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Because of my mental health condition, I think I'm probably being emotionally toxic to my bf. Is it best to just leave the relationship?

24 Answers
Last Updated: 01/16/2023 at 6:43pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, MSc Psychology


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
March 30th, 2021 8:52pm
I can see you have a lot of doubts in your mind regarding whether or not your behavior is healthy towards your boyfriend. Do you worry about being too pushy? Too argumentative? In general what are your boundaries and what are your boyfriend's boundaries. Please know any questions you have about your own behavior are all part of learning to manage your illness. Think about why specifically it may be of benefit to leave your relationship? What would you get out of leaving? Think specifically why it may benefit you to stay in the relationship? What would you get out of staying? Think about what the term relationship means for you. Are you helping each other grow? Are you two willing to take accountability? How do you both view attachment? When two people have relationship issues they want to work on they get in touch with a relationship therapist. A therapist will be able to set you up with the knowledge and tools that you need to help navigate the problematic behavior either through changing the behavior or through improving your communication and coping skills for it. The best thing about talking to a good therapist about these issues is that they are empathetic to your struggle and don't judge you for your failures the way a partner, family member, or friend might do. They truly just want to help you achieve what you want to achieve in your life; that's their job. There are also organizations such as OneLoveFoundation, Relate and Laurel Centre for support regarding relationships. You are so welcome to communicate with one of our listeners and therapists on our site.
June 20th, 2021 5:37am
It's interesting reading your question because I was in the opposite position. I was dating someone who was displaying toxic behaviors but I have a background in psychology and also have my own history with mental illness so I was committed to finding something that would work for both of us. In the end, my girlfriend left without saying why, it was sudden and shocking and I'm still not over it. I think in order for you to make the best decision for yourself and for your partner, you need to consider a few things. 1) Do you love your partner on most days? 2) Does your partner love you? 3) Is your partner willing to be patient while you work through things with a therapist? 4) Are you willing to work on your toxic behaviors to become less toxic, or are you resigned to the idea that this is all you'll ever be? 5) Why do you really think it would be best to leave? Who is it best for? Him? You? 6) Why do you think the toxic behaviors are coming out? Is he triggering something you don't want exposed? 7) Have you tried directly communicating what the problems in the relationship are with your partner? 8) Would he be willing to attend couples counseling with you? I would never recommend someone leave a relationship unless it becomes abusive or there is infidelity, but without knowing more about your specifics, it's hard to give "advice." I can tell you however, that it really hurts when someone you've put a lot of time and energy into just leaves without saying why, or giving notice that the relationship is coming to an end. In my case, she told me she loved me and was talking about forever, the day before she broke up with me. I felt traumatized by her sudden departure and now I'm left to grieve alone. Did your boyfriend know you had a mental health condition when he entered the relationship with you? What would leaving accomplish? Do you want to just stop hurting him? How would leaving accomplish that? Wouldn't it be better to stay in the relationship and learn how to change your behavior in order to have a healthier, safer relationship for both parties? It seems to me that all leaving does is prevent you from having to be responsible for your actions, choices and words. But they will still be there because those are your current coping skills. You will most likely take them into the next relationship with you. Don't you want to learn how to stay put, be kind to your partner, and be accountable for your behavior?
March 31st, 2021 6:28pm
No it's not. Sometimes taking a break and resetting yourself is the solution, but I also think that just by working on yourself you can create a better relationship with him. You might think you're doing him a favor by leaving, but he won't see it that way, he'll probably be very hurt. Please take care of yourself and I strongly recommend therapy in whatever way you can access it. Explain to your bf what's going on and talk to him if you need to, but allow the therapists to deal with more intense intrapersonal issues. By asking this question it's clear you care about him and I'm sure he feels the same.
