Best Books on Toxic Relationships of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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As much as we desire relationships to be smooth and stress-free, we can't force people to act the way we want them to.

Toxic relationships are never easy. They are usually physically, mentally, and emotionally draining.

If you find yourself in one, you can read the best books on toxic relationships. 

These have insights and valuable details on how to handle these relationships.

Best Books on Toxic Relationships

1. Addicted to Pain: Renew Your Mind & Heal Your Spirit from a Toxic Relationship in 30 Days

Rainie Howard's Addicted to Pain is one of the best-selling books on the subject of abusive relationships. 

She is a relationship expert who has written numerous books on dealing with and moving on from toxic connections. 


Similar to alcohol and drugs, obsession with toxic relationships is real.

It gives the same high that those two other substances provide.

It also usually has a beautiful start but then falls in the same painful pattern.

Addiction to Pain: Renew Your Mind & Heal Your Spirit from a Toxic Relationship in 30 Days uncovers certain realities.

One of those is that every woman needs to heal from a toxic relationship and return to a life filled with fulfillment and meaning.

This book is among the top reads for women who want to move on from toxic and abusive relationships.

The goal of Addiction to Pain is to give the reader a healthy understanding of love.

It aims to stop the reader from tolerating and giving in to the urges of going back to toxic people.

It talks about relationships that can be abusive to a person's emotions, spiritual, mental, and physical state.

You can learn new daily insights into toxic love addiction from this book.

Alongside this is a comprehensive spiritual guide that relationship expert Rainie Howard offers.

She also provides a healing plan to assist you in recovering from the overwhelming effects of an abusive relationship.


  • Ideal for people who lean on religious beliefs
  • Contains truthful and relatable insights and scenarios
  • Practical tips for evaluating and monitoring self
  • Contains affirmations


  • Very religious-based
  • Not proofread well enough

2. Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship

The book was first released in 1996 and has since become a classic.

It is a must-read for anybody unsure about whether or not to continue in a relationship.

This book comes with case studies from Kirshenbaum's clients over the years. 

You will find suggestions based on particular factors for why one might wish to stay or leave a relationship.


When it comes to your long-term relationship or spouse, do you have second thoughts about staying?

This book is a good read for those who have thoughts of leaving but are afraid of being alone.

If your relationship is plagued by constant squabbles, abuse, rejection, or desertion, you may not be aware of its impact on you.

In this book, you'll learn about warning signs and what to do if you've already decided to leave.

It also talks about how to deal with relationship ambivalence.

You'll learn about power issues in relationships, how to communicate, and whether love remains in a relationship.

You'll also learn about sex and physical affection issues, as well as your partner's willingness, motivation, and commitment to change.

In each chapter, Kirshenbaum asks diagnostic questions about a topic, then uses case studies to shed light on it.

Finally, she offers guidelines on what has worked for most individuals in similar situations.


  • Teaches you to accept and face the truth
  • Ideal for new couples and newlywed couples
  • Helps gauge if it’s good to stay or leave
  • Clear guidance
  • Does not impose a decision


  • Has a lot of general and repetitive points

3. Toxic People: Dealing With Dysfunctional Relationships

Some people bring in so much stress that they make you physically unwell. 

Bullies, users, and abusers all represent a threat to your health and well-being. 

Fortunately, Tim Cantopher's book gives good advice to help you make your own decisions and live your own life.


Tim Cantopher takes on toxic and dysfunctional relationships by giving the low-down on why they turn out like that. 

It explains the varying types of toxicity and teaches how to identify them.

He talks about different settings where you can encounter toxic connections and teaches how to choose interactions wisely.

If you want to learn to make healthier relationship decisions in the future, this book is for you.

The author teaches principles that you can follow to cope with toxicity.

It also helps readers learn how to deal with individuals who drain their energy.

With this book's guidance, anyone can learn how to create healthy boundaries in relationships.

It facilitates better red flag detection and effective habits of staying away from toxic people.

Some situations inevitably lead a person to a toxic environment with factors that one can't control.

Hence, the book Toxic People also serves as a good survival guide. 

Ultimately, it enables one to consciously situate themselves in suitable environments for their mental health and well-being.


  • Teaches dynamics to start the change within
  • Practical advice on maintaining and setting healthy boundaries
  • Helpful for people who are currently in a toxic relationship


  • Advice applies to general situations rather than specific

4. Whole Again: Healing Your Heart and Rediscovering Your True Self After Toxic Relationships and Emotional Abuse

Whole Again by Jackson Mackenzie is for those who survived a toxic relationship and currently experiencing the repercussions of a breakup.

It helps release old wounds and securely bring the love back to where it belongs.

Hence, it is among the top choices for people who want to recover and move on from toxic relationships.


To help others heal from previous traumas, Jackson MacKenzie wrote his experiences in Whole Again.

He shares that forming a "protective self" might provide immediate respite from emotional suffering.

However, it comes at the price of a more profound, more lasting acceptance of oneself.

Forgiveness and the release of shame are among the topics MacKenzie tackles in his work.

It covers co-dependency, addiction, post-traumatic stress, borderline narcissism, and other personality disorders.

Individuals not yet ready for therapy or who want to use it in combination with therapy can use this to start.

He acknowledges that it is hard to deal with the aftereffects of abuse and trauma on your own.

He believes that finding a supportive group and employing the book's simple skills can get you started on the road to recovery.

It is a difficult task to dismantle the effects of trauma.

This book assists in filling in the gaps and helps you feel complete again. 

Whole Again is a well-written book full of compassion. 

It takes your hand and pushes you to discover more about yourself. 

Ultimately, it leads to self-discovery and facilitates healing and hope that sparks within you.


  • Practical tips on how to recover alone
  • Well-researched and organized suggestions
  • Addresses real and honest truths
  • Good starting point for recovery


  • Covers too many topics ending in a lack of better focus on each one

5. Never Again – Moving On From Narcissistic Abuse and Other Toxic Relationships

With her clinical skills and personal experiences of narcissistic abuse, Dr. Sarah Davies has created a masterpiece. 

Never Again is a practical guide to recognizing toxic relationships, ending harmful patterns, and moving on.


Never Again is for people going through or who have gone through a narcissistic or toxic relationship.

The author made sure that everything was well-written and easily understood by anyone who reads it.

It comforts those trying to recover because it touches more on the road to recovery than the abuser. 

The book gives clear definitions and tell-tale signs of narcissistic abuse. 

It makes acceptance easier, which leads to a faster shift to recovery.

This book is for anyone clueless about stepping out and recovering from the pain and trauma of the relationship. 

There is a range of practical tools and tips to help break the cycle.

It addresses the aftereffects and any form of unhelpful belief and thinking that may hinder recovery.

This book can also help anyone understand how forgiving and practicing self-compassion, self-esteem, and self-worth works.

It entails steps and tips on communicating clearer, setting healthier boundaries, and keeping them.

It is a great starting ground for those who want to move on faster from a toxic relationship.


  • Has clear and accurate details
  • Easy to follow steps to recovery
  • Relatable truth and strategies to cope


  • Not proofread well

Which Books Should You Choose?

Toxic relationships are draining, frustrating, and traumatizing, but it is a common happening in most relationships.

Trying to get out or recovering from one continues to be a challenge for many. 

Fortunately, you can utilize the best books on toxic relationships to help. 

Among our top choices, Jackson Mackenzie's Whole Again takes the number one spot for its practical tips and on-point suggestions. 

Another good read is Never Again by Sarah Davies, but it has limited scenarios compared to our winner. 

Regardless, taking the first step is always the most critical part of recovery, and these books can help.

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