Marriage & Divorce
July 17, 2020

48 Best Quotes To Help People In Toxic Relationships

Quotes from others who’ve been through a toxic relationship can help show you’re not alone.
Written by
Elizabeth Kirkhorn
Published on
July 17, 2020
Updated on
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A toxic relationship often doesn’t happen overnight. It can be a gradual progression where one or both partners start to feel unhappy and mistreated over time. If you feel you’re in a toxic relationship that’s impacting your self-esteem, happiness, or the way you view the world, it might be time to consider outside help or exiting the situation altogether. While it can be difficult to leave a toxic partner, or recover your self-worth afterwards, there are some quotes that might be helpful in taking a much needed step towards freedom and peace of mind. 

1. “The person you’re meant to be with will never have to be chased, begged or given an ultimatum.”

Mandy Hale

2. “You deserve someone who is utterly obsessed with you.”

Ella December

3. “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”

Maya Angelou

4. “Don’t settle for a relationship that won’t let you be yourself.”

Oprah Winfrey

5. "If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they're yours; if they don't, they never were."

Richard Brach

6. “I want to be in a relationship where you telling me you love me is just a ceremonious validation of what you already show me.”

Steve Maraboli

7. “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

8. “How can I let you be a priority in my life, when I’m still an option in your life?”

Husein Nishah

9. “Cheating and lying aren't struggles, they're reasons to break up.”

Patti Callahan Henri

10. “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”

J.K. Rowling


50 Best Quotes To Help People In Toxic Relationships

12. “Relationships are worth fighting for, but you can’t be the only one fighting.”


13. “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

14. “Release the toxic and infectious — spreaders of misery, souls destroying souls — and poisonous liars. Awaken from the hallucinations-and take back your heart.”

Giorge Leedy

15. 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

16. “Don’t confuse ‘familiar’ with ‘acceptable.’ Toxic relationships can fool you like that.”

Steve Maraboli

17. “Handling toxic people is not an art, they will be the victim of their own toxicity.”

P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar

18. “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

19. “Sometimes there are things in our lives that aren’t meant to stay. Sometimes the changes we don’t want are the changes we need to grow.”

Wilfred James Dolor

20. “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


50 Best Quotes To Help People In Toxic Relationships
Oma Akuma

22. “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

23. “I mean, if the relationship can’t survive the long term, why on earth would it be worth my time and energy for the short term?”

Nicholas Sparks

24. “When he’s the last thing you need, he’ll drain you. He’ll exhaust you. He’ll destroy you. And you won’t see it that way. In fact, you won’t notice it at all. But everyone else will.”

Kirsten Corley

25. “Toxic relationships are like a good pasta that has been overcooked.”

Asa Don Brown

26. “Don’t set yourself on fire trying to keep others warm.”

Penny Reid

27. “You make me feel like a firefly. Trapped in a bell jar; starved for love.”

Ayushee Ghoshal

28. “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

29. “May you reach that level within, where you no longer allow your past or people with toxic intentions to negatively affect or condition you.”

Lalah Delia


50 Best Quotes To Help People In Toxic Relationships
L.M. Browning

31. “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

32. “Oh what an ill fate it was that has made me love that man.”

Iris Murdoch

33. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

Carl Jung

34. “There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”

Laurell K. Hamilton

35. “The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.”

Ernest Hemingway

36. “It is better for someone to break your heart once by leaving your life, than for them to stay in your life and break your heart continually.”

Terry Mark

37. “You create more space in your life when you turn your excess baggage to garbage.”

Chinonye J. Chidolue

38. “Relationships are supposed to make you feel good. Relationships are not supposed to make you feel bad. Or guilty, insecure, ashamed, paranoid, or hopeless. So when a relationship makes you feel bad, guilty, insecure, ashamed, paranoid, or hopeless. End it. Get over him. Move on.”

Laura Bowers


50 Best Quotes To Help People In Toxic Relationships
Liane White

40. “How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego.”

Amanda Torroni

41. “There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.”

Tennessee Williams

42. “It’s amazing how someone can break your heart and you can still love them with all the little pieces.”

Ella Harper

43. “Woe to the deer who is courted by the charismatic wolf, or to the fly who is not immune to the sweet, sultry songs of the spider.”

Nenia Campbell

44. “Lots of things can be fixed. Things can be fixed. But many times, relationships between people cannot be fixed, because they should not be fixed. You're aboard a ship setting sail, and the other person has joined the inland circus, or is boarding a different ship, and you just can't be with each other anymore. Because you shouldn't be.”

C. Joybell C.

45. “It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else.”

Phil McGraw

46. “A relationship without trust is like a car without gas, you can stay in it all you want, but it won’t go anywhere.”


47. “It was strange, really. A couple months ago, I had thought I couldn’t live without him. Apparently I could.”

Gabrielle Zevin


50 Best Quotes To Help People In Toxic Relationships
Husein Nishah

Toxic relationships can negatively impact your mental health, and it can take time to fully heal. Know that if your partnership is unhealthy, you are not alone. As you find the courage to leave your relationship, count it as a victory when you notice toxic patterns. The fact that you notice is a sign of growth, and keeping in touch with your needs.

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Elizabeth is a graduate student from New York, New York. She writes personal essays about identity, womanhood, and love.

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