When It’s Not You, It’s Them: The Toxic People That Ruin Friendships, Families, Relationships

When It's Not You, It's Them: The Toxic People That Ruin Friendships, Families, Relationships

One of the joys of being human is that we don’t have to be perfect to be one of the good ones. At some point we’ll all make stupid decisions, hurt the people we love, say things that are hard to take back, and push too hard to get our way. None of that makes us toxic. It makes us human. We mess things up, we grow and we learn. Toxic people are different. They never learn. They never self-reflect and they don’t care who they hurt along the way. 

Toxic behaviour is a habitual way of responding to the world and the people in it. Toxic people are smart but they have the emotional intelligence of a pen lid. It’s no accident that they choose those who are open-hearted, generous and willing to work hard for a relationship. With two non-toxic people this is the foundation for something wonderful, but when toxic behaviour is involved it’s only a matter of time before that open heart becomes a broken one.

If you’re in any sort of relationship with someone who is toxic, chances are you’ve been bending and flexing for a while to try to make it work. Stop. Just stop. You can only change the things that are open to your influence and toxic people will never be one of them. Here are some of the ones to watch out for.

15 Versions of Toxic People

  1. The Controller.

    Nobody should have to ask for permission or be heavily directed on what to wear, how to look, who to spend time with or how to spend their money. There’s nothing wrong with being open to the influence of the people around you, but ‘the way you do you’ is for you to decide. Your mind is strong and beautiful and shouldn’t be caged. Healthy relationships support independent thought. They don’t crush it.

  2. The Taker.

    All relationships are about give and take but if you’re with a taker, you’ll be doing all the giving and they’ll be doing all the taking. Think about what you get from the relationship. If it’s nothing, it might be time to question why you’re there. We all have a limited amount of resources (emotional energy, time) to share between our relationships. Every time you say ‘yes’ to someone who doesn’t deserve you, you’re saying ‘no’ to someone who does. Give your energy to the people who deserve it and when you’re drawing up the list of deserving ones, make sure your own name is at the top.

  3. The Absent.

    These versions of toxic people won’t return texts or phone calls and will only be available when it suits them, usually when they want something. You might find yourself wondering whether they got your message, whether they’re okay, or whether you’ve done something to upset them. No relationship should involve this much guess-work.

  4. The Manipulator.

    Manipulators will steal your joy as though you made it especially for them. They’ll tell half-truths or straight out lies and when they have enough people squabbling, they’ll be the saviour. ‘Don’t worry. I’m here for you.’ Ugh. They’ll listen, they’ll comfort, and they’ll tell you what you want to hear. And then they’ll ruin you. They’ll change the facts of a situation, take things out of context and use your words against you. They’ll calmly poke you until you crack, then they’ll poke you for cracking. They’ll ‘accidentally’ spill secrets or they’ll hint that there are secrets there to spill, whether there are or not. There’s just no reasoning with a manipulator, so forget trying to explain yourself. The argument will run in circles and there will be no resolution. It’s a black hole. Don’t get sucked in.

    You:   I feel like you’re not listening to me.
      Are you calling me a bad listener
      No, I’m just saying that you’ve taken what I said the wrong way.
      Oh. So now you’re saying I’m stupid. I can’t believe you’re doing this to me. Everyone told me to be careful of you.

    They’ll only hear things through their negative filter, so the more you talk, the more they’ll twist what you’re saying. They want power, not a relationship. They’ll use your weaknesses against you and they’ll use your strengths – your kindness, your openness, your need for stability in the relationship. If they’re showing tenderness, be careful – there’s something you have that they want. Show them the door, and lock it when they leave.

  5. The Bullshitter.

    They talk themselves up, they talk others down and they always have a reason for not doing what they say. They’ll lie outright or they’ll give you versions of the truth – not a lie, not the truth, just that feeling in your gut that something is off. You can’t believe a word they say. There’s no honesty, which means there’s no intimacy. At worst bullshitters are heartbreakers. At best they’re raving bores.

  6. The Attention Seeker.

    It’s nice to be needed. It’s also nice to eat peanut butter, but it doesn’t mean you want it all the time. The attention seeker always has a crisis going on and they always need your support. Be ready for the aggression, passive aggression, angst or a guilt trip if you don’t respond. ‘Oh. You’re going to dinner with  friends? It’s just that I’ve had the worst day and I really needed you tonight. Oh well, I suppose I can’t always expect you to be there for me. If it’s that important to you then you should go. I just want you to be happy. I’ll just stay in by myself and watch tv or something (sigh). You go and have fun with your friends. I suppose I’ll be okay.’ See how that works? When there’s always a crisis, it’s only a matter of time before you’re at the centre of one. 

  7. The One Who Wants to Change You.

    It’s one thing to let you know that the adorable snort thing you do when you laugh isn’t so adorable, but when you’re constantly reminded that you aren’t smart enough, good-looking enough, skinny enough, strong enough, you have to start thinking that the only thing that isn’t good enough about you is this loser who keeps pointing these things out. You’ll never be good enough for these people because it’s not about you, it’s about control and insecurity – theirs, not yours. As long as they’re working on changing you, they don’t have to worry about themselves, and as long as they can keep you small, they’ll have a shot at shining brighter.

    These people will make you doubt yourself by slowly convincing you that they know best, and that they’re doing it all for you. ‘You’d just be so much prettier if you lost a few pounds, you know? I’m just being honest.’ Ugh. Unless you’re having to be craned through your window, or you’re seriously unhealthy, it’s nobody else’s business how luscious your curves are. If you feel heavy, start by losing the 160 pounds of idiot beside you and you won’t believe how much lighter you’ll feel. These ones aren’t looking out for you, they’re trying to manage you. The people who deserve you will love you because of who you are, not despite it.

