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Toxic Relationship Quotes

    Toxic relationship quotes image of a couple one with arms crossed

    How do you know if your relationship is “toxic”? Here are some toxic relationship quotes that may help you decide

    Let’s start by looking at the “four horsemen” which Dr. John Gottman identified as being toxic relationship quotes: “criticism, contempt, stonewalling, and defensiveness.”


    As Bob Dylan said, “Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.”

    Too often in a relationship, we think (erroneously) that we know our partner. But this is often not true. There are many layers yet to comprehend. So when we criticize, we hurt the tender feeling level of our partner and this can be very damaging.


    Mark Twain joked in his famous quote, “Familiarity breeds contempt – and children.”

    But it doesn’t have to. If we adopt an attitude of respect for our partner, we should never let our feelings to devolve into contempt. Why? Because contempt means you are treating your partner as beneath you. You are acting all high and mighty and no longer considering their feelings or opinions.Treating your partner as worthless or deserving of your scorn is a toxic step in a relationship. Divorce will follow shortly after.

    As William Shakespeare so wisely said, “Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.”

    Remember what attracted you to your partner in the first place. List your partner’s good qualities.


    Stonewalling is when you put barriers up to prevent your communication. It is when you refuse to answer your partner’s questions or only give evasive replies.

    As we all know, communication is the bedrock of a healthy relationship. If you have forgotten how to communicate with your partner, get some couples counseling and learn how to listen again. It may take you some practice (in the presence of a counselor) to really express yourself and let your partner fully and clearly express themselves.

    If we look to history, we see where stonewalling got Richard Nixon. As Bob Woodward said, “The failure of the system to deal quickly was attributable to Nixon’s lying, stonewalling and refusal to come clean. So it took 26 months for the final truth to be known.”


    It is natural to get defensive if you feel yourself being attacked. As Kilroy J. Oldster said, “The ego with its protective defense mechanisms is the biggest impediment to attaining spiritual growth.”

    Similarly, if we are to grow as a couple, we have to let down some of our defenses and show our vulnerable side.

    Can you save your relationship if it has already shown signs of toxic relationship quotes?

    If you relate to some of the above “toxic relationship quotes”, you may feel disheartened. But sometimes relationships can be saved if both people in it are open to working on it. Spending time with a couples counselor can really help.