When Someone You Love is Toxic – How to Let Go, Without Guilt

When Someone You Love is Toxic How to Let Go of a Toxic Relationship, Without Guilt

If toxic people were an ingestible substance, they would come with a high-powered warning and secure packaging to prevent any chance of accidental contact. Sadly, families are not immune to the poisonous lashings of a toxic relationship.

Though families and relationships can feel impossibly tough at times, they were never meant to ruin. All relationships have their flaws and none of them come packaged with the permanent glow of sunlight and goodness and beautiful things. In any normal relationship there will be fights from time to time. Things will be said and done and forgiven, and occasionally rehashed at strategic moments. For the most part though, they will feel nurturing and life-giving to be in. At the very least, they won’t hurt.

Why do toxic people do toxic things?

Toxic people thrive on control. Not the loving, healthy control that tries to keep everyone safe and happy – buckle your seatbelt, be kind, wear sunscreen – but the type that keeps people small and diminished. 

Everything they do is to keep people small and manageable. This will play out through criticism, judgement, oppression – whatever it takes to keep someone in their place. The more you try to step out of ‘your place’, the more a toxic person will call on toxic behaviour to bring you back and squash you into the tiny box they believe you belong in.

It is likely that toxic people learned their behaviour during their own childhood, either by being exposed to the toxic behaviour of others or by being overpraised without being taught the key quality of empathy. In any toxic relationship there will be other qualities missing too, such as respect, kindness and compassion, but at the heart of a toxic person’s behaviour is the lack of concern around their impact on others. They come with a critical failure to see past their own needs and wants.

Toxic people have a way of choosing open, kind people with beautiful, lavish hearts because these are the ones who will be more likely to fight for the relationship and less likely to abandon.

Even the strongest people can find themselves in a toxic relationship but the longer they stay, the more they are likely to evolve into someone who is a smaller, less confident, more wounded version of the person they used to be.

Non-toxic people who stay in a toxic relationship will never stop trying to make the relationship better, and toxic people know this. They count on it. Non-toxic people will strive to make the relationship work and when they do, the toxic person has exactly what he or she wants – control. 

Toxic Families – A Special Kind of Toxic

Families are a witness to our lives – our best, our worst, our catastrophes, our frailties and flaws. All families come with lessons that we need to learn along the way to being a decent, thriving human. The lessons begin early and they don’t stop, but not everything a family teaches will come with an afterglow. Sometimes the lessons they teach are deeply painful ones that shudder against our core.

Rather than being lessons on how to love and safely open up to the world, the lessons some families teach are about closing down, staying small and burying needs – but for every disempowering lesson, there is one of empowerment, strength and growth that exists with it. In toxic families, these are around how to walk away from the ones we love, how to let go with strength and love, and how to let go of guilt and any fantasy that things could ever be different. And here’s the rub – the pain of a toxic relationship won’t soften until the lesson has been learned.

Love and loyalty don’t always exist together.

Love has a fierce way of keeping us tied to people who wound us. The problem with family is that we grow up in the fold, believing that the way they do things is the way the world works. We trust them, listen to them and absorb what they say. There would have been a time for all of us that regardless of how mind-blowingly destructive the messages from our family were, we would have received them all with a beautiful, wide-eyed innocence, grabbing every detail and letting them shape who we were growing up to be.

Our survival would have once depended on believing in everything they said and did, and resisting the need to challenge or question that we might deserve better. The things we believe when we are young are powerful. They fix themselves upon us and they stay, at least until we realise one day how wrong and small-hearted those messages have been.

At some point, the environment changes – we grow up – but our beliefs don’t always change with it. We stop depending on our family for survival but we hang on to the belief that we have to stay connected and loyal, even though being with them hurts.

The obligation to love and stay loyal to a family member can be immense, but love and loyalty are two separate things and they don’t always belong together.

Loyalty can be a confusing, loaded term and is often the reason that people stay stuck in toxic relationships. What you need to know is this: When loyalty comes with a diminishing of the self, it’s not loyalty, it’s submission.

We stop having to answer to family when we become adults and capable of our own minds.

Why are toxic relationships so destructive?

In any healthy relationship, love is circular – when you give love, it comes back. When what comes back is scrappy, stingy intent under the guise of love, it will eventually leave you small and depleted, which falls wildly, terrifyingly short of where anyone is meant to be.

Healthy people welcome the support and growth of the people they love, even if it means having to change a little to accommodate. When one person in a system changes, whether it’s a relationship of two or a family of many, it can be challenging. Even the strongest and most loving relationships can be touched by feelings of jealousy, inadequacy and insecurity at times in response to somebody’s growth or happiness. We are all vulnerable to feeling the very normal, messy emotions that come with being human.

The difference is that healthy families and relationships will work through the tough stuff. Unhealthy ones will blame, manipulate and lie – whatever they have to do to return things to the way they’ve always been, with the toxic person in control.

Why a Toxic Relationship Will never change.

Reasonable people, however strong and independently minded they are, can easily be drawn into thinking that if they could find the switch, do less, do more, manage it, tweak it, that the relationship will be okay. The cold truth is that if anything was going to be different it would have happened by now. 

Toxic people can change, but it’s highly unlikely. What is certain is that nothing anyone else does can change them. It is likely there will be broken people, broken hearts and broken relationships around them – but the carnage will always be explained away as someone else’s fault. There will be no remorse, regret or insight. What is more likely is that any broken relationship will amplify their toxic behaviour.

Why are toxic people so hard to leave?

If you try to leave a toxic person, things might get worse before they get better – but they will always get better. Always.

Few things will ramp up feelings of insecurity or a need for control more than when someone questions familiar, old behaviour, or tries to break away from old, established patterns in a relationship. For a person whose signature moves involve manipulation, lies, criticism or any other toxic behaviour, when something feels as though it’s changing, they will use even more of their typical toxic behaviour to bring the relationship (or the person) back to a state that feels acceptable.

When things don’t seem to be working, people will always do more of what used to work, even if that behaviour is at the heart of the problem. It’s what we all do. If you are someone who is naturally open and giving, when things don’t feel right in a relationship you will likely give more of yourself, offer more support, be more loving, to get things back on track. 

Breaking away from a toxic relationship can feel like tearing at barbed wire with bare hands. The more you do it, the more it hurts, so for a while, you stop tearing, until you realise that it’s not the tearing that hurts, it’s the barbed wire – the relationship – and whether you tear at it or not, it won’t stop cutting into you.

Think of it like this. Imagine that all relationships and families occupy a space. In healthy ones, the shape of that space will be fluid and open to change, with a lot of space for people to grow. People will move to accommodate the growth and flight of each other. 

For a toxic family or a toxic relationship, that shape is rigid and unyielding. There is no flexibility, no bending, and no room for growth. Everyone has a clearly defined space and for some, that space will be small and heavily boxed. When one person starts to break out of the shape, the whole family feels their own individual sections change. The shape might wobble and things might feel vulnerable, weakened or scary. This is normal, but toxic people will do whatever it takes to restore the space to the way it was. Often, that will mean crumpling the ones who are changing so they fit their space again.

Sometimes out of a sense of love and terribly misplaced loyalty, people caught in a toxic relationship might sacrifice growth and change and step back into the rigid tiny space a toxic person manipulates them towards. It will be clear when this has happened because of the soul-sucking grief at being back there in the mess with people (or person) who feel so bad to be with.

But they do it because they love me. They said so.

Sometimes toxic people will hide behind the defence that they are doing what they do because they love you, or that what they do is ‘no big deal’ and that you’re the one causing the trouble because you’re just too sensitive, too serious, too – weak, stupid, useless, needy, insecure, jealous – too ‘whatever’ to get it. You will have heard the word plenty of times before. 

The only truth you need to know is this: If it hurts, it’s hurtful. Fullstop.

Love never holds people back from growing. It doesn’t diminish, and it doesn’t contaminate. If someone loves you, it feels like love. It feels supportive and nurturing and life-giving. If it doesn’t do this, it’s not love. It’s self-serving crap designed to keep you tethered and bound to someone else’s idea of how you should be.

There is no such thing as a perfect relationship, but a healthy one is a tolerant, loving, accepting, responsive one.

The one truth that matters.

