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Are you dealing with a toxic relationship, divorce, or custody battle with a narcissist?

We provide expert, strategic guidance through our certified high-conflict divorce coaching services. Schedule a free 25-minute discovery call:
Or, drop in to our Legal Abuse Support Group:

Being in a relationship with a toxic partner can be devastating to you and your children. If you’ve had enough suffering, you need to wake up… and take action.

Take a deep breath… You are not alone!

We’ve been there, we understand, and we can help.

If you’re just realizing that this is your situation, there are 3 things you need to do right away:

Step One

Understand Your Situation

If you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough, if you’re constantly blamed for things that aren’t your fault, and if there’s endless conflict in your once-wonderful relationship and you don’t know why, the problem might be that your partner is a narcissist or other toxic personality.

This problem is widely misunderstood, and it’s way more common than you might think. It’s also very serious – in some cases even life-threatening.

If you or someone you care about might be in a toxic relationship, take our FREE quiz.

In about 5 minutes, you’ll understand that you’re not crazy, and you’re not alone.

Step Two

Know the Dangers
of Toxic Relationships

Being in, and getting out of, a relationship with a toxic partner can be incredibly destructive. It can take years longer and cost far more than a “normal” situation. It’s critical to understand the dangers early in the process so you can take the initiative and protect yourself and your children.


Being in a relationship with a toxic partner is a miserable way to live. You may suffer from trauma similar to PTSD. You may experience infidelity, dishonesty, manipulation, stealing, and/or physical abuse. You almost certainly are being abused emotionally. It’s not OK, and it’s not going to change.


In some cases, toxic personalities can become violent, especially as you begin to stand up for yourself. If you feel your personal safety may be at risk, you need to act. Get yourself and your children to safety. Now.


Toxic personalities can be extremely damaging to children. Getting out gives you the best chance to raise healthy kids in your own safe environment, even if your partner has custody part of the time. Staying in the relationship “for the kids” models that abuse is OK – even normal – making it more likely that your kids will fall victim to toxic partners as adults.


Unfortunately, our court system is not built to deal with the extreme behaviors of toxic personalities. It’s built to make lawyers rich. In fact, the aggressive and combative nature of toxic people is frequently rewarded in the legal system.


Even if it’s hard to believe right now, you can have a bright future. It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better – getting out of a toxic relationship can be a harrowing experience. If you have kids, you’ll need to learn new ways to communicate with your partner.


You may only now be waking up to the fact that you have lost years of your life in a miserable relationship. If you delay taking action, you can wasted years more staying “stuck.” Getting your life back is going to take time, and the longer you wait the longer it will be until you can start living your authentic life.


Getting away from a toxic partner can cause extreme financial duress. Your partner may have wasted or hidden money or amassed debts. You might waste huge sums on pointless couples counseling. And legal expenses can spiral insanely out of control, for your lawyer and for other professionals.

Step Three

Make a Plan to

Get Over the Hurdles
As hard as it is to be in a toxic relationship, it can be even harder getting out. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, but it will get better once you get over the hurdles.

Overcoming Denial

For many, accepting that the situation has become intolerable is the biggest hurdle, and they stay “stuck” for years.

Under­standing the nature and severity of your situation

Despite the proliferation of narcissism and other toxic personalities in our society, most people don’t truly understand these issues.

Avoiding ineffective solutions

Narcissists cannot be “cured,” and investing time and money in couples therapy wastes both and postpones a real solution.

Accepting that your partner is actually your adversary

It can be so hard to accept that the person you love is really your extremely ruthless enemy… but you’ll need to do it.

Building your support network

You will need lots of support, but friends & family – and even many therapists – won’t understand why your situation is fundamentally different.

Planning and committing to act

Developing your plan to end the conflict and protect yourself and your children is a crucial challenge.

Overcoming their devious tricks to keep you

Your toxic partner may use a variety of manipulative tactics to keep you under his or her thumb.

Navigating a legal system that's stacked against you

Overburdened courts and unaware attorneys are not likely to understand the conflict, and your partner’s outrageous behavior could actually be rewarded.

Building your new life

You may have completely lost your center due to years of emotional abuse, but you can get it back and have a great life again in time.

Our Team


Lisa Johnson is the co-founder of Been There Got Out, a high-conflict divorce coach and certified domestic violence advocate who has successfully represented herself through scores of court appearances.

Her case was published in the Connecticut Law Journal in March 2021 and is now being used as legal precedent. Her live testimony helped pass Jennifers’ Law in Connecticut, the third state in America to expand its legal definition of domestic violence to include “coercive control.”

Lisa and her partner, Chris, the male half of Been There Got Out, coach people in high conflict relationships, divorce, custody battles, and co-parenting hell so they have the chance of the best outcome in family court and beyond. They also offer a weekly Legal Abuse Support Group for those dealing with narcissistic opponents in legal matters.

Their book, “Been There Got Out: Toxic Relationships, High-Conflict Divorce, and How to Stay Sane Under Insane Circumstances” was released in March 2023.


Chris is a certified high-conflict divorce coach and the co-founder (and male half) of Been There Got Out. He has a diverse professional background as a financial planner, entrepreneur, and sales executive.

Chris developed the Been There Got Out podcast, manages BTGO’s website, YouTube channel, Facebook page, and all the background technology they use to run the business. He also specializes in writing high-conflict parenting plans via BTGO’s partnership with

Through their coaching program, Legal Abuse Support Group, broader community on social media, and 2023 book, “Been There Got Out: Toxic Relationships, High Conflict Divorce, and How to Stay Sane Under Insane Circumstances,” Chris and Lisa support and guide people in these harrowing situations so that they can avoid common mistakes and have the best chance at getting themselves (and their kids) through it all as unscathed as possible.

Future you will be so proud of right-now you for deciding to get help with what will probably be one of the most difficult challenges in your life.

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