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In this article, we’ll be discussing some things only a toxic partner will say. 

First a little back story.

I once had a friend, Jane, who was in a toxic relationship. Her partner would constantly belittle her, make her feel guilty for spending time with her friends and family, and even control her every move. 

But it wasn’t until she shared with me the hurtful things her partner would say to her, that I truly realized the extent of the toxicity in their relationship. 

From “You’re not good enough for me” to “I’ll never change, take it or leave it,” these phrases may seem small, but they can have a huge impact on someone’s self-worth and mental well-being. 

We all want to believe that our relationships are healthy and that our partners truly have our best interests at heart. However, sometimes the signs of a toxic relationship can be hard to spot, especially when it comes to the things our partners say. 

Are you feeling drained and exhausted in your relationship? Are you constantly walking on eggshells, unsure of what will set your partner off? If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s possible you’re in a toxic relationship. 

To help you recognize the warning signs, we’ve compiled a list of 15 things toxic partners commonly say. Learn how to spot these toxic phrases and take the first step towards reclaiming your happiness.

1. “If you loved me, you would do this for me.”

A toxic partner may use the phrase “If you loved me, you would do this for me” as a manipulation tactic to control and exploit their partner. 

By implying that their partner’s love is conditional on completing a certain task or meeting a certain expectation, the toxic partner is exerting power over their partner and making them feel guilty or obligated to comply. 

This phrase is often used in situations where the toxic partner’s request is unreasonable or self-serving, and it can make the victim feel guilty or ashamed for not meeting their partner’s demands.

2. “You’re too sensitive, it’s just a joke.”

Using this kind of phrase in a conversation is a way of gaslighting your partner and invalidating their feelings, especially if the topic discussed was serious. A toxic partner may make hurtful or offensive jokes, and when their partner expresses discomfort or hurt, they will dismiss it as them being “too sensitive.” 

This phrase serves as a way for the toxic partner to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and shift the blame onto their partner. It’s a manipulation tactic used to silence and control their partner, making it harder for them to speak up and set boundaries. 

In reality, it’s not about being too sensitive, it’s about having healthy boundaries and a partner who respects them.

[Related: 15 Sure Signs of a Toxic Girlfriend]

3. “I can’t change who I am, take it or leave it.”

A toxic partner may say this as a way to excuse their toxic behavior, such as being emotionally abusive, cheating, or controlling. They may also use it to make their partner feel guilty for wanting them to change, or to make their partner feel like they are the problem for not accepting their toxic behavior. 

In essence, this phrase is a way for the toxic partner to put the blame on their partner, and to make their partner feel like they have no choice but to accept the toxic behavior.

Most people use this as a way of refusing to take responsibility for their bad behaviors and changing for the better but instead of saying it’s who they are. 

4. “You’re always overreacting and causing drama.”

Imagine a puppet master pulling strings behind the scenes, manipulating and twisting the words of their partner. The toxic partner, in this case, is the puppet master and their victim is the puppet. 

The puppet master uses the phrase “you’re always overreacting and causing drama” as a means to control and belittle the puppet. 

They use it as a tool to make the puppet feel guilty for expressing their feelings and invalidate their emotions. The puppet master wants the puppet to believe that they are the problem and that their feelings and reactions are irrational. 

This way, the puppet master can continue to manipulate and control the situation without taking any responsibility for their actions. The puppet, feeling guilty and ashamed, starts to doubt themselves and their own emotions, becoming more and more reliant on the puppet master for validation. 

The puppet master continues to pull the strings, manipulating the puppet into a state of submission and control.

5. “I can’t be held responsible for your happiness, that’s your own problem.”

We cannot solely depend on our partner to feel happy or good about ourselves all the time but sometimes their contribution to the way we feel matters. 

Saying the happiness of your partner is not your responsibility and going ahead to add that it’s their problem justifies your toxic behavior. 