October 15th, 2021 7:12am
Hello, So no one on here can really tell you what’s best for your relationship (as in, if you should or shouldn’t leave). However, given your circumstances, and the fact that this is even a question you’ve in your mind, something is probably amiss. First and foremost, mental health conditions do not make you any less loveable and any less worthy. Sometimes we have things we need to deal with, and due to the nature of life, people get involved too, especially people who care about us. Relationship dynamics are really complex. But you know universally, when things seem to be getting out of hand and we have all these questions in our minds, all these doubts running circles in our heads, maybe it’s good enough to let out some of that and have a heart to heart conversation with the person in question. That’s not to say that things are going to be easy, that’s not to say that emotions won’t get messy, but regardless of what happens, know that you’re looking for the right answers. Let the person in question know. You don’t have to work through it alone. And you know what, everyone is different—so as much as we want to be honored, the person in question should be honored too. In order for any relationship to work, we have to listen to each other and let each other know what’s going on and how things are making us feel. It’s a beautiful thing to love each other, but it’s even more beautiful to feel heard in all our complexity. I hope you are able to work through these uncertain times and find the answers you’re looking for. Take it easy on yourself and remember that your doubts and concerns deserve a voice in your relationship.
June 17th, 2021 2:38pm
I appreciate you are considering change with the intent of moving in a healthier direction. At the same time, I can understand your confusion. What are the pros and cons of leaving him? What hesitancy do you feel in moving out of the relationship? Answering these questions might help you in making your choice. Also, we can go to the past and think of happier times in the relationship and what made it valuable. What has changed, and what caused this change? Could any steps be taken to bring back that value? It could also help to know his belief in the relationship, to help you make your choice.
May 1st, 2021 2:36am
Has he ever expressed being upset by your actions? Are the thoughts caused by him telling you that you are being toxic or your own perception of your behavior? In my opinion, the best approach would be to have this conversation with him and figure out whether or not he feels like you are being mentally toxic towards him. If he conforms it, then I suggest telling him about the condition you have and seeing if there is anything you or your boyfriend can do to help make your relationship a healthy one. There are no perfect couples and disagreements will happen no matter what. Breaking up should be the last resort but if all else fails, ending the relationship may be necessary.
August 6th, 2021 4:45am
If you are asking this question, I feel like you most likely already know the right answer to this question. You have to focus on yourself right now and focus on getting mentally better so that you can be a good partner in a relationship. If you have noticed yourself getting emotionally toxic, it is important to try to take a step back and take a break from your relationship. You do not have to break up for good or leave the person completely but your mental health and you need to come first if it is starting to affect how you interact in your relationship.
January 11th, 2022 8:16am
I'm answering your question from the perspective of being the significant other, the partner of someone with a mental illness that could at times be described as causing our relationship to feel toxic. I have thought about this extensively. I can very honestly say that I would never choose for our relationship to end in order to also end the rough times. I would much rather go through the pain and the trying times with him than to not have him in my life. He is worth dealing with the struggles and the stress- even though I probably have not made that as clear as I should. I would always choose the pain along with the love that he brings to my life over avoiding the tough times by losing out on having him. I am certain your bf feels the same- even if he is like me and may not demonstrate that sentiment as much as he feels it. You have a value far more than the problems that are a symptom of your condition. And you would not be the you that is so worth having if you weren't complete- flaws and everything.
March 31st, 2021 8:03am
You can talk to him about it... And tell him what is going on in your mind. He would understand if he loves you and could even help you to recover from it. You cannot distance yourself from everybody at this stage of life. Try to resolve the problems than ending it. And you too have to be patient and understand that hurting him or ending the relationship won't make any good.....Instead a better communication can! I'm sure he'll understand your situation. Best of luck with your relationship and may you recover from whatever you are going through in your life😊.
April 26th, 2021 11:38pm
Sometimes the answer doesn't lie in an absolute "yes" or "no". Multiple factors can be taken into consideration here. I don't know your exact situation, nor can I accurately provide any advice to you; however, I invite you to have a talk with your boyfriend. It may be difficult to speak up first, so take baby steps with your progress. Perhaps finding a safe environment for the both of you to have a civil discussion? Let your boyfriend know that you care for him, and that you don't want to be hurting him due to your current mental health status.
May 20th, 2021 6:01am
You should first talk to your boyfriend about how he feels. The fact that you are debating to break up without communicating with him indicates that you might want to leave the relationship for your sake, not for his. Take some more time to truly understand why you're thinking about ending things. If you really want to stay but are still worried about how you are affecting him, let him know and you can work something out together. Remember that mental health issues can be tough to deal with, but the people who love you will be there for you regardless.
May 28th, 2021 9:18pm
first, it is important for your bf to understand your condition. in the end it is depend if your boyfriend can be supportive of you or not. if yes, then i'd say it is very possible for you guys to work together as a team!! if it is not then probably you'll just have to make him understand. that you have to choose your own mental health as the priority. only with a healthy mind we can have positive connections with people no? it is important to have a heart to heart conversation!! and see what he thinks about everything
June 3rd, 2021 9:25am
Before just ending what could possibly be a wonderful relationship for both of you take some time to consider the options and how you may be able to communicate and adjust to the issues you are experience. Have you talked to your bf about your mental health condition and how you feel this may be causing you to be emotionally toxic? Your partner may or may not feel the same and good communication could solve the toxicity, if there is any. Discuss what you think you are doing to be toxic and in what ways you could improve the situation.
June 9th, 2021 3:25pm
We cannot control the chemistry of our brains; however, we have full control over our hearts and our responses. You are aware of a problem. It is now your responsibility to pursue a solution. You can leave the relationship, yes, but that will not remove the darkness inside your heart. Talk about this with him. How does he feel you treat him? how do you feel about how you treat him? You know deep down whether what you're doing is right or wrong... and now that you've acknowledged it, it is your responsibility to pursue growth in that area... Your mental health does not have to dictate your behavior. Much love :)
June 18th, 2021 10:58pm
Thinking you are toxic doesn't necessarily mean you are. How would you feel about talking to your boyfriend about how you feel? That way, you two are on the same page. If you are being emotionally toxic to him, then this conversation could show you what needs to change. It can also show him that you are trying to change and are still invested in the relationship. Working on self-improvement and admitting you are in the wrong is challenging, so I'm proud of you for wanting to change! To me, this demonstrates that you really care about your boyfriend and have what it takes to succeed in your goal. Good luck with everything!
June 21st, 2021 10:46am
The key to any relationship is communication. You cannot just decide if you're being emotionally toxic by yourself without bringing it up to him. Generally, having a mental health condition and being in a relationship makes people feel like they're draining the relationship and it's not fair on their partner. This is normal. You care for them so you don't want them to go through such a thing. Bring up the subject to your boyfriend, "I feel like..." is a good way to start expressing any thoughts. Discuss it through and then see is leaving really something you want to do? Is staying beneficial for both you and him? You've got this.
July 21st, 2021 9:47pm
Hi! It sounds like you're feeling really uncertain in your relationship due to your mental health condition, and it's hard to feel like you might be emotionally toxic towards your boyfriend. It sounds like you really care about him in order to consider leaving him to stop this toxicity. It's really hard when you feel like your mental health is negatively affecting a relationship, and there isn't a clear answer about what the best thing to do would be. It's great that you've reached out though, and I hope you can find support in your relationship if you wanted that. You are definitely the expert on your own life and what you think would be best, but below are a few options or suggestions you might like to think about. One thing that you might be able to try is having an open conversation with your boyfriend about it to see his view on things - perhaps explaining to him about how your mental health can cause you to act in these ways might open up communication and allow you to support each other better. Another option might be to talk online about how you're feeling about this situation. Perhaps connecting one-on-one with a listener could help them to support you in this decision and sort through your thoughts on this matter, to help you decide what would be best for you. You are your highest priority, and it's important to do what you think will be best for you and your own mental health. If you feel like leaving or taking a break from the relationship might help you to sort through your feelings and improve your own health then that's definitely something to consider! However, if you feel like you can't control the toxicity at all and things are getting out of hand, it's important to seek professional support. Whether this is with 7 Cups online therapy or going to see your local doctor, they will be able to support you fully with your mental health condition and help you through this decision of whether to leave the relationship. I hope you find some of these suggestions useful and that you can make the best decision for you and your mental health moving forward.
September 14th, 2021 6:48pm
I do not think you should just leave the relationship. If you are very close to your best friend and have trust in the relationship, it would probably be better for you to explain your illness to your best friend and give your best friend a chance to be there for you. It may be very difficult for you to try and explain what causes you to act the way you do at times, but pick a time when you are both calm and in a good place and just sit down and actually talk to your best friend. It might be helpful if you could pull some information about your illness for your best friend to read and then give him/her a chance to digest the information. If he/she is indeed your best friend they will welcome the information and be glad to know the reason for your behavior. They may need to step back while they digest the information, but again, if he/she is your best friend they will still be your best friend after you tell them.
