150+ Emotional Quotes About An Abusive Relationship

Being in an abusive relationship affects you both physically and mentally. You will start questioning your self-worth. So before you get stuck in a toppling spiral loop, read some abusive relationship quotes that can help you feel better.

Many victims put up with their abusive partners hoping that they will mend ways and change over time. But it will only make things worse, and the suffering will continue. So prioritize yourself and take the initiative to end the abusive relationship. Read this post on quotes about an abusive relationship and get the courage and strength to make the bold move.

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Quotes About An Abusive Relationship

These quotes about an abusive and toxic relationship will inspire people to acknowledge their worth and lead a happier life.

Emotionally Abusive Relationship Quotes

Emotional abusive relationship

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Emotional abuse may have a deep impact, affecting the victim’s mind and soul. These quotes will give you a new perspective on how to fight abuse in relationships.

  1. “Emotional abuse poisons a relationship and infuses it with hostility, contempt, and hatred.” —Beverly Engel
  1. “To make a difference in someone’s life you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect. You just have to care.”—Mandy Hale
  1. “Emotional abuse is a nonphysical behavior or attitude that controls, demeans, punishes or isolates a person.” —Dee Brown
  1. “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
  1. “The biggest abuses in society happen when people are not able to communicate and not able to connect.” —Heather Brooke
  1. “Psychological invalidation is one of the most lethal forms of emotional abuse. It kills confidence, creativity and individuality.” —Dr. Anne Brown RNMS
  1. “Emotional abuse is designed to undermine others’ sense of self. It is deliberate humiliation, with the intent to seize control of how others feel about themselves.” —Lorraine Nilon
  1. “Over time, anger can build up on the part of both abuser and victim, and emotional abuse can turn into physical violence.” —Beverly Engel
  1. “Don’t put up with intimidation, aggression, and disrespect just to keep them in your life.” —Anonymous
  1. “The scars you can’t see are the hardest to heal.” —Astrid Alauda
  1. “Get pissed because you deserve more than this abuse. Emotional abuse is the gateway to all abuse. Get out!” —Tracy Malone
  1. “As the emotional abuse takes its toll and each partner becomes less and less self-assured, each clings to the relationship even more.” —Beverly Engel
  1. “Every abuse ought to be reformed, unless the reform is more dangerous than the abuse itself.” —Voltaire
  1. “In emotionally abusive relationships there is a determined intent to formulate statements or actions which leave a person feeling awful.” —Dee Brown
  1. “Emotional abuse is considered by many to be the most painful form of violence and the most detrimental to self-esteem.” —Beverly Engel

    emotional abuse affects mental health

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  1. “The insidiousness and power of emotional abuse paralleled the invisibility, strength, and purpose of a spider’s web.” —Jess Hill
  1. “Abuse is the means in which violence retards love.” —Inga Muscio
  1. “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.” —Beverly Engel
  1. “Poisonous relationships can alter our perception. You can spend many years thinking you’re worthless, you’re unappreciated.” —Steve Maraboli
  1. “The only way to escape the cycle of abuse is to acknowledge its existence and stand up for yourself.” —Anonymous
  1. “Sometimes we refuse to see how bad something is until it completely destroys us.” —Anonymous
  2. ” Emotional is a major epidemic in our culture.” —Beverly Engel
  3. “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
  4. “The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.” —Edmund Burke
  5. “If I treat you the way you treated me, then you would hate me.” —Anonymous
  6. “Sometimes telling ourselves ‘Everything happens for a reason’ or ‘It made me stronger’ is a way to avoid our grief, our vulnerability, and our helplessness.” —Jordan Pickell
  7. “Often things are as bad as they seem.” —Sheldon B. Kopp
  8. “Emotional abuse is the least understood form of abuse.” —Beverly Engel
  9. “Being single and happy is better than being sad and afraid in an abusive relationship.” —Anonymous
  10. “Ultimately, given enough time, most victims of emotional abuse come not only to blame themselves for all the problems in the relationship but also to believe that they are inadequate, contemptuous, and even unlovable.” —Beverly Engel
  1. “Verbal abuse is still abuse. It’s abuse in the form of words. Don’t assume that a few hurtful words won’t cost them their life. Words cause pain. Words hurt.” —Anonymous
hurtful words can cost life, abusive relationship quotes

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  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. “One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” —Anonymous
  3. To deny someone’s feelings or experiences is to literally deny their reality.” —Danu Morrigan
  4. “In a relationship, there are few things that are worse than being used. One of them is denying it and allowing it to perpetuate.” —Unknown
  5. “Like a constant ringing in the ears or background noise, the frequency of emotional abuse has caused us to try to ignore it since we can’t ever seem to get away from it. And if we can ignore it, we can deny not only its existence but also its effects.” —Gregory L. Jantz
  6. “Do not put up with mistreatment. If you allow yourself to be mistreated, you will be.” —Unknown
  7. “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
  8. “[Emotional abuse is] the demolition of someone’s identity. And it’s an abuse of their psychological and emotional self.” ―Dr. Liz Hale
  9. “The only thing you need to know about love is that it does not leave bruises on your heart.” — Anonymous
  10. “Abuse grows from attitudes and values, not feelings. The roots are ownership, the trunk is entitlement, and the branches are control.” ―Lundy Bancroft
  11. “Victims of emotional abuse can experience more severe psychological reactions. A victim may feel their emotions are affected to such an extent that he or she no longer recognizes their own true feelings related to issues or situations the abuser is trying to control. As a result, the victim’s self-concept, confidence, and independence are systematically broken down.” —Barrie Davenport
  12. “Never confuse desire with value. Just because someone desires you does not automatically lead to them valuing you.” —Unknown
  13. “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
  14. “Some scars don’t hurt. Some scars are numb. Some scars rid you of the capacity to feel anything ever again.” ―Joyce Rachelle
  15. “Staying in an unhealthy relationship that robs you of peace of mind, is not being loyal. It is choosing to hurt yourself mentally, emotionally and sometimes, physically.” ―Kemi Sogunie
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  1. “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
  2. “A narcissist who is losing control over someone else often throws the biggest tantrums.” —Unknown
  3. “The abuse is the problem, not your reaction to it. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise.” —Unknown
  4. “Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.” – Dave Pelzer
  5. “In argument, truth always prevails finally; in politics, falsehood always.” —Walter Savage Landor
  6. “A person who loves you will not treat you like trash. You don’t deserve it.” —Unknown
  7. “I’d lost myself in the abyss of someone else’s tyranny…again.” —Cassandra Giovanni
  8. “Abuse is a cycle. It is up to you whether you let it keep going or put a stop to it.” —Unknown
  9. “I trusted your words, but now I know you lied. I don’t know what to trust anymore.” —Unknown
  10. “Domestic violence is an epidemic, and yet we don’t address it. Until it happens to celebrities.” —Nelsan Ellis
  11. “An abuser will isolate you from your friends and family and will keep you physically and financially dependent.” —Unknown
  12. “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
“People may not realize the damage that they are doing by placing the blame on the victim ~ but that doesn't lessen the damage that they cause by doing it.” —Darlene Ouimet

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  1. “People may not realize the damage that they are doing by placing the blame on the victim ~ but that doesn’t lessen the damage that they cause by doing it.” —Darlene Ouimet

Verbally Abusive Relationship Quotes

Verbal abuse can be extremely traumatic, completely ruining our mental peace. These quotes on verbally abusive relationships can motivate one to think in the right direction.

  1. “Never accept anything less than you deserve. Remember, you teach people how to treat you.” —Anonymous
  2. “It’s hard to look for the light when you’re lost in darkness.” —Anonymous
  3. “Do not allow him—the abuser—to tell you who you are or take the blame for his actions and words.” —Anonymous
  4. “It is not the bruises on the body that hurt. It is the wounds of the heart and the scars on the mind.” —Aisha Mirza
  5. “Peace is not just the mere absence of violence.” —Dalai Lama XIV
  6. “The scars from mental cruelty can be as deep and long-lasting as wounds from punches or slaps but are often not as obvious.” —Lundy Bancroft
  7. “After a series of traumas, one can lose the capacity to feel fear appropriately.” —Anonymous
  8. “A healthy relationship doesn’t drag you down. It inspires you to be better.” —Anonymous
  9. “Bruises heal, but you don’t forget words and emotions, how an abuser makes you feel about yourself.” —Anonymous
  1. “Your abusive partner doesn’t have a problem with their anger, they have a problem with your anger.” —Anonymous
  2. “Don’t let others define you or they might pick the worst word in the dictionary.” —Anonymous
  3. “Mental abuse is much more painful than physical abuse because you are consumed by anxiety and shame.” —Anonymous
  4. “Don’t judge yourself by what others say to you.” —Anonymous
  5. “Don’t put up with someone’s insensitivity and allow them to mentally abuse you just because you love them.” —Anonymous
  6. “Abuse is abuse. Threats and manipulation may not always break bones, but they often break hearts.” —Anonymous
  7. “Just because it’s explainable, doesn’t mean it’s excusable.” —Anonymous
  8. “Forgive those who insult you, attack you, belittle you or take you for granted, but more than this… forgive yourself for allowing them to hurt you.” —Anonymous
Forgive those who hurt you, abusive relationship quotes

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  1. “You’re not broken. Someone who didn’t love you convinced you that you are.” —Anonymous
  2. “It’s like one day you flipped a switch and became someone I never knew.” —Anonymous
  3. “Abuse changes your life…Fight Back and change the life of your abusers by Breaking Your Silence on Abuse!” —Patty Rase Hopson
  4. “Abusers manipulate victims into abandoning their own reality, forcing them to accept the abuser’s version.” —Amy Marlow-MaCoy
  5. “Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache.” —Iyanla Vanzant
  6. “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
  7. “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
  8. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” —Maya Angelou
  9. “An abusive relationship is worse than being in prison. I mean literally, not figuratively.” —Joe Biden
  10. “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
  11. “Abusers who engage in gaslighting tactics often project onto you things that they have done, such as telling you that you’re confused, crazy, or intoxicated if you say what you know to be true or question their version of the facts.” —Theresa Comito
  12. “‘Hurt people, hurt people’.. Hurt people are not going to stop HURTING other people until they receive the memo that it is WRONG, (or if there are actual consequences for their behavior.) Feeling sorry for them and understanding where they ‘came from’ is not helping to stop the cycle of abuse.” —Darlene Ouimet
  13. “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” —Richard Bach
  14. “She’d worn anxiety like a thick robe for so long that it was hard for her to take it off.” —Pernell Plath Meier
  15. “You can only escape from a relationship with a person without a conscience. There is no other way.” —Unknown
  16. “Stop telling yourself you can fix him. He’s been this way for a long, long time and he doesn’t intend to change. Save yourself instead, get out while there’s still time.” —John Mark Green
couple-arguing-husband-shouting-scared

Image: Shutterstock

  1. “Life can also abuse you and you will not be able to beat it.” —Unknown
  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. “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
  4. “People say you need to be strong, smart, and lucky to survive hard times, war, a natural disaster, or physical torture. But I say emotional abuse—anxiety, fear, guilt, and degradation—is far worse and much harder to survive.” —Lisa See
  5. “It’s so easy to look around and notice what’s wrong. It takes practice to see what’s right.” —Melody Beattie
  6. “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.” —Lundy Bancroft
  7. “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.
  8. “An abusive relationship is like a cancer of the spirit.” —Lorraine Nilon
“An abusive relationship is like a cancer of the spirit.” —Lorraine Nilon

Image: Shutterstock

  1. “There is no excuse for domestic violence and abuse, and no one should have to live in fear of the person they love.” —David Cameron
  2. “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
  3. “You never know when the next attack is coming in an abusive relationship – just like in a war.” —Unknown
  4. “An abusive relationship breaks a person thoroughly. Their dignity and self-worth are all lost.” —Unknown
  5. “The quiet but inexorable breaking down of self-esteem is much more sinister – it’s a violation of the soul.” —Rachel Abbott

Leaving An Abusive Relationship Quotes

These quotes can help one get the strength to walk away from an abusive relationship and regain lost confidence.

  1. “Never forget that walking away from something unhealthy is brave even if you stumble a little on your way out the door.” —Mandy Hale
  2. “Unfair blame is frequently put upon the victim of abuse because of assumptions that victims choose to stay in abusive relationships.” —Anonymous
  3. “Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than to hurt yourself by putting them back together.” —Inglath Cooper
  4. “People can be cruel, and they will be. People can hurt you, break your heart and they will. But only you can let them keep hurting you…” —Anonymous
  5. “Don’t let your loyalty become slavery. If they don’t appreciate what you bring to the table, then let them eat alone.” —Anonymous
  6. “I have seen isolation and degradation. I have gone through so much, I deserve to be happy for once.” —Anonymous
  7. “Find the strength inside yourself and overcome powerlessness to value your own worth more than staying with someone who only keeps you down.” —Anonymous
  8. “Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength.” —Henry Rollins
  9. “Get out now! Abuse and coercion only get worse over time. No one deserves to be treated like dirt. No one!” —Anonymous
  10. “A person should never invest in a relationship they wouldn’t want for their children.” —Anonymous
  11. “Never let someone who contributes so little to a relationship controlso much of it.” —Anonymous
  12. “When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will seem unfair but rise above it, trusting that others will eventually see the truth, just as you did.” —Jill Blakeway
  13. “When it comes to abuse, you believe there’s no way out. There is always help. There is always a way out.” —Donna Mulvey
  14. “If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” —Paulo Coelho
  15. “You survived the abuse. You’re going to survive the recovery.” —Mariska Hargitay
  16. “The moment that you start to wonder if you deserve better, you do.” —Anonymous
  17. “If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.” —Carlos Santana
  18. “It is impossible to correct abuses unless we know that they’re going on.” —Julian Assange
  19. “It is better to break your own heart by leaving an abusive relationship, rather than having that person breaking your heart every day.” —Anonymous
Leaving an abusive relationship is better

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  1. “You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue in their actions.” —Anonymous
  2. “Stop telling yourself you can fix this. It’s been this way for a long, long time and nothing intends to change. Save yourself instead, get out while there’s still time.” —Anonymous
  3. “And how high can you fly with broken wings?” —Anonymous
  4. “Overcoming abuse doesn’t just happen, it takes positive steps every day. Let today be the day you start to move forward.” —Assunta Harris
  5. “Revenge is surviving, getting out, and being a better person than you were, and breaking the cycle.” —Kristy Green
  6. “Hoping for something to change in the icy parts of our lives is not foolish. Springtime does come, and buds always bloom.” —Christa Hesselink
  7. “Be gentle with your past selves for doing what they had to do to get through it.” —Jordan Pickell
  8. “If you don’t like the hand that fate’s dealt you, fight for a new one.” —Masashi Kishimoto
  9. “I’m still coping with my trauma, but coping by trying to find different ways to heal it rather than hide it.” —Clemantine Wamariya
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  1. “Lies don’t end relationships — the truth does.” —Shannon L. Alder
  2. “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
  3. “The only person that deserves a special place in your life is someone that never made you feel like you were an option in theirs.” —Shannon L. Alder
  4. “Your partner should have everything. But that does not mean you should have nothing.” —Unknown
  5. “It is difficult to know how bad something is until it destroys us.” —Unknown
  6. “Part of the healing process is sharing with other people who care.” —Jerry Cantrell
  7. “We do learn so much about ourselves in our experiences. But also, know that it shouldn’t have happened. This was not a lesson you needed to learn.” —Jordan Pickell
  8. “There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it. For example, you can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.” —Eckhart Tolle
  9. “If you walked away from a toxic, negative, abusive, one-sided, dead-end low vibrational relationship or friendship — you won.” —Lalah Delia
  10. “Every person deserves to be loved correctly. If you are not, just walk away.” —Unknown
  11. “An abusive relationship doesn’t just affect the two people involved; it affects everyone around them.” —Marti Noxon
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Image: Shutterstock

  1. “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
  2. “I loved them, but love shouldn’t feel like walking on eggshells.”
  3. “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
  4. “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” —Wayne Dyer
  5. “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
  6. “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.
  7. “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
  8. “Only a man who doesn’t love himself, mistreats the woman who loves him.” ―R. H. Sin
  9. “An abusive relationship should be easy to identify though often one of the most difficult to end.” —Desmond Tutu
  10. “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

Handling or leaving an abusive relationship may be easier said than done. You may be deeply invested in your partner and still have strong feelings for them, making it seem impossible. However, you should not let guilt, fear, or feelings overpower your sound judgment. These empowering and retrospective abusive relationship quotes can give the nudge you need to take a step toward a healthy and happy life. Whether you are experiencing emotional, verbal, physical, or financial abuse, face the betrayal and toxicity with confidence and self-love.

Abusive relationship quotes_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the cycles of an abusive relationship?

People in abusive relationships fall into a vicious cycle. The stages of an abusive relationship are tension, trauma, reconciliation, and calm.

2. What to say to an abuser?

Confronting your abuser and saying “enough is enough” are vital to get rid of the recurrent trauma. You may say things like, “You are being abusive,” “I won’t tolerate this anymore,” “We will part ways if you continue this behavior,” or “I will not forgive again.”

3. What are the signs of emotional abuse?

You’re being subjected to emotional abuse if your partner resorts to gaslighting, blames you for their mistakes, and tries to manipulate or control you. Other signs of emotional abuse by your partner include dismissing your feelings, patronizing, criticizing, and emotional neglect.

Infographic: Quotes On Abusive Relationships

Abuse of any kind is never acceptable. But sometimes, our love blinds us from the truth, and we want to keep trying to continue the relationship. So if you are stuck in one, look for a guiding light to get you out; these quotes contain facts and words of reflection to help you get a perspective and let go.

quotes on abusive relationships (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team


Quotes provide a lifetime of wisdom in a concise and thought-provoking manner. Read top quotes about being hurt by someone close to you.

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Jola Jovani
Jola JovaniPersonal coach
Jola Jovani is a personal and relationship coach with expertise in conflict resolution, healthy communication, trust building, and boundary setting. She holds a Coaching Certification from The Transformation Academy, in addition to a degree in Economics and Management Science from Toronto Metropolitan University.

Read full bio of Jola Jovani