Abusive Relationship Quotes

82 Quotes on Leaving Abusive Relationships with a Narcissist (GASLIGHTING)

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Toxic relationships are so common nowadays that most of us have at least one. How do we know if a friend, a partner or a parent is a narcissist? Why do we enter such a relationship? How painful is it? How to use the “gray rock method” when circumstances do not allow you to physically leave the relationship? We have compiled these quotes to answer these questions and help you find hope in difficult situations.


Quotes about Narcissists (gaslighting, lying, manipulative, covert)

1. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Maya Angelou

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Maya Angelou

2. “A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dream, or your dignity.” Unknown

3. “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, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

4. “They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.” Stephanie A. Sarkis

5. “The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control.” Stephanie A. Sarkis

6. “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., In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People

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.' Share on X

8. “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, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

9. “Most victim of emotional abuse come not only to blame themselves for all the problems in the relationship 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

10. “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

11. “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

12. 'As in all abusive relationships, the abused mistakenly assumes the kindest version of the abuser is the real one.' Chris Holm Share on X

13. “In a healthy relationship, vulnerability is wonderful. It leads to increased intimacy and closer bonds. When a healthy person realizes that he or she hurt you, they feel remorse and they make amends. It’s safe to be honest. In an abusive system, vulnerability is dangerous. It’s considered a weakness, which acts as an invitation for more mistreatment. 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, The Rescued Soul: The Writing Journey for the Healing of Incest and Family Betrayal

14. “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, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

15. “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

16. “Over time, anger can build up on the part of both abuser and victim, and emotional abuse can turn into physical violence.” Beverly Engel

17. 'Do you feel alone in your relationship? Abusers isolate their partner from friends and family, and make them dependent financially, socially, and physically.' Share on X

18. “No matter how badly he treats you, he believes that your voice shouldn’t rise and your blood shouldn’t boil. The privilege of rage is reserved for him alone. When your anger does jump out of you—as will happen to any abused woman from time to time—he is likely to try to jam it back down your throat as quickly as he can. Then he uses your anger against you to prove what an irrational person you are. Abuse can make you feel straitjacketed. 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, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

19. “It’s like one day you flipped a switch and became someone I never knew.” Unknown

20. “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


Pain of Being in an Abusive Relationship

21. “The scars you can’t see are the hardest to heal.” Astrid Alauda

“The scars you can’t see are the hardest to heal.” Astrid Alauda

22. “Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be longer lasting than physical ones.” Beverly Engel

23. “I trusted you but now your words mean nothing to me, because your actions spoke the truth.”

24. “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

25. “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.”

26. “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

27. 'Being single and happy is better than being sad and afraid in an abusive relationship.' Share on X

28. “A women should never invest in a relationship she wouldn’t want for her daughter.”

29. “The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race.” Charles Bradlaugh

30. “So many people suffer from abuse, and suffer alone.” Pamela Stephenson

31. “Mental abuse is much more painful than physical abuse because you are consumed by your own thoughts.”

32. “Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache.” Iyanla Vanzant

33. “You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue in their actions.”

34. “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


Abuse Victim Quotes

35. “Sometimes we refuse to see how bad something is until it completely destroys us.” Unknown

“Sometimes we refuse to see how bad something is until it completely destroys us.” Abusive Relationship Quote

36. “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

37. “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, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

38. “I’d lost myself in the abyss of someone else’s tyranny…again.” Cassandra Giovanni, Love Exactly

39. “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, Type 1 Sociopath – When Difficult People Are More Than Just Difficult People

40. “It hurts the most when the person that made you feel so special yesterday makes you feel so unwanted today.”

41. 'The moment that you start to wonder if you deserve better, you do.' Share on X

42. “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

43. “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, The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing

44. “The quiet but inexorable breaking down of self-esteem is much more sinister – it’s violation of the soul.” Rachel Abbott, Only the Innocent

45. “The woman knows from living with the abusive man that there are no simple answers. Friends say: “He’s mean.” But she knows many ways in which he has been good to her. Friends say: “He treats you that way because he can get away with it. I would never let someone treat me that way.” But she knows that the times when she puts her foot down the most firmly, he responds by becoming his angriest and most intimidating. When she stands up to him, he makes her pay for it—sooner or later. 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, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men


How to End Suffering if Leaving is not Possible(“Gray Rock Method”)

46. “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” Wayne Dyer

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” Wayne Dyer

47. ”When you react, you are giving away your power. When you respond, you are staying in control of yourself.” Bob Proctor

48. “It’s not the situation, but whether we react, or respond, to the situation that’s important.” Zig Ziglar

49. “What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.” Ellen Glasgow

50. “Respond, don’t react.”

51. “Respond from your strengths rather than react from your fears.” Eric Allenbaugh

52. 'Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem.' Jonathan Mead Share on X

53. “Not responding is also a response.”

54. “The Gray Rock Method: Either no contact or limited contact; Only talk or respond through email or text; Short Responses, Yes, No answers; Be like a blank slate with no emotions; Do not give them attention of validation.”

55. “Instead of reacting, you take what is essentially a neutral position and make yourself as boring as humanly possible, as boring as a gray rock.”


Leaving an Abusive Relationship (RECOVERY)

56. “Your abuser’s trauma does not justify them abusing you.”

“Your abuser’s trauma does not justify them abusing you." Abusive Relationship Quote

57. “A healthy relationship doesn’t drag you down. It inspires you to be better.” unknown

58. “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, Women with Controlling Partners: Taking Back Your Life from a Manipulative or Abusive Partner

59. “Never make yourself feel like nothing to make someone else feel like everything.” Unknown

60. “If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.”

61. '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 Share on X

62. “There is no safe way to remain in a relationship with a person who has no conscience. The only solution is to escape.” unknown

63. “Overcoming abuse doesn’t just happen, It takes positive steps everyday. Let today be the day you start to move forward.” Assunta Harris

64. “Don’t let your loyalty become slavery. If they don’t appreciate what you bring to the table, then let them eat alone.” unknown

65. “It is better to break your own heart by leaving an abusive relationship, rather than having that person breaking your heart every day.” unknown

66. “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.” unknown

67. 'If you walked away from a toxic, negative, abusive, one-sided, dead-end low vibrational relationship or friendship — you won.' Lalah Delia Share on X

68. “You survived the abuse. You’re going to survive the recovery.” unknown

69. “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” Richard Bach


“Codependent No More” (Melody Beattie)

70. “It’s so easy to look around and notice what’s wrong. It takes practice to see what’s right.” Melody Beattie

“It's so easy to look around and notice what's wrong. It takes practice to see what's right.” Melody Beattie

71. “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.”

72. “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.”

73. “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.”

74. “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.”

75. “Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people’s souls.”

76. 'Believing that things happen too slowly or too quickly is an illusion. Timing is perfect.' Share on X

77. “Whatever we try to control does have control over us and our life.”

78. “We don’t just get our choice; we get the consequence that choice creates.”

79. “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.”

80. “Worrying, obsessing, and controlling are illusions. They are tricks we play on ourselves.”

81. “We need to set goals for ourselves. Start today…if you don’t have any goals, make your first goal getting some goals. You probably won’t start living happily ever after, but you may start living happily, purposefully, and with gratitude…Goals are gratitude in action. They give us the opportunity to build on what we already have. While achieving goals can be a lengthy process, we can learn to be grateful for each stage in the process of setting and meeting goals.”

82. “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.”



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