It can also make your partner feel guilty for expecting you to contribute to their happiness, it could be that they’re in a bad situation at that time and need some comfort and support. 

This phrase is a way for the toxic partner to avoid accountability and to shift the blame onto their partner, making it difficult for the relationship to improve.

[Also read: 6 Traits of Subtly Toxic Friends]

6. “You’re lucky to have me, nobody else would put up with you.”

Saying to your partner “you’re lucky to have me, nobody else would put up with you.” is manipulating and controlling and also a way of belittling your partner. 

This phrase implies that their partner is not worthy of love or respect, and that they should be grateful for any attention or affection they receive from the toxic partner. 

It also suggests that the toxic partner is doing their partner a favor by staying with them, and that they could easily leave at any time. 

This is a form of emotional abuse, as it undermines the partner’s self-worth and self-esteem, making them feel trapped and dependent on the toxic partner.

7. “I’m the only one who truly understands and loves you.”

Just like the previous phrase, toxic partners may use this phrase to control and isolate their partners. They may use this phrase to make their partner feel like they have no one else in their life who truly cares for them, and that they need to rely solely on the toxic partner for love and understanding. 

This can make it difficult for the partner to leave the relationship, as they may feel like they have no other friend or nowhere else to go. 

Additionally, the toxic partner may use this phrase to justify their negative behavior, saying that their love and understanding is the only thing that keeps their partner from falling apart. 

This can make it hard for the partner to speak up about their own needs and wants, as they may feel guilty for wanting anything more than what the toxic partner is offering. It’s like being bound with invisible chains.

8. “You’re too fat/ugly/stupid to do better.”

Hurtful words like these may be used by toxic partners to make their partner feel insecure and dependent on them, believing that they are not worthy of love or respect from anyone else.

These words tear down their partner’s self-esteem, making them feel like they are not good enough to achieve their goals or be successful in life. They may use these words to control their partner’s actions and decisions, making them feel like they have to rely on the toxic partner for validation and support.

This toxic partner may also use these words as a way to justify their behavior, making their partner feel like they are the problem and that they deserve the negative treatment they receive. 

They may also use these words to make their partner feel like they have no choice but to stay in the relationship, even if it is harmful and unhealthy.

[Interesting: 5 Defining Traits of Highly Toxic People]

9. “I’ll change, I promise, just give me another chance.”

Imagine a snake, slithering through the grass, promising to shed its old skin and change its ways. But as soon as you let your guard down, it strikes once more, sinking its venomous fangs into your flesh. This is the promise of a toxic partner, who promises to change, but ultimately continues to hurt and manipulate you. 

I’ve heard cases where toxic partners would do terrible things to their partners like cheating or abuse and come with tears in their eyes apologizing to their hurting partners to forgive them for the unintentional actions, convincingly promising their partners never to repeat the actions.

They lure you in with their words, but their actions remain the same. Just like the snake’s promise to change its skin, their promise to change is nothing but a trap.

10. “You’re just imagining things, you’re paranoid.”

Picture yourself walking into a dark room with a flashlight. As you shine your light around the room, you notice strange shadows and shapes in the corners. Your heart starts to race and your mind begins to race with thoughts of what could be lurking in the darkness. Suddenly, your flashlight fizzles out and you’re left in complete darkness.

Now imagine your toxic partner as the one holding the flashlight. They are the ones controlling the light and the shadows. They shine their light on certain areas, but keep others shrouded in darkness. 

When you try to point out something strange or unusual, they tell you “You’re just imagining things, you’re paranoid.” 

They are trying to convince you that your fears and concerns are unfounded, and that you are simply overreacting. But just like the dark room, the shadows and shapes that you see may not be imaginary. They may be real and dangerous. 

Your toxic partner is trying to manipulate you and control your perception of reality. They want to keep you in the dark, so they can continue to manipulate and control you without you realizing it. Don’t let them dim your light, trust your instincts and get out of the toxic relationship.

11. “You owe me after everything I’ve done for you.”

A toxic partner may use the phrase “You owe me after everything I’ve done for you” as a way to control and manipulate their partner. They may say this to guilt trip their partner into doing things they want or to justify their actions. 

This saying may mean that the toxic partner has done so much for the other person that they now have the right to dictate how the other person behaves and make demands on them. 

In reality, this saying is a manipulation tactic used to control and emotionally abuse the other person, making them feel guilty for not complying with the toxic partner’s demands.

[Also read: How to Handle A Manipulative Person]

12. “You’re always starting problems and causing trouble.” 

As a way of deflecting blame and shifting the responsibility for any issues in the relationship onto their partner, a toxic partner says to their significant other “you’re always starting problems and causing trouble.”  

It’s a form of gaslighting, where they make their partner doubt their reality and question their own actions. They may use this phrase as a way to make their partner feel guilty, ashamed, or responsible for any issues in the relationship, even if they are not the cause of them. 

When they say this, it’s a way of exerting power and control over their partner, making them feel guilty for any issues that may arise, and ultimately making them feel responsible for the toxic partner’s actions.

13. “I can’t help it if you’re too weak to handle our relationship.”

For example, a toxic partner may say “I can’t help it if you’re too weak to handle our relationship” after they have screamed at their partner for hours, leaving them feeling emotionally drained and worn out. 

In this scenario, the toxic partner is trying to blame their partner for their abusive behavior, making it seem as though their partner is the problem and not them. 

He may also say this to make their partner feel guilty for wanting to leave the relationship or to make them believe that they are not strong enough to handle the relationship. 

By saying this, the toxic partner is trying to convince their partner that they are the only one who can handle the relationship and that they should stay in the relationship to prove their strength.

14. “You’re too weak and needy, you need to learn to stand on your own.”

Imagine a case where one partner, let’s call them Dan, is constantly belittling and criticizing their significant other, let’s call them Diana. 

Dan may use the phrase “You’re too dependent on me, you need to learn to stand on your own” as a way to control and manipulate Diana.

By saying this, Dan is suggesting that Diana is not capable of making decisions or taking care of herself without their input and guidance. This can make her feel insecure and dependent on him, which can lead to her becoming more submissive and compliant in the relationship.

Additionally, by implying that she needs to learn to stand on her own, he is also suggesting that there is something inherently wrong with her and that she needs to change to be worthy of his love and affection.

15. “I’ll hurt myself if you leave me.”

This is another saying that toxic partners use to manipulate and control their partner into staying in a hurtful relationship. This is a twisted kind of magic, where they use fear and guilt as their wand to control and manipulate their partner, trapping them by making them feel responsible for their wellbeing. 

Although they are afraid of losing their partner, they wrongly and forcefully make them remain with them by guilt-tripping their partner to feel they’re the only ones who can save them, and if they leave, something terrible might happen.

[Read: 7 Toxic Guy Traits You Should Avoid]


Toxic partners can be incredibly damaging to a person’s mental and emotional well-being. Their words and actions can be hurtful and manipulative, leaving the person on the receiving end feeling confused, guilty, and worthless. 

One of the key takeaways from this article is that toxic partners often use similar language and phrases to control and manipulate their partners. They may make you feel guilty for things that aren’t your fault, or they may use gaslighting tactics to make you question your own reality. 

It’s important to be aware of these phrases and to trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel right. And most importantly, a healthy relationship is built on trust, respect, and mutual support, and if your partner is consistently making you feel bad about yourself, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship. 

Recognizing these signs and seeking timely help if you suspect that you or someone you know is in a toxic relationship is advisable.

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Anita Oge

Meet Anita, a relationship writer with a passion for helping people navigate the complexities of love and dating. With a background in information science, she has a wealth of knowledge and insight to share. Her writing is sure to leave you feeling empowered and inspired.

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