  8. The One You Want to Change.

    People aren’t channels, hairstyles or undies. You can’t change them. Someone who snarls at the waiter will always be the kind of person who snarls at the waiter – whether they’re snarling or not. People can change, but only when they’re ready and usually only when they’ve felt enough pain.  It’s normal to fight for the things that are important, but it’s important to know when to stop. When a relationship hurts to be in, the only thing that will change will be you – a sadder, more unhappier version of the person you started out as. Before it gets to this, set a time limit in which you want to see change. Take photos of yourself every day – you’ll see it in your eyes if something isn’t right, or check in at the end of each week and write down how you feel. Have something concrete to look back on. It’s easier to let go if it’s clear over time that nothing has changed. It’s even easier if you can see that the only thing different is that the lights have gone out in you.

  9. The Abuser.

    The signs might be subtle at first but they’ll be there. Soon, there will be a clear cycle of abuse, but you may or may not recognise it for what it is but this is how it will look:

    >>  There will be rising tension. You’ll feel it. You’ll tread carefully and you’ll be scared of saying or doing the wrong thing.

    >>   Eventually, there will be an explosion. A fight. There will be physical or emotional abuse and it will be terrifying. At first you’ll make excuses – ‘I shouldn’t have said that/ did that/ gone out/ had an opinion/ said no.

    >>  Then, the honeymoon. The abuser can be wonderfully kind and loving when they need to be, but only when they need to be. You’ll be so desperate for things to get better that you’ll believe the apologies, the tenderness, the declarations of love, the promises.

    >> The tension will start to rise again. Over time, the cycle will get shorter and it will happen more often. The tension will rise quicker, the explosions will be bigger, the honeymoons will be shorter. 

    If this is familiar, you’re in a cycle of abuse. It’s not love. It’s not stress. It’s not your fault. It’s abuse. The honeymoon will be one of the things that keeps you there. The love will feel real and you’ll crave it, of course you will – that’s completely understandable – but listen to this: Love after abuse isn’t love, it’s manipulation. If the love was real, there would be mountains moved to make sure you were never hurt or scared again.

  10. The Jealous One.

    Your partner is important and so are other people in your life. If you act in a trustworthy way, you deserve to be trusted. We all get insecure now and then and sometimes we could all do with a little more loving and reassurance, but when the questions, accusations and demands are consistent and without reason, it will only be a matter of time before your phone is checked, your movements are questioned, and your friends are closed out. Misplaced jealousy isn’t love, it’s a lack of trust in you.

  11. The Worse-Off One.

    These people will always have problems that are bigger than yours. You’re sick, they’re sicker; you’re exhausted from working late every night this week, they’re shattered – from the gym; you’ve just lost your job, they’re ‘devastated because it’s really hard when you know someone who’s lost their job’. You’ll always be the supporter, never the supported. There’s only so long that you can keep drawing on your emotional well if there’s nothing coming back.

  12. The Sideways Glancer.

    Ok. So the human form is beautiful and there’s nothing wrong with admiring it, but when it’s done constantly in your company – in your face – it’s tiring, and it feels bad. You deserve to be first and you deserve to feel noticed. That doesn’t mean you have to be first all the time, but certainly you shouldn’t have to fight strangers for your share of attention. Some things will never be adorable.

  13. The Cheater.

    Infidelity doesn’t have to mean the end of a relationship – that depends on the circumstances and the people involved and it’s not for anyone else to judge whether or not you should stay. It’s a deeply personal decision and one you can make in strength either way, but when infidelity happens more than once, or when it happens without remorse or commitment to the future of the relationship, it will cause breakage. When people show you over and over that they aren’t capable of loving you the way you want to be loved, believe them. Move them out of the damn way so that better things can find you. 

  14. The Liar.

    Let’s be realistic – little white lies happen. In fact, research has found that when lying is done for the right reasons (such as to protect someone’s feelings) it can actually strengthen a relationship. ‘So that’s the orange cocktail dress you’ve spent a month’s pay on? Wow – you weren’t kidding when you said it was bright. Oh, it has pandas on it. And they’re smiling. And the shop doesn’t take returns. And you love it. Well keep smiling gorgeous. You look amazing!’. However, when lies are told with malicious intent and for personal gain, it will always weaken relationships. Relationships are meant to be fun, but none of us are meant to be played.

  15. The One Who Laughs at Your Dreams.

    Whether it’s being a merchant banker, a belly dancer, or the inventor of tiny slippers for cats, the people who deserve you are those who support your dreams, not those who laugh at them. The people who tell you that you won’t succeed are usually the ones who are scared that you will. If they’re not cheering you on, they’re holding you back. If they’re not directly impacted by your dreams, (which, for example, your partner might be if your dream is to sell everything you both own, move to Rome, and sell fake sunglasses to the tourists) then you would have to question what they’re getting out of dampening you.

