101 Quotes On Leaving Abusive Relationships

Sometimes a quote can shed light on abusive relationships and give you the courage to leave.

Reviewed by Roma WilliamsRoma Williams, LMFT
Edited by Asmita DeAsmita De
Written by Sneha TeteSneha Tete, Certified Relationship Coach  • 

Toxic relationships are emotionally draining and may take a toll on a person’s mental wellbeing. Whether you are searching for a bit of help and healing or your loved one is under stress, these abusive relationship quotes may provide you with some comfort and hope. Arguments and fights will come up in every relationship at some point, but when things are out of control, devastation ensues. And that is why it is crucial to look out for the red flags, recognize the signs of a toxic relationship (like power imbalance, gaslighting, and codependency), and find the strength to end it. The following quotes may provide comfort in such difficult situations. Take a look.

101 Abusive Relationships Quotes

Suffering alone due to abusive relationship
Image: Shutterstock
  1. “So many people suffer from abuse, and suffer alone.” – Pamela Stephenson
  2. “Domestic abuse happens only in intimate, interdependent, long-term relationships – in other words, in families – the last place we would want or expect to find violence.” – Leslie Morgan Steiner
  3. “Mental abuse is much more painful than physical abuse because you are consumed by your own thoughts.” – Anonymous
  4. “Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache.” – Iyanla Vanzant
  5. “One of the obstacles to recognizing chronic mistreatment in relationships is that most abusive men simply don’t seem like abusers. They have many good qualities, including times of kindness, warmth, and humor, especially in the early period of a relationship. An abuser’s friends may think the world of him. He may have a successful work life and have no problems with drugs or alcohol. He may simply not fit anyone’s image of a cruel or intimidating person. So, when a woman feels her relationship spinning out of control, it is unlikely to occur to her that her partner is an abuser.” – Lundy Bancroft
  6. “Most of us knew in our bones that things with the world weren’t right, long before it became a crisis.” – Pernell Plath Meier
  7. “A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dream, or your dignity.” – Mandy Hale
  8. “When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.” – Stephanie A. Sarkis
  9. “Periods of kindness, no matter how short, bond the victim to her abuser.” – Jess Hill
  10. “Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything.” – Stephanie A. Sarkis
  11. “Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else’s behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy, or evoke compassion, and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.” – George K. Simon Jr.
  12. “Controllers, abusers and manipulative people don’t question themselves. They don’t ask themselves if the problem is them. They always say the problem is someone else.” – Darlene Ouimet
  13. “It is fine to commiserate with a man about his bad experience with a previous partner, but the instant he uses her as an excuse to mistreat you, stop believing anything he tells you about that relationship and instead recognize it as a sign that he has problems with relating to women.” – Lundy Bancroft
  14. “No matter how much a couple once loved each other, once emotional abuse becomes a consistent aspect of the relationship, that love is overshadowed by fear, anger, guilt, and shame.” – Beverly Engel
  15. “The disrespect and hatred each partner begins to feel leads to more and more emotional abuse and to each partner justifying inappropriate, even destructive, behavior.” – Beverly Engel
  16. “Poisonous relationships can alter our perception. You can spend many years thinking you’re worthless… but you’re not worthless, you’re unappreciated.” – Steve Maraboli
  17. “Sometimes we refuse to see how bad something is until it completely destroys us.” – Anonymous
  18. “We should meet abuse by forbearance. Human nature is so constituted that if we take absolutely no notice of anger or abuse, the person indulging in it will soon weary of it and stop.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  19. “Intimidation, even if it appears unintentional, is a sign that emotional abuse is on the way — or has already begun — and is a warning flag that physical violence may eventually follow.” – Lundy Bancroft
  20. “As in all abusive relationships, the abused mistakenly assumes the kindest version of the abuser is the real one.” – Chris Holm
Man being physically abusive towards family
Image: Shutterstock
  1. “The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race.” – Charles Bradlaugh
  2. “You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue in their actions.” – Anonymous
  3. “Embedded in their psyche was the story of what had happened to the world, and the boys felt glorious to be on the other side of the madness” – Pernell Plath Meier
  4. “The scars from mental cruelty can be as deep and long-lasting as wounds from punches or slaps but are often not as obvious. In fact, even among women who have experienced violence from a partner, half or more report that the man’s emotional abuse is what is causing them the greatest harm.” – Lundy Bancroft
  5. “I’d lost myself in the abyss of someone else’s tyranny…again.” – Cassandra Giovanni
  6. “The toxic behaviors were there before you decided to enter into relationships with them. The signs were there. You may have chosen to look the other way, but the signs were there.” – P.A. Speers
  7. “‘Why does she stay?’ is code for some people for ‘It’s her fault for staying,’ as if victims intentionally choose to fall in love with men intent upon destroying us.” – Morgan Steiner
  8. “The moment you start to wonder if you deserve better, you do.” – Anonymous
  9. “Abusive people feel a surge of power when they discover a weakness. They exploit it, using it to gain more power. Crying or complaining confirms that they’ve poked you in the right spot.” – Christina Enevoldsen