If it feels like growth or something that will nourish you, follow that. It might mean walking away from people you care about – parents, sisters, brothers, friends – but this can be done with love and the door left open for when they are able to meet you closer to your terms – ones that don’t break you.

Set the boundaries with grace and love and leave it to the toxic person to decide which side of that boundary they want to stand on. Boundaries aren’t about spite or manipulation and they don’t have to be about ending the relationship. They are something drawn in strength and courage to let people see with great clarity where the doorway is to you. If the relationship ends, it’s not because of your lack of love or loyalty, but because the toxic person chose not to treat you in the way you deserve. Their choice. 

Though it is up to you to decide the conditions on which you will let someone close to you, whether or not somebody wants to be close to you enough to respect those conditions is up to them. The choice to trample over what you need means they are choosing not to be with you. It doesn’t mean you are excluding them from your life.

Toxic people also have their conditions of relationship and though they might not be explicit, they are likely to include an expectation that you will tolerate ridicule, judgement, criticism, oppression, lying, manipulation – whatever they do. No relationship is worth that and it is always okay to say ‘no’ to anything that diminishes you.

The world and those who genuinely love you want you to be as whole as you can be. Sometimes choosing health and wholeness means stepping bravely away from that which would see your spirit broken and malnourished.

When you were young and vulnerable and dependent for survival on the adults in your life, you had no say in the conditions on which you let people close to you. But your life isn’t like that now. You get to say. You get to choose the terms of your relationships and the people you get close to.

There is absolutely no obligation to choose people who are toxic just because they are family. If they are toxic, the simple truth is that they have not chosen you. The version of you that they have chosen is the one that is less than the person you would be without them.

The growth.

Walking away from a toxic relationship isn’t easy, but it is always brave and always strong. It is always okay. And it is always – always – worth it. This is the learning and the growth that is hidden in the toxic mess.

Letting go will likely come with guilt, anger and grief for the family or person you thought you had. They might fight harder for you to stay. They will probably be crueller, more manipulative and more toxic than ever. They will do what they’ve always done because it has always worked. Keep moving forward and let every hurtful, small-hearted thing they say or do fuel your step.

You can’t pretend toxic behaviour away or love it away or eat it, drink it, smoke it, depress it or gamble it away. You can’t avoid the impact by being smaller, by crouching or bending or flexing around it. But you can walk away from it – so far away that the most guided toxic fuelled missile that’s thrown at you won’t find you.

One day they might catch up to you – not catch you, catch up to you – with their growth and their healing but until then, choose your own health and happiness over their need to control you. 

You can love people, let go of them and keep the door open on your terms, for whenever they are ready to treat you with love, respect and kindness. This is one of the hardest lessons but one of the most life-giving and courageous ones.

Sometimes there are not two sides. There is only one. Toxic people will have you believing that the one truthful side is theirs. It’s not. It never was. Don’t believe their highly diseased, stingy version of love. It’s been drawing your breath, suffocating you and it will slowly kill you if you let it, and the way you ‘let it’ is by standing still while it spirals around you, takes aim and shoots. 

If you want to stay, that’s completely okay, but see their toxic behaviour for what it is – a desperate attempt to keep you little and controlled. Be bigger, stronger, braver than anything that would lessen you. Be authentic and real and give yourself whatever you need to let that be. Be her. Be him. Be whoever you can be if the small minds and tiny hearts of others couldn’t stop you.

[irp posts=”1602″ name=”When It’s Not You, It’s Them: The Toxic People That Ruin Friendships, Families, Relationships”]

984 Comments

Brittney M

I’m in a toxic relationship. He had a bad childhood growing up. he always uses his “hurt” to be the reason why he puts his hands on me and I love him so much so I fall back in his trap. He doesn’t let me hang out with friends and when I do see friends he says I’m “cheating”. He has my passwords and my location. Not all days are bad, thats why i stay. But I feel so drained and unhappy. I do everything for him, I’ve stayed by his side through everything; everytime I tell him how I feel he would cuss me out and say I’m “trippin” I’m “sensitive” or I’m “insecure”. I’m so sad and tired of this relationship but
I don’t know how to leave him. I love him too much. Help please?

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JR

You have power. You have to wake up one day and feel your worth. We are on this planet to enjoy our lives if anyone or anything takes away from that basic necessity of the human experience, let it go. Do not have a conversation about why are are leaving. It will give them the space to continue to make excuses and make you feel bad. Just go. It will be hard, you will doubt yourself but as time goes by you will feel more centered, empowered and free. You are worthy. Don’t risk your life for “love.” Love is kind and wonderful. It does not hurt.

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Se R

Hey,
I am a bi-sexual 25 year old female from Korea but living in Germany and I just got out of a toxic relationship 3 days ago and it’s really the hardest thing ever.
I have never experienced that before since I only had relationships before where I had to leave my ex-partners for circumstantial reasons and was able to maintain a friendship because they were never any hard feelings.
I need to tell the story since I am new to this and it feels good to let it all out.
This girl found me on Instagram through some shared contacts and we started to get in touch really quickly. She was (like my friends call it now) bombing me with her love and affection so I really believed in a genuine connection. She was into females but still got a boyfriend for quite some time which confused me from the beginning but she said they agreed on the fact that she can date females .. at first me and him only connected slowly since we were a bit scared of each other but I was able to help them in their relationship issues since it was clearly shown that these significant issues existed already before I came into the picture. She showed herself as supportive of the connection between me and him and wanted to start a triad relationship. I was really sceptical since I don’t really believe in these kinds of relationships but I wanted to try.
She convinced me to move in with them but I noticed really fast that she has no empathy (which everybody even agreed with) and has really big anger issues since she would punch or hurt him, scream extremely loud, break things and would pull out death threats during fights (which would last several hours). She would also not let you leave. This behaviour is nothing new to him. Mine and his connection grew stronger since we had to go through her tantrums together, we really formed a very strong bond and we both never opened up to somebody else that extremely before (and really on every possible level.) I really wanted to help her since my feelings for her were genuine but she used everything against me and really was extremely mean and manipulative but I couldn’t get mad, I was just always really hurt….
Being at home was like walking on eggshells, since she would explode for minor things and the intensity of the fight would grow every day. He has nobody else than her for years since she wanted to be his everything. She wanted to do the same with me, so the contact with my family and friends unfortunately decreased. You need to follow her orders so otherwise there will be a massive fight. Our mental and physical health decreased as well but he and I helped each other, supported each other and our love grew stronger and stronger. In every fight we always tried to find a new way to help her to not explode that much. She never saw consequences I. Her life before so we started to not always say okay fight is done, everything is fine after these huge fights. We researched help and eveything but nothing helped. The relationship with her was getting worse while our got better and all our surroundings and even herself agreed that they never saw such a perfect soulmate love relationship like me and him. Since we wanted that it works out the 3 of us, we said that she should maybe take a step back and focus on herself and getting healthy again. And we would wait for her and support her along the way. I really did my eveything, risking my own mental health to help her.
We did this for 3 months and focused on supporting her from a distance (still living in the same house but only interacting on a friendship level) and also on forming our bond which got stronger everyday and it was so overwhelming that we seem to be so made for each other on every level (which really everybody around us was able to see and feel)
We wanted to make the best out of it. The fights didn’t stop but we were still hopeful even tho we got some sort of ptsd out of it so I said I can’t do this anymore since 3 days ago it escalated so extremely again that I got such an extreme anxiety and panic attack(I never had these sort of things beforehand) (I said often that I wanna leave but she never was letting me leave )
I was so scared that I contacted people so they could pick me up and he was also so scared and shocked that he decided to drive to his family to take some time apart. We often really thought our life is in danger without her aggression… She stayed there. She hates me extremely of course since she said I ruined eveything for her since I left…
Me and him actually even planned to get married and made plans to somehow get through this. I said no matter what he chooses I support him and he should really take all the time he needs to find himself. He said I helped him to find back to himself and his personality and because of me he feels self confident for the first time in his life (since she was mainly talking down on him) But I don’t think that he can ever let this behind.
It’s so hard for me since I often stayed for him and vise versa.
Imagine you are in a relationship with your soulmate and you say to each other that it’s this one true once in a life time love of your life thing but also with somebody who is toxic like her.
I don’t know what to do, I give him all the time to focus on him since I always sacrificed myself for his well being since I really want him to be happy. I never manipulated him or pushed him into something . But I really believe he wants to be abused in a way.
It’s hurts so much to think about all the precious moments with him since him and I never got any trouble .. this is tearing me apart and I don’t know how to get over this.
I hope he decides to make a fresh start (even not with me but completely alone) and maybe there is some hope in the far future.
If he goes back to her ofc that would be a major heart break and I don’t know how to cope with this because I never experienced so strong feelings… my friends and family support me and I wouldn’t survive this without them but as soon as I am alone for a bit I think about all these moments and I am breaking down.

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Mo

I have read most of your stories and it just tears me up. I feel like I’m currently in a toxic relationship. So I met this girl 2.5 years ago. We really clicked right from the start and I fell for her. So we were just hanging out and One day she told me about her ex. turns out that she had recently been dumped by this guy. I didn’t feel anything sus because I had already fallen for her. so I thought I should help her. I gave her everything I ever had. I cared for her everyday. from being her go to driver to cooking food for her and what not. couple months inn, and I start noticing that she’s upset for undisclosed reasons. she would always say it’s just her periods. her mood swings and all that shit. Anyways, fast forward 2 years.. we are still in a relationship. meanwhile,I caught her talking to different guys who she mentioned as cousins. only to find out later that, he has a crush on her. okay soo whatever. right. I thought what’s the big deal, she still loves me. ok.. then she started taking me to places she visited with her ex. little did she know that, I still remember all the details she told me about her ex when we met. this shit ( re living the memories) happened a lot of times. I would just keep letting it go. so one day I finally confront her.. we were having sex and she starts crying. so I asked what’s wrong.. she would never say what’s going on in her head. she would just blame it on periods or mood swings… and then one day when we were drunk, she told me that her Ex had apologized by sending a text. I never brought that up when we were sober.. and when I try to get away from her, she would visit my place frequently, calling me 100s of times saying she really loves me. but she would never spend her important days with me.. meaning.. birthday, new years, or any occasion where people people would normally meet their significant other. And here I am.. totally broken. I am unable to get away from her. whenever I try to go away, she would cry and somehow I melt and I am back with her again. But I don’t want to be with her. I can’t be with someone who never apologizes for their behaviour. now I feel like she just used me to get over him. please help me out over here. idk what to do. feel like I’m just trapped in this shit man.. I’m hurt . with or without her. something about me… I am an honest man, never cheated even though I could have cheated many times.. my last relationship was 3 years before I met her. I healed completely and I thought I’d never love again. but here I’m. trapped in this toxic relationship. please help me out. let me know how to get out this situation. it just hurts a lot to stay or to leave.

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JP

Brother I’ve been there. Like an idiot after my divorce( my wife had an affair after 18 yrs of marriage ), I dealt with a much younger woman that said she loved me but did nothing but bring me and my children down. So 2 years later I dated a woman for a year that was an acholic and I figured it out early on but I fell for her and it took me over 12 months to finally end it with her. At first she was only mouth and degrading when she was drinking, then even when sober she was terrible. Every time I’d try to break it off, she sob and cry until she pulled me back in. Speaking of ex’s , this girl had tons of ex’s and she talked about them all the time, even in detail of “everything ” they did together, it made me want top puke. I finally got to the point where I knew I was better off without her, I had to ask myself what did she really bring to my life that I couldn’t do without ? And that answer was nothing ! The only reason I feel to have a significant other in ones life is to bring positivity into your life, we all need someone to uplift us and be a true partner, being dedicated to each other. There’s nothing worse than having to worry about your wife or girlfriend cheating or thinking about other people. I know it’s a hard choice, I’ve been there before, but you have to do what’s best for you and you only. Good luck, just remember you enjoy all the happiness in the world !

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Adam

Mate word for word I am with you on this journey and I can tell you for sure you need to let go! I have finally done this and although I do feel bad at times it’s the most refreshing feeling I’ve ever had but it did take me to get to breaking point before I finally did this! I know how you feel bro but you already know what you have to do. Do it and stay strong!

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Faith M

Hi. My name is faith and am in a toxic relationship. I hv bn with him for two yrs but they hv bn the most painful yrs of my life. When I had my first heart break in 2011, wc tuk me so many yrs to heal, I vowed to myself never to fall in love with anyone again. I won’t lie, there were some heartaches along the way but nt as the first one, so it was always easy to let them go. Wen I met my toxic boyfriend I was jct from another toxic relationship, so I knew I wasn’t ready for another relationship. My nw toxic boyfriend was the sweetest I had ever bn with. He cared for me so much that I forgot abt all my previous heartaches. I told him everything about me and my previous relationships, little did I know that I was falling from a frying pan into the fire itself. I told him about all my insecurities bse I wanted him to understand my pain en nt hurt me, so he promised he wud never hurt me.
He kept up to that promise for a while until he jct changed out of the blue. He started flirting, I remember him calling some chic on most occasions after 11 with me in bed. But she wasn’t the last. Others kept on coming even nw as am writing there is one he has told he loves her. He is buying them expensive gifts in the guise that they r his friends. I hv always told him hw painful it is for me but he sims nt to care abt hw I feel. He has tried to breakup with me on so many occasions en every time I hv to cry out my brain for him to give me another chance, all bse am scared of losing him. My hrt aches so much. He doesn’t want me at his place unless he hs invited me there wc is never cos I always hv to force myself at his place for him to c me. I want to let go so badly but then am so scared of nt being with him. How do I leave him without hurting???

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Aks

Be careful of these toxic people. Most of them love playing the victim. They will always find an excuse to play victim card and alot of women are masters of playing the poor little girl.

As a man i know now what i want after dealing with few toxic women

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Aliza

I didn’t really remember the date 6 months back when we guys got together, I cannot even call it a relationship. Later did I found out he was engaged back in his home country. I will certainly remember Dec10, 2020, when I caught him red handed. The moment i realised i tried to keep boundaries with him in the month of October. But nothing was working out, we were still the same, catching up and being there for each other. He is a nice person but this was wrong and I was living in the state of denial. I have used really harsh words for him later that night and i feel guilty though and I surely miss him. Somewhere, deep down I knew it was the right thing to do. Now I have tried checking on him, which I shouldn’t have but i have done it out of generosity since we are living away from family. He said a lot of things have been said and done, there is nothing left. I was always amazed with his manipulation and confidence, I tried talking to some friends and all of them have asked me to stay from this person.

I read this blog and stories and I was in tears and feeling a little confident that what I did was right for the three of us, otherwise it would have been so hard on me later, he’d get married as soon as the lock down ends.
Wishing you all strength and love!
Regards

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Sam

Hi I’m 21 year old female and in a relationship with a 30 year old guy…we on Long distance relationship for 6 month….we live in 2 different countries….I dont know if this relationship is toxic or not even is dont know both side or 1 side…I will be fair here….he is loyal but he always controlls me and e if i dont want do something or try break up he threaten me like he will send my private pic to my friends and family and if not listen to him and argue he blocks me….he criticise me alot….calls me name alot even at littlest mistake of mine….gets angry at me and keeps thinking I’m cheating on him with my ex which i did for 1 day at start of his and my dating i know i did bad and regreat it….i love him but i cant take it and on my part I’m quick tempered like him too and cheated out of anger….i am sometimes rude to him like him I’m also lil bit possessive but i never thought lowly of him like he thinks of me calling worthless useless…and its my fault always and sometimes wishing me death…i do love him and i cant take it and try leave but i end up coming back to him on my own or when he contacts and says sorry…sorry its too long 🙂

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Anonymous

I know how you feel. And yes you are in a toxic relationship. I am kind of in a similar one… I have been dating this guy for about almost a year. At first, we saw each other a lot and he was really sweet and everything. And then lockdown came and we barely saw each other at all. Like maybe three weeks in 9 to 10 months. So most of our relationship was on the phone. We had intercourse when I visited him and from there on our problems really started. He got really possessive over me and wouldn’t let me visit my friends. He became really ridiculous telling me nobody will ever love me like he does. Nobody could possibly deal with my anger the way he does. (yes I have a temper) making me feel like he is the only guy that will ever love me. When I got fed up with him he would cry and threaten me telling me he would tell everyone we had sex and he would send my private pics to people and take everything back that he gave me. I really do love him but he makes me miserable. I don’t know how to break free from this cycle. We will fight and our relationship will be really ugly then when I want to leave he makes empty promises and I fall for it and we have this short honeymoon phase and then it starts again. He always makes me feel like I’m the bad guy. When I’m only standing up for myself. I’m trapped… And I’m scared I’ll never be able to break loose