Being human is complicated. Being open to the world is a great thing to be – it’s wonderful – but when you’re open to the world you’re also open to the poison that spills from it.  One of the things that makes a difference is the people you hold close. Whether it’s one, two or squadron-sized bunch, let the people around you be ones who are worthy of you. It’s one of the greatest acts of self-love. Good people are what great lives are made of. 



hi read all of article and comments at end of day we are all responsible for own actions and if things arent working .best to move on .not always easy .and im no youngster .been through life and on 3rd marriage lost my elder son nearly 6 years ago .but always been the giver listener supporter but when i lost my son who was there for me friends disappeared and husband had had an accident which overshadowed sons death but he is able to work and is able to do things my son hasnt got that choice. whether you call this toxic or not even i dont know answer to that but i think it is way people are now no time for anything but what they want and other peoples needs are not considered .just really selfish people in selfish world


Let go so she can heal .she has to loose something she loves..it comes from trauma..I was this girl…my bf left me after …I cried a river for a year..it healed me from past traumas and I’m taking my PTSD medication …and therapy…she will be ok..but it takes a strong guy to do this….I came from a 20 year bad marriage n relationships…I don’t know if u believe in Jesus..but it’s the only way…whatever’s in..gotta come out but not on ur expense…it’s dark energy…after healing..then comes realization …only then…it’s that deep but can be done..u can’t give in till the process is done..it may take a year or more…good luck n it works .I’m better:)


toxic family

I have plans for the future, and I’m fighting really hard for it. but nobody supports me, not even my family and parents. they don’t believe in my abilities, they always look down on me. every day i talk about my wish for the future, they always say “you’re too stupid for that”


Have been dealing with a manipulative so called “best friend” for over a decade.ive known her since highschool.Im convinced now that she is a covert narcissist.My loyalty and kindness was taken for weakness.Shes type 1,2,3,4,6,9 and 10 .Its mental abuse plain and simple. Her speciality was a method called “evading” and “gaslighting” and i was practically never allowed to bring up any wrongdoing on her behalf.if she wasnt rudely cutting the convo off before it began she would flip it to make me feel like some horrible “friend”.2 days ago i cut her off completely from all social platforms .the thing is we share 1 mutual close friend .She introduced him to me & we’re dating.The closer he and i got the more her true colors showed.i think.it was okay for me to associate with him as long as i was still there at her every becking call.part of the last straw was because she introduced us and we connected she feels entilted.she would pick fights to assert her authority.it was as if i was in her debt and had to pay her with my privacy and peace.in typical controlling fashion she began stalking my activity online with him like some jealous ex lover.if i didnt respond quick enough id get a message ” so your talkin to —– and not me” or she’d needle me to get me to explode and then act like im just crazy.i always felt like i had to explain myself and make sure i didnt piss her off its crazy.She crossed bounds and constantly interjected herself into me and my boyfriends relationship.i had no respect of privacy.Why?Control and Manipulation. to make me feel at fault for some non existing issue.im convinced she hated the attention shift bewteen her friend(my current boyfriend) .suddenly he and i was connecting and it wasnt all about her.they were not romantically envolved but with narcissist they hate to see you happy.Right after i cut her off, on cue she began using my boyfriend because they are friends , to “hoover” me.She has a talent for playing the victim well.she sent a message through him tryin to convince me that i simply imagined the whole ordeal and disrespect that followed and how she was just “joking” and it was me who overreacted.typical gaslighting.im standing my ground.No more head games.shes doing her best to drive a wedge between my boyfriend and tryin to convince him im this horrible person who just shut her out for no reason.Choosing to be the bigger person i cut her off with respect .knowing damn well i never wouldve been given the same courtesy.i also believe shes mad i cut her off before she could do it to me.its a power thing as always with manipulative people.
She also used the “hot and cold” method to guilt me for years.With people like her they’re never the problem.


Go on google, and look up where people manipulate and belittle you. You will have to learn boundaries to come into your life. You are playing a part to enable her behaviour. Sounds like you are having a blast at your boyfriends and her expense thumbs up girl, you definitely have the upper hand. Have fun. Don’t drink too much, be on your best behaviour meet good people who build you up, you are very smart and keep having fun!!!


Great article. I got out of a relationship this year. He started off fast and furious. I can’t say I was flattered at the start but he’d had a long term marriage and seemed kind on the surface. He is unusual in that he spent hours talking on the phone in the beginnng You know how most guys will text you- no Tim would talk and talk. He fancied himself as a player- Said he had been scouted out for the Patriots but had an injury in training. He had so much baggage. Nothing that would fit in an overhead bin (that’s for sure) Tim Fox from San Diego. He started to lose weight and even though he drinks and smokes cigars (cough cough) which is such a contradiction to good health (in my opinion) I never felt I could date a guy who has such huge mother issues.In fact my mother always said ” Don’t date a man who doesn’t get on well with his mother” Having said that- there are men who adore their mothers and aren’t good relationship material either. He comes on so strongl. I really liked him initially- comes across as being a big bear of a man kind and spends time listening.You wo’nt find a better listener( at the beginning) He is in therapy and yet he is severely in need of intensive therapy as a relationship with him has to be all about giving him positive affirmations. In other words it’s a lot of hard work and then POOF!!! he gets cold feet- he is a non finisher- Don’t waste your time with him.


I have been through a friendship where 1) I’m not sure it was a real friendship, 2) my awareness and expectations of who this person really was was entirely wrong, 3) I’m not sure if I did anything to bring about her rapid change in tone with me, and 4) I’m sure I was dealing with a person with one or more personality and mood disorders.

Let’s call this friend (or should I say “friend”?) Tara. Tara works with me in the same company. She’s a couple years older than me, now in her mid-40s, and has been in this company a couple more years as well, not a supervisor, more of a senior colleague. Tara was divorced/single when we met, and I am married.

Some background: Tara had married young, she married her husband when they were classmates in grad school, and then were classmates during an arduous 5-year training program, and then another year in practice working together until they had – what I heard to be – an ugly divorce (he had taken money from her, I heard). She never spoke much about him, occasionally mentioned she thought he was an alcoholic, but said they probably would have stayed together if they had had kids (they never did, she didn’t talk about that).

So she had been in her early thirties, divorced and single. She proceeded to go through several relationships, none lasting more than two years (one man she mentioned she had been “almost engaged” to, not sure what that means). She had also been through several jobs in the same field, with different companies.