  10. “I am often asked whether physical aggression by women toward men, such as a slap in the face, is abuse. The answer is: “It depends.” Men typically experience women’s shoves or slaps as annoying and infuriating rather than intimidating, so the long-term emotional effects are less damaging. It is rare to find a man who has gradually lost his freedom or self-esteem because of a woman’s aggressiveness.” – Lundy Bancroft
  11. “Over time, anger can build up on the part of both abuser and victim, and emotional abuse can turn into physical violence.” – Beverly Engel
  12. “Do you feel alone in your relationship? Abusers isolate their partner from friends and family, and make them dependent financially, socially, and physically.” – Anonymous
  13. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou
  14. “You’re fat and you’re ugly and you always have been ugly. You think those words don’t have power? It’s funny when I say it in a joking sense, but when it comes from the mouth of someone I have given my all to… you think those words won’t stay longer than you, outlive you, outlast you? Those words will be there forever. Words have power.” – TD Jakes
  15. “You may develop physical or emotional reactions to swallowing your anger, such as depression, nightmares, emotional numbing, or eating and sleeping problems, which your partner may use as an excuse to belittle you further or make you feel crazy.” – Lundy Bancroft
  16. “It’s like one day you flipped a switch and became someone I never knew.” – Anonymous
  17. “Emotional abuse is designed to undermine another’s a sense of self. It is deliberate humiliation, with the intent to seize control of how others feel about themselves.” – Lorraine Nilon
  18. “If you walked away from a toxic, negative, abusive, one-sided, dead-end low vibrational relationship or friendship — you won.” – Lalah Delia
  19. “Malignant narcissists and sociopaths use word salad, circular conversations, ad hominem arguments, projection and gas lighting to disorient you and get you off track should you ever disagree with them or challenge them in any way. They do this in order to discredit, confuse and frustrate you, distract you from the main problem and make you feel guilty for being a human being with actual thoughts and feelings that might differ from their own. In their eyes, you are the problem if you happen to exist.” – Shahida Arabi
  20. “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” – Richard Bach
Emotional abuse in a relationship
Image: Shutterstock
  1. “It’s so easy to look around and notice what’s wrong. It takes practice to see what’s right.” – Melody Beattie
  2. “Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave. It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment. It means we stop trying to do the impossible-controlling that which we cannot-and instead, focus on what is possible-which usually means taking care of ourselves. And we do this in gentleness, kindness, and love, as much as possible.” – Melody Beattie
  3. “Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.” – Melody Beattie
  4. “Accept yourself. Love yourself just as you are. Your finest work, your best moments, your joy, peace, and healing come when you love yourself. You give a great gift to the world when you do that. You give others permission to do the same: to love themselves. Revel in self love. Roll in it. Bask in it, as you would the sunshine.” – Melody Beattie
  5. “She’d worn anxiety like a thick robe for so long that it was hard for her to take it off.” – Pernell Plath Meier
  6. “The scars you can’t see are the hardest to heal.” – Astrid Alauda
  7. “Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be longer lasting than physical ones.” – Beverly Engel
  8. “I trusted you but now your words mean nothing to me, because your actions spoke the truth.” – Anonymous
  9. “Worrying, obsessing, and controlling are illusions. They are tricks we play on ourselves.” – Melody Beattie
  10. “Being single and happy is better than being sad and afraid in an abusive relationship.” – Anonymous
  11. “A woman should never invest in a relationship she wouldn’t want for her daughter, nor allow any man to treat her in a way she would scold her son for.” – Charles J. Orlando
  12. “You can have a pet zebra and put that zebra into a small cage every day and tell the zebra that you love it, but no matter how you and the zebra love each other, the fact remains that the zebra should be let out of that cage and should belong to someone who can treat it better, the way it should be treated, someone who can make it happy.” – C. JoyBell C.
  13. “Life is always moving, changing, shifting into its next shape. The movement is natural. It is how we evolve. Let the shifts happen. Take responsibility for yourself each step of the way. Trust the new shape and form of your world.” – Melody Beattie
  14. “Well, I went through some emotionally abusive relationships and allowed myself to not be properly respected as a lady, as a human being even, though I tried everything I knew to be a lady.” – Gloria Gaynor
  15. “You’re in a relationship to be happy, to smile, to laugh, and to make good memories, not to be constantly upset, to feel hurt, and to cry.” – Anonymous
  16. “There are far too many silent sufferers. Not because they don’t yearn to reach out, but because they’ve tried and found no one who cares.” – Richelle E. Goodrich
  17. “Bullies may be the perpetrators of evil, but it is the evil of passivity of all those who know what is happening and never intervene that perpetuates such abuse.” – Philip Zimbardo
  18. “With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism, and accusations slowly eat away at the victim’s self-esteem until he or she is incapable of judging a situation realistically. He or she may begin to believe that there is something wrong with them or even fear they are losing their mind. They have become so beaten down emotionally that they blame themselves for the abuse.” – Beverly Engel