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Chris

I found this article 3 years later and 2 months too late. It really is incredible. I see mostly women in the comments section, and as a 34 year old man who is ready to love and share my heart with a good woman, I found myself this year being emasculated and put down over and over by someone who “loves me.” We even looked at rings at her behest two weeks before she broke it off with me because her ex texted her and sent her into a tizzy. She was in an abusive relationship before me, always compared our relationship to what she had before in lackluster terms. I always always always sought to build her up, I never put her down or critiqued her and never said a bad word about her ex. But we broke up, and in the same breath she said it was her and it wasn’t me also gave me a few things to work on to be more successful with my next relationship. Toxic people are broken people, and she was never willing to do therapy, but I did to grow and heal. I cannot imagine how to fix a toxic person, but I now realize they have to want it and pursue it themselves, otherwise we are all
Cannon fodder for the roller coaster.

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Stefani

There are times when you really love a person and just blindly follow what he says and wants because you know he’s smarter and intelligent in all aspects than me. I used to consider my boyfriend as the smartest among the group and always followed what he said. Even with regards to my career! He did give good advices I thought then. Also thought of marrying that guy and making him my husband. But now I realised I was manipulated in a way that made me think he was always right and he knew all things. I would just follow him like a dumb person. And when I started giving my opinions on things is when he felt I started dominating! I started voicing my views and thoughts and that seems to be dominating to him. He’s an aggressive person who has broken a lot of things when we fought. I’m hell scared to break up with him because I tried once, a phone and a laptop was shattered. I feel this article to be very relevant to my case. But can’t just figure out how to break up with this guy and be at peace!

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Rene

Just get the hell out of there. I’m a guy and just spent almost 2 years in a toxic relationship. Everyone around me saw it, told me how bad she was. I made countless excuses and blamed myself. Finally on Halloween the threats and violence and fear I felt. I called the police she ran from the apt and tried to return. I locked the door down and when she returned in the morning she tried the I’m sorry forgive me and started blaming me again it’s always my fault. I gave her two options I feared for my safety wait until I leave and get your stuff out today or I will have the police come and escort you out with your stuff. I offered to pay for her uber a hotel and a flight out back to where we moved from recently and she left. I was devastated left broke degraded feel I failed. But When I woke up today I felt safe no pressure actually happy and no fear. It will be stuff but I know I’m lucky I finally broke away and no harm or police. I hope she stays away and I’d would left everything behind to get away once I couldn’t live like this. Hope you have the courage you deserve better and get out now before it just gets worse.

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Devi

👋 hey
I ended things with my boyfriend a week and a half ago… It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I feel like I still regret the decision. But I don’t think he can change. Practiced a lot of infidelity. And we’re kind of on a break, if you could call it that.. but all the things he did keep replaying in my mind and all he can say is , forget the past and how tomorrow isn’t promised so why should we reminisce the past and waste time. He told me that I should take my time and heal and we can resume things. But I don’t think he can change… I mean, he would have already right? Part of me keeps hoping that he’ll finally settle and choose me. And stop playing around with other girls… part of me feels like maybe this time he’s serious. I miss everything, my happiness revolved around him.He tells other people I’m the one who gave up on us… makes me look like the bad one.. yet he kept cheating and apologizing and cheating again.. can you really cheat on someone you love? He doesn’t like me hugging other guys or having calls or meeting them or going to parties, he always wants to be there.. and yet with him it’s okay… toxic huh? Thing is he had a troubled childhood, I want to be there for him. I just feel it’s wrong to just leave someone after they’ve opened up to you like that! Please correct me if I’m wrong. So it’s one of the reasons I’m scared I may go back after the break. I don’t want to go back to the heart that broke me… but I miss him sooo much. I pray continually for God to give me guidance and courage. I just wish he could change…

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Ken

Pls baby.. tell me u didn’t go back to him.. it’s not worth it you can’t the hoe out of a man I promise, if he had the balls to cheat on you I promise he’ll do it again if you give him another chance because he thinks it’s okay and normal to do it if you take him back

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Ps

Please leave him it will only get worse and worse.it will take away all your confidence self worth and it will get harder to leave.dont feel bad for leaving it’s all part of the game playing into your good nature.becsuse he opened up to you. I’m sure you opened up to about how he’s making you feel.has he stopped no.next he will start giving you STIs and all sorts I’m speaking from experience it’s a never ending cycle. Please run someone will love you the right way you just can see that now but I promise you. Self love is the best love xx

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Anita J

They always tell you a story of troubled childhood bad marriage and so and so on. They will do what they think will pull you in. Stay strong

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Genesis

I been reading all this blogs doing my own research, trying to understand why this happened and even try to understand him. And I’m going through exactly the same situation as you right know. I feel hopeless without him. There’s nothing that I could tell to cheer you up. But I do understand 100%.

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Anomfox

I’m the the same position but with my husband of 2 years, not just with infidelity but abusement, physically and emotionally. And now we have a daughter I thought he would change like he said but it’s just gotten worse it feels like.

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Rene

You can’t fix them once there broken. You deserve better move on. Set some standards and boundaries and go slow. If they make your life better and positive and not all about them. Then and only then let them in.

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J Denise

Listen to your gut. I was with mine and we were approaching 30 yrs. From experience if I would have continued I would not be here to write this. Honey I’m in my 40s and almost lost my life this last time. And this is someone that loved me more than anything. honey you have to love u. If someone loves u, they dont hurt u nor watch you cry, let alone be the one that makes u feel unworthy and cry. I was more or less a prisoner and no it did not start that way. Honestly we got married after 12 yrs and got divorced a yr ago he got worse thinking that paper made him own me. If you are having all these issues it will only get worse. they will tell you anything to make u stay. I won’t lie, I miss him every single day but my sanity and peace of mind is so more important to me. And my children are 16 and 21 2 step children also 32 and 31 so they are my number one reasons to not continue that horror story. They were so broken from how he treated me and them. Please listen to me they only get worse. U deserve better and I always look to god for guidance. Honey LET GO AND LET GOD. Take time to discover yourself. No alcohol no other influences and listen to what gods plan is for u. We all have one u just have to trust him and want better for yourself. The missing will get easier but until then u need to get some support i had to realize I’m not able to talk to this man right now. I’m not strong enough he gets in my head and I have to work on that and until I’m ready I will stay away its only best for me. Believe in yourself. you are worth it. U have to realise it. hope this helps

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Rene

All I can say is RUN! Don’t waste your life in a guy or living like that. What kind of a future do you really want. Take my advise stay away and find a decent guy who’s got his shit together.

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Kinza A

This article is incredible. It sums up all the problems into just a paragraph. Beautifully written.
Im going through something toxic my self.
I want to get out of it.
But im not able to get out of it yet.
I hope everything gets better.

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sc

I cry myself to sleep every night praying things will change, but they don’t. i don’t know how to leave as i love him so much but it’s literally broken me. physically and mentally.

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Denise M

ID BET A MILLION DOLLARS HE WILL NOT CHANGE. I PROMISE YOU HE WILL NOT CHANGE. IF YOU STAY AND PUT UP WITH IT THEN ITS YOUR OWN FAULT THAT YOUR HURT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. HE IS A CHEATER AND A NARCISSIST. HIM TELL YOU TO TAKE TIME TO HEAL ,IT SO DAMN OBVIOUS THAT HES A NARCISSISTIC MAN. ATE YOU THAT DESPERATE ? I HOPE NOT. IT MAY HURT TO LEAVE BUT YOU DEFINITELY WILL GET OVER IT. BUT IF YOU STAY YOU WILL RELIVE THE HURT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. IF THATS WHAT YOU WANT OUT OF LIFE THEN STAY.But dont blame him for hurting you over and over again because he will. It will be you own fault if you stay. He dont love you. If he did he’d be devoted to you. Maybe your just in love with the thought of him changing and being true to you. But it’s not going to happen. I’m 55 year old female and I lived long enough to learn from my mistakes. It’s ok, Best that you move forward move on and remember and take what you learned from this experience. Life can make you smarter if you choose to let it.

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About to be single... and happier.

Incredibly well written article, grateful to have come across it. My relationship with the father of my youngest has been riddled with problems. I am imperfect in many ways to him however know in the deepest depth of myself that most of the toxic behavior I did/do not deserve. He says to not beg and cry for him back, after recently trying to make me choose between he and my teen son and then telling me I am the one making the choice for him to leave. I want my son back in my life. I know he will be okay without me, us because his greatest strength is being self-involved. My parting gift to him is completing his Biology lab class with grace and not asking for anything else in return for it. I just cannot take the financial manipulation, the mean spiritedness, and controlling behavior any longer. Who in their right mind feels entitled to 80k of their partner’s financial investment because they decided to stay four more years in their partner’s home state for their partner in exchange for money … lots of money. Money comes and goes, it is the entitlement to my investment prior to our relationship that really gets to me. Especially since I am responsible for our rent because as he says I would have to pay for it anyways if I was single. Enough is enough. The toxicity is oozing. 😉

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Riri

I need help and I don’t know how to go about this. I’ve been with my partner for almost a year he has a heart condition and will need a transplant in the coming year. The relationship I thought we had isn’t what it was. I recently found out he was sleeping with a women his mums age and he continued to lie to both of us promising forever ofcourse he denied this and told me that he only wanted to lift her up because he felt bad but he was trying to leave her. He had slept with her up to the time I found out so I started talking to her I got messages and all that state otherwise. He was never trying to leave he promised her forever and love and so much more. I did feel he was using her as she was taking care of him and spending on him which he also denies n feels like he only rightfully took what was given. I’m trying to leave but he turns into an absolute psycho n blames me for his illness or that I’m going to be the death of him when I pull him up about this he changes n apologised but yet I stil get blamed for a lot of it which I know isn’t my fault for speaking up. While I’m trying to leave it’s hard because I could very well be the death of him. I’m not a weak person and I basically no longer care as bad as it sounds I just want to go in peace without having to deal with the crap that comes after. He has also abused the other women threatened her and cut her off completely so she also is going through a diffficult time without him but at least she is out and I have tried to support her with it which he isn’t happy with and is trying to force me to delete her from my life because she holds a lot of truth to the lies he says and everytime I ask him about something and tell him to be honest he will sugar coat it and lie again when he can’t lie anymore about it coz there’s proof he will twist it to make it seem like it was just him trying to be nice or help or make her feel wanted and when that doesn’t work he gets verbal and physically attacks everything around me and threatens to attack the women he was with for telling me, although he has never laid his hands on me. He is now at a point where his been promising me the world n how he will change and his so sick and I personally just feel like he needs a maid. How do I get out since talking nicely and talking harshly and just noT being in contact isn’t working. Nothing is and he has stated that he will never go and I’m also fearful he will bring this to my family like he has threatened to many time’s.

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Taheera O

Reading this bring me into tears . O been on and off with this man for 9 years. The last 2 years we got back together we said no bs we going to work on this. I found out he was dealing with someone else the whole time. Pictures and everything on social media. It’s been 6 months since it happened. He claims he nog dealing with her but i still see her posting him or her posting things pertaining to him. I’m hurting and tired of trying to make it work because of our history. I just want out already.

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L

I was in a toxic relationship for two and a bit years. Reading this article has made me realise that how he broke up with me ensured I stayed connected to him. I have searched to try to understand why I did this. I realise now that he manipulated me into being “loyal” to him, even when I knew I no longer loved him or was with him.
I am constantly told by friends that I am a pleaser. I am not sure if this is a good quality or a bad one but I now know that he recognised this in me and ensured that I would stay connected to him by making me feel sorry for him.
I started a new and healthy relationship with a wonderful kind and giving man but I kept in touch with the previous man, even though very rarely and not in person. I didn’t tell my new partner because I didn’t know how to explain it.
I’ve asked myself a series of questions. Typing them into the internet to find something like my situation. Then I found your article, which has given me the understanding (a real revelation to me) although I don’t know how to put this in words to my new partner. How can I rebuild the trust in him now he has discovered my messages? I felt so ashamed that I denied, even to myself, that I was doing this. I have now set the record straight with him but I am so devastated that I’ve hurt him so profoundly.
I love him so deeply and completely. This love is like no other love I have ever experienced. As though we are 2 parts of one whole.
We think the same, love the same, live life the same and want the same experiences from life.
He deserves the peace of mind that comes with trust. So much so that I have considered sacrificing my happiness with him to give him this. He tells me that we will move on from this, that our deep love will help us but I feel I have caused a wound that will always leave a scar and I have no idea how to erase it.
If you have any advice for me I would be so very grateful.

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katherine

soon the cruel words and actions, will turn into bruises and broken bones. and it will be all your fault. they expect you to say you were wrong and apologize. they will take all you worked for and have and never share what is theirs. i spent 17 years living like this and it took 10 days in the hospital and another beating when i got out because i cut off his access to my bank accounts (not that i have alot of money, social security/pension) and he refused to work, that he decided to beat me again. i called the police and he ran like the coward and bully he is and went home to his mother. i am old and never want to let anyone have that power over me again. i was told that if i had waited 30 minutes more to go to the hospital i would have died, this is a result of his actions which he knew were making me sick, and this is the stupid part. i miss him because i really loved him we were married 17 years, but i now realize i was just a meal ticket to him. i have to fight with myself to not contact him and beg him to come back, and it is hard, but it’s been 4 months and i am starting to miss him a little less each day and one day he will be just a memory because i will not let him be any thing more. i post this to let all of you who are going through this i understand, i feel for you and i pray for you that you can find the path you must walk to be at peace and find contentment in your life. it is very hard but you can do it.

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Denise May

EXACTLY, Its a narcissistic game. She should look up that word on google and read about ppl like that. It’s very educational.

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Monica

I’ve been married for 21 years. And have recently, I guess in the last 5 years found my voice. Discovering what is really going on in our marriage. My husband retired and I left a job that was extremely stressful to me. He’s not a bad man. He loves me the way he thinks I should be loved and I should appreciate. He says he’s “better than 95% of the men out there” but I feel unheard, unsupported, invalidated. I quit drinking and started attending Codependence Anonymous meetings. I’ve been reading and listening to different books about relationships, people, shame, vulnerability etc. I want our marriage to work. We’ve gone to 4 counselors and he holds on to the thought that. I’m the one who has changed so I’m the one who needs to do the work. When I tell him how I feel and would like support or empathy he gets defensive and says he can’t have his opinion. I’m definitely a different person than I was when we married. The things I have changed I feel are all good things. The changes shed light on past trauma that I’ve endured and growth for me. His “opinions” feel like covert criticism or judgement. I’m so confused because I feel it’s toxic but he does some nice things and reminds me that he never tells me no but then says I run everything. I feel stuck and can’t really think of anything else besides, should I stay or should I go….

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Denise

Look up the word narcissist on Google. You will find a lot of your questions answered . I promise.

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Kim

I know exactly how you feel. I felt things in my gut and heart but my mind always made me think differently. I let myself get extremely hurt emotionally and mentally. We were married 30 years, he never physically abused me. But he was very manipulating and had a way to make me believe him when I knew deep down things were going on. He was not unfaithful. We have been divorced for 3 years and I am just now getting to the point that I let myself believe what I knew all along, that he was deceitful. He would tell me I had it better than most women and things he did was to make us better but it was all for him. I am working on letting go and it is extremely hard cause we did have great times and a beautiful family. I’m making baby steps. Don’t let your mind play tricks on you like I did.

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Janno

I have been married for 44 years. I have just read my life in this article. One day I had had enough. I took half of our life savings and got a beautiful apartment and bought all new furniture. I wanted to take the the life I have left and be happy and stress free. He wants me back and he got us a marrige counseler but I don’t think he can change after all these years. I have never been happier.

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Mery

When your spouse ask you a question and you give him an answer and they tell you that you are wrong and state no that can’t be right.
When your spouse calls his family members to tell them what is happening in the relationship and only makes you look like a monster. Doesn’t state the truth
When your spouse always looks at the negative side of things and is never 100 percent supportively of the hat you want to do
When your spouse always blames you for everything that happens but states it’s his fault and I am never wrong and when you try to state allow you feel about the situation he walks away
And states it’s over
When his mother lies to him about me and he decides to attack you physically and verbally and will not listen to you
When he lies to people about things that happening in the past but doesn’t state the truth
When he tell you that the house is his and he will never leave
When he calls you a B but he is the only man you have ever been with kiss or loved
When he accuses you of cheating because his mother told him lies about you
Because she doesn’t want you together with him
When you go to marriage concealing and even the doctor tells him that he needs to look at his side and what he has done wrong and he calls the doctor stupid never again goes to marriage concealing
When he tells friends private things about your marriage so bad that you never want to go over again because is accord
When he tells you that if you get fat he will leave you
When he tells you that if you get old and loss your hair that he will leave you
When he tells you that everything horrible that happens is your fault
When everything you do or say is always a negative comment or negative reaction
When you try to scream for help so you can leave but you are scared that your kids will get hurt to
This is not a good marriage
I need to fine a way out
When my family is toxic my mom uses me for money and so did my brother
My sister is also not a good supporter she has her issues as well
I cry as I write this because I am trying to fine a way to leave and still make sure my kids are successful in life
I need a miracle
Take care all off you and thanks for listening

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Cheena

I’m also going through a similar relationship but I don’t have kids. I’m praying for u and lifting up ur family. Know ur not alone.

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Lemmy

Please stay strong, you are not alone. Make up your mind to be strong, pack your bags and leave immediately and ask God for direction. Everything would be fine soon dear

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Shanae

Why did I feel this. With the exception of a husband and children. I pray that you find peace and love being that you dont seem to feel it now based on your post. The best thing I ever did was love myself, I surrendered and gave it all to God (depending upon your religious beliefs) after that I worked more towards meditations, reading material to help me. Even participating in some of Iyanla Vanzants daily affirmation and reading videos. She keeps hope alive for those of us that feel like we are alone and well. Vulnerable or whatever it may be, to toxicity and negativity. I started seeing a therapist before all of this because I was so lost but I am in such a great place now than I was 4 or 5 months ago. I feel like I’m beginning to live in my purpose and happy as because I took that 1st step of loving me first. I wish I had whatever answer you seek but I hope that you get through this situation and come out happier than you ever were. With your chin held high. Sending light, love, and blessing ????????❤

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Arty

Hi Mary,

I cried with you as I read this. I hope you find a way out- nay, I pray you find a way out! The best thing I think you could do for your children is to keep strong and keep safe! Do whatever you can to work towards YOUR happiness. It will help your children immensely just to see you happy too

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Anonymous Benefactor

Dear Mary,

Please know that you are stronger than you believe you are. You are a fighter. Split away from toxicity — it would be very hard, but we have one life to live. Let’s not spoil our life on people who don’t deserve us. Your kids will be better off in a peaceful environment. Whatever will be the hardships, you would have answers for them. Make sure that you become financially independent and have some savings before taking this step. I know of a friend whose mother split with his father when we was very young. Currently he is a professor in Computer Science Department of a very prestigious institute in my country. Everything turns out to be well — there will be ups and downs, but you will at least have the required distance from toxicity. Take help from your friends. Get a lawyer. Do something. Inaction would not resolve any situation.
Lots of love
-Anonymous

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Claire

I feel so sorry for you.. I wish I could help. I’ve left my husband a couple of weeks ago and some of your story described him. I’ve left him a few times but slept in family and friends couches. I eventually left him as my mums house is vacant.. I am very lucky.
I was so miserable it was effecting me… My happy go lucky self has disappeared.
He had a really bad upbringing, his mum beat him… He was put in a home, his dad was an alcoholic. His sister killed a baby and he lost him brother when he was 18.
I believe he is the way he is because of his childhood and I have asked him to go to a Councillor but he won’t, he says there’s nothing wrong and he’s over all of that.
Unfortunately he now drinks every day a vast amount and I have just found out he’s been taking cocaine.
I’m so relieved I’m out…. Now I need to find myself and find that fun person I use to be x

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SHWH

Ma’am, God wanted me to let you know that you are the miracle. you can do this. your children will be okay. No matter what happens, everything will be okay for you. Stop trying and start doing. I believe in you.
With all my unconditional love and support; take care.

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Dallas

Miracles are possible! You are strong enough to leave. Think of the kids, do you want them to grow up thinking that’s how a relationship works or do you want them to see mommy is strong enough to get out and deserves to be treated with love. I am in a similar situation myself, I’ve been put down all my life and just recently at 26 years old with 4 loving kids said enough is enough. I am grateful for finally believing in me. I know it’s a scary situation but please know I am here to support you. I’m sorry this has happened it breaks my heart. I wish you the best, you matter and deserve genuine uplifting love!

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Billie Jean

This article blew me away. I have been in denial for a very long time and I strongly believe that this is it. This is the final eye opener to a better ME. I don’t want to be toxic to myself and other people because of someone else. The detachment is always the hardest, but it has to be done.

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SM

I recently made the decision to release myself from my marriage of 23 years. My husband was dysfunctional in all the ways mentioned, infidelity, abuse, lies, inconsistency with work, and addiction. I stayed because of my children. I thought they needed a two parent home, and I bought the fantasy and suffered through the reality. I try to figure out why it was so hard to walk away as I see other people do, or as he did, even during our marriage as he stayed out late, now I know with other women using my hard-earned money to take these women out eating, drinking, smoking, and partying. For the most part in our marriage, I paid all the bills–sometimes working two-three jobs to make ends meet. Many times at pay day he would ask for my debit card to go play pool only to find that he would spend hundreds of dollars even before I paid bills. We suffered by the end of the month just to keep gas in the car or food on the table. So, I ask myself, “Why would I want this?” The reality is I did not see a future beyond him, so now, I have started creating a future in my mind of scenarios to my happiness. As a Christian, I believe in a big God who can take me from pieces to peace in my life. I used to think that I had to be the perfect wife so that he would love me better or more. That was a farce. He only loved himself as he knew that he was not worthy of my love, so he tried to demean me to his level. He has destroyed, better yet I have allowed him to destroy my health, finances, relationships, and good name. At this time, I dream of my future with someone loving, living in peace and contentment. But, the thought creeps up that maybe he will change, and we can be together as a family. But, nope…I will not allow myself to go down that rabbit hole. I am nurturing me…watching funny movies, reading romance novels, and doing the emotional work to make myself well. Do I still think about him? Yes. I spent 23 years with him. My goal now is to be strong enough to stay away as I know he will be crawling back with a story about wanting his family…this is my trigger. He wants his family makes me feel guilty that I am withholding an intact family from my children. My other assumption is that he will go to the next victim, who he cheated with and wrote in a text as the only person he every loved. Either way, I have to create my own happiness. I have to rebuild a life without my abuser–husband. So, I ask, “Why would a reasonable woman live and stay with an abuser?” I realize that I am a people pleaser, or maybe just a nice person, who left my mother’s house and moved right into his. While I love my mother, her dominant personality makes me shutter. Both of these relationships are damaging at times to me. At this point, I am distancing myself from both. Well, zero contact with my husband. I deserve happiness. I will not die. I will prosper and create a new life on the other side of this. I must encourage myself as I have been so defeated that I could only hope for a life with a serial cheater, abuser, and liar. The familiarity serves some emotional need, but I am creating new familiar processes in my life like reading before bed, no social media, walks, cooking for my nephew, spending time with my family…I just have to be strong. I can only pray that he never comes back.