At our company, she worked two floors above me for the first couple years after I joined. She was always friendly and cordial with me, I only saw her occasionally. But I began to hear that there was some rift between her and our other staff on her floor. I never heard what exactly had happened, but know Tara to sometimes be defensive, irritable, and territorial about her work – which she occasionally expressed in angry emails to the team!

The chiefs of the department had to switch her office for other purposes, so they transferred her downstairs to my floor, a quieter floor.

Our friendship started pretty quickly then. I had been one of the few coworkers who she had been casually friendly with even before she came downstairs and I felt sorry for her about how the others were treating her upstairs. Although I didn’t know the details about what happened up there, I felt that she was a good worker who was being unfairly maligned.

We hit it off quickly. Mornings and afternoons chatting in each others’ offices, lunch together in the team breakroom, went to conferences together, walks to the company store together. We began emailing and texting quite frequently. Text conversations almost every day. Book and movie ideas, political discussions, you name it, fun chats. Her mother passed away and I spent several long phone conversations with Tara, although she later told me she generally did not like to talk on the phone. Tara describes herself as an introvert, she certainly is, and when she had her door closed and needed to just get her work done on her own, alone, I let her be. Some days she wouldn’t show up to work and I’d text to see if she was ok, she’d tell me she was having “a really bad time” and just needed to be alone.

We saw each other at concerts, where she hung out at intermission with me and my wife. Went to a few company excursions with her, she was friendly with my wife too.

Occasionally, I now realize more clearly, she didn’t treat me as a friend, though. Couple times going out with others from work, she drove me to the venue, and then just left me there without a ride at the end of the evening (once some boyfriend she was all nuts about came and took her away from our group, once she said she just needed to leave, and left me standing there alone in the parking lot calling Uber!). I asked her a couple times if she wanted to join me and my wife for dinner before a concert, and she always said she “didn’t want to be a third wheel.” When my wife and I went on a double-date with her and her then-boyfriend (later fiancee), to a festival (an excessively PDA-filled showing on their part), they just suddenly declared in the middle of the day they were leaving since he didn’t feel well. Another time we went on another double-date with them to dinner and a concert, at the end of the music, they just left without staying a minute to say goodnight. Except for one evening when I invited her (single at the time) to join me and my wife and my parents for a Christmas garden festival and nice dinner, I realize now she never wanted to go out with us unless it was to serve as a double-date for her and a guy! She never invited me out or over to her house.

She shared with me here and there some relatively private details about her life and family (although I now realize she left a lot of details about prior work and relationship life to herself). I used to ask about how she was doing all the time. I really felt more and more that I cared about her. In a purely platonic way, I’m happily married! But I cared and felt sorry for hardships she was going through and wanted (and offered) to help in any way I could.

One notable time I offered her advice I now realize may have been a major mistake. Thing is with Tara, she is very self-assured and confident that whatever she is doing is the right and smart thing to do, no matter what common wisdom says. She had embarked on her newest relationship and after only a few weeks of dating, he had moved into her house, she was planning to buy a baby grand piano to convert her home office into a music room for him, they went ring shopping, and she was planning on quitting her job and moving with him across the country in about a year to live closer to his parents. I only suggested to her that this relationship was moving very fast and she should keep her head on her shoulders – if she was sure it was the right thing, fine, but I was just hoping she wasn’t making rash decisions. (of note, I have kind of made the “instant relationship” mistake myself, and it didn’t turn out well!!). She became quiet – noticeably perturbed at my suggestion to merely think carefully about what she was doing – and tersely told me she had been through many relationships and could easily see that she had found the right man. After just over a month of dating, she knew everything that was bad about him and could live with those things.

On the other hand, I told her about some private health issues I had. And a few months into our “friendship” my wife had a baby, my new son. And she never once asked me about how those things were going, about how I was doing or the baby or my postpartum wife! Not once!

It’s remarkable to think now, but in the months before my son was born, I asked her (at first casually, then with a heartfelt written letter) if she wanted to be the Godmother to my son. She said yes, she was honored.

The major rift happened about a week before my son was born. She had been dating a guy for about 2.5 months and was very content and excited to be in a relationship (the same boyfriend from the double-dates I mentioned). On Monday she was friendly, joking around with me, had a nice chat and walked to the store with me ….

Tuesday morning … not a word. No good morning, no nothing. She shut her office door all morning, seemed very angry when I saw her come out of office in afternoon, I tried to talk to her and she abruptly and rudely cut me off in mid-sentence, closed her door in my face. And she remained like that the next week until I had to leave work for the birth.

I texted her a few times, I was concerned about her very sudden change in behavior. After my son was born, she never texted back. I was reading about depression and noticed her symptoms seemed to match almost entirely (at least from an external view). She finally wrote me a text saying she was overwhelmed and needed some space. Although she said she knew I was trying to be a good friend to her, my periodic checks on how she was doing were increasing her stress, she needed space. I understood. I sent her an emoticon text every week or so to let her know I was there if she needed to talk, but I otherwise kept silent and gave her space all that time.

When I got back to work a few weeks later, I found out from another coworker that after a couple weeks when she was very upset, people had thought she and the new guy had broken up, she came in one morning to announce they were engaged. Other than flashing the ring at me with a smirk over her shoulder, she never mentioned it to me.

Continued silence from her. A few weeks later I wrote to her, congratulated her again, but said I hoped we could clear the air between us. I said I had valued our friendship, and hoped we could resume more cordial interactions, if only for workplace harmony. She eventually replied, again stating that she was an introvert and my interactions with her were making coming to work difficult. My “constant need for attention from her” were “very draining.”