  19. “Sometimes, no matter how hard we try for someone and hope that they will get better in time – they never do. Abusive relationships shouldn’t have a key to your chambers of heart. Hold your key and keep it close. Don’t end up getting addicted to such pain or human beings – for that matter. You might not be Thor but they can surely be Loki & hold you prisoner to their trickster nature.” – Sijdah Hussain
  1. “The quiet but inexorable breaking down of self-esteem is much more sinister – it’s violation of the soul.” – Rachel Abbott
An argument between a couple
Image: Shutterstock
  1. “Friends say: ‘Leave him.’ But she knows it won’t be that easy. He will promise to change. He’ll get friends and relatives to feel sorry for him and pressure her to give him another chance. He’ll get severely depressed, causing her to worry whether he’ll be all right. And, depending on what style of abuser he is, she may know that he will become dangerous when she tries to leave him. She may even be concerned that he will try to take her children away from her, as some abusers do.” – Lundy Bancroft
  2. “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” – Wayne Dyer
  3. “When you react, you are giving away your power. When you respond, you are staying in control of yourself.” – Bob Proctor
  4. “It’s not the situation, but whether we react, or respond, to the situation that’s important.” – Zig Ziglar
  5. “What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.” – Ellen Glasgow
  6. “Respond; don’t react. Listen; don’t talk. Think; don’t assume.” – Raji Lukkoor
  7. “Respond from your strengths rather than react from your fears.” – Eric Allenbaugh
  8. “Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem.” – Jonathan Mead
  9. “The emotionally cold or distant trait also rears its head during arguments when one person is experiencing and expressing significant emotion and the narcissistic person just checks out and does not respond—or does so in a cold and clipped manner.” – Ramani Durvasula
  10. “Get pissed because you deserve more than this abuse. Emotional abuse is the gateway to all abuse. Get out!” – Tracy Malone
  11. “The results of any traumatic experience, such as abuse, can only be resolved by experiencing, articulating, and judging every facet of the original experience within a process of careful therapeutic disclosure.” – Alice Miller
  12. “Your abuser’s trauma does not justify them abusing you.” – Anonymous
  13. “A healthy relationship doesn’t drag you down. It inspires you to be better.” – Mandy Hale
  14. “Women tend to work hard to avoid being hurt or to stop their partners from abusing them, but they aren’t successful. You cannot make your partner abuse you and you can’t make him not abuse you. These are his choices and his alone. The task is to refocus on yourself and your recovery.” – Carol A. Lambert
  15. “Never make yourself feel like nothing to make someone else feel like everything.” – Anonymous
  16. “If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho
  17. “I am done looking for love where it doesn’t exist. I am done coughing up dust in attempts to drink from dry wells.” – Maggie Young
  1. “There is no safe way to remain in a relationship with a person who has no conscience. The only solution is to escape.” – Anonymous
  2. “Overcoming abuse doesn’t just happen, It takes positive steps everyday. Let today be the day you start to move forward.” – Assunta Harris
  3. “Don’t let your loyalty become slavery. If they don’t appreciate what you bring to the table, then let them eat alone.” – Jordan Hoechlin
Breaking an abusive relationship
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  1. “It is better to break your own heart by leaving an abusive relationship, rather than having that person breaking your heart every day.” – Anonymous
  2. “If he makes you lose your family, lose your friends, lose your confidence, lose your self-esteem, or lose your happiness, then you need to lose him.” – Anonymous
  3. “Today I will stop trying to control my relationships. I will participate at a reasonable level and let the other person do the same. I can let go, knowing that the relationship will find its own life-or not-and that I don’t have to do all the work, only my share.” – Melody Beattie
  4. “Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people’s souls.” – Melody Beattie
  5. “Believing that things happen too slowly or too quickly is an illusion. Timing is perfect.” – Melody Beattie
  6. “Whatever we try to control does have control over us and our life.” – Melody Beattie
  7. “We don’t just get our choice; we get the consequence that choice creates.” – Melody Beattie
  8. “I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people’s lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life.” – Melody Beattie
  9. “Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.” – Dave Pelzer
  10. “Emotional abuse is the leading reason of suicide victims.” – Anonymous
  11. “All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm’s way.” – Bell Hooks
  1. “We survive by remembering. But sometimes we survive by forgetting.” – Silberling
  2. “There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” – Laurell K. Hamilton
  3. “Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than to hurt yourself putting it back together.” – Anonymous
  4. “When someone isn’t treating you right, no matter how much you love them, you’ve got to love yourself more and walk away.” – Anonymous
  5. “Abuse changes your life… Fight back and change the life of your abusers by breaking your silence on abuse!” – Patty Rase Hopson
  6. “Being single is better than being lied to, cheated on and disrespected.” – Anonymous
  7. “Never forget that walking away from something unhealthy is brave even if you stumble a little on your way out the door.” – Mandy Hale
  8. “Emotional abuse is the silent marriage killer.” – Austin James
  9. “It’s hard to look for the light when you are lost in darkness.” – Anonymous
  10. “Bruises heal, but you don’t forget words and emotions, how an abuser makes you feel about yourself.” – Anonymous

