Lifestyle and ActivitiesHow to Move Out of a Toxic Home?


How to Move Out of a Toxic Home?

Every child born into this world ideally deserves a loving family and healthy home environment to grow up properly. However, the reality is very different and for every child born in a healthy family, there are a bunch of others who are born to toxic parents and toxic families. And it’s not just children- thousands of unhappy husbands and wives are also stuck in toxic marriages in toxic households.

If you’re unfortunate enough to be in a toxic household or know someone who does, then you know how many victims of abuse want to move out of a toxic home but can’t. For those who feel stuck, here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to move out of a toxic home properly and deal with the consequences.

What is a Toxic Home?

What is a toxic home

The term ‘toxic home’ covers a wide range of unhealthy family relationships and environments, so it’s a bit difficult to define it in a few simple words. In general, the term is understood as an environment that is mentally and physically unsafe for one or more of its inhabitants.

Toxic home environments are usually created by either spouses or both. While children are the common victims of a toxic home, either member of the spouses can also be the victim of a toxic home.

The common misconception is that only children and spouses are the victims of a toxic home when it can be other family members as well like the father, mother, grandparents, or even immediate relatives like aunts and uncles. So as you can clearly see, any member of a family can create a toxic home environment, with children being the only exception.

Some of the most common signs of a toxic home include:

  • The victim/s never gets any privacy or personal time. They’re always under the watch or supervision of toxic family members.
  • The victim/s are emotionally manipulated to feel guilty about everything and have that guilt used against them.
  • If the victim is a child and has other siblings, the toxic parent/s will pit them against each other to create a hostile environment.
  • The victim/s is constantly judged and criticized by the toxic family members.
  • The victim/s is pressured to be overachievers and punished verbally or physically when they fail to reach the standards of the toxic family member.
  • The victim/s passions and life goals are disregarded and replaced with the intended goal of the toxic family member.
  • The victim/s is constantly gaslighted and lied to.
  • The victim/s is constantly engaged in disagreements with the toxic family member/s.
  • The victim/s is always disrespected even if they are adults.
  • The victim/s receives little to no positive support from home.

If all or most of these signs match with the environment of your home, then you undoubtedly live in a toxic environment. Whether you’re a child, spouse, or immediate family member, getting out of a toxic home as soon as possible is the best course of action for you.

Effects of a Toxic Home on Children and Adults

Effects of a toxic home on children and adults

Live in a toxic home long enough and it’s bound to leave some deep mental or physical scars on you. No matter who the victim/s is, none can escape the effects of a toxic home when they’ve lived there long enough. Some of the most noticeable effects of living in a toxic home include:

  • Having Low Self-esteem: Historically, children who grow up in toxic homes tend to have low self-esteem. So low in fact, that many of them can’t interact normally in social situations until well into their adulthood. This can happen to adults too when they’ve been stuck with a toxic partner long enough.
    Many victims of physical and emotional abuse come out of their toxic homes a complete wreck and it often takes years of therapy to bring their self-esteem back to normal.
  • Having Learning and Coping Disabilities: This is particularly true for children who grow up in toxic homes. If either one or both parents are toxic, the toxic environment alongside the emotional and mental abuse results in learning and coping disabilities.
    These disabilities persist well into adulthood but thankfully can be recovered with proper therapy and effort on the victim/s part.
  • Inability to Trust and Form Relationships with Others: People who’ve been raised in toxic homes or lived with a toxic partner long enough can end up having serious trust issues. Since the constant abuse at home makes them paranoid, they expect others to be just like their toxic family members.
    This can be particularly damaging for adults who’ve been stuck in toxic marriages as well since their partners tend to isolate them while committing physical and mental abuse.
  • Tendency to get into Unhealthy Romantic Relationships: Children and adults who’ve lived in a toxic home long enough don’t know or forget what a healthy and happy romantic relationship looks like. As a result, even after leaving a toxic home, they tend to choose romantic partners with the same toxic characteristics as their former toxic family members or partners.
  • Being a People Pleaser: One of the easiest ways to identify whether someone is living in a toxic home or living in one is their social behavior. Children raised in toxic homes tend to blame themselves for everything as they have been conditioned to it.
    As a result, they try to please everyone in a social setting even if it means putting themselves down in the process.
  • Affinity Towards Anger and Violence: Children raised in toxic homes often face the brunt of their parent’s anger in the form of physical abuse. Spouses living in toxic homes also share the same experience.
    The result of this is that children and people who’ve lived in toxic homes also tend to demonstrate bouts of anger and violence when interacting with others.

How to Move Out of a Toxic Home?

How to move out of a toxic home

Moving out of a toxic home isn’t as easy as it sounds because you will be facing a lot of obstacles from the toxic family members who have treated you as a physical or emotional punching bag for the better part of their lives. They won’t want to let go of you that easily, so you have to approach your plan to move out of a toxic home very carefully. Here’s a breakdown of all the important factors and details you need to take into account when moving out of a toxic home.

Decided Where You Want to Move

If you’ve lived in a toxic home all your life, then the first part of your plan to leave it is to decide where you want to move. Assuming you’re of legal age, relatives can be a good first choice if you know any who are sympathetic to your condition.