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Sylvia

After two years of being in a toxic relationship, this article was the most helpful in me realizing I was in a bad situation and telling me how to get out of it logically. I fell in love with my boyfriend my junior year of high school and everything was perfect at first. He has had a troubled life and unfortunately, I told myself that I could fix him. I put so much time and effort into being everything he wanted me to be that I became addicted and needed his validation. Eventually things got extremely bad because when I had any complaints or issues in the relationship, he would never consider my feelings and nothing would change. Eventually things got verbally abusive and he would call me names, not being able to control his anger during arguments. I would forgive him every single argument we had and often times I would be the one apologizing. Eventually, when we both went to college, I discovered that he had cheated on me during our senior year of high school, and I forgave him even when he didn’t fully own up to what he did. Many incidents have led to me not trusting him and I feel like such an insecure and bitter person when I see a girl I think he would cheat on me with. When I become untrusting and he is being suspicious, he blames me for being insecure and not being able to let go of the past. Now when I bring up something that concerns me he says that me bringing up certain issues is a boundary for him and if I cross that boundary, he has every right to yell at me and call me names. His justification for this was that if he were to cross my boundary of him cheating on me, I would have the right to yell at him. Getting my point across and communicating with him is always so tiring and never leads to any solutions. I always thought things would change and now I’m so attached to him, only realizing now that this is a cycle.

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WeakGuy

Women and men can be extremely deceitful and manipulative.
I know a girl for 6months. I knew from the beginning it will never work. She was(is) taking drugs and stuff…
This woman is like a black hole. Needs money under all pretexts. Everytime something bad is happening and she calls/texts only when she needs money. She “loves me” very much. But her actions donmt match words and behaviour is not in accordance to what she says. Big red flag!
The bad part is I started to love her basically… But to be honest I love money much more. After about 3k pounds short I think is time to move on.
There is a big problem however: Im a very compassionate person and a very good hearted person and she manages to enter my head all the time. Funny fact is I know… i know when she lies, I kinda know everything. She even lied she will go to hospital to “heal herself”; and she thanked me so much for opening her eyes.. guess what: caught her lying, wasn.t in any hospital(I investigated it thoroughly…)
She swears she loves me and exploited my vulnerability very well. She always knows what buttons to push and she always tells me she knows me better than I know(this is a manipulation indicator; meaning exactly she knows what to say and where to say)…
I love her.. her blue eyes, her way of being etc. But I will not let myself destroyed by anything or anyone. I was a drug addict myself but quit all substances on my own after about 16years. I think thats why I attracted her in my life… I think that why I had sympathy for her etc.
U need to be careful regardless the toxic person is man or woman. Both can play the victim very well. The one Im talking about is a master manipulator. She got me even though Im a master manipulator myself(was a broker on stock exchange and fraud investigator). For me it seems was a joke.. liked “investigating”… So I suppose now I need to pay for my “sins”. Truth of the matter, I know is harsh but: we, as victims, we kinda choose to be and to stay in those toxic relationships. We don.t trust our gut and we choose not to believe in us properly, and guess what? The manipulator takes advantage of this.
Be extremely careful at behaviour. If actions don.t match words, run away. Life doesn.t give us too many chances, why we should give? I gave her several chances, more than to anyone but I cannot keep myself dragged down. Whats the fun being in a relationship with a woman who texts, calls only when she needs money? Whats the fun in being in a relationship in which u spend all ur money from minimum salary, u tell her u don.t have for food and rent and she doesnmt even give a f*ck??
Think about identifying things like this. Little things matters the most. For example, it was christmas and the woman who pretends to love me didn.t even call once. She asked for some money via sms even though she knew I have none. I was stupid enough to borrow 20quid to give it to her as shes poor… It was the saddest christmas ever. I was in my house, alone basically crying because Im so stupid.
When I confront her she always switches the topic or she swears “change is coming in time baby…”. No, change will NEVER COME. What is meant to work will work from the beginning. Now Im writing this but most probably I will not be strong enough to leave her…
Curiosity kills the cat! U know that saying? Thats what I basically did and now I regret it.
For all ppl who are in something which is not good enough. LEAVE! A long lasting and fruitful relarionship os not only about love. There are much more things needed. If you cannot trust love is insignifiant.

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Anne

Wow. So much of this is so true to me. I just got out of a terrible toxic relationship. I look back now and feel a shell of the bubbly fun out going woman I was. After 2 months he was checking my phone and I felt constantly guilty for being me. I stopped seeing friends, hid my phone, would question me when work colleagues would message when I was off because they needed something from me. I still stayed another 2 years. I thought maybe I was too affectionate to others and the problem was me. we went to Athens and I ran the marathon, the day before he was checking my phone again, accusing me of wanting someone else… I had 2 hours sleep to prepare for something I had been preparing for before meeting him. He had a son before me and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it and when I confessed this feeling it was another stick to beat me with. He was terribly defensive about anything, any feelings I had were called criticisms and “you’re never happy” I found myself compensating, sending gifts and cards to let him know how much effort I was putting in. Stopped being intimate with me and said he felt uncomfortable… I started exercising beyond reasonable and became so skinny that he would find me attractive and still blamed me because I wanted affection. He would go out with friends and never contact me, leaving me worried or concerned and if he was with his son, I didn’t exist. I travelled back from home to see him after visiting my parents (200 miles) and he put on his headphones to play Xbox with his son even though he knew I was coming. i accepted it and believed because it was his son that i should accept things. He told me he was done with me and my sniping and that he didn’t love me and I should think about that and work on myself. I am a shattered mess. I can’t stop thinking of him and now I’m lockdown all I do is work and come home to me. I tried so hard and I think that’s what hurts the most. I compromised me to be with someone who never existed. That’s who he is and I’m not worth it to him. I know I’m doing the right thing walking away but it’s so hard to build worth when you love the idea of someone so much you lose yourself.

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Devi

You’re so courageous! The last few lines of your comment really resonated with me. “When you love the idea of someone so much that you lose yourself…. And compromising yourself for someone who never existed.” I did the same exact thing, only to receive wounds and deception in return. It feels terribly regretful, but I tell myself that I’ve been humbled during my effort to love and I gave the very best of me, which is the best I knew how to do at that time. I forgive me for being a loving, kind human to a traumatized soul who didn’t know how to return the love..or as the article said CHOSE not to! I can be proud of myself for being loving even though I was hurt in the process. You can be proud of yourself for being loving and courageous too. You can be proud of yourself for loving yourself enough to walk away too.

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Anonymous

I am so glad I saw this article and I couldn’t agree more.

Long story (????) short, I did not notice that even before we were in a relationship and just started going on dates, without making things official yet, she was already very demanding. We were in a relationship for a year and we were going way too fast for comfort. We argued over almost anything no matter how small or petty it was. We had very poor communication as a couple because once she gets mad at me for anything, it’s an all out war. When I try to explain, she doesn’t usually listen and I started walking on eggshells. Our arguments kept on cycling back and it was on petty things like not replying back to her dm’s during work hours! We could have handled it differently and the issue could have been resolved without having to have too much of a heated argument, but no we had to had a very, very, heated argument, almost. All. The. Time.
It was so exhausting to the point that I felt depleted, depressed, and anxious. I got nauseous at least twice throughout our relationship.

She said she would change and not start an argument without thinking if it was worth the fight or not. But that did not happen. We kept arguing and the pettiness kept escalating. I felt suffocated but let it slide which is a major flaw of mine. I did not stand firm on the boundaries I set and did not set up correct boundaries. Then she also wanted me to send nudes! Although that was very tempting, I explained to her the risk of it and worried for the both of us since it’s so easy to hack any information sent through the internet these days and be used for blackmail.

Our relationship was turning sour fast and I was becoming a toxic person myself. Lying to her (I am currently reflecting on my flaws, btw) so she wouldn’t get mad when I wanted time for myself and my hobbies. Because I knew she would sulk and get mad at me and we would fight again (I’m a blunt person, so I was honest in the beginning but that also ended with heavy arguments). That cycle kept repeating itself and I became a horrible person who got explosive once we started on an argument (no, I did not resort to violence just an angry voice. I was losing my composure more easily these days).

I feel horrible because I have my flaws too. And I’m scaring myself thinking that I did that to her. That I hurt her and that it was because of me that she is in the state she is right now.

I broke it off with her through text. I know that’s such a horrible thing for me to do but enough was enough. We then started messaging on the what, why, and how I reached to that conclusion. I opened up to her by saying that our relationship was toxic. That our arguments kept repeating and that we we’re so codependent with each other, leaving no room for other people and most especially for ourselves. That we we’re loosing ourselves and have started hurting each other by holding onto something that we should already let go of.
I also tried to personally break it off with her at one point. It was so emotional that we got back together just a few minutes after. I couldn’t stand seeing how hurt she was. I’m not perfect and she really is a very lovely person but I just can’t deal with the negativity that is our relationship. I had to be harsh and had to draw a clear and heavy line for both our sakes.