September 27th, 2021 3:11pm
I'm sorry to hear that your mental health struggles are negatively impacting your relationship with your boyfriend, that can be really tough! As monkey suggested, talking to a therapist is a great way to deal with this because they are an expert and can better judge if ending the relationship is the best way to handle the situation. Either way, I think open communication with your partner is important. Ask yourself what makes you feel like you are acting toxic and try to find out if your partner feels the same way. If you communicate openly and both of you are willing to try, you can deal with it together and see if it works! If you and/or your partner don't feel like this is an option, then considering a break-up might be necessary. Whatever you choose to do, I wish you all the best!
March 16th, 2022 6:59pm
Not necessarily no. If you believe it would be best for both your own mental health and boyfriend to separate then sure. However, you've acknowledged that your mental health currently is having an effect on the way that you interact with your boyfriend and may be impacting the quality of your relationship. Have you tried communicating this to your boyfriend? This may help him validate any negative feelings he has had about the relationship if he has not realised the reasoning for why he has felt this way. In addition, it shows to him that you want to work on your mental health and the relationship to give him the security that you aren't intentionally being emotionally toxic (if you even are). Finally, have you sought out any form of professional therapy? Whether it may be personal to provide you with an emotional outlet besides your boyfriend at times and allow you to make progress with your mental health. Alternatively, a couples/relationship-based therapy to work on ways that you can communicate healthily with your boyfriend so that you're not stuck between feeling like you should avoid (and break up with) him due to the impact your having on him but then feeling like you need him for the support (which you should be able to). Before making any decisions like separating from your boyfriend, try and speak to him first. He knows you so well and I'm sure he would love to support you through this. Good luck :)
September 8th, 2022 12:16pm
so firstly you are labeling yourself and thats mean that you're hurting yourself or bullying yourself by saying that, you have negative thaughts that let you respond in a negative way and this affect your relationship in a certain way, dont label yourself by saying im toxic , you have thoughts but its not who you are, its not and ID, it's feelings and thoughts that are passing into your mind, also you are the one who walk into your life , you are the coach here , you are the one who is able to decide what to do and not , so maybe weighing positive points and negative points of the relationship may will be helpful to decide whether to leave or not, and remember its two sided relationship so discuss whith him/her how and why the relationship affect him/her ,.
November 11th, 2022 11:33am
While it can be scary thinking you may be projecting your mental disorders onto someone you love you need to realize just because you are mentally ill doesn't mean that you aren't capable of being in a loving and healthy relationship. Work on communication make sure he feels comfortable and teach him the right ways to communicate with you and what you need from him and have him tell him what he expects from you so you can be the person you need each other to be for the relationship to thrive. Ultimately your mental health conditions shouldn't define you or your relationship and you should do everything you both can to make the relationship work before giving up on it merely because you have a mental health condition.
January 15th, 2023 1:45am
There is no easy answer when it comes to whether or not it is best to leave a relationship due to emotional toxicity. On one hand, it can be difficult to continue living in a situation where you feel like you are constantly being attacked and criticized. On the other hand, leaving a relationship can be incredibly difficult, especially if you have invested a lot of time and energy into it. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to leave a relationship due to emotional toxicity is up to each individual. If you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with the situation, it may be helpful to seek out counseling or therapy.
January 16th, 2023 6:43pm
Hello. I too have struggled with my own mental health in the form of anxiety and depression. My partner surely realized that I wasn't myself and was understanding, but after prolonged mental health issues, it did negatively impact my relationship. So, I took time to work on building myself back up. I consulted with a therapist, I got back into my hobbies, and I tried to focus on what I could control while trying not to dwell on what I couldn't control. I cannot say whether this will absolutely work for your situation, but what I can say is that it was a healthy way for me to deal with my issues and I started to feel like myself again. I did not end my relationship, but I did have open communication with my partner and I was given the space to do what I needed to do to help myself.