If relatives aren’t an option, then you want to find a cheap place to live that doesn’t cost much. Chances are likely that you won’t have much money in your pocket in the beginning, so finding an inexpensive place to live must be at the top of your priority list.

Get in Touch with Child Protective Services (Only Applies for Children):

If you’re underage or know someone underage stuck in a toxic home, you should get in touch with child protective services. They can provide legal protection for the child and take steps to place them in foster care or juvenile boarding institutions.

Arranging Your Finances

Moving out of a toxic home isn’t a magical event that will immediately set your life right; you will also need money to run your life properly with the bare minimum amenities and necessities. So before moving out of a toxic home, try to ensure your finances are in order.

Even if you aren’t financially solvent, try to save up some money to run your basic expenses for a few months before landing yourself a proper job. Since chances are high that it’s your own parents or spouse who’s creating a toxic environment at home, you can’t expect them to financially support you at such a crucial stage in life.

Choose a Career that is Achievable

Let’s be realistic here- coming from a toxic home usually means that you don’t have the opportunities or grades good enough to land you a white-collar job. That’s why you need to put some serious thought into how you’re going to earn a living once you’ve moved out of a toxic home.

If you’ve lived in a toxic home your entire life, chances are you’re going to have a hard time coping in any work environment where social interactions are necessary. This also applies to spouses or partners who’ve been stuck in a toxic home for a while as well.

Try choosing a career that you’re really interested in. For example, if you’ve always liked building things you can become a carpenter or construction worker. Though they aren’t the most prestigious professions, they offer a good and stable income. Joining the military is also an excellent option as it opens up a lot of good opportunities after a few years of service.

Planning Your New Life

Moving out of a toxic home is just the beginning of your journey- you have the rest of your life ahead of you. To make the best out of this new beginning you need to plan your life properly. Prioritize healing yourself first by getting in touch with a good therapist.

If you can’t afford a therapist, then there are thousands of mental health support groups out there that can help you cope with your trauma by sharing your experiences with each other and supporting them.

Alongside therapy, try to integrate into regular society by making new friends and trying out new things. These things might sound scary at first if you’ve lived in a toxic environment for too long, but they’re an absolute necessity if you want to live a normal life.

Take Legal Steps Against Toxic Family Members

Even if you successfully manage to leave a toxic home, chances are your toxic parents or spouse won’t give up that easily and try to harass or abuse you from afar. Try ignoring them at first, they usually stop pestering after a while if you show no reactions.

But on the other hand, sometimes toxic parents and spouses can go overboard and try to interfere in your new life. If you find yourself in such a situation, then the best course of action is to file for a restraining order against them.

Don’t forget that you’re the victim who’s innocent, which means the law is on your side. Use the legal system against them and they’ll definitely stop bothering you. They might badmouth you to other people, but don’t let that stop you from making the best decision for your physical and emotional safety.

You May like: How Can I Help My Family Cope With Major Life Transitions?

Readjusting to a New Life

Readjusting to a new life

After leaving a toxic home, readjusting to a new life might seem a bit difficult and stressful at first. When a child or spouse is exposed to abusive and manipulative behavior for a long time, that becomes the norm for them. This is why when they meet friendly and positive people who’re not toxic, it’s hard for them to adjust because they’ve become dependent on that toxic behavior.

Accept your new reality and do your best to adjust to everything. Some people need a break in a completely new environment, not just from their toxic homes. If you feel like that, plan your move to a different city or a different state. You’ll meet new people and have new experiences that will shape your life for the better.

Realigning Your Mental State After Moving Out of a Toxic Home

After suffering heavy mental and physical abuse for years, it’s only natural that your mental health will be in tatters. But the freedom you achieve from moving out of a toxic home means that you have the opportunity to get rid of all that baggage, heal yourself, and become the person you always wanted to be.

You should always remember no matter how many therapy or support group sessions you attend unless the desire and willingness to change come from deep within yourself, your mental state won’t change. The find a reason to change yourself for the better, you need to leave your comfort zone and put yourself out there.


1. Are there any legal complications for leaving a toxic home?

No, there aren’t any legal complications for leaving a toxic home. It is up to you to decide when you want to leave unless there are legal bindings between you and your family and/or home.

2. How old do I have to be to leave my toxic home?

You have to be at least 18 to make the independent decision to leave your toxic home.

3. What if I’m too young to leave a toxic home?

If you’re too young to leave a toxic home, you can get in touch with a relative who’s aware of your situation or child protective services.

Final Thoughts

When you’ve been raised or lived in a toxic home for a long time, the decision to move out and take control of your life can be a bold and courageous one. It might seem daunting and scary to take the first step, but once you’ve moved out you’ll realize how much better your life has become.

So be brave, say enough to your abusers, and choose your own path in life. The only person who can make you happy in life is yourself, and you need to take charge as soon as you can.

Next Attraction: How to Move Away from Family?

Tyler S. Rios, a parent of two, shares her valuable insights into family life. Her blogs focus on parent-child relationships and navigating family conflicts. Tyler's wealth of experience empowers readers to handle family challenges with resilience and resolution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *