19 Empowering Toxic Relationship Quotes to Give You Strength and Inspiration

Relationships are huge parts of our lives, but the reality is that not all of them are good for us. We’ve all been in a bad relationship – whether that’s a romantic, platonic or familial one – which makes it unsurprising that there are so many books, songs and movies about them. This also means there are a wealth of toxic relationship quotes exploring this painful and sensitive topic – which are great for reflecting on your own relationships and gaining some worldly wisdom while you’re at it. 

So if you’re wondering whether your relationship is toxic, or you know it is and need some inspiration to help you leave, we’ve put together 20 quotes about toxic people, relationships and situations to help you find the push you need. Leaving a toxic relationship is one of the hardest things any of us will do in our lives, so it helps to have little nuggets of wisdom to spur us on when we’re feeling down, or provide direction when we’re feeling lost. Hopefully you can take what you need from these quotes and take that crucial step towards a happier life.

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Toxic love quotes

Love is the strongest force on Earth, but the bond we share with some people in our lives isn’t love at all. From trauma bonding to incompatibility and in extreme cases, abuse, toxic love may look like love on the surface, but is anything but that in real life. If you’re looking for signs of an unhealthy dynamic, then these toxic love quotes are what you need to read. 

“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

Relationships are hard sometimes and require work and effort that isn’t always comfortable. But if you’re hurting yourself trying to be there for someone else, then you’ll both lose in the end. 

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

A lack of trust is one of the biggest indicators that you’re in a toxic relationship. Without it, there’s no way to build a healthy, sustainable relationship that fulfills, supports and uplifts you.

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“A bad relationship can make you doubt everything good you ever felt about yourself.” – Dionne Warwick

Being with a toxic person makes you feel bad about yourself because of how they bring you down. They might criticise you constantly or make you feel insecure due to a lack of trust. But you should be with someone who makes you feel good about yourself.

“Stop setting yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.” Penny Reid

If you are hurting yourself to help someone else, then you will never be happy. No relationship is worth you sacrificing your own needs and happiness.

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

Toxic relationships erode your sense of identity and self esteem, so if you feel like you’ve changed or you don’t feel like you around your partner, then things need to change.

“A relationship controlled by ambiguity, jealousy, and control is not a relationship at all.” Unknown

Toxic love is not love at all, and if your partner doesn’t want to confront their toxic traits, they will only hurt you. When the main characteristics of your relationship are negative, then it’s not the reciprocal relationship that you deserve.

“If you’re in a relationship and all you do is cry, you need to stop and ask yourself, are you dating a human or an onion.” – Karen Salmansohn

You deserve a person, not an onion!

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Quotes about ending toxic relationships

The kicker about toxic relationships is that many people don’t realise that they’re in one until it’s too late. By the time they’ve seen the signs, they can be trapped in an endless cycle of breakups and makeups, too afraid to leave, or worse, in an abusive relationship. But if you’ve realised and want to leave these abusive relationship quotes provide some perspective. It’s never too late to change your life and choose yourself.

“Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows.” Unknown

Many of us struggle with the constant tug of war between head and heart, but sometimes the heart just needs more time to let go.

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“You gotta stop watering dead plants.” Unknown

Relationships are a two way street, so if you’re the only one putting in effort then it won’t be a healthy one. Pay attention to this, and if they’ve given up then it’s a good idea to talk to them about it and possibly let them go.

“Sometimes you need to give up on people, not because you don’t care but because they don’t.” Unknown

Don’t waste time on people who are not willing to fight for the relationship, or those who simply do not value you for who you are.

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Quotes about toxic people

Not all toxic people in our lives are partners or significant others. Our other relationships can have a huge toll on our mental health and wellbeing too, so being able to identify and deal with bad people is so important. These quotes about toxic people will help you weed your heart’s garden and stay away from negative people.

“The best way to move forward is to let go of the people holding you back.” —Unknown

This counts even for people who mean well but don’t contribute in a positive way to your life.

“People inspire you, or they drain you. Pick them wisely.” — Hans F. Hasen

It’s crucial to pay attention to how people make you feel – that will tell you whether you need to stay away from negative people.

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“Beware of those around you who subtly sow the seeds of doubt.” ― Wayne Gerard Trotman

Toxicity doesn’t always look like nastiness and criticism. It can also be subtle and behind your back, so make sure to carefully observe the people around you and how they make you feel.

“If they do it often, it isn’t a mistake; it’s just their behavior.” — Dr. Steve Maraboli

We all have our bad days and toxic traits, but when someone is hurting you constantly, then you need to face reality. It’s not a phase, or low point for them – this is who they are. No matter how much we may want to keep people in our lives, we must look at who they are rather than who we want them to be. 

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Quotes about strength and moving forward

If you’re on your way to leaving your toxic relationship behind, then these quotes about strength and moving forward will keep you going and provide some motivation to persevere. Leaving a toxic relationship is extremely difficult, so be prepared for a lot of push back. But you can get through it and come out the other side better for it. 

“Letting go of toxic people in your life is a big step in loving yourself.” —Hussein Nishah

It is an act of self-love to only keep positive, good people around you. 

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“Sometimes there are things in life that aren’t meant to stay. Sometimes change may not be what we want. Sometimes change is what we need.” —Don Bolena Jr.

Change is natural, and we have to all go with the flow as much as we can. Not all relationships are forever.

“There’s an important difference between giving up and letting go.” – Jessica Hatchigan

If you’re doubting whether you should leave because you don’t want to ‘give up’, consider that you’re not giving up at all. You’re letting go of someone who isn’t good for you. 

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“It hurts like hell. And then one day, it doesn’t.” Unknown 

Pain is a temporary feeling that will fade with time. So keep pushing on because better days are coming. 

“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

Once you muster the courage to leave, it’ll be hard at first to be alone. But pain is temporary, and one day you’ll be able to heal and move on. 

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If you feel trapped in a toxic or abusive relationship, then seek support from loved ones or charities like Refuge or the Domestic Abuse Hotline. Remember that you are not alone and you deserve to be happy. 

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