Toxic relationships can be emotionally exhausting and hurt a person’s mental health. Hence, these abusive relationship quotes may provide you with some solace, hope, and motivation – whether you are seeking guidance and healing or your loved one is in distress. Every relationship has disagreements and disputes, but heartbreak occurs when things spiral out of hand. That’s why it’s important to be on the lookout for red flags, recognize the indicators of an abusive relationship, flags, recognize the indicators of an abusive relationship, summon the courage to stop it Take a breather and concentrate on yourself because you deserve love and safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of relationship abuse?

Relationship abuse can be physical or emotional. Physical abuse involves force, violence, restricting movement, invading private spaces, non-consensual physical advances, etc. Emotional abuse involves blackmail, threats, insults, condescension, manipulation, and so on.

Is abuse a form of love?

No. Abuse should never be mistaken for, or justified, as a form of love. Abuse, be it verbal abuse, psychological abuse, or domestic violence, takes away a person’s individuality, hurts and breaks them, and damages their self-esteem in irreparable ways. It should never be overlooked as a toxic trait.

What are the 5 signs of emotional abuse?

There are many ways in which emotional abuse manifests in a relationship. We can broadly categorize them as follows:

  • Manipulation
  • Dismissive behavior
  • Possessive or controlling behavior
  • Disrespectful against boundaries
  • Constant monitoring and judging

Can you still love an abuser?

It is possible to still be in love with an abusive partner. After all, the abuse was not obvious in the beginning or you wouldn’t have stuck around. It is only when you are too deep in love that an abuser can take more advantage of you. However, you must remember that while it is not as easy to leave them, it is essential that you distance yourself from them to recover from the ill effects of such a relationship.

Why do abusers give gifts?

When abusers give you gifts or follow up their abusive behavior with exaggerated apologies, they are grooming you. They are using this kind of superficial kindness to manipulate you into believing that they aren’t abusive, and instead, it is you who has problematic patterns that warrant such abusive treatment. This type of reinforcement that uses rewards and punishment to make you feel attached to your abuser is termed ‘trauma bonding’.

How do you respond to abusive comments?

If your partner is making abusive comments against you, you need to find out if they are doing so intentionally. If it wasn’t intended, you need to tell them that you find such comments twisted, hateful, abusive, and you will not tolerate them. If they care for you, they will be mindful about this.

What type of person is an abuser?

Abusers are people who often do not see the fault in their ways. They dismiss the effects their behavior is having on others and downplay the severity of their actions. They are often people who were abused. As a result, they may harbor insecurities and anger against the personal hardships they had and often take their anger out on their victims.

Infographic: 10 Powerful Quotes To Help You Move On From An Abusive Relationship

An abusive relationship is hard to leave, but staying back can be detrimental to anyone’s life. It never can be easy – as the desire to go back to it is always present. However, it is essential to remove the rosy glasses and see the relationship for what it is. In the following infographic, we have listed 10 powerful quotes that can help you face the truth and take that step towards freedom. Check them out.

10 powerful quotes to help you move on from an abusive relationship (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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Download Infographic in PDF version

Toxic relationships can be emotionally exhausting and hurt a person’s mental health. Hence, these abusive relationship quotes may provide you with some solace, hope, and motivation – whether you’re seeking guidance and healing or your loved one is in distress. Every relationship has disagreements and disputes, but heartbreak occurs when things spiral out of hand. That’s why it’s important to be on the lookout for red flags, recognize the indicators of an abusive relationship, and summon the courage to stop it. Choose your health, sanity, and sense of self-worth over your deteriorating relationship. Take a breather and concentrate on yourself because you deserve love and safety.

Protect yourself from the trap of toxic narcissistic abuse! This video shows the ways you can speak up and be stronger. Watch the full video.

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