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How do I leave a toxic relationship?

91 Answers
Last Updated: 10/08/2020 at 12:00am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jackie Dross, M.S. Community Counseling


I have a passion for working with people from a non-judgmental, strengths based approach to meet their goals for personal growth.

Top Rated Answers
June 27th, 2018 2:41am
It's simple; break up with them. Think about all the horrible things they've said and done, build it up inside, and leave. You can't let love cloud your judgement on this. You've assessed the type of relationship you're in, you know that you need to leave, so just do it. I know it'll be hard to let that love disappear, but it's most likely for the best for your physical and mental health. If you feel like your safety will be in danger when doing leaving, ask someone to be there with you or brings something to protect yourself with
June 27th, 2018 4:35pm
First, you need to have serious reasons for this step, write down on the page reasons why this relationship is toxic. Help yourself to understand how toxic it is
June 30th, 2018 10:45am
The very first step is to get out of denial, which you have already done by acknowledging that your relationship is toxic. It may take a lot of time and emotional preparation, and it is important to not appear vulnerable (especially if you are being emotionally abused), but the most important thing to do is to stop all possible contact with this person. This can be hard especially if they are a school/work mate or family member. You must remember to never forget your value, you are doing what is right for you and you should always put your emotional health first. Don’t be afraid to contact a listener to help you through the process xx
July 1st, 2018 8:01am
With your head held high knowing that you did the best you could with what you were offered. People are meant to come and go- and only the best stay. If you are feeling down on yourself for any reason in a relationship and you've made the effort to communicate it with your partner and you feel nothing has been's time to walk away with. Walk away with confidence that You did your best. Another person should never make you feel less than. They should walk beside you, not behind or in front.
July 4th, 2018 9:46pm
Try to have someone having your back and supporting you through the process. Once you made the decision of leaving the relationship, a trusted friend or advisor can help you stay on track and not get lured back with manipulation.
July 19th, 2018 12:38am
It's difficult when you love somebody and see that they're toxic for you. And i'ts not easy to leave such a relationship. What I'd say is: get a hobbie, go out with friends, spend time with your family and set yourself a goal outside your relationship. That'll probably make it easier for you to leave.
August 24th, 2018 12:24am
There are numerous ways to leave a toxic relationship. Some are good some bad. It all depends. When you are in a toxic relationship, the person you are with knowingly or unknowingly (or heck, maybe even kind of both) hurting you. It can be either emotionally or physically. You lose trust and faith, or your being hurt by the person you love. To leave a toxic relationship, you should tell the person how you feel, how they're hurting you, and how it's affecting you. Get straight to the point. No beating around the bush. If they don't seem to empathize or sympathize, then tell them that you aren't going to let them treat you this way. Then leave. I know it seems to be hard, but sometimes, you have to put yourself first, no matter who you are.
December 8th, 2018 5:27am
It always helps if you are able to turn to someone you trust to help you out. Leaving any relationship, especially a toxic one is never easy. Reach out to people who can help you leave and make you feel safe. If you feel unsafe call the authorities. Your safety is the priority. It is going to be difficult but it is something that needs to be done. Once you are out of the relationship to focus on yourself and helping yourself. Do some self-care activities and surround yourself with friends and family. Join support groups if they are available!
December 12th, 2018 1:20pm
Talk to the person or even write a letter explaining in an empathetic and kind way, the reasons for leaving the relationship. Make sure not to be overly negative but also make your points clear. You can always ask for help if you're afraid. Make sure you explain any reasoning. Don't be overly negative and also thank them for anything good they have done for you. Also, leave out the insults! They don't help anyone and they can make another person feel negatively about themself. Remember to talk to an adult if you are feeling worried or upset about the relationship. Don't forget -- there's always a way out.
