek help or get out before it is too late. This is your wake-up call!” ~Bryant McGill
  • “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” ~Anne Lamott
  • “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.” ~Robin Williams
  • “What I Know: 1. What you don’t know, you’re not supposed to know yet. 2. More will be revealed. 3 Crisis means to sift. Let it all fall away and you’ll be left with what matters. 4. What matters most cannot be taken away. 5. Just do the next right thing one thing at a time. That’ll take you all the way home.” ~Glennon Doyle
  • “Women are powerful, and I see them stifle this every. single. day. Stop looking to be saved and hiding your magic. Stop tossing aside your voice and valid emotions. Stop wasting your time with fake friends and chasing men like they’re cures.
    Material things, better jobs, and other people- they won’t fill your gap. Only you can do that. Life is short. Rise up and step back into your awesome, innate power. You are compassion and creative force and divine life itself. You are a Goddess.” ~Victoria Erickson
  • “You don’t let go of a bad relationship because you stop caring about them. You let go because you start caring about yourself.” ~Charles Orlando
  • “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.” ~Francis of Assisi

Toxic relationships sometimes feel impossible. You may feel like you can’t leave but can’t stay either. You’ve already seen all the signs that the relationship is wrong.

You know — on some level at least — that a healthy relationship is kind, supportive, respectful, and loving … everything your relationship is not. You may know — on some level at least — that you deserve a love that doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself.

Taking Care of Yourself in a Toxic Relationship

You are not alone. While you’re gathering your courage, resources, and support to leave, remember the following self-care tips.

  • Build social support. Maintaining contact with the people who love you is a necessary step in gathering the resources to leave. You will need as much support as you can get.
  • Consider seeing a therapist. Even if you’re already seeing a couples’ counselor, an individual therapist can help you process your own thoughts and feelings about the relationship — including how to end it.
  • Do the basics. Self-care isn’t usually luxury retreats and day spas. Sometimes, it’s just doing the basics — getting enough sleep, eating well, moving your body, and staying hydrated. Take care of you because you’ll need the energy for the transition ahead.
  • Be honest with yourself — even if you can’t yet be honest with anyone else. Start to tell yourself the truth rather than making excuses for your partner. It’s not complicated; it’s toxic. It may actually be abusive. Use the words that best describe what is happening. While you may hate to feel like a victim, there is power in naming the experience. Find your power. Use it to make the next right choice.

You are worthy of kind treatment, respect, consideration, and love. You are perfectly imperfect and not one single flaw you have entitles anyone else to treat you with disdain, contempt, or abuse. Return to these quotes as many times as needed to remind you that you are not alone.

Originally published on The Truly Charming

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Crystal Jackson is a former therapist turned writer. She is the author of the Heart of Madison series and a volume of poetry entitled My Words Are Whiskey. Her work has been featured on Medium, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, The Good Men Project, and Elephant Journal. When she's not writing, you can find her traveling, paddle boarding, cycling, throwing axes badly but with terrifying enthusiasm, hiking, or curled up with her nose in a book in Madison, Georgia, where she lives with one puppy and two wild and wonderful children. Crystal writes about relationships, mental health, parenting, social justice, and more. Never miss an update. Subscribe to emails: https://crystaljacksonwriter.substack.com/

Madison, GA
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