Why is cutting ties with my toxic family so difficult?

This article will focus on why cutting ties with your toxic family can be so difficult. The article will also discuss when it may be time to cut ties with your toxic family, and how to do it.

Why is cutting ties with my toxic family so difficult? 

Cutting ties with your toxic family can be difficult for many reasons. Here are the most common ones.

You still don’t perceive their behavior as toxic 

Coming to terms with the fact that your family is toxic is not easy. It can take some time, and even energy, since you will need to stop denying some things, and also not make excuses for them anymore. 

It is only when you stop doing those things that you will be able to see this relationship for what it is, an abusive one, and think of taking the proper actions.

You are ridden by guilt 

It may be difficult to cut ties with your toxic family because you are stuck on guilt. Commonly, family relationships will lead to that, those are relationships that are often filled by expectations.

Be it that you should have taken one path in your life, or that you should endure all that comes with the family because later on you are supposed to take care of your aging parents.

So deciding to cut ties with them implies that you will be refusing to abide by those expectations, which can make you feel even more guilty. And when guilt takes over, you may feel that your family is extremely toxic, but you will still decide to stay close to them.

What is important to keep in mind is that, even though they may have expectations of you, it doesn’t mean that they can treat you in any way they understand. You shouldn’t allow people to be toxic with you just because they are your family.

You still have a sense of family loyalty towards them 

You may have heard, all through your life, that family is the most important thing in a person’s life. So now, even though they are toxic, you still feel that you need to have some sense of loyalty towards them, and not leave them.

And it is true, that you should never just leave people behind from one moment to the next, but if the person is being toxic to you, you should allow yourself to care for your mental health. But it is this sense of loyalty that will be used as a way to try and control you.

You are afraid of what will happen if you cut them off 

Sometimes it may be difficult to cut ties with your toxic family because you are afraid of what will happen to them, or even to yourself. They may have said that they would harm themselves if you cut them off, and this can be what is keeping you close.

Or sometimes it can even be that you maintain a toxic relationship because you don’t know how you would sustain yourself in the world without the person. And this is what toxic relationships will usually do to us. Intending to make our stay, leads us to believe that we are nothing without the abuser, but that is not true.

You love them

This may be one of the biggest challenges in cutting ties with your toxic family. It may be that, even though this is a bad relationship, you still love them, and letting go is not easy. And it is not only that, in your love, you may want to genuinely be close to them, help them with matters, and even share your life with them.

And cutting ties with them can often make you feel like you don’t love them anymore. You should know that this is not true, we can still love the person, but we still need to work towards our well-being and mental health.

When is it time to cut ties with my toxic family? 

If you are just coming to terms with the fact that the relationship with your family is toxic, you should know that some behaviors will make you sure that this is a toxic relationship that you should leave behind.

It is likely time to cut ties with your toxic family if they are always lying, criticizing, blaming you for things, or even if they overreact, or try to manipulate you. If they are constantly bullying you, or invalidating your feelings, it may also be time to cut them off.

If they are constantly creating dramas in your relationship, and when you don’t act the way they would want you to, they turn passive-aggressive on you, giving you the silent treatment, or even giving a backhanded compliment, it may be time to go.

A family group, or people that are part of your family that is always yelling at others, calling names, that are unable to compromise, is often a toxic one. The same way that one that gaslights you, or talks bad about you behind your back.

A toxic family, that you should cut ties with, will often make unreasonable demands and expect you to put them as their priorities. When you refuse to do so, they can be so manipulative to the point that they threaten to harm themselves, so they are constantly playing the role of the victim.

They will also be people that refuse to take responsibility for their actions, and will never apologize to you for their behavior. So if you realize that your family is acting in this toxic manner, it is a sign that you should cut ties with them.

What can I do to cut ties with my toxic family? 

The first thing you should do, to help you cut ties with your toxic family, is to recognize that this is an abusive relationship. This will allow you to validate how you feel, and understand that your family is causing you harm. 

To cut ties with them it is also important that you let go of the fantasy that the relationship with them can change, and allow yourself to feel the grief that will come from this severed tie. Understand that it can feel just like you lost someone forever, so give yourself time to grieve.

If at any moment dealing with this is too hard for you, you can look for professional help that will surely give you the proper support. Counting on other people with whom you have a positive relationship can also be extremely helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Why is cutting ties with my toxic family so difficult? 

Is it normal to cut ties with your family? 

Yes, it is normal to cut ties with your family. Although it is difficult, sometimes it may even be important that you do that. In situations in which the person is abused, be it physically, emotionally, or even sexually, getting distance from the abusers is important.

But in less severe cases, it may be important to try and talk to your family first, to see if all of you can adjust to your new boundaries. And then, if even after discussing it over, you feel your family is not willing to adjust, it may be time to cut them off from your life.

What are some toxic things parents can say?

A toxic parent can say many things to their child-like saying that someone else is better than them, that the child is too expensive, or demands a lot of energy. Telling the child to change their appearance, or that they are a burden is also extremely toxic.

Telling them they can’t do something, blaming them for things, lying, or even making false promises, as well as telling the kid that they are selfish, are also toxic behaviors.

How can I deal with my anger towards my family?

When you are angry with your family, you should first consider what you are expecting of them and if they can give it to you. You should try to cut them some slack since you won’t be able to control them.

You should also try to work on the relationship with them, and listen to what they have to say. You should always have in mind that, in the same way, your family members are not perfect, you are not either, so all of you can try to work in the relationship.

What are the main reasons why my family may turn against me?

It can be that your family turns against you for various reasons, some of them are valid ones, and others are some that are invalid. For the first type of reason, your family may turn against you if you are abusing substances, and that use is hurting your family. 

When you are addicted to something, you may not consider your well-being, and also the people around you, making it difficult for them to be around you. It can also happen when you are involved in some type of criminal activity, which can often bring shame, or even fear to your family.

Being abusive to your family, be it physically, emotionally, or even financially can be something that will make your family distance themselves from you. But not everything justifies your family turning their back on you. 

They should never do it because you choose things in your life that are different from what they wished, or because you don’t want to do something they wanted you to.

They should never turn their back on you if you and your brother are having trouble. Your family should never choose sides in this situation. And finally, your family should never turn their back on you because of your sexual orientation.

What can I do if my family has turned their back on me?

When your family turns their back on you, it may be important to talk to someone and work towards being resilient. If they have turned their back on you, it is important that you keep your space, and don’t run to get back to them.

During this time, you should focus on working for yourself, since each of you will have one point of view on the matter. You shouldn’t try to retaliate or go saying bad things about your family. If you feel it is necessary, apologize to your family, and see if it is possible to salvage the relationship.


This article explained why it may be so difficult to cut ties with your toxic family. It also discussed when you should do it, and what are the best ways to do that.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.