Brief list of possible reasons for all this:
1- self-centered, borderline/narcissistic personality disorder(s)
2 – insecurity/desperation being single for so long
3 – involuntary/circumstantial childlessness
4 – jealous/controlling boyfriend/fiance

I’m curious your thoughts on this painful/confusing situation.



I think she developed feelings for you and wanted more and was hurting.
I think when you had a wife it seemed she had to distant herself from further hurt.I am guessin,g as she seemed to be developing feelings for you that there was no point in telling you about her feelings? and as she was working in the same company, there was no escape. I don’t think she wanted to not have you around but when she started having feelings- The only thing she could do was to distance herself. I imagine the reasons she had the foursomes with you was to show she wasn’t in love with you. These are just the feelings I get from reading your posting.


You are trying to entice her for an emotional affair. You are married!! It took you at least three paragraphs, to tell the reader you were married. If you need to talk to someone to tell them you are a great listener. Be a kind ear, answer them, only when they ask for your opinion!!! You sound so nice, I wish you were there for me, when I was depressed, and lonely when you are married I would have felt very comfortable too! Wow. Keep an open mind of course.


This is confusing for me because I’m not sure if I was the toxic one. The person said I was left brokenhearted.

I really liked this girl. I thought she felt the same. I would always tell her nice things, write her poems and send her flowers because she seemed a little down at times.

Moving into a sexual relationship was easy and fast with her, but saying I love you was really hard for her. She would never open up & always left me having to guess about things. Then she would get upset whenever I brought it up. Like I was attacking her personally.

It was so frustrating. After awhile she started ignoring me a lot. I missed her and just wanted to talk to her. She would say things like I make her smile all day and her heart flutter one day and the next she’d be cold & mean.

When she finally said I love you it was a big deal for me to hear. After seeing how hard it was for her to say it I thought she meant it. But it seemed like everything was always about her. I didn’t answer my phone or text her back one time because I left my phone at my moms house for a whole day.
She got really upset and I apologized. Later she said maybe she was just having a bad day but she felt like none of the men her life ever time for her.

After that day I made sure nothing like that ever happened again. But she would ignore me, sometimes for days and weeks. She acted like it was no big deal. I tried to tell I feel hurt when she does that. I didn’t know if she was mad at me or if she was ok.

I asked to her stop nicely but she didn’t care. Finally I started getting upset and she said I was toxic. Then she just never talked to me to me again. She blocked me from every way of contacting her. I feel like I ruined things.

She had agreed to marry me and I even bought a ring. She over reacted to a lot of things. Obviously she had been hurt before so I thought she would understand when I tried to tell her I was feeling hurt.

When I finally lost my cool I told her the things she was doing seemed very narcissistic. That was it. She never wanted to talk to me again. I really loved her too.

I’m scared to be with anybody now because I guess maybe I am a bad person.


You are not the bad person in that scenario. She is a narcissist. I was involved with one myself.


Sounds like she is young and a little hormonal. She is a little self centered which means that her love is immature. She may have problems in real relationships until she can really love herself. She does not even see your love is real because she is busy growing up to become a real woman. Thanks for your honesty. You will find true love,you are already on the way. She is not holding you back. Good girl!!!

Not Here

You do not seem a bad person, but one who was taken advantage of emotionally. Strange relationships are part of our learning process to find the right life-partner. Change to suit yourself, not others. If flowers and poetry express who you are, hopefully you will find someone who appreciates that expression and openly returns affection for you. You shouldn’t be subjected to guessing where someone hides their emotional land mines and waits for you to step on them before they react. One as sensitive and loving as you seem may be susceptible to being taken advantage of emotionally. Give your heart carefully and be aware of those who may not feel as strongly as you in a relationship, and you should eventually learn to recognize signs of insincerity. Think positive about yourself – your post does not indicate that you are a bad person at all.


I don’t know how to write , but I love my husband a lot. We known each other for 16 years married for 7 years. He has lot of mood swings and about 2 years ago started calling me names , suspecting me for stupid things . Even started hitting me saying I am a bitch. He has issues with his father , he also drinks , also had a meth addiction too . Today he hit me a lot. My puppy almost rescued me . He is a good , smart guy .. I don’t know what to do .


Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. 1−800−799−7233, 24/7. They will listen to you and not push you into doing anything you don’t want to do.


It will only get worse. If he were good or smart he would not be acting this way. Get Out Get Out Get Out before he really hurts you or kills you.

Corbin L

You should try to go to some form of counseling to try and resolve it but if he continuously hits you you should consider moving out temporalily


You can still love someone while you are apart. You have to love yourself first. He needs help. YOU are too close to help him and he will listen to qualified people. Get out go to a good friends. If he has isolated you from friends and family due to his own issues, just call them and explain your situation. People do have big hearts and will forgive if you open up. LOVE YOURSELF FIRST>


Take him to an AA meeting!!! Sit with him encourage, support him. You sound like a great girl already, wow, to put with that. Sounds like the puppy is a sign of the Higher Power!!


During 2019 my boyfriend/partner had some health problems. Needed a hip replacement. Then on March 17 my sister became deathly ill. She was in Hospital & rehab for 3 months. I only left her 7 nights. She went from 20% chance of survival to 50 – 50 with surgery. To coming home to my house with hospital bed in my room. In this time frame bf had 2 gallbladder issues I cared for him through. Finally it’s mid September & everyone is doing SO much better. I finally have some time for myself. POOF I find out he has been seeing an old girlfriend. We have been off & on for 31+ years. Raised & buried children. And this MAN couldn’t make it through me helping my sister through a life & death situation???!! He just decided he deserves to be happy. Our whole life out the window.