December 14th, 2018 1:05pm
What's keeping you in that relationship? If it Is sense of guilt and worry for the other person, mind that if the relationship is toxic for you, it SURELY is for the other person also, so putting yourself first and leaving is the best thing to do for both, even if it doesn't seem so. As long as you have good intentions, you try to be gentle and to explane your reasons, you have nothing to feel guilty about or that you could have done differently. If what keeps you from leaving the relationship is fear of the other person, then be careful, try to get support, reach out to the resources you can find near the city/town you live in and be brave, you can make it :)
February 14th, 2019 12:53am
It can be very hard to leave a toxic relationship because of the history you have with that person. You first have to realize your self worth. Once you realize how much you are worth, you will never let anyone take advantage of you nor use you. You need the strength to leave. I suggest you just take a leap and break up with them quickly. Tell them all the things that they do that make you sad or feel angry. See if they are open to change, and if not, then leave them. Sometimes people are not aware of their destructive, toxic behaviors.
March 23rd, 2019 2:36am
First of all by realising that you are in one. Depending on the situation, it is important to understand the source of the toxicity. Once you have done that, it is important to express your feelings to the second person in the relationship. The manner in which anyone does so depends again on the nature of the toxicity in the relationship. For example if the nature of the relationship is toxic dependance, it is important to explain very calmly to the other person your feelings and to listen to theirs. Understanding any relationship, even one that can be categorised as toxic for one person might not be understood in the same manner by another. As emotions and differences are obviously found in every relationship, their nature and their appearance can not be explained without investigation.
June 7th, 2019 4:15pm
I would say sooner the better. If you feel unsafe please do not hesitate to call the authorities. I would talk to your significant other as communication is key in a healthy, loving relationship. If you have already tried that on several occasions and know for a fact that this relationship is turning toxic I would start by slowly drifting away from them before officially breaking up with them as it would make it easier to break up with them for good. After that making sure that they are no longer a part of your life is a good idea. You can start that by blocking them on all social media, blocking their number, blocking all contacts from their close friends.
July 10th, 2019 11:33pm
This can honestly be so incredibly difficult. And for all of you that had to go through this, my heart goes out to you, hope you have found your way to be happy and live a healthy life. We can so often feel stuck in a toxic relationship. But i feel like it’s really important to prioritize our own needs in such case. We need to be a bit selfish, to think of our own visions and goals and dreams, before we decide to prioritize our partner’s, because that might be the exact thing that’s making us stuck in that relationship.
August 4th, 2019 8:38am
I identify and recognize the kind of negative impact the relationship is having on my mental or physical health. Focus on how his or behaviour and reactions make me feel. Comprehend about why i got into this relationship and what is it giving me? Give value to my own self worth and understand that i deserve better. I try to look at the bigger picture and understand that he or she is not the only person in the world for me. However, first i need to love myself. Then, I start working on my skills and developing them so that i feel productive and slowly move on
October 24th, 2019 9:07pm
Wow, that's a big question. It depends on the form the toxic relationship is taking. If you are being physically abused, the answer can be to seek professional help secretly, and strategically plan your safest getaway. That process is really best done with help from someone in the know. If you are in immediate danger, you have to call the police and then make yourself safe as well. if the relationship is toxic and not life threatening though, I have found it helpful to grit my teeth, and through every resistance telling me not to, to get the hell out. We all have a right to draw boundaries for ourselves that include only accepting dynamics that align with your self-worth. When I was in a toxic relationship, I actually felt guilty about wanting to get out. Now, on the other side of it and looking back, It's one of the best decisions I ever made. I did not even see the depth of the benefits of leaving until i did it.
November 3rd, 2019 9:44am
I talk clearly to my partner about the issues in our relationship and why I want to quit the relationship and then proceed to detach from the person, trying to keep the process as calm as possible. I know it will hurt and I know it won’t be easy but If i respect myself first and the other person, I must leave this toxic relationship that I know that it’s just hurting me. The important thing is to never come back: if I take the decision knowing that this relationships is toxic then I must respect myself and my decision and not come back anymore.