I’m still in the process of recovering and trying to believe that what I did was right. I’m still debating on whether or not I should talk to her in person, she said she wanted to meet, (we did text about the reasons why I broke it off with her before finalizing it) because I’m honestly scared that I would change my mind. And I am being cowardly because I know how weak I am against seeing her sad and would want to do anything, anything, just to reassure her. I am also very conflicted with myself because I know she’s hurting. But, when I think more deeply about it, I just know that there is a slim chance of us actually working out. And one of the reason is because I am also already scared . I don’t want a repeat. I just don’t want for us to reach the point where we would regret everything. I am praying for strength and that my decision was right.

To this day, I am walking on a very thin line between moving forward or going back. Wish me luck ????.

Well wishes and God bless too.

Reply
Kinza A

I just read your story.. what happened. How are you now? Are you okay? How’s that girl now?

Reply
Alberta

I was in a similar relationship. I broke it off 2 weeks ago and I feel kinda guilty but still trying to convince myself I made the right decision. I wish both of us luck.

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When things feel hard or the world feels big, children will be looking to their important adults for signs of safety. They will be asking, ‘Do you think I'm safe?' 'Do you think I can do this?' With everything in us, we have to send the message, ‘Yes! Yes love, this is hard and you are safe. You can do hard things.'

Even if we believe they are up to the challenge, it can be difficult to communicate this with absolute confidence. We love them, and when they're distressed, we're going to feel it. Inadvertently, we can align with their fear and send signals of danger, especially through nonverbals. 

What they need is for us to align with their 'brave' - that part of them that wants to do hard things and has the courage to do them. It might be small but it will be there. Like a muscle, courage strengthens with use - little by little, but the potential is always there.

First, let them feel you inside their world, not outside of it. This lets their anxious brain know that support is here - that you see what they see and you get it. This happens through validation. It doesn't mean you agree. It means that you see what they see, and feel what they feel. Meet the intensity of their emotion, so they can feel you with them. It can come off as insincere if your nonverbals are overly calm in the face of their distress. (Think a zen-like low, monotone voice and neutral face - both can be read as threat by an anxious brain). Try:

'This is big for you isn't it!' 
'It's awful having to do things you haven't done before. What you are feeling makes so much sense. I'd feel the same!

Once they really feel you there with them, then they can trust what comes next, which is your felt belief that they will be safe, and that they can do hard things. 

Even if things don't go to plan, you know they will cope. This can be hard, especially because it is so easy to 'catch' their anxiety. When it feels like anxiety is drawing you both in, take a moment, breathe, and ask, 'Do I believe in them, or their anxiety?' Let your answer guide you, because you know your young one was built for big, beautiful things. It's in them. Anxiety is part of their move towards brave, not the end of it.
Sometimes we all just need space to talk to someone who will listen without giving advice, or problem solving, or lecturing. Someone who will let us talk, and who can handle our experiences and words and feelings without having to smooth out the wrinkles or tidy the frayed edges. 

Our kids need this too, but as their important adults, it can be hard to hush without needing to fix things, or gather up their experience and bundle it into a learning that will grow them. We do this because we love them, but it can also mean that they choose not to let us in for the wrong reasons. 

We can’t help them if we don’t know what’s happening in their world, and entry will be on their terms - even more as they get older. As they grow, they won’t trust us with the big things if we don’t give them the opportunity to learn that we can handle the little things (which might feel seismic to them). They won’t let us in to their world unless we make it safe for them to.

When my own kids were small, we had a rule that when I picked them up from school they could tell me anything, and when we drove into the driveway, the conversation would be finished if they wanted it to be. They only put this rule into play a few times, but it was enough for them to learn that it was safe to talk about anything, and for me to hear what was happening in that part of their world that happened without me. My gosh though, there were times that the end of the conversation would be jarring and breathtaking and so unfinished for me, but every time they would come back when they were ready and we would finish the chat. As it turned out, I had to trust them as much as I wanted them to trust me. But that’s how parenting is really isn’t it.

Of course there will always be lessons in their experiences we will want to hear straight up, but we also need them to learn that we are safe to come to.  We need them to know that there isn’t anything about them or their life we can’t handle, and when the world feels hard or uncertain, it’s safe here. By building safety, we build our connection and influence. It’s just how it seems to work.♥️
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#parenting #parenthood #mindfulparenting
Words can be hard sometimes. The right words can be orbital and unconquerable and hard to grab hold of. Feelings though - they’ll always make themselves known, with or without the ‘why’. 

Kids and teens are no different to the rest of us. Their feelings can feel bigger than words - unfathomable and messy and too much to be lassoed into language. If we tap into our own experience, we can sometimes (not all the time) get an idea of what they might need. 

It’s completely understandable that new things or hard things (such as going back to school) might drive thoughts of falls and fails and missteps. When this happens, it’s not so much the hard thing or the new thing that drives avoidance, but thoughts of failing or not being good enough. The more meaningful the ‘thing’ is, the more this is likely to happen. If you can look behind the words, and through to the intention - to avoid failure more than the new or difficult experience, it can be easier to give them what they need. 

Often, ‘I can’t’ means, ‘What if I can’t?’ or, ‘Do you think I can?’, or, ‘Will you still think I’m brave, strong, and capable of I fail?’ They need to know that the outcome won’t make any difference at all to how much you adore them, and how capable and exceptional you think they are. By focusing on process, (the courage to give it a go), we clear the runway so they can feel safer to crawl, then walk, then run, then fly. 

It takes time to reach full flight in anything, but in the meantime the stumbling can make even the strongest of hearts feel vulnerable. The more we focus on process over outcome (their courage to try over the result), and who they are over what they do (their courage, tenacity, curiosity over the outcome), the safer they will feel to try new things or hard things. We know they can do hard things, and the beauty and expansion comes first in the willingness to try. 
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#parenting #mindfulparenting #positiveparenting #mindfulparent
Never in the history of forever has there been such a  lavish opportunity for a year to be better than the last. Not to be grabby, but you know what I’d love this year? Less opportunities that come in the name of ‘resilience’. I’m ready for joy, or adventure, or connection, or gratitude, or courage - anything else but resilience really. Opportunities for resilience have a place, but 2020 has been relentless with its servings, and it’s time for an out breath. Here’s hoping 2021 will be a year that wraps its loving arms around us. I’m ready for that. x
The holidays are a wonderland of everything that can lead to hyped up, exhausted, cranky, excited, happy kids (and adults). Sometimes they’ll cycle through all of these within ten minutes. Sugar will constantly pry their little mouths wide open and jump inside, routines will laugh at you from a distance, there will be gatherings and parties, and everything will feel a little bit different to usual. And a bit like magic. 

Know that whatever happens, it’s all part of what the holidays are meant to look like. They aren’t meant to be pristine and orderly and exactly as planned. They were never meant to be that. Christmas is about people, your favourite ones, not tasks. If focusing on the people means some of the tasks fall down, let that be okay, because that’s what Christmas is. It’s about you and your people. It’s not about proving your parenting stamina, or that you’ve raised perfectly well-behaved humans, or that your family can polish up like the catalog ones any day of the week, or that you can create restaurant quality meals and decorate the table like you were born doing it. Christmas is messy and ridiculous and exhausting and there will be plenty of frayed edges. And plenty of magic. The magic will happen the way it always happens. Not with the decorations or the trimmings or the food or the polish, but by being with the ones you love, and the ones who love you right back.

When it all starts to feel too important, too necessary and too ‘un-let-go-able’, be guided by the bigger truth, which is that more than anything, you will all remember how you all felt – as in how happy they felt, how loved they felt were, how noticed they felt. They won’t care about the instagram-worthy meals on the table, the cleanliness of the floors, how many relatives they visited, or how impressed other grown-ups were with their clean faces and darling smiles. It’s easy to forget sometimes, that what matters most at Christmas isn’t the tasks, but the people – the ones who would give up pretty much anything just to have the day with you.

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