Some good insights of different personalities. All in all time and age makes people wiser to differentiate between truth and falsehood. The victim will always find a way out. I had been a victim and finally broke my cage to the family I was born in, having had enough. 5 to 7 against one was too much now the same bull can chase them away by saying I’m angry.


I just think it is hard to meet people and it isnt like in the times when our grandparents met and they actually knew the family of the erson they were interested in.They knew the weird families who had a quirky uncle that lived there or whatever. Now you meet someone at work or church or online and it could be one of Manson’s children- I heard he had a lot of children. But question is- how do you get to know someone.
A guy (or a woman) can pretend to be someone- to be anyone you want. I met someone like that. He was like a chameleon- he changed and became a person I would want to have a future with. But his family were poor- they didnt ever meet with him- they all lived on the east coast and he had moved to the west. By the time I met them (deep sigh) this is a nightmare- they were awful, terrible. I am not saying my family were perfect- no but they were educated and mentally stable and lived in decent homes- beautiful homes. They aspired to be something. My brother was born with the cord around his neck and his sppeech was affected- He was intellegent but because of his speech my mother sent him to a special school. I supposed we were brought up to not even think of him until he came home and we were so estranged not bonded aith him at all. So thats the worst thing that happened in our faily.But in my husbands family. It was very hard to not feel deep sorrow for him- His mum died a week after his baby brther was born.His father gave all his siblings up to the state- he was in a series of awful foster homes- he never bonded with anyone- but I did not realize that until years later when I was watching a program on Romanian babies and their inability to form any connections. But what he could do was mimic- he would mimic sadness and if he felt me growing distant when we dated he’d start crying – I arried him so I could mend the huge hole in his soul. Hah! The joke was on me. Anything that came remotely near him was like a great black holee- he absorbed all the love and attention and pity. He gave back nothing- no light- nothing. I had two children with him and while liked having a ‘picture perfect family’ he never once was able to bond with them- he gave them money- he would sit up at night with them when they were teething but no real deep connection.
His family were all messed up- His brother an alcoholic- his sisters strange- Honestly had I met them when we dated-I would have not married him.Please to anyone reading this and dating please visit the family and please if they are odd DO NOT CONTINUE dating these type of people. I have only experienced complete unhappiness with him. He was an alcoholic- he drained all our resources- he could not give back any love or company- he actally after we married could not bear to touch or be touched apart from some drunken sex (on his part)
still feel sorrow for him and his early life that life created this empty shell of a human.


You will regret it, some day you will look and thank your stars you are not with him!!!


This guy Dominic always put his girlfriend first the friendship was so one sided because he was in a serious relationship he put little to no effort into the friendship he’s either a toxic friend or a bad friend either way I’m not friends with him anymore I feel sorry for anyone whose still friends with him it’s not really a good thing that he did that it’s not a good thing at all I’m hoping that he might actually change if there is any chance he will I’ll consider giving him a second chance if not then nope


I have been in a relationship for about 3 years with the same woman I was going to marry her but now we have a newborn daughter and I stepped up to the plate to be a father to her three-year-old son.
I am the only one working Financial supporter provider.
And she’s real easy to trigger with anger and get mad at me for words I say and turn it into something very serious and it’s not.
I have been hit by her never called the authorities.
But just recently she did something and said something she would never do.
Calling the authorities on me as she instigates.
And saying I pushed her on purpose or intentional she was in my face yelling at me grass my shirt and holds me her direction we trip over our daughter’s car seat she called the cops on me. Right now I have no contact order I was arrested the battery touch.
I just don’t get it before I was ever with her three years ago my life was fine but I didn’t have someone to love me back I was lonely I have a 750 credit score had two full-time jobs I had three sports cars I had money in the bank I was building up my credit what do something about this woman that I love entirely but it’s really going to be hard to trust her and I trust her that she called the cops on me what’s going to stop her from calling the cops falsely again because I have a past record that’s almost 10 years old now from a self defense case gone wrong.
What should I really do I’m open to suggestions to have anger management us to have a family counselor and for me to see a therapist and for her to see one and see what’s exactly going on because she’s supposed to take PTSD medication but she denies that she doesn’t need it.
She’s also supposedly diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia and she denies that also.
And she points out that I’m the problem and all I try to do is love and care for my family and all I do is get yelled at cursed at and I get the blame and she doesn’t take ownership that she has a problem also but it’s always me never her.
She likes the playoff is the victim and want other people to feel sympathetic for her and make me look like the bad guy I don’t know what to do any advice you give me would be greatly appreciated cuz only thing I could think right now is I want it to work out I wanted to be better but I’ve never been so Rock Bottom in my life and I’m only focused on my daughter’s future right now which she is my only biological.
And it’s really sad that I just cannot talk to her and she feels some arguing or trying to start a fight with her all I am is having a discussion with her and she up and raises her voice and makes it seem like I’m the problem I don’t know what to do I’m lost for words and I really love this woman but I don’t think there’s that much of a future if we cannot find a solution to the problem and resolve it and reconcile whatever damage has been done.
Her ex-husband that she was with for 10 years what’s a narcissistic controlling mean person.
And her other relationship after him she was with him for a few years and he did about the same damage.
So she’s damaged and broken from them too bad men that was in her life and all I am is trying to help show her that I love her and that she’s cared for and she just got a force field up that I cannot break through.
When she’s not argumentative she is real loving and caring and I love the time that we spend together it’s just been the five months she has not been on her PTSD medication has drastically became worse.


If she’s open to talking with a therapist together you should try it. Give it your all. Change what you can about yourself to be a better person. And if she won’t try, after a while it might be best to break up. Change doesn’t happen overnight…maybe try a 6 month timeline with goals. However, if she manipulates your kindness, or anger constantly to get everything done her way it’s important to point it out. I have problems pressuring my husband this way and it helps when he points outs my one sidedness. And if she truly needs meds then something should be done in case she’s a threat to your child safety.


Emotion destroys intelligence, remember those words!! Say them over and over, and then you will realize a small change in you!!! Look in the mirror and know that you are a real person!! Say no to drugs and alcohol, focus on yourself! Learn compassion and love yourself deep within you, if she is normal she will be attracted to the love that you have for yourself. She will never be able to take that love away from you. You will have boundaries!!! You will have empathy for her and know this feeling, if you will become stronger. I hope this makes sense, it is very hard. Look for healthy strong people who build your well.


She is the narcissist.

Sorry to bear that bad news, they is very little you can do.

I have a similar situation and all I care about is my daughter’s well being now, but it’s not easy.

Suggest you read everything you can about narcissiam. You will see how all the behaviours you have described are because of her narcissism. I would make the prediction that she did not ‘get’ this from her ex’s and they likely suffered in that way you have been.

Good luck, look after yourself.


I met a man who was in a 8 year relationship which he admitted to me, after a month of talking. Initially, i felt such an attraction toward him; in my mind, I felt like i found the one. I became jealous of him and his girlfriend. We would have very sexual conversations, yet he continued to cheat and lie. He would neglect me, and never spend time with me and begged for his time. I begged for the basic human needs. I never felt good enough, yet he ensured me i was gorgeous etc. I kept falling into his trap; telling me that he is changing. But the same patterns kept repeating; and when i finally had the courage to leave; he said he made the biggest mistake of his f***ing life; and he kept blaming me that there is someone else. Really – there was no one else and i was loyal to him for 2 years and gave him relationship benefits. Now that i want to leave; he is saying he will treat me right, but really? my heart is so torn; i do not trust him; he says i don’t know “the real him”. all my friends and family hate him. His ex does not know anything. I am so confused. I am scared and lonely. If i walk away….and i helped build him up….will he treat the next girl amazing and have me regretting it? 🙁

Leigh L S

No he wll treat the next person shitty too. This is who he is. Run, Run and don’t look back.


Hi…. Your mind is not clear at the moment, you need to give time to yourself, take a break… go for holidays…spa, gym… hopefully, things will be clearer and then take decision what to do with your relationships, or how to deal with people… or maybe you realise it was all your mistake… I wish all will be well with you…

Peabody' s Cow

I’m 66,used to believe what people said,NOW I believe whatever they tell me they think I want to hear. Learning to be genuine in today’s world is almost as normal as a duck that walks backwards. I take people face value,let them tell me whatever and go home to my dogs. (At least they agree with me most the time,especially at meals)Normal is what? I used to think I was the crazy one but every family is dysfunctional,so I’m happy being me.I don’t need explain me to me!


Grief counselling, so sorry for your loss, your loss is the worst, help yourself by helping others!! When you do that miracles will come back into your life! I promise!!! What does not kill you makes you stronger! Helping a man who is blind to cross the street, cleaning someone’s house, who cannot walk, saying hello to someone who is extremely lonely, anything!! You are a survivor!! Warrior!! Positive thinking will help you!! Believe me!! You are the best person ever!!!


I went to a counselor for help and he wound up destroying my entire my life. He violated all ethical guidelines and disclosed everything I told him to my friends, family, co-workers and more. He destroyed all my relationships and went out of his way to do it!! I was naïve and never believed any “professional” would ever hurt me like this but he did. Now I have nothing and he took everyone from me. I never would have believed a therapist who is supposed to “do no harm” could be so evil and destructive. He continued his vengeance long after I terminated with him. How does a sociopath get a license to “counsel”?

Steven H

I just don’t understand how in the world it’s even POSSIBLE to do that. Did you see him for grandiose paranoias personality disorder with a side of inability to be honest???

Sean S

It sean

2 years almost me been together yet i feel i been with her only for these 2 years. Its been the most work ever i had to put in losing myself throughtout this relationship. Im the only person with income needing her to get a job to help pay bills and the habits we have like smoking cigss, plus eating out alot and drinking. Yet she thinks cleaning washing clothes is good enoough. We both clean so i dont understand her reason she doesnt have work. She has to go before she kills me with all her lies and other relationship she in while with me.

Lynn W

I truly understand sometimes it’s our heart that keeps us accepting To be abused, but at some point, we have to think of our happiness got out of the relationship before it’s too late.

Not Here

You are allowing her to use you, and you have the power to free yourself from the relationship if you choose to do so. Your post indicates the relationship between you does not have the same meaning, and that it is not healthy for either of you. Eating out, smoking cigars, and drinking appear to be your only common ground. If you believe your life will be better without her and if the place you live is in your name, tell her you want her to leave and give her a short time frame to find somewhere else to go and move out. The choice is yours to make.


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Anxiety has a way of demanding ALL of the attention. It shifts the focus to what feels scary, or too big, or impossible, or what needs to be avoided, or what feels bad, or what our kiddos can’t do. As the grown ups who love them, we know they are capable of greatness, even if that greatness is made up of lots of tiny steps, (as great things tend to be).
Physical activity is the natural end to the fight or flight response (which is where the physical feelings of an anxiety attack come from). Walking will help to burn the adrenalin and neurochemicals that have surged the body to prepare it for flight or fight, and which are causing the physical symptoms (racy heart, feeling sick, sweaty, short breaths, dry mouth, trembly or tense in the limbs etc). As well as this, the rhythm of walking will help to calm their anxious amygdala. Brains love rhythm, and walking is a way to give them this. 
Try to help your young one access their steady breaths while walking, but it is very likely that they will only be able to do this if they’ve practised outside of an anxiety attack. During anxiety, the brain is too busy to try anything unfamiliar. Practising will help to create neural pathways that will make breathing an easier, more accessible response during anxiety. If they aren't able to access strong steady breaths, you might need to do it for them. This will be just as powerful - in the same way they can catch your anxiety, they will also be able to catch your calm. When you are able to assume a strong, calm, steady presence, this will clear the way for your brave ones to do the same.
The more your young one is able to verbalise what their anxiety feels like, the more capacity they will have to identify it, acknowledge it and act more deliberately in response to it. With this level of self-awareness comes an increased ability to manage the feeling when it happens, and less likelihood that the anxiety will hijack their behaviour. 

Now - let’s give their awareness some muscle. If they are experts at what their anxiety feels like, they are also experts at what it takes to be brave. They’ve felt anxiety and they’ve moved through it, maybe not every time - none of us do it every time - maybe not even most times, but enough times to know what it takes and how it feels when they do. Maybe it was that time they walked into school when everything in them was wanting to walk away. Maybe that time they went in for goal, or down the water slide, or did the presentation in front of the class. Maybe that time they spoke their own order at the restaurant, or did the driving test, or told you there would be alcohol at the party. Those times matter, because they show them they can move through anxiety towards brave. They might also taken for granted by your young one, or written off as not counting as brave - but they do count. They count for everything. They are evidence that they can do hard things, even when those things feel bigger than them. 

So let’s expand those times with them and for them. Let’s expand the wisdom that comes with that, and bring their brave into the light as well. ‘What helped you do that?’ ‘What was it like when you did?’ ‘I know everything in you wanted to walk away, but you didn’t. Being brave isn’t about doing things easily. It’s about doing those hard things even when they feel bigger than us. I see you doing that all the time. It doesn’t matter that you don’t do them every time -none of us are brave every time- but you have so much courage in you my love, even when anxiety is making you feel otherwise.’

Let them also know that you feel like this too sometimes. It will help them see that anxiety happens to all of us, and that even though it tells a deficiency story, it is just a story and one they can change the ending of.
During adolescence, our teens are more likely to pay attention to the positives of a situation over the negatives. This can be a great thing. The courage that comes from this will help them try new things, explore their independence, and learn the things they need to learn to be happy, healthy adults. But it can also land them in bucketloads of trouble. 

Here’s the thing. Our teens don’t want to do the wrong thing and they don’t want to go behind our backs, but they also don’t want to be controlled by us, or have any sense that we might be stifling their way towards independence. The cold truth of it all is that if they want something badly enough, and if they feel as though we are intruding or that we are making arbitrary decisions just because we can, or that we don’t get how important something is to them, they have the will, the smarts and the means to do it with or without or approval. 

So what do we do? Of course we don’t want to say ‘yes’ to everything, so our job becomes one of influence over control. To keep them as safe as we can, rather than saying ‘no’ (which they might ignore anyway) we want to engage their prefrontal cortex (thinking brain) so they can be more considered in their decision making. 

Our teens are very capable of making good decisions, but because the rational, logical, thinking prefrontal cortex won’t be fully online until their 20s (closer to 30 in boys), we need to wake it up and bring it to the decision party whenever we can. 

Do this by first softening the landing:
‘I can see how important this is for you. You really want to be with your friends. I absolutely get that.’
Then, gently bring that thinking brain to the table:
‘It sounds as though there’s so much to love in this for you. I don’t want to get in your way but I need to know you’ve thought about the risks and planned for them. What are some things that could go wrong?’
Then, we really make the prefrontal cortex kick up a gear by engaging its problem solving capacities:
‘What’s the plan if that happens.’
Remember, during adolescence we switch from managers to consultants. Assume a leadership presence, but in a way that is warm, loving, and collaborative.♥️
Big feelings and big behaviour are a call for us to come closer. They won’t always feel like that, but they are. Not ‘closer’ in an intrusive ‘I need you to stop this’ way, but closer in a ‘I’ve got you, I can handle all of you’ kind of way - no judgement, no need for you to be different - I’m just going to make space for this feeling to find its way through. 

Our kids and teens are no different to us. When we have feelings that fill us to overloaded, the last thing we need is someone telling us that it’s not the way to behave, or to calm down, or that we’re unbearable when we’re like this. Nup. What we need, and what they need, is a safe place to find our out breath, to let the energy connected to that feeling move through us and out of us so we can rest. 
But how? First, don’t take big feelings personally. They aren’t a reflection on you, your parenting, or your child. Big feelings have wisdom contained in them about what’s needed more, or less, or what feels intolerable right now. Sometimes it might be as basic as a sleep or food. Maybe more power, influence, independence, or connection with you. Maybe there’s too much stress and it’s hitting their ceiling and ricocheting off their edges. Like all wisdom, it doesn’t always find a gentle way through. That’s okay, that will come. Our kids can’t learn to manage big feelings, or respect the wisdom embodied in those big feelings if they don’t have experience with big feelings. 
We also need to make sure we are responding to them in the moment, not a fear or an inherited ‘should’ of our own. These are the messages we swallowed whole at some point - ‘happy kids should never get sad or angry’, ‘kids should always behave,’ ‘I should be able to protect my kids from feeling bad,’ ‘big feelings are bad feelings’, ‘bad behaviour means bad kids, which means bad parents.’ All these shoulds are feisty show ponies that assume more ‘rightness’ than they deserve. They are usually historic, and when we really examine them, they’re also irrelevant.
Finally, try not to let the symptoms of big feelings disrupt the connection. Then, when calm comes, we will have the influence we need for the conversations that matter.

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