10 Best Songs About Dysfunctional Relationships

The 10 best songs about dysfunctional relationships cover a wide range of issues. Some are about romantic affairs, and others that made the list are about a dysfunctional relationship between parent and child.

  1. "#1 One Crush" by Garbage. This song is featured in the 1996 film "Romeo + Juliet." It's a good depiction of one possible feature of a dysfunctional relationship: obsession.
  2. "Every Breath You Take" by The Police. Though some people may think of this as a pleasant love song, the lyrics reveal something darker. This is another tune about a kind of obsession, this time with lyrics that uncover jealousy and a desire to control to subject of the song.
  3. "Dilate" by Ani DiFranco. Ani DiFranco often sings about bad relationships. There is one line in this song that makes it stand out among the others: "When I say you sucked my brain out, the English translation is 'I am in love with you, and it is no fun.'" Loving someone when it's no fun is a key indication of a dysfunctional relationship.
  4. "Mother" by Pink Floyd. Part of Pink Floyd's classic concept album "The Wall," this song is about the twisted relationship between the protagonist and his mother. Lyrics include, "Mama's gonna check out all your girlfriends for you, Mama won't let anyone dirty get through. Mama's gonna wait up until you get in, Mama will always find out where you been."
  5. "That's Me Trying" by William Shatner (Featuring Ben Folds and Aimee Mann). With his strange speak-singing style, William Shatner performs this song as a father communicating with his estranged daughter. Ben Folds and Aimee Mann sing the haunting chorus, "Years of silence, not enough. Who could blame us, giving up? Above the quiet, there's a buzz. That's me trying."
  6. "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin. In this screaming anthem about a dysfunctional relationship, Janis lets it all loose. You can hear pain in her voice as she sings about going back to her man for more, no matter what he's done to her.
  7. "Foundations" by Kate Nash. One of the more recent songs on this list of the best songs about a dysfunctional relationship, "Foundations" is about a couple that is falling apart. Kate Nash paints a perfect picture with lyrics like, "Then you'll call me a bitch and everyone we're with will be embarrassed and I won't give a shit."
  8. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" by Elton John. This classic song tells the story of a man who almost marries a woman on the verge of destroying his life and music.
  9. "You Don't Know Me" by Ben Folds (Featuring Regina Spektor). Ben Folds makes the list again, with this song about a couple that comes to realize they don't really know each other at all.
  10. "Yeah, Oh Yeah" by The Magnetic Fields. Virtually all of The Magnetic Fields' songs are about a dysfunctional relationship, but this one takes the cake. The song goes back and forth between a husband and wife, including lines like, "I've enjoyed making you miserable for years, found peace of mind in playing on your fears," and ends with murder.
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