Love makes you weak 3

"I can not go!" Toxic Relationships and Their Effects

Reading time about 7 minutes

Last Updated on March 26, 2021 by Annika Felber

About toxic relationships and their effects

Do you often feel worthless and at the mercy of your relationship? Are you sometimes a stranger to yourself? Do you align your life completely with your partner, bend until there is nothing left to bend and do everything to please him?

The panic fear that he might leave you dominates your entire life? And even though the really good times have felt like an eternity, are you holding on to your partnership in desperation?

You may be in a toxic relationship, even without realizing it.

In this post, I'll show you what constitutes toxic relationships and how you can tell if you are living in one. In addition, from my perspective as a consultant and coach, I will give you three steps that can help you to break away from your destructive bond and to find your way back into YOUR life.

What constitutes toxic relationships

One speaks of toxic relationships when a partnership permanently costs more strength than it gives. Poisonous relationship patterns are characterized by egoism, oppression and addiction to control by one of the partners.

Physical and / or especially psychological abuse shape a toxic bond.

This takes place, for example, in the form of degrading behavior (insults, insults and ignorance) and perversions of the "facts" (you are sick! You are not normal!).

(You can also read on here: "Go or stay?": Can a toxic relationship be saved?)

How to tell if you are in a toxic relationship

Toxic relationships cannot be defined in general terms, because everyone experiences boundaries differently. Still, there are a few markers that you can use as a guide:

In toxic relationships, you feel bad most of the time. Happiness is tied to "good behavior" on your part.

You can recognize whether you are caught in a toxic bond superficially by the fact that you feel bad in your partnership most of the time, but you (already) perceive this as normal or suppress it.

There are indeed intense moments of happiness in your relationship - but these are often long ago or you are tied to “good behavior” on your part.

Although there is an inner voice urgently advising you to break up, you cannot get rid of your partner. Just the thought of a breakup causes feelings of fear and panic.

(You can also read on here: Recognizing and Overcoming Destructive Relationships)

Toxic relationships change you for the worse

Women or men who live in toxic relationships often change over time. If they were happy, sociable and self-confident before the partnership began, they become increasingly insecure, unstable, withdrawn and sad.

Relatives or friends often do not recognize those affected. The change can also be seen, for example, in photos before and during the partnership.

New studies even suggest links between toxic relationships and insomnia, depression and stress syndromes (

How To Break A Toxic Relationship

# 1 Trust your gut feeling!

Do you feel guilty about your partner just for reading this article? He's always so good to you.

Or maybe not?

If you remember the time you got to know each other, did you not have a good feeling about the matter from the start? And sometimes, when your partner seeks the blame in you and your behavior, or even describes you as sick, is there a voice that questions his blame?

And anyway: You actually know that you are not reading this article for no reason !? Then trust yourself!

The cleverness of our subconscious

Did you know that, according to the latest assumptions, our subconscious processes around 80,000 pieces of information1? It is therefore around 10,000 times faster (and, if you will, smarter, too) than our conscious mind.

Often times, self-confidence is severely disturbed by living in a toxic relationship. Learn to trust yourself and your gut feeling (again)!

(In this context, you might also be interested in my posts 5 Tips for More Self-Love - Part 1 and Part 2 !?)

# 2 Break the silence!

Many people, men and women, who have gotten into toxic relationships are ashamed - both of themselves and of others.

You feel guilty, torment your brain with why questions and judge yourself for not being able to free yourself from your dependency on your own.

You are not wrong or weird!

You started this relationship with good intentions; namely because, like everyone else, you longed for closeness, connection and love. This is not something to be ashamed of.

Break the silence! Start a conversation with yourself and then with family, friends, therapists, coaches, a self-help group or similar.

Once you've taken this step, that's usually half the battle.

# 3 Create new beliefs and make plans for the future!

Most likely, your beliefs have suffered extremely in the course of your partnership. Sentences like “I cannot live without him / her”, “I am worthless”, “I do everything wrong and am not worth loving” or similar have probably become your everyday companions.

It is time for new beliefs.

Exercise beliefs

Why don't you try the following:

Place a small rug, piece of paper, or something similar in the middle of the room. That's them. And now take a closer look! Try to maybe remember who you are before the partnership!

Which positive belief do you like? What positive beliefs were there in your life before your current relationship?

That may be a bit strange at first. Take your time! Try again tomorrow if it doesn't work today!

You have found a belief. Great!

Creating self-confidence and visions

Write it down on a piece of paper that you put in your pocket or in the bedside table or desk drawer.

This note is good for two things:

1. Read it whenever you start to doubt yourself and / or your gut feeling again.

2. Use it to connect with your future. Develop wishes and dreams based on your new belief (of course you can develop as many positive beliefs as you want - the more the better); E.g. traveling alone again, leading a harmonious partnership, starting a new job, furnishing a nice new apartment etc.

Even if you are not really convinced of it yet, pretend you are already! Imagine the future in dazzling colors with no toxic relationship! Dream about your new life for at least 15 minutes a day!

This may be very difficult for you at first. Give yourself a chance anyway! The brain is extremely capable of learning. It will become easier for you every time to envision a bright future without your current partner.


Living in toxic relationships usually causes immense suffering in those affected. Toxic relationships can result in both psychological and physical problems.

Despite the cognitive insight, it is a great show of strength for those affected to break through the complex structure of dependency and (again) to stand on their own two feet.

If you are in a toxic relationship yourself, break your silence and try everything that strengthens you and your self-image! And then make a battle plan (maybe my post on toxic family relationships can help you find a solution.)

If you are still unable to break free from your partnership over a longer period of time, this is no reason to (doubt) yourself. There are tons of professionals who can help you. Take the first step and look for professional help in the form of a therapist, coach, group or similar.

(If you would like to learn more about toxic relationships and their manifestations, then please read on in my series of articles “Recognizing Toxic Relationships”.)

1Bernhardt, Klaus: Getting rid of panic attacks and other anxiety disorders, 14th edition, 2016 Munich, p. 39.

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Posted by Annika Felber Posted in Blog Archive