November 10th, 2019 10:48pm
There are many steps to getting out of a toxic relationship Step one: Step out of denial. - step out of the river of Denial. A few questions will get you there. Ask yourself these, for starters: Do I feel energized or drained after I spent an hour with X? Do I WANT to spend time with X or do I feel like I have to? Do I feel sorry for X? Step two: Keep a log of emotions. - One of my depression busters is to keep a record of things that make me feel bad. Consistently bad. I am not a fast learner. School was hard for me. So I have to perform the same mistake, oh, about 35 times before my brain gets the message that perhaps I am doing something wrong. The journalist in me then takes the case and begins gathering the facts. So if, after 35 tries, I suspect that having coffee with X makes me feel worse, not better, I will log my feelings immediately following our meeting. If I get two or more of “I feel like crap, like I am a weak and pathetic person,” then I know that I’m enmeshed in a toxic relationship that I should consider tossing out. Step three: Identify the perks - all relationships, even toxic ones, have hidden benefits. Or why would you stay in them? So identify the perks. Determine what, specifically, you are getting from this relationship Step four: Fill the hole - Now that you’ve identified what you were hoping to stuff with this relationship, it’s time to find alternative sources of peace and wholeness. Step five: Surround yourself with POSITIVE friends. -Lots of support and friends isn’t going to cut it. You need the right kind of friends–i.e. those working on their boundaries as hard as you are, who aren’t enmeshed in their fair share of toxic relationships and therefore become somewhat toxic themselves. The stuff is contagious. I suspect the risk for getting sucked into or stuck in a toxic relationships for people who have friends in toxic relationships is higher than 100 percent. So be smart with whom you choose to hang out. Those are five out of many ways to end a toxic relationship
December 6th, 2019 6:36am
In order to leave a toxic relationship, be true to yourself, be true to that person, express your true feelings. If you feel unpleasant say it. Don't hide anything about your feelings to that person, If you were happy tell that person, If you were not happy anymore tell that person why. In life, we should tell people the truth of what we feel if we are happy or even if we are suffocated, than telling lies to make someone feel better, in that way you won't leave an empty shell, but a shell who finally understood why life together is empty.
January 4th, 2020 7:20pm
Leaving a toxic relationship is one of the hardest things to do. When it's hard moving on remember was it more painful holding on? When someone constantly puts you down, leaves you feeling like you can't do anything right, or makes you feel worthless or bad about yourself in general. Just know you did nothing wrong. That's not love, its's emotional abuse. Moving on isn't about trying to forget them it's about thinking I still love you, but your not worth the pain. Sometimes you have to forget what you feel, and know what you deserve. I hope this helped! If you need more help, feel free to contact me on here!
January 15th, 2020 5:17am
For me, I left my toxic relationships gradually. Some of them, we fell out of touch, but for some of the others, I really had to talk to them and tell them that I couldn't continue with the relationship. Things like that don't always work, though. I suggest gathering a group of friends who genuinely love and care about your mental/emotional and physical well-being to help you out of the situation. Some insight from others may also help you through the situation much smoother than by yourself. Also, if you have a strong family life, don't be afraid of talking to your family about your concerns with the toxic relationship. Ask them for help with ways to get away and see what they have to offer.
January 22nd, 2020 7:45pm
There are many ways that a relationship can be toxic, so you can either choose to leave a toxic relationship or you can somehow find a way to detoxify the relationship. As hard as it may seem it isn't impossible. If you are being mentally abused by your partner and they are to proud to admit that they are the problem a good way to get away from that is to tell them that you don't deserve them and that they deserve better than you so for their sake you are ending it. On the inside though you should know that this isn't true and you can easily get someone ten times better than them because you are Amazing! :)
January 30th, 2020 6:07am
You tell you partner you are feeling that the relationship isn’t working and that you don’t feel safe and block their number and don’t talk to that person you make sure your parents know that you have ended the relationship and if nothing further happens if you are feeling depressed afterwards you can always seek help from a 7 cups therapist or counselor you can always see a school counselor to or talk to your closest buddy always feel free to share you thought with somebody you trust and care about but if things go wrong make sure you tell a trusted adult
January 31st, 2020 6:01pm
In my humble opinion there are three primary reasons for why an ex will avoid talking to you after a breakup. In short, they are as follows, They Don’t Think Being Friendly Is “Worth It” They Fear They Will Hurt Your Feelings They Want To Avoid Awkward Conversations Now, if you don’t know how I roll then you’re in for a treat. Generally I go above and beyond for my clients and that means I like to go really in-depth on my explanations. So, not only am I going to explain what I mean by all of the reasons above but I’m also going to dive deeper and tell you what you can do if you find yourself in this precarious position where you can’t get your exes attention.
March 25th, 2020 9:28am
Leaving any relationship is difficult, let alone a toxic relationship. Putting distance between yourself and your partner is a good start and slowly the level of communication can be reduced. By reducing the level of communication you are distancing yourself from the person and the relationship. Sometimes this is the only way some can break away from a toxic relationship as the toxicity keeps pulling you back and you end up going around in circles. Making the break is the hardest part. What follows is less challenging. The distance this causes is what is needed when breaking from a toxic relationship.
May 29th, 2020 9:55am
First of all, you are doing great as you realised that you are in a toxic relationship. Getting out of any relationship is hard. But you can't continue to being in a toxic relationship and you have to call it quits. You could start by talking to your partner about how you are feeling and want to call it quits. Have the other person know how you are feeling and make it clear you don't want to work it out and call it quits. If it doesn't go well approach a friend who knows about it and sought there help in getting out of the relationship. It is important that you get out of it as the longer you stay the worse it gets. Hope it helps you.
July 2nd, 2020 2:18pm
People in toxic relationships need help from friends, family, and professionals to commit to change. There is no AA or NA for this. Changing is a process and not simply a decision. People often return to a toxic relationship, sometimes because it is familiar and therefore comfortable. They know no other persona except their shattered self. This is why fences and walls often surround women’s shelters. They are there to enable residents to feel safe and start to heal. Keep in mind that you may need to seek help multiple times or for an extensive period of time, and that is okay. People in toxic relationships need rehabilitation, a process that takes time. Find a supportive friend, family member, or professional to help you through the healing process.
July 3rd, 2020 6:20pm
Fist part is over. That is labeling the relationship "toxic". That means you have realized what is going in in relationship and how good it is. It is something like.. "I want to quit eating ice cream". To quit you need a good reason so that the reason can make negative impression when you think of icecream. Well that is crude. Actual part is.. giving importance to self. Analysing.. how happy, satisfied and comfortable you are with and without that "toxic" relationship? Once you answer that question you will find your solution of how to quit. It depends much on your thoughts!!
July 15th, 2020 1:50am
Leaving a toxic relationship is one of the most difficult thing we can face in our personal life, its something many people live with and stay in, which almost always has a negative effect on our health. In order to take action to change, first we need to understand where the problem is. Then what action has to be taken, and ultimately heal, learn and grow, so we can be better person, happier and healthier and contribute the the world in a positive way. Don't be afraid of thinking and embracing the emotions and feelings, let yourself feel what you need to and the answers will come to you. If you still feel stuck feel free to chat with a listener, or read online and educate yourself on toxic relationship, moving forward and healing. Take care
July 22nd, 2020 3:33pm
Self-realization is the key. We first need to accept that we are better off without the person who is constantly hurting us, and also that we deserve really better than where we are. After this, think. Think, do you really want to do this? If yes, cut off completely. Do not remain friends or family. Be clear in your decision, and do not approach the person again. If you don't want to end it, ask the person why they do this. If they reply, there's hope. If they don't, it means that they are just jerks and have nothing better to